Prayer allows us to be in tune with the Spirit so that we are able to – in a relaxed and confident way – lead people into an experience with God.
Planning allows us to know the worship order so we are able to follow in each component to the worship service.
Participation allows us to be in the moment – participation in prayer, planning and in the worship service itself give us the needed tools to adequately help conclude the worship service.
Most of this happens naturally when a person is involved in the same church each weekend. But I was thinking today about the traveling worship leader, the camp worship leader or when we are called upon for a special event. Here are some of thoughts from my experience:
1) Know what is next – In most of these special event settings, there may not be a clear cut order. It’s the job of the worship leader to know what is coming next. It will determine what songs you choose. One example of this is the conclusion of the service – is there a time that it needs finish? Do you know who is coming up to pray? Do you know their name? Do you know what is next on the schedule so that you can send the crowd to the right place? Is the closing song a song of response or celebration?
2) Concrete components the guest worship leader must uncover – If the event is larger, there has probably been some planning go into the worship gatherings. If the event is a camp – especially if there are going to be multiple services in the morning and evening over the course of the week – there probably isn’t as much detail available. It’s up to the worship leader to help add flow to those times. Do your work as the camp or event is happening: Who will be sharing announcements? Who can you invite to lead in prayer? What time will we need to have music playing as people gather for worship? Who will introduce the speaker? Who will read Scripture? Is there a way we can incorporate gifts of others into the worship service? When (if there is one) will the offering be received? What is it going towards? How long is the worship service scheduled? How long is the preacher’s message? How will music and worship be arranged to help aid in the overall aspect of this particular part of the camp or event?
3) Humbly take the lead – After asking these questions and having a handle on the best way for the worship service to flow, humbly and confidently take the lead. You’re not the entertainer, the emcee or the special guest – you are God’s instrument, on behalf of the people, to help lead in worship. Welcome the congregation, lead in worship music and if fitting or needed, invite people forward as they have a role in worship (scripture, testimony, offering, etc). Pray for the speaker before they come up and then close the worship or response time – without lots of commentary – so that people can respond to God’s call on their lives.