Build up your worship leaders, one encouragement at a time.
Each and every week, our worship leader puts themselves out there. More so than the other musicians and singers. They are presenting worship for the congregation to join in with and worship their God. They are constantly getting a feel on where God is taking the worship, and whether the people are following. There is a constant struggle between the sinful flesh and the pure glory of God. Worship leaders need to be uplifted, both in prayer and in praise, each and every service.
As a worship leader myself, I know how important both of these are. Prayer is always my starting point, and I hope that others are praying for me, so I can hear from God and worship Him accordingly. But just as important is receiving praise and encouragement; not to glorify me, but to let me know I was on the right track, to let me know that the people whom I was leading were able to engage with their God in the service.
However, in my short time as a worship leader, I have learned very quickly not to expect any praise or encouragement. Maybe it is just our church, but I have learned that expecting encouragement lets you down more than it builds you up. I have learned that the only way to be truly happy and lead the congregation is to just worship how you want to worship and if others want to, they’ll join in.
But is that really good enough?
I have found it isn’t. I have found that I look to key people in our congregation; certain folk that I look up to, those on the eldership, the pastors and others. They don’t always know it, but these are the people I look to in order to gauge how the general feel of the service is.
I have also found that one disengaged worshipper outweighs ten people with their hands raised crying out to God. I have found that one person, arms folded looking at the stage causes more damage than ten comments of encouragement can repair.
Therefore, I encourage you: Be quick to praise, and slow to criticise.
How often does the church worship team and worship leaders receive letters or messages telling them they were too loud, or played too many upbeat songs or didn’t include any hymns?
How often does the opposite apply? How many people in the congregation, blessed by the worship, take the time to write, encourage or thank the worship team and the worship leaders?
It is so much easier for use to complain and expect things to be fixed, than for us to encourage and say you did a good job.
I am not suggesting for a moment that you be dishonest in your encouragement. That is detrimental to the cause. What I’m saying is, if a worship leader does a good job, go and tell them. Don’t err on the side of silence!
The opposite applies for criticism. If the worship leader was off, and you didn’t enjoy it, then err on the side of silence. If you are strongly convicted, then have a quiet word at a later time. Don’t take the opportunity to criticise just because you need to get something off your chest.
It is incredibly easy to criticise. But it is just as easy to say “You did a good job today.” or “Thank You.”. I can tell you that both of those statements will encourage, lift up, and build up anyone, and you’ll probably be more likely to receive a smile and a “Thank you” back.
Be quick to praise, and slow to criticise.