Posted by Joel Buckner on 13 May 2015

At the beginning of this year I had the opportunity to go hear Bishop TD Jakes speak to a group of leaders. During his talk, Bishop Jakes said something that resonated with me - “There has never been or will ever be another person on this planet like you.” That one line changed my perspective on life. For so long I found myself comparing my life others, not realizing that who I am is good enough. As I begin to understand this, I’ve started to see my true authentic self come to surface. Authenticity is a challenge not only in my life but also across many worship platforms in America. So often we’re eager to emulate the latest sound, compare ourselves to the church down the street, or keep up with what’s popular, that we lose sight of the reason for doing what we do.

How do you begin to find your authentic sound? Here are 4 ways to begin:

1. What’s your church DNA?

From charismatic, to liturgical, every church has a significant background that’s a unique fingerprint of your ministry. Understanding your church’s DNA will help cultivate an authentic style and sound connecting worship with the pastor and congregation. The worship team should be a conduit, connecting the vision, mission and call of the church.

2. Rehearsal

We can say that this is one of the most important times! Rehearsals are the breeding ground for excellence, new ideas and creating unity. A strong rehearsal means less stress during the worship set, allowing your team the freedom to be authentic in your leading. It also opens the door for more prayer time, laughter and growing together as a team. We all can use a great laugh!

3. What you have will work!

So what you don’t have the latest gadgets or 17 guitar players! The instrumentation and voices you have will do the job. It just takes a little more creativity to come up with a sound that works for you. Don’t limit yourself to the way the song you’re doing is recorded. There is a sound in your team that’s going to bring freedom to so many people!

4. Depend on the Holy Spirit

One thing I have been reminding my teams of lately is that the Holy Spirit is the minister and we are the vessels. It keeps the focus off of us and on Him. Who better to know what authentic sound God called us to than the Holy Spirit. Develop a daily relationship with Him in your quiet times, listening for instruction and guidance.

Worship is a two-way conversation between the Father and His children, as we offer up our authentic worship that He alone deserves. I think He smiles and says “that’s what I have been waiting for”. There is a sound that you, your worship team and church carry that has never been or will ever be heard on this planet like yours, pray on it, pursue it, and be authentic!

Joel Buckner is an awe-inspiring worship leader, trailblazing songwriter, and a man that is all about fulfilling his purpose in life.

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