By Marisa Sorenson
A worship leader is the guide of the musical portion of worship services in the church. They stitch all the elements together to create beautiful tapestries of sound for the audience. Have you ever wondered how to become a worship leader? How to stand up on the stage and weave harmonies together that praise God while drawing people into the atmosphere you create?
If you want to know the various responsibilities that come with being a worship leader, read What is a Worship Leader?
If you want to become a worship leader, but don’t know where to start, here are a few things to think about!
Steps to become a worship leader
Pray about it
This seems pretty straightforward, but prayer is the most important part as you explore this possible avenue for your life. If God has called you to become a worship leader, He will help guide you towards it. Talk to people you trust—they will tell you if you can carry a tune or not, which is essential to worship leading.
Improve your skills
Find ways to improve your skills. Try new instruments that you might not have practiced with before, and find musical teachers/mentors who will help you become the best you can be. You’ll settle on a few instruments that you prefer, but it is a useful skill to know the basics of more than two or three instruments. Stretch your vocal chords and explore the ranges your notes can reach. Most importantly, practice, practice and practice!
Practice is experience, right? Not exactly. Practicing on your own in your room or in a musical setting is nothing like playing or singing in front of people as part of a team. A church worship leader is used to feeling the tempo of the audience and making tiny adjustments to fit that ambience. Without experience, worship leading can fall flat. Don’t expect to get a worship leader position right away, but being on a worship team will help shape and stretch your experience and prepare you for a worship leader role in the future.
Find a school with a worship leading major
Worship leader training is available for many students through many different schools or music training programs. Find a school with a worship leading major that fits your particular wants/needs, including class size, specific class offerings, campus environment, and suits your budget. Classes provide opportunities to meet fellow future worship leaders and gain relationships with mentors that often have experienced the type of setting you want to lead worship in.
In school, there are often many opportunities to further practical experience. Grab them. Use them to build a solid base of well-rounded experience that will help propel you to worship leading roles. Don’t settle into a state of complacency by thinking classes are enough. There are so many other people wanting the same position you want, so you will have to show initiative to stand out from the rest.
Accept a worship leading role
After all that hard work, hopefully you’ll be able to accept an offer for a worship leading role before long! Pour yourself into it, and continue to be filled up again by God and the resources He gives you. Even if you don’t get a role immediately after graduation, keep working. Keep playing as part of a worship team and pray for something to come your way.