Article | So You Wanna be a Worship Leader: Part 1

Over the last 25 years I have the had the awesome privilege of leading worship in church; the last 15 years as a part of Joshua Generation Church. It has been an incredible journey of discovery and service to the bride of Christ.

During this time, I have had the privilege of sitting under many incredible people who have helped to shape and fashion my skill and abilities of musicianship and leading a congregation in worship.

In turn, I have had the opportunity to encourage many young men and women into the place of being leaders in their own spheres.  It has been wonderful to see what God has done in and through them.

As we see more and more congregations being planted, the need for a generation of worship leaders who carry a zeal and passion with integrity, character and a strong foundation in the scriptures is very clear.

If you aspire to leading worship one day then my hope is that this article will speak to what your heart and motives should reflect. Take the time to sit down and chat with your eldership and worship leaders. Trust their judgment and allow them to help you set a course for what God has planned for you.

Praising His glorious name
An Audience of One

Before one can explore the practical aspects of leading worship the heart of every individual firstly needs to have the correct posture.

The words of John the Baptist to his disciples in John chapter 3 from verse 22 onwards have spoken to me for many years and highlights our primary role that we have as worship leaders, TO MAKE IT ALL ABOUT JESUS.

A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:27-30

We have the incredible privilege and responsibility, through talents given to us, to lead the church – the bride-to-be – through lifting her voice to rejoice at HIS voice; to declare her devotion; to proclaim His goodness and to sing of His majesty and wonder; to enthrone him with her praise and marvel together at His faithfulness.

As worship leaders we must position ourselves to lead His Church to a place where her gaze shifts towards Him and off us.

It is in this place the heart is exposed and motives are scrutinized. It is a place where the flesh cannot exist.  There is no place for self-promotion. 

We must decrease, and He must increase.  It’s not about us.  It’s all about Him.

A revelation that’s been a key for me when leading worship is that we are playing for an audience of One – Jesus – and that only His opinion counts.  The opinions of man only feed our flesh and by giving people authority to validate us we also give them the power to invalidate us.  We need to be secure in our position and what is required of us.

Worshipping with abandon
A Heart Submitted

It is also important that relationships with the elders on the ground, especially those that lead the congregation, be built well.  Having open, accountable and honest relationships is vitally important in being part of the team.  A submitted heart goes a long way in ensuring unity within this team and scripture is very clear that when we come into the place of unity it attracts His blessing:

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Psalm 133:1-3 ESV

As worship leaders, musicians and vocalists, we need to be faithful with our talents and our time. If we are faithful with the little that God gives us, then he entrusts us with more.  It is also vital to invest time and resources to develop our abilities and hone our skills, because Jesus deserves our best!   

The parable of the talents is a real wake up call. The servant who buried his master’s money and never did anything with it was called wicked and lazy and then banished from the kingdom!

Finally, even though we may apply these principles, the most important aspect of leading is that we need to lead out of a place of overflow and abundance in our relationship with Jesus. We need to be spending time in private prayer as this is where intimacy with the Father starts.  A trickle becomes a stream, a stream becomes a river and river becomes a waterfall.

It is out of this place Jesus will be most glorified in us and we will be most satisfied in him.

Chad Lahana

Chad Lahana

Chad Lahana is married to Nicolene and together they have three amazing kids: Noah, Rebekah and Christie-Belle. They have been part of JoshGen since almost the beginning. Chad enjoyed a season of overseeing the global worship arm of JoshGen. He was part of the transition of the churches in Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn into becoming JoshGen congregations. He currently serves in the JoshGen congregation meeting in George.

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