Most often we think of worship leaders being on stage.
Of course, that’s not the only time we connect. There’s all the prep ministry, relational ministry and leadership that is required as each week progresses.
But during a regular worship time-slot, you’ve got three connection blocks – too often, we miss two of the three.
In addition to the onstage time, you have 1) before worship and 2) after worship. Without these times, you’re missing out on meaningful connection.
If you have a relationship with the worshipping congregation off stage, you will have a more effective relationship with them on stage. These two time-slots look different depending on your context, but the “before” and “after” can be important.
Ideas For Connection
In my setting, the worship team and tech team is out among the congregation before worship begins. We try and end our morning soundcheck/rehearsal thirty minutes before the congregation arrives. From there, we typically pray then hangout. Some talk to each other and that is part of the mission: connection and community. Additionally, it adds to the friendly nature of the pre-gathering in worship. But there’s also time for the worship leader to talk with members of the band or tech and to others serving in hospitality roles, not to mention, the church.
Most often, just before worship, I will just walk around a bit and connect with people who are already there and seated early. Guests in worship are almost always early to find a seat and get things squared away. So, it’s a good opportunity to visit briefly.
After worship, the worship team usually plays a small instrumental outro to the worship time, but then we head down from the stage Since there are two services we don’t feel like we have to stand up there and talk for a while – that happens naturally. Of course, as the worship leader, I want to say “thanks” to the team and debrief anything we need to. But first, I want to head down to connect for a few moments.
You don’t need an extroverted personality to connect – sometimes, just being available is a huge benefit and people know they can talk if they wish.
Opens Doors To Thoughts & Comments
Connecting briefly allows you to hear comments from people regarding corporate worship. Sometimes you have to take these comments with a grain of salt, but there is often truth to how people perceive the ministry – you can always learn. Most often it’s encouraging, but in both cases, these before and after time slots are a great way to keep a pulse on the congregation in general. How are people responding? Is the church growing in worship?
As a worship leader, you’re already in a visible ministry, but making connections with the church even just a few minutes before and after worship allows several people to get a sense of personal relationship.
Keep Your Phone Or Device Put Away
Don’t stand around staring at your phone, thinking you are going to connect – that just won’t happen. While you are in this device-focused posture, you’re not approachable. This is true with the church and with the worship team with whom you are serving that day.
Pastoral & Encouraging
I have often found people are encouraging as this connection happens. They like to ask “who the singer was or who played guitar on this song?” It’s cool for them to be in the know. I often hear how much people are enjoying the worship service and the music. As encouraging as this is for the leaders, it also works in reverse. We have an opportunity to encourage others and be pastoral. Someone may have something they want to share, a prayer request, or other information that may be helpful for the church to know. Worship leaders are shepherds and here are five ways this happens.