5 Reasons You Should Not Lead Worship This Sunday

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Thanks to Fred McKinnon for sharing this post. Originally published at fredmckinnon.com.

It’s Monday morning. If you’re like most ministry leaders you wake up feeling completely drained from the day of ministry before. Turn on the coffee pot because as we all know that…

Sunday is coming…

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you didn’t show up to lead on a Sunday?

  • Would worship still occur?
  • Would your leadership team be able to adjust?
  • Would your congregation adapt?

I’d like to suggest five reasons why you should not lead worship this Sunday. OK, maybe not THIS Sunday in a literal sense. But let’s entertain some valid reasons why you should be prepared to not lead and remove yourself from the platform every now and then.

1. Regain the Congregant’s Perspective

When was the last time that you participated in a worship service as a congregant? This perspective can be very enlightening to a worship leader. By joining in with the congregation you can get a first hand feel for what your sound is like, how your team’s stage presence is represented, how transitions flow, and what may be helping or hurting the overall environment that is being created. Can you hear one another sing? Is the lighting sufficient? Are people around you engaged in corporate singing or are they just watching the performance? All of these can be more easily discerned from the vantage point of a worshiper in the congregation.

2. Empower Other Leaders

One of the biggest reasons that you need to get off the stage every now and then is for the empowerment of other leaders. Any worship leader should be intentionally mentoring and raising up additional worship leaders. You may have to start from scratch or you may share in the huge blessing that I have where you’re already surrounded with a plethora of strong worship leaders. Either way, stepping aside and giving them the opportunity to minister will build depth in your team, empower others, and bring a fresh approach to worship for your congregation.

3. Bring More Stylistic Diversity

Let’s face it. We may try our hardest to diversify our setlists but we’re still prone to sing songs that we’re most comfortable leading. By getting off the stage and allowing someone else to lead we open the door for stylistic diversity for our congregation. If you typically lead worship with a guitar it may be refreshing to have a service that is more keyboard-led, and vice-versa. Perhaps you have someone else who brings a different sound and style altogether which can be a refreshing change of wind in your musical selections and delivery.

4. Take Time to Worship without Leading

We should always be living our lives in such a way that we’re constantly engaged in direct, personal worship. If Sunday morning is our only time to worship we’re already in trouble. However, there is something wonderful when we can step off the stage and worship freely without the concerns of leadership. By taking some time off the stage we accomplish so many other positive things for others and it can give us a wonderful time to worship freely. I truly believe that when a congregation notices their worship leader standing with their family engaged in authentic worship, it deepens the trust and connection that would exist between the leader and the people he or she is leading.

5. Lead in a Different Ministry Within your Church

Can you imagine how your children’s director would respond if you said “hey, next Sunday I’ve asked one of our other worship leaders to lead and I’d be honored if I could come in and lead the young kids in a few simple praise songs”. C’mon. That would be amazing and you would be immensely blessed as you are being a blessing.

I truly believe it’s a mistake to force a worship leader to always lead, every week. There is so much to be gained from a plurality of leadership and from giving a leader the chance to remove themselves from the spotlight, even if the only thing accomplished was a day of rest.

Doing this is not easy and assumes that you have a leadership structure in place where you can hand off the worship leading responsibilities as well. We’ll tackle that in a future post.

What are your thoughts? Do you have other reasons why it’s advantageous to get off the stage?



is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church, where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community and at HighestPraise.com.

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