3 Important Keys For Congregational Worship Engagement
As worship leaders, we have to fill many different roles. This includes everything from band leader, to pastor and even sometimes sound man. With so much going on, it’s easy to become distracted from our main goal: To lead the congregation. In this, it is important to have a good stage presence. We have all been in those situations where a worship leader has no confidence. That lack of confidence can quickly make what would be a good thing become an awkward experience. It’s easy to see how one’s stage presence can affect a crowd’s ability to participate. With the goal in mind of engaging the congregation, we can’t afford to be distracting. Here are just a few key ways that you can boost your stage presence to provide for a more inviting worship atmosphere.
1. Keep Your Eyes Open
Closing your eyes is one of the worst things we can do as worship leaders. When we break eye contact for an extended period of time, it excludes the rest of the room from our leadership. We lose engagement. We want to invite others into our worship time, not create our own personal worship space. This is harmful because it forfeits the responsibility of helping people encounter Jesus. It’s our job to do all we can to guide people to Jesus. If we don’t do that, then it’s hard to say that we are fulfilling our calling.
2. Staying Energetic
Keeping energetic while leading is important. I often tell my team that the vast majority of people will only show as much energy as you do. That is why it is crucial that we lead by example. If we want people to have zeal for The Lord, yet do not show any ourselves, then why should they? While hand raising isn’t the goal, I do believe that our outward expressions help our hearts arrive to where they need to be. Stay energetic.
3. Show Your Heart
Luke 6:45: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
I believe this verse can also be applied to worship. Those of us who lead worship usually do so because of a calling that we feel impressed upon our lives. It’s important to let that heart of worship shine through while you are leading. People will follow authentic leaders, so we should be authentic. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the performance and forget the purpose. When we let our hearts shine through in the midst worship, this is where we begin to see real worship from the congregation. I recently read a blog post by David Saintisteven that expanded this point. Read Why Preparing The Heart Is So Important For Worship Leaders.
To be clear, worship is not an act, it is the outward expression of an inward faith. But when we are looking for worshipful engagement, we have an obligation to make sure we let that faith show. It’s not about being rock stars with the cross as a backdrop, it’s about helping people have a zeal for The Lord. People will follow your example, so let your heart shine through. Don’t let the many hats you are wearing detract from your ability to be an outgoing advocate for Christ. And above all, remember, we are here to encourage, and lead by example.