By Ladi Adewumi
I have seen several write-ups on the qualities of a worship leader and so on. However, I would like to write something here about what I know so far, as the fundamental qualities of a worship leader, qualities that just might be the universal qualities that are shared between worship leaders around the world.
1. Born Again:
A personal salvation experience, accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and commitment to serve and love Him with your life, is very key. Some churches make the mistake of getting someone who can sing and loves music, but isn’t really concerned about Christ-like living. Folks who just believe you sing in church and you do other things outside of church. No, a true Worship Leader has to have one lifestyle in and out of church, and it’s Christ-like.
2. Being Called:
A lot of people do get into the church choir because they can sing or want to sing, but in order to be really focused and effective as a worship leader, you need to get to the point where you are convince in your spirit that this is what God has called you to do. It makes a whole lot of difference when you are sure. It helps you to work with vision and purpose all the time. You are always conscious of what God will have you do, and not trying to compete with other people in and out of ministry. It helps you to put your values and principles right. You are always working with faith in what God has said and not in your own limited abilities. And you have a strong sense of direct relationship with him and responsibility to God.
If you already a chorister and you aren’t sure, then you need to start asking God if this is what you are called to do. You need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you know. Honestly, it’s in your best interest to know.
3. God Seeker – Lifestyle of Bible Study, Prayer & Worship:
You need the kind of person who seeks for more God; a deeper relationship with him in the Word, Prayer & Worship. This shows you have faith in God, Heb. 11:6. Your lifestyle of personal bible study, prayers and worship with the Holy Spirit is fundamental. Its the place where the Holy Spirit enlightens your understanding and inspires you. Job. 32:8, Ps. 32:8.
The word of God is the foundation of your faith like a house built on a rock, and the power that keeps you going in the midst of so many distractions and discouragement, in your personal life and ministry. The word of God is food for your spirit and soul.
You need to develop a constant lifestyle of prayer. Pray to God about your song ministrations, church services, events, personal life, and everything the Holy Spirit helps you to think about, everyday. That shows you depend on God and not on your self or people.
Worship God personally with singing. Let him hear you sing to him from the bottom of your heart with sincere passion and thirst for him. Have a continuous constant life of praise & worship like David deed. I call it a “Concert of One” to the Most High God. It’s just you and your Heavenly Father. Express your love to him with singing and without fear. This also helps you to reflect on the lyrics and thoughts of every song you sing. By the time you are set to lead praise/worship in church events, the Holy Spirit would have given you deeper insights into several songs, weigh beyond just the lyrics. The songs flow out from deep within your spirit man, flowing out like rivers of living waters and refreshing the souls of people listen to you or worshipping with you.
In times of personal bibe study, prayer and worship, certain dimensions of God’s presence, glory and power flows into your life, because you are developing a deeper relationship with him.
Love God and love people. Jesus said…Matt. 22:37-40. Guard your heart against hatred, jealousy and strife, because it will frustrate your efforts, frustrate your ministry, frustrate your destiny and ultimately destroy you. Don’t comdemn others and be considerate in your assessments. Let the things that pleases God excite you. Let your heart rejoice always, at the praise of your God. Love His ways, love His precepts, love His commandments, love Him in everyway thinkable, even when it doesn’t feel exciting. Pray yourself into it if you have to, and always ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Desire that other worship leaders and children of God around you would be able to do well also, in the unique way God wants them to. Desire that they also will experience more and more of God personally. 1Jn. 4:7-21, 1Cor. 13:1-13, 1Cor. 14:1.
Be humble! God gives grace to the humble…Jam 4:6. Being complimented for good deeds is good and helps one’s esteem and it has a way of encouraging you, but learn to ascribe all glory to the one who enabled you. The one who gave you life, grace and power to do the things you do. Wisely reject every form of glorification, instantly. People will always compare you to others, whether good or bad, but you need stay calm, humble and focused on God. Guard your heart and mind against pride and self glory, if not, your life and destiny becomes distracted and endangered.
6. Desire for Supernatural:
Desire that supernatural things will happen when you minister. Trust God for transformation of lives, and an evident move of the Holy Spirit. Pray about it whenever you can, for as often as you can. Trust God that people will experience His presence, glory and power afresh when you minister in songs. God can heal, deliver, inspire and empower in the place of praise/worship. Desire that God will speak or prophecy through you or the songs you sing. This supernatural experience of God (His presence, glory, power and prophecies) is what really separates a worship leader from a secular musician. It makes immeasurable difference and distinction and most importantly, glorifies God!
Fundamentally, ears for music, sound distinctions, note distinctions and voice to sing. Study to show yourself approved…. Work on your singing, your understanding of beats and tempos, singing with others in good harmony, texture and volume. Learn to understand what is required of you as a lead singer or a back up singer or guitarist or keyboardist or any musician role you fill into. Have your personal rehearsals to improve your singing, understanding your strengths and uniqueness, your musical instruments (guitar, piano, etc.), and your overall ministration. Get help for whatever you know to need help with. This also includes your presentation, communication skills and overall appearance.
I believe all of these attributes are fundamental and universal for worship leaders. You might find some other useful content elsewhere as well, because I don’t consider this as absolute, but it’s very useful. Pray over it, meditate and let the Holy Spirit enlighten the eyes of your understanding more and more.
God bless you!
By the grace of God, Ladi Adewumi is presently a worship leader at R.C.C.G. Dominion Sanctuary on a volunteer basis (since 2006), leading inContemporary, Hymnal and Nigerian/African Traditional praise/worship songs. He also functions as the Music Director of the church’s Youth Choir (The Hub). He is a praise & worship leader/artist with the sole aim of leading people in heart-felt praise/worship songs, and experiencing the presence of God. He also writes songs based on the word of God to help address everyday living. Visit his blog: ladiadewumi.com.