Leading worship is so much more than just standing in front and singing. Sometimes our very countenance can help lead folks in worship. Other times our joy expressed through a smile or even a little movement can help set the tone for the time of musical worship.
Laura Blankenship offers a few creative ways that she encourages her team to lead worship (beyond just singing words!).
A few months ago, I found myself perusing the various worship videos on YouTube. I watched video after video from Fellowship Church to Jesus Culture and you know what I saw?
Excited and engaged worshipers.
Their singers and musicians looked HAPPY TO BE THERE. They appeared as though they were actually WORSHIPING JESUS and HAVING FUN. This made me think, “Man, I wonder what we look like?” Let me tell you what we (my worship team) looked like:
I am totally not saying my team wasn’t worshiping Jesus. I’m saying you might not be able to tell by looking at us. Here’s a crazy truth for you:
Communication is 55% what the audience SEES. (From the on stage genius, Tom Jackson)
Our whole goal as worship leaders is to lead people in worship, right? That sounds so simple, but it’s not!! I can be the greatest singer, read my Bible, pray every day, memorize my music, and practice 12 hours a day and only accomplish what I want to communicate by 45%. If I want to communicate worship effectively, I must consider the other 55%, which is VISUAL.
The first visual item that I decided to tackle was our body movement and body language. I think we all understand how body language can affect what we communicate so I’m not even going to go into the ‘why’. Let’s jump straight to the ‘how’.
1. Have your singers and musicians video themselves.
Most people think they look a certain way on stage and are shocked to find out what they really look like. So the first step I took was to hand my iphone over to my mom and ask her to record the worship set. We all gave our phones to a loved one so we could get a picture of reality. Awareness is step one.
2. Constantly talk about vision and why.
Don’t just tell your singers to get better without telling them why they should. People are waaaaaaaaaaay more likely to buy what you’re selling when it’s something they can get behind. Talk about your church’s vision. Talk about your team vision and mission. Tell them why and how striving for excellence helps advance God’s kingdom. It can’t just be you who desires for them to be better. They have to want it too.
3. Put tape down on your stage.
One thing that seemed very common on my team was my singers had trouble moving their feet. They would smile, raise their hands, and clap without ever moving the rest of their body. So my Creative Director and I put our heads together and came up with this idea. We just recently tried it and the response has been HUGE.
I taped out 5 spots per singer. It kind of looks like a giant fork. It only takes a person one or two steps to get to each spot. While we are rehearsing, I tell the singers, “Try out the tape spots! Maybe you sing verse 1 at the center tape spot. Then when we hit the chorus, move up to the upper right tape spot. Try and hit all five spots in each song.”
They. Did. Awesome. Now that they had a visual reference, not just some vague instruction like, “move around”, they felt confident with their body movement. Confidence gives us freedom to worship!!
Give it a try. Give your team the “why” behind excellence and stage presence. Talk vision and mission often. Video your worship sets and encourage your singers and musicians to do the same. Finally, equip your team with a real visual reference to help them feel sure of themselves.
Let me know how it goes!! Do you have any other ideas on how to put a spring in our step?
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Laura Blankenship is the Worship Leader at LifeQuest Church just south of Kansas City, MO. She is the wife to Josh and mom to her rambunctious boys, Lincoln and Jackson. Her free time is spent doing…wait…what free time?!? Her life is full of chasing kids, planning worship sets, writing music, and singing her heart out. Check out her website: www.laurablankenshipmusic.com and follow her on twitter @laurabmusic7.
Republished with permission. Originally published at: http://laurablankenshipmusic.com/how-to-un-stick-your-worship-singers/