I had the honor of serving at the Coaches Time Out conference this weekend. It was hands down the best conference I have been to in a while. I knew something was different when I didn’t see any skinny jeans, hipster beards or horned-rimmed fake glasses but instead it was all track suits and golf shirts. I also was not asked how big my church was or what kind of guitar I was playing. If you feel that subtext you can understand how refreshing it was to to get out of my usual crowd. I know the change in demographic helped me to see and hear God’s truth through a different perspective. Here are 3 things I took away from the weekend that I know will help to make you a better worship leader.
I know, you already know this, I thought I did too, let me explain. At the first production meeting the conference coordinator pulled me aside and said something like, “Loren, I don’t want this to be like a Sunday service. There are a bunch of coaches here, if you want them to stand you need to tell them to stand. They don’t do well with the feel free to do whatever you feel led to do mentality.” That conversation put me on my heels and a bit of anxiety started to make its way into my heart. If I am honest, it is easy for me to become a worship musician instead of a worship leader, I don’t like telling people what to do or how to do it.
To effectively lead worship for a roomful of coaches I had to adapt, I am really glad Joe pulled me aside to talk or else I would have done what I do week in and week out. On any given Sunday there are all kinds of people in front of you, many with different learning styles. Are you leading all of them, or just the ones you are comfortable with?
2. Get Beyond The Music
At the conference they taught about 3 dimensional coaching, they stipulated that most coaches never get past the first dimension and here are the 3 dimensions they used.
1st Dimension – FUNDAMENTALS – Strength, Power, Cardio, Speed, Quickness, Technique, Repetition
2nd Dimension – PSYCHOLOGY – Motivation, Confidence, Emotions, Team Cohesion
3rd Dimension – HEART – Value, Identity, Significance, Worth, Character
I loved this because if you took Strength, Power, Cardio, Speed and Quickness out of the 1st Dimension and replaced it with Musicianship, Instrumental Skills and Vocal Skills you would have a guide for 3 Dimensional Worship Leading. We need to take our teams past the music and into the heart of the what and why of worship. If all you are doing is rehearsing music at your rehearsal you aren’t reaching your team’s full potential. But this might be the most counterintuitive part, your team will actually sound better, be a tighter band and connect with each other when you take them deeper, beyond the music.
3. Get Real
In the middle of one of the sets from the conference a coach yelled out, “The words aren’t right!” This was mid-strum mind you, I was immediately jolted out of whatever groove I was in . My point here is that coaches don’t hold back, it is their job to get the best out of you. I know that I have shied away from sharing my inner thoughts during practice, but I might be doing my team a disservice because of my fear of confrontation. It is our job to make our teams better, you can’t do that by letting it slide, however it must be done in love.
Thanks For Reading,
Helping People Worship