Posted by Lauren Harris on 23 August 2018

Teaching2 Coming through!

 

harris l

There’s great joy in seeing people grow in their gifting and step into what God’s calling them to. Lauren Harris encourages us to invest in the next generation of worship leaders.

 ‘I know we have released people into worship-leading situations they haven’t been ready for. I’d rather that than to have never released someone for fear of them not being ready’

My journey as a worship leader began when I was around 14. Despite my age and lack of experience I was given an opportunity to learn and grow by leading worship and receiving feedback. I’m so thankful for those who took the time to give me feedback, even when it was constructive!

One of the best things I have done as a worship leader is to invest in new worship leaders. Over the past 10 years at St Aldates we have had the opportunity to encourage and strengthen over 20 interns and many other volunteers who have come through our community. It’s always rewarding to hear how God is using them both within the church and outside it.

Invest time and energy

People aren’t always forthcoming about their gifting or passion – particularly in churches where there is already an established team of people leading worship. It’s important to keep our eyes open and ask God to lead us to those he wants to raise up. Making friends with people is key to discovering what God has called them to. We must be prepared to invest our time and energy in these relationships.

Character over gifting

I’ve noticed that people are always at the front of the queue for opportunity if their gifting is good, yet those who have good character but their gifting needs work often lag behind. We need to find opportunities for those growing in gifting to lead worship outside of the main church meeting – a small group or another gathering where there’s less pressure and they won’t feel as daunted.

Encourage shadowing

Worship is never about us so let’s allow others to lead alongside us. Encourage emerging worship leaders to shadow you. Perhaps invite them to band rehearsals to learn how to lead a band or watch as you guide people through following the lead of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t mean waiting until they are perfect and can’t possibly make a mistake!

It’s important to release people into situations where you are fully behind them and environments that they are emotionally and spiritually able to cope with. This doesn’t mean that they are perfect musically – character always before gifting. Occasionally I know we have released people into worship-leading situations they haven’t been ready for. I’d rather that than to have never released someone for fear of them not being ready.

A new perspective

One 18-year-old was so keen for what God had for him but didn’t quite have the experience and maturity to step out and lead. As I tackled the conversation head on and said that perhaps there was some more ground to cover before he led worship again tears began to fall from his eyes. I realised how much it meant to him to follow this dream that God had put in his heart. This moved me to strive to give all that we could to him in the coming months to allow him to move forward. 

Over the next season we saw huge growth in his understanding of who he was as a child of God – this completely changed the way he led worship. That year we saw him grow in intimacy with Jesus. We took him with us to witness God at work as we led worship and co-led with him often, taking more of a backseat role as time went by. We talked him through the process of meeting God in a time of worship and shared the tough times of when we struggled with the call to lead. One of the greatest joys is being able to worship with this guy on team. His heart for God inspires me and makes me long for greater intimacy with Jesus.

In awe of God

Let’s be ready to push people further ahead than we are. The greatest joy for me in raising up worship leaders has been seeing them lead worship fully running in the power of God and the flow of the Spirit. With such perseverance and readiness for whatever God calls them to I’m in awe of what God can do.

As the Church, we must invest in the next generation. We must make young people a priority. They are the Church of tomorrow and we need to come alongside them and listen to their passions and dreams. Young people are often having music lessons, discovering who they are and investing in their passions, so what a privilege to draw them into the most beautiful musical experience that is the worship of God.

Lauren is Worship Director at St Aldates Church in Oxford, a community committed to discovering and growing a heart for worship and prayer formed by God’s word. She is married to Luke and they have two sons, Sammy and Jonah.

Lauren co-wrote the title track from NewWineWorship's new album You Restore My Soul. We caught up with her, and Tom Read, and they gave us a spacial acoustic version of the song.

You Restore My Soul Song Page

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