How To Lead Worship Better - Digital Rabbi

How To Lead Worship Better

Practice the Presence of God

It’s not like God goes anywhere. He’s always present. And yet we don’t always experience his presence.

We must practice and learn the art of entering into the presence of God.

Otherwise how can we lead others there?

Teach People How

As a worship leader, there is (or should be) a reason why you’ve been given the responsibility of leading people.

We are never to be irritated or frustrated that people don’t engage in worship. Instead we should teach them how. That’s why you’re there of course.

Be strategic about using moments throughout a worship service to invite and teach people how they can connect with God.

It needs to be done swiftly and succinctly though rather than long verbal essays.

Read The Room

Context is everything. Leading a small group with an acoustic guitar is different to an epic youth conference.

No need to force anything into being. Gently lead people towards Jesus in the context you are in.

Some of the most powerful moments can be experienced if we can simply fix our eyes on Jesus. Use and embrace the atmosphere you have.

Get Rid Of Distractions

You fumbling over the words is a distraction. You playing the wrong chords is a distraction. You looking grumpy is a distraction. Changing the key of a song in the soundcheck is going to create some potential distractions. And so on.

Leadership begins with preparation. Most of worship leading is actually rather unglamorous. So do the BTS (Behind The Scenes) well.

Embrace The Awkwardness

Don’t feel like you have to rush straight into the next thing. And don’t feel so tied to the schedule that you begin to worship it (instead of God lol).

If you feel the Holy Spirit doing something, go with it. Even if it’s a bit awkward.

Pause. Wait. Listen. Stop.

God is found in the gaps.

Actually Worship

Get lost in the moment. Lose yourself in the presence of God. Cast your cares onto him. Don’t simply try to be authentic. Actually love Jesus.

Grow Your Skill

Playing guitar is hard. Singing and playing guitar is even harder. Singing and playing guitar and leading people into worship is still even harder.

If you’re not good enough to do the base layers without thinking (like when you drive a car), your mind is distracted by technicalities and you will struggle to focus on what the Holy Spirit is doing.

Discipline yourself to get better.

Empower The Team

Imagine what could happen when every person on team aligns their heart, soul, mind and strength to worship Jesus.

Everybody involved is leading worship, not just those leading songs or visible at the front. God loves unity and alignment. Working hard to encourage the gift of others is the work no one sees but has a huge impact on the future.

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Share with a friend using the buttons below. You might also be interested in a Worship Leading Workshop.

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How To Deal With Criticism - Digital Rabbi

How To Deal With Criticism

1. Take it on board for proper processing later

Don’t assume you’re not in the wrong. Don’t make the mistake of not properly listening.

And in the moment, definitely don’t make the other person feel like they need to repeat it.

2. Consider the practical things you can change

What can you do to learn from this critique? How can you grow as a person?

Make this less about your response to an attack and more about an opportunity to grow.

3. Thank the deliverer of feedback

No one likes to be criticised but we should be grateful for those who are willing to enter the awkwardness it can bring. Assume the best of intentions (even if they’re not there).

4. Weigh the critique

Not all critique is fair, good or right. Once we’ve gleaned for the good and practical, we can now consider whether it comes from a helpful place.

Make a mental note for future.

5. Get another perspective

Don’t go and moan to a friend who will always back your perspective. Instead ask a good friend if this was fair and what you could do to use this as a learning opportunity.

6. Make an apology

If you have genuinely made a mistake then own it. And if there’s something you an do better then admit it.

Note that even if most of the criticism is wrong, you can still acknowledge the bit that is fair.

7. Don't over-apologise though

You can bring a spirit of humility without agreeing to things that are untrue. People will always sense insincerity too so be sure not to over-apologise.

8. Make practical action steps

This is a learning opportunity so treat as one. Make changes and then make space for getting future feedback to check your progression.

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Eight Leadership Mistakes To Avoid - Digital Rabbi

Eight Leadership Mistakes To Avoid

1. Running Too Hard

It’s important that leaders don’t move too fast. Moving fast gets things done (good) but often at the expense of people (bad).

In other words, not everyone is able to keep up with the pace and so there is a natural drop out.

2. Being Invulnerable

This is a team game and leaders naturally carry a lot of weight. But if a leader can’t be honest about how they’re handling life then they are set up badly for the future.

You don’t have to be vulnerable with everyone (obviously) and there needs to be a maturity in how we guard our hearts. But it’s important that there are key people on the team who we can share the emotional load of the journey.

3. Being 'Too' Successful

The Bible says that a person is tested by being praised. Success is often a double-edged sword for a leader and it’s only natural to slightly relax and rest upon the laurels of the accomplishments of old.

But failure to deal with the seeds of pride will inevitably cut short future success. Don’t let success define you, instead give both the failure and the successes of life over to God.

4. Getting Cynical

The more experience you have, the more you start to see the patterns. Leadership always involves a lot of disappointment – it’s part of the job.

But so is dealing with it. If we project our past disappointment onto our future relationships then we end up in a place called cynicism.

5. Comparing Ourselves

Interestingly enough, both thinking of ourselves as better than others is pride and thinking of ourselves as less than others is also pride.

Either way, we are attaching our significance to what we do as opposed to who God is. Comparison stops us from running in our lane but it also kills innovation because we’re always copying someone else.

6. Breaking The Sabbath

It’s funny how taking a day of rest can be such a chore to a leader. But God literally places the Sabbath as the fourth commandment – ahead of not murdering people, stealing stuff or committing adultery.

When we break the Sabbath, it’s because we don’t respect our limitations. Which in turn means we show little regard for the boundaries of others.

7. Neglecting Friendship

Friendship takes time which is why many leaders don’t prioritise it. But when the job stops, who’s still with you?

Friendship is one of the great joys of life – people who want to be around you for you being you, not for the influence, favour or opportunities that you can open up for them.

8. Entitlement

Entitlement starts in the little things and ends in the big things. A leader starts to become entitled when they start to feel resentful about how much they do for others.

It’s the product of creating an image of a super leader – start to actually believe we are superior.

Are You Making Any Of These Mistakes?

The first step to change is awareness. Send this post to someone who cares about you and start a conversation.

Accelerate your creativity with the Digital Rabbi

Weekly creative insights from Sats designed for church leaders & creatives.

Six Reasons To Be In Church This Sunday

It stops me from being a spectator. Or worse a critic.

It costs me something. That’s what true worship is.

I become accountable to others. Transformation happens in the context of community not isolation.

I can encourage others. My presence will be a blessing.

I experience the presence of God. And it’s different than on my own.

But most importantly, it is an act of obedience. Share this with someone to encourage them to get back to the house of God this weekend.

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

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14: Andy Waddams on Being Funny, Practising Honest Leadership & Communicating Deeply

Andy Waddams is the Senior Pastor of C3 Gallery Church in Birmingham and brings plenty of experience communicating in the church and comedy space. We sit down to talk about how he sees the role of comedy in preaching and how to authentically connect better in life and leadership.

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13: Maarten Rozeboom on Recovering From Burnout and Finding Your True Creative Self

Maarten Rozeboom is full of creative talent and serves as part of the leadership team at C3 Rivers in the Netherlands as well as running his own design business. We sit down to talk about his journey of recovering from burnout and rediscovering his true creative self.

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Man at table with empty coffee cup using laptop to search on Google

Boost your social proof with Google Maps

Imagine the scene – you’re new to the city and looking for a church. Or you’ve been learning about faith online and you’re exploring the idea of going to church. You have a quick Google search for churches in your area and see the following reviews pop up.

Average Google Review
Positive Google Review

Which church are you going to go for? Well of course the second one for obvious reasons. There are more reviews (33 vs 4) and fewer bad reviews.

Once upon a time...

Before the internet, if you wanted to go to a new restaurant or place you’d have to ask your friends for recommendations. And whilst that is still incredibly powerful, we can now access these sort of recommendations in just seconds thanks to smartphones.

What’s important to note is that when people search on Google, these results are often connected to business listings on Google Maps. Meaning the easiest way to get your church to show up to people in your area is to make sure your Google Maps listing is strong.

(Interested in strengthening your church presence further? Check out this article on why churches need branding).

Get started with your Google Business Profile

Our first step is to create your free Business Profile with Google. You may already have a listing for your church but do you manage it?

Head to to do this. It’s a fairly easy and intuitive process.

In the process, you’ll also want to verify your business. This will cause your listing to show higher up in the search and allow you to be in full control of what you share.

Google will send you a postcard with a verification code to your business address to check you are actually there and then you can use this verification code on your business listing.

If you’re in rented facilities or a temporary venue, it’s still worth doing this and in my experience most venues don’t mind at all as it’s helping profile their location.

There is plenty you can do with your Google Business Profile but I would suggest starting with the following:

1. Update your details

Make sure all of your details are up to date. Think address, website, opening times etc. It’s too easy not to get right so make sure you do.

2. Upload photos

Upload as many photos as possible that capture who you are and what you do. Don’t just upload fancy stage shots (although that’s cool too). Make sure you include photos of people who actually go to your church. Children & families (with permission of course), young adults and so on. Think coffees and conversation.

Try to look through the lens of someone who doesn’t know what to expect – what would they like to see? (This is a key part of the process of branding for your church). It’s definitely worth investing in professional photography as these images will literally get thousands of views but the most important thing is to upload something and get started where you are right now.

3. Ask for reviews

Ask your congregation to leave reviews that are genuine, honest and specific. Most people won’t think at all to do this but this is the real power of social proof. You will have to ask people regularly (try an email that explains how helpful it would be). Make sure these reviews aren’t at all fake or too glossy as you can see through them a mile off. You can also reply to each review through your Google Business Profile.

Here’s how you might frame it in a church-wide email:

“Would you be able to help us reach more people by leaving a review on Google? It’s so helpful for new visitors to be able to see what church is like and hear from the community before eve they come. Every review helps to remove any barriers someone might have about coming to church. Please do keep it honest, genuine and specific – the link is below!”

The important thing with Google Maps is simply to get started. Users like to see reviews spanning over time as it looks more organic so include this as a regular part of church life and communication.

Did you find this helpful? Share with a friend!

The Sticky Social Content Formula

A comprehensive online course for church leaders & teams exploring how to leverage social media to help fulfil their mission. This is all about learning how to reach more people and see more impact in the digital space. Get your digital copy today.

Discover more

12: Rich Martin on Being Led by the Holy Spirit and Fulfilling Your Purpose

Rich Martin has a rich history of church leadership & ministry but recently felt the call to step out into the world of business. Find out about his take on the shift from church to kingdom as well as how to follow the invitation of the Holy Spirit and have the courage to try something new.

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00:00 Intro
1:00 About Rich Martin
2:20 Glorify App
5:35 A story of sleep
6:20 The removal of choice
7:30 The world is changing
8:35 Technology is on trend
9:20 Church vs kingdom
11:55 Pay attention to the shift
12:35 Advice for church leaders
14:00 Rethinking church culture
16:30 The calling to business
19:00 Unhooking from the chain of church
20:25 Holy Spirit, what are you inviting me to do today? 
22:30 Your gifts match your purpose
27:00 A season of uncertainty
28:00 Narrowing down your focus
29:30 The gift of age
31:00 Just start something
32:45 Every person brings something unique
34:00 The awkwardness of personal brand
36:00 Getting over yourself
38:30 Internal permission
39:10 God, money & ego
41:50 Keeping things pure
42:20 Be courageous
43:20 Outro

Vicki Simpson

11: Vicki Simpson on Hearing the Voice of God and Leading Through Global Change

In 2018, Vicki Simpson had a prophetic picture of a rubik’s cube in the hands of Jesus, representing a sudden global change in the church and the world. Little did she know the events that were coming swiftly to us all in 2020 and beyond. We talk about the emergence of the hyper-local church context, what God is up to globally in the church, hearing the voice of God and the emergence of a new group of people disenfranchised with the institution of the church.

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A practical guide complete with video lessons, for leaders who want to use social media to help them in their mission to reach more people.

0:00 Welcome
1:50 The Rubik’s Cube
3:45 Relinquish control
4:45 The need to pivot
6:10 There is structure but not as we’ve known it
6:55 Never presume with prophecy
7:50 Leaders are thinking and reassessing
8:45 The church is on the road to Emmaus
10:20 Get out of the stage of conversing and reasoning
11:00 There is good and bad in the digital space
11:40 The answers are found in God’s perspective
13:00 Change comes when we let go of control
14:30 Why is it so hard to follow?
15:20 There is no following without the voice of God
17:00 None of us has been this way before
18:30 The church has been too happy with its bones and structure
21:10 How do we know prophecy is from God?
22:30 It’s easy to hear the voice of God
24:45 You hear God in your spirit
25:50 Prophecy is not a perfect science
28:30 How to lead people with what God is saying
30:20 Always be humble
31:30 A shift in leadership
34:00 There is a new category of people
35:40 Re-enfranchising and restoration of citizenship
39:30 The importance of the church is in the things that you cannot get online
40:50 The best and worst of seasons
43:30 Connect with Vicki
44:00 Close

Joel Burden - Hope City KL

10: Joel Burden on How to Build a Culture of Creativity

Hyper efficient leadership can cause people to focus on practicals over creative expression whilst an over-zealous attention to beauty and detail can damage people in the process of creation. I sit down with Joel Burden, creative business owner and church leader to chat more about how to build a culture of creativity the right way.

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A practical guide complete with video lessons, for leaders who want to use social media to help them in their mission to reach more people.

0:00 Intro
2:15 Margin for creative play
4:00 The curse of artistry
4:20 The paradox of pressure
5:25 Balancing creativity and efficiency
9:00 The intangible impact of beauty
10:30 Truth, goodness & beauty
11:40 The presence of peace
13:05 Understanding a lifestyle of minimalism
14:25 The idol with efficient leadership
15:15 Compassion, community & creativity
18:30 Order vs chaos
20:10 Releasing a culture of creativity
21:30 The need for boundaries
23:15 Understand the rules and then break them
24:15 How the business started
26:35 Ministering to business owners
28:10 Check out CloudCut
29:15 Keep talking about digital
31:15 The Sticky Social Content Formula