10 Point Worship Leader Check List


Thanks for your leadership in ministry and the energy you’re investing to sharpen your skills!

Here are ten quick checklist items that every worship leader should be doing.

Blessing as you continue serving in ministry!

In Him,

Tim Price 

1. Are you praying?

I once heard the difference between a prophet and a priest.  A prophet goes to the people on behalf of God. A priest goes to God on behalf of the people. Worship leaders need to pray for their church, for their people, for their ministry and for their teams.  I realize that prayer is more than a daily check list item, it’s a relationship with the living God. But it helps me to set prayer reminders on my phone. I pray for a variety of things when I see those reminders pop up, one of them being our church and worship ministry. We need to set aside time to pray each day.  Here are some other reflections on prayer:

2. Are you planning ahead?

Do you have schedules for your team?  Are you prepared with music for rehearsals?  Have you planned ahead so they know what is coming up?  Do you have systems in place to make sure you are planning ahead? It’s a very loving act to prepare and be ready for people to give their best. This may mean focusing on the details leading up to each Sunday. It may also mean delegating some bite-sized roles for others in the team to take on. We break our scheduling down between three or four people in the worship team each week(one for readers, one for the vocals, one for the band, one for tech).

3. Are you pastoring your team? 

I remember one morning just before rehearsal asking a question about some aspect of the service that day. The person I was talking with took the question another way and answered it about himself, his family and their trip they had taken. I don’t remember how I phrased the question, but I remember thinking that people really do love to be known and noticed. As a leader, especially during those crazy moments just before a worship service with the team, I need to remember to slow down a bit, and talk with people. I need to ask question and, be engaged. There must be a relationship that goes beyond getting the job done.  Whether you consider yourself an “official” pastor, you are the shepherd to those in your team. You re their pastor. In addition to building a relationship, you are also called to give them opportunities to grow spiritually. Pray together before rehearsals and services. Create some opportunities to serve and grow in faith.

4. Are you encouraging your pastor?

Over the years I have heard different versions of leading from the “second chair.” In the book, The Search For Timothy, there is a checklist of ways to be a faithful supportive minister. Pastors need this. Whether you are volunteer or paid, pastors need you to be loyal and supportive.  Nudge your pastor when you need information pertaining to Sunday.  Make it your job to find times to meet and discuss upcoming Sundays.  Communicate on a regular basis.  Let your pastor know the sermon was good. Help build the bridge of ministry leadership together. The pastor and worship leader must work together and for your part, be a breath of fresh air in the ways you are able.  Of course there are times when you have to move on from your role, but for as long as you are in it, be faithful and encouraging.

5. Are you listening to new music?

When introduced intentionally, new songs can really spur on a congregation in worship. It helps add something fresh to worship. Worship leaders are ultimately responsible for coming up with new songs, but everyone can be involved. Personally, I get most new song ideas from others in the ministry. I have learned to take their suggestions seriously and it typically works well. Sometimes it comes as a suggestion from the pastor. Once you learn the style of your congregation, you can gauge which songs will be most beneficial.  What system do you have for listening to and learning new songs?  How will you keep the worship music fresh?  Can you delegate that role to someone in the group?  Be open to new music from all kinds of input. Consider writing a worship song for your church to sing.

6. Are you challenging your group?

A stretched muscle grows. Without stretching, atrophy sets in. Leaders must find ways to challenge the group. Give your team opportunities to be challenged musically and in professionalism. Challenge your team members to grow in their skill. Choose a songs that requires someone to learn something new or work hard to get a part right. Involve new people. Challenge young folks in your church to grow in music. Invite a worship band member to lead the group in prayer aloud. Find big and little ways to challenge.

7. Are you delegating responsibility?

I’ve recently heard something from Jason Hatley (Journey Church) about delegation.  He said that if you write all your responsibilities at the end of the year, and they haven’t changed that much from the previous year, then you haven’t done a great job of delegating and developing people.  Your team will flourish more if you hand off some responsibility and opportunities to serve, create, and lead.  Another way to ask this question is, “are you replacing yourself”? Who is coming up through the ranks that will be leading worship at your church in the future?  Are you inviting them?  Pour into the next generation.  They will be the ones who will be leading the church.  Break apart the roles that you do on a routine basis and hand off small chunks to different members of your team.

8. Are you keeping a Sabbath?

I recently heard someone suggest that we allow our work to flow from our time of Sabbath instead of thinking about resting after a week of work. It’s a good perspective to think about our ministry flowing more freely after times of rest.  Are you finding times to rest and allow God to be at work in you?

9. Are you staying faithful to the call?

There are way more frustrations in ministry than most blog posts let on. I know when I read information about growing the church, it seems simple until you are in the middle of it at your own church.  But be faithful to the call.  Remind yourself of the call God has on your life.  Seek the Lord for your strength.  And serve where you are planted!  Don’t always be looking over the horizon wondering what else is our there.  When it’s time to go, based on God’s call, you’ll know.  Stay focused where you are – growing the people and the church you serve.

10. Are you staying fit – spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally, financially?

I recently ran across a podcast from Andy Stanley about the six rules for their staff culture. One intriguing comment he made was that each person brings “home” with them to work. There’s no way around it – if you aren’t staying fit spiritually or physically, that impacts your work, your team and your mission.  If things aren’t lining up relationally and or financially at home, you bring in a different level of stress and attitude at work. Stay fit so that you are able and ready to serve as God has called you to.

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