Lead With What You Have - Not What You Don't

Posted by Emily Fiore on 10 June 2014

You’ve been to the big conference, got inspired by the latest epic worship anthem and have returned home to your small church full of excitement and plans for sharing the song with your community. Only trouble is, when you unleash the epic worship anthem on a damp Sunday morning just after the notices about the new coffee rota and the need for volunteers to help weed Mr McGuire’s front garden, it just doesn’t sound the same. 

There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re perfectly normal and just like the vast majority of all us other worship leaders who belong to a small church. Maybe all you need is to hear this great piece of advice; work with what you have, not with what you don't.

It’s vital to be aware of our surroundings, the people we are worshipping with and the resources we have to hand. It's not impossible to do Martin Smith's Happy Song with an organ, but it may work better with a guitar. And, yes, a classic hymn like Great Is Thy Faithfulness can work on a banjo and spoons, but you and I both know that a large pipe organ and choir in a giant cathedral is going to lend it a lot more weight.

Nothing is impossible, but somethings are more appropriate.

You may have amazing resources and be part of a huge church, but sometimes it may still be more appropriate to simplify your worship to take into account the occasion and mood. 

This thinking is not just about physical resources but emotional and spiritual ones too. I recall a large service that had been pre-planned on the night that the planes hit the World Trade Centre. It had to go ahead, but instead of using a whole band, the large and important service was just led with a guitar and one singer - it just felt that was the most appropriate way to lead that night.

So if all you have is a guitar, don't despair, some of the most powerful worship times have been led with just a  guitar, or even less - just a voice.

When preparing to lead worship consider these things;

* Who am I worshipping with?

* What is the occasion?

* Are there any circumstances or factors I should be sensitive to?

* What is the size of the venue?

* What people are available?

* What instruments will I have?

* Do we have songbooks or projector?

* Are there songs we can sing without them if need be?

If Paul can lead a powerful time of worship when locked in a prison, then there are no excuses to us doing the same. 

If you have a large worship team and amazing equipment then then thank God for providing you with these things - but if your resources are limited then don't spend time wishing you had more, work with what you have.

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