How to Enjoy Playing Worship Every Sunday

Leading worship is a privilege and a gift, but it doesn’t always feel that way. Here’s how to change that and bring the joy back to every note.

Be honest. You didn’t sign up for the worship team because you wanted to fumble your way through a bunch of songs every week. You chose worship ministry over every other ministry because you love to worship and love to do it through music.

You’ve had moments when everything goes right, the band is locked in and you are consciously worshipping through your instrument, and you loved it! 

The Sunday Reality

Sunday’s don’t often meet that expectation. We play with different people all the time and have a songbook of a hundred songs that we have to be somewhat familiar with. Our practice gets squeezed between work and family hours, and is usually just enough to keep us from messing up too badly. That doesn’t exactly sound like a recipe for musical joy. So how do we take our playing experience to the next level?

Break the Basic Cycle

This week, pick one song from your worship set that you want to play with full abandon and practice the heck out of it. Make sure it’s a song you are already familiar with and is within your current skill level. Dial in your tones and master every little nuance. Memorize every chord change and transition; feel every note. Once you think you’ve got it, keep practicing! Your confidence level will soar and you’ll look forward to playing that song all week.

What about the rest of the worship set? Don’t worry about it. You can get by with a chord chart. Play chords in rhythm and the song will be adequate. Nobody is going to leave the church because you left out the counter melody on the opener

A New World of Worship

Once you get a taste of that level of confidence and mastery, you won’t want to settle for less. The beauty is that next time that song shows up on the setlist, you’ll already know it and you can focus on a different one. Keep going and you’ll build a song library of awesomeness. Your playing will be inspired and you might even inspire those around you.

Jason Houtsma is the co-founder and guitar teacher at Worship Artistry, where he is helping musicians of every level answer the call to worship with passion and confidence. Jason has been leading worship and writing music since he was 15 years old and currently serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA. He is husband to Alli and father to Bjorn and Asher.

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