Worship Leaders Should Prepare Like Preachers
1. Think both Series and Sundays. Most preachers are constantly working on a series of sermons as well as the content for a single sermon. This accomplishes a couple of goals. One, scripture communicates ideas both in a longer narrative form (think OT historical books like Judges and Ruth) and in precepts and doctrine (think Paul – epistles). You need both of these working in concert to truly reflect sola scriptura. (Actually scripture uses a large number of different genres of literature to communicate God’s story… does your music reflect this diversity?)
2. Learn from history and learn from your contemporaries. Most preachers are constantly reading and listening to sermons. This is how they improve their preaching, learn from the greats, and hopefully get a larger sense of how the Spirit is speaking to the church in the present. As worship leaders we need to explore the same strategies for our growth both spiritually and as leaders.
3. Learn to craft worship and song like preachers craft sermons. It doesn’t take too long working in the office with a preacher until you realize what an immense task it is to craft a new sermon each week. As musicians we are really lucky. Usually we are using songs written by other people, and we only have a limited number that we use in every season. Preachers could preach sermons written by other men…who wouldn’t be blest to hear the sermons of John Calvin, or Spurgeon, or Keller each week? Yet a preacher is called to bring the Word of God to a specific people, in a specific context, with a unique spiritual makeup that makes it inappropriate for them to preach others’ sermons. As Worship Leaders we need to play our part in this task of crafting worship and song to speak to a specific context. All too often we fall back on songs and arrangements crafted for other contexts that don’t fit our own. We don’t do the hard work of parsing our own community — what are their needs, their deficiencies, their strengths?
He gives examples of how to do each of these, along with a host of resources that can equip people to do them more effectively. If you have the privilege of leading people in worship, the post is well worth a look.