I was recently invited to be the guest worship leader for a church worship service. Many times, I have served as a worship leader for an event or worship service, but the unique thing about this was that I just took my guitar and joined in with their regular band. After consulting with the worship leaders and the pastors the week before, we selected songs that would fit the mission of the day. We also wanted songs that would be new and fresh as well as a couple songs that would be familiar to the congregation.
On Saturday evening, I met with the band for rehearsal and we had a blast meeting together and preparing for Sunday morning.
The morning services went really well and here are some thoughts I had following the experience:
1) Being at another church gives me a glimpse of just how big the Kingdom of God is and just how small we are. Every Sunday morning, literally millions of people are getting up early, gearing up sound, tuning instruments, and tweaking worship areas. They are pouring their gifts, talents and lives into being the worship teams for congregations all over the world.
2) Leaving my own church for the morning creates a place for other gifted worship leaders to serve in ministry and be called to take on leadership. Without any formal documentation, I have always joked that the best way to grow a strong worship team in your congregation is to leave for a few Sundays each year.
3) Much like bringing in a guest preacher for a congregation, bringing in a worship leader helps the worship band experience and hear things differently. There are opportunities to encourage and share information about ministry. Fresh eyes helps the band see things differently. Without the history and knowledge of team dynamics, status quos and ruts might be changed without even realizing it.
4) It enhances my personal work and ministry when I am given the chance to experience other congregations and the organization of other teams in worship. It helps sharpen me.