5 Tips for New Worship Leaders


Thanks to Andrew Woodell of Ocean’s Edge School of Worship for sharing these insights with us!

So you start next week at a new church. And you’re in a panic, wondering, “What songs should I do, what amp should I bring, what outfit should I wear?” But then your spirit wakes up, smacks you and says, “Wait, what?”

It’s easy to reduce the calling of worship leading to simply doing songs, leading singing, or getting great tone. But honestly, we know that Satan is busy trying to get us to exchange God’s best for something less. Don’t buy into that first instinct to worry about songs and the outward appearance. Focus on the more important things. In light of that, here are 5 solid tips to build on!


1.  Lead worshipers, not worship.

It’s all about people – shepherding and leading people.  Don’t reduce your calling to something less than this. It’s not about singing, it’s not about music.  We shepherd people and give them environments and opportunities to respond to who God is.  Purpose to make it about leading people.


2.  Serve and lead, don’t beat and push.

To serve is simply to love people, and to be an example in love and deed (1 Tim. 4:12).  Lead them in worship that ministers to them 1) where they are, and 2) calls them to a deeper walk with Christ.  If “Amazing Grace” serves them, choose it.  Don’t get caught up in the latest and the greatest or the hip and trendy.  Remember, shepherds love their flock and call to them as they lead from the front.  Cowboys herd the cattle and whip them from behind.  Choose to shepherd.


3.  Love the Word.

At the end of the day, we are ministers of this Gospel, so let us love the Word and be passionate about knowing it and living it out.  His Word is truth, so know the Word, let it dwell richly in you ( Col. 3:16), and live it out with great love. Only then will we be able to worship God in spirit and TRUTH.


4.  Be excellent wherever you are, in whatever you do.

It doesn’t matter if our church is big or small, has great musicians or only beginners.  Develop people and choose to be excellent.  God sees our heart and diligence!


5.  The bulk of our ministry is off-platform.

Or more simply said, don’t be a diva. The time we are on a platform leading people in worship amounts to about 5% of our week.  Remember to work hard and serve faithfully and humbly the other 95% of the time.  Yes, that 5% ‘on platform’ can be incredibly effective, but who we are and how we interact with people brings authority and authenticity to our platform ministry.


**Honorable MentionHave a long-term view.

God may have given you a vision and a passion for a style or type of worship that your church isn’t currently doing.  His vision usually isn’t something that He wants to do right now, but a goal that you should begin to lead people on a journey towards.  Don’t try to transform your community overnight.  It’s been said that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a short time, but underestimate what we can accomplish in 5 years.  Allow your vision time to take root and bear fruit!

Andrew Wooddell (@AndrewWooddell) is on our teaching staff at Ocean’s Edge and oversees the worship at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s satellite campus, Calvary Chapel Plantation. His heart to teach and disciple young worship leaders and musicians has made him such an important part of our team here at OE. Andrew currently teachesour Theology of Worship class and Worship Leading 101/201 classes and helps out as a coach for our student ensembles.