I’ve taught at a lot of worship conferences over the years, and I love the desire of worship teams to learn!
One of my favorite worship conferences to teach at (besides my own) is the Christian Musician Summit. What I love about it is this: There’s real training going on at every one of them. People learn practical skills to make their worship team better.
I can’t say that’s always the case at every conference where I’ve taught. In fact, a huge theme at many of the others is, “having your heart right with God.” Don’t get me wrong… I want you to have your heart right with God! In fact, you probably shouldn’t be on a worship team if your heart isn’t into it for the right reasons. But I’m concerned about worship teams who exclusively have their heart right with God, but who aren’t striving to be excellent and use the musical gifts they’ve been given!
I think it’s important for us, if we’re on a worship team, to regularly spend a little time educating ourselves and working on our musical skills and our skills in leading a congregation:
- Drummers, when was the last time you put on a pair of headphones, started the click track, and practiced on your drum pad?
- Bass and guitar players, how much time do you spend trying to develop a great sound or tone out of your guitar and amp – really fretting over your sound just to make it as good as you possibly can? A great sound alone can raise a song to the next level.
- Keyboardists, how often do you sit down and practice scales to keep your fingers in shape?
- Singers, when was the last time you took a voice lesson, or that you did vocal warm-ups before you got to church?
- Worship leaders, how long has it been since you read a book on leadership to improve those skills for your worship team?
This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip; I know we don’t have a lot of time. I know I don’t have a lot of extra time in my life! Fact is, it’s 8 o’clock at night and I’m writing this blog, which I’d intended to do yesterday. But “things” get in the way, don’t they?
However, I made a commitment to both you and the Lord to do these blogs. So here I am, dictating to my assistant when I would prefer to be watching the Lakers game. In some ways that would be easier. But it’s important to set aside some time (maybe turn the TV off) and do the work.
Whether it’s someone on a worship team, or a worship leader, or even a worship artist, one of the things I constantly run across is people saying, “when I get the opportunity, then I’ll do it.” For example, they say they’ll wait to work on their singing until someone gives them the opportunity to sing.
That’s backward. I submit to you (at least it’s the way the Lord has done it in my life) if I work on something first, then He opens the door for me to do it more and more… for His glory!