This list was originally posted by Nikki Lerner in the “Multicultural Worship Leaders Network” Facebook Group. To check out that group, go to: Multicultural Worship Leaders Network | Facebook
Nikki Lerner spent over 20 years leading and building a successful multicultural creative department of over 150 people in an organization of 4000+. She is now a speaker, teacher, author, singer, artist, and is human, too. For more information on Nikki, go to: http://www.nikkilerner.com/
Reading daily blogs about how they are terrible at their jobs, that they are only leading worship because they are full of pride, and how nobody really “needs” lights and smoke.
Showing up unprepared because “they just want the Spirit to lead them”. You can’t be led by the Spirit if you aren’t looking for the Spirit and aren’t even prepared enough to abandon Planning Center.
Apologizing for themselves on stage. Seriously. I understand that you may be terrified, and feel ill-equipped, and still don’t know why God would trust you as a Shepherd…but please…share those things deeply with your small group or your best friends. When you keep apologizing, the congregation is now only looking at you, no longer thinking about their devotion to God, and wondering if you need a hug.
Trying to please everyone. Period. If you want to be a leader, you need to get very comfortable with the truth that “your work” is not going to be for everyone. If it’s for everyone, then it’s for no one.
Copying what everyone else does musically. Can we please stop doing this? If I hear the song “Raise A Hallelujah” one more time I’m gonna lose it. LOL. Write something new. Use some new instrumentation. Sing a cappella. Build a choir. How about a horn section instead of 14 electric guitars. Anybody in your church play the harp? Surely, there are more options than stealing the identity of Hillsong.
Keeping your eyes closed the entire set to “get your worship on”. It’s creepy. Music is about communication. You can’t communicate with people in the room if your eyes are closed during your entire set. And.. if your eyes are closed, you cannot read important cues from the congregation that you need to LEAD. This is particularly important if you use in-ear-monitoring. Get out of your personal world and into the communal one during worship.
Turning into a robot once your feet hit the stage. Remember… CONNECT. Talk to the audience. Say hello. Don’t let the song lead the people, YOU lead that people. If you don’t connect with the live audience there is really no reason for you and your team to be there. Your congregation might as well just go listen to a recording of that song in their cars… it’s probably gonna sound better anyway – LOL.
Ignoring the others in the room. Again.. see above.
Staring at your music stand the entire set. If you are looking down at your sheet music during worship at all times, you are not connecting with your team and then with others. Spend more time preparing so that you don’t have to be tied to your sheet music. You can’t have fun, or lead, or try something different if you are afraid to mess up, musically. Come on… we can do better.
Making your band look at your behind and not your face all morning. Do you spend a 30 minute set with your back turned to your band? Don’t forget that they are there and that they may not want to stare at your backside all morning . Making music is COMMUNAL. Don’t forget that when you begin the set. Turn around. Look at your band. When they play something that is awesome, tell them in real time with a smile or a laugh or a point, or throw a shoe Just don’t ignore them for 30 minutes.
Would love to hear your insights on these things.