The worship leaders of the Greenhills church I attend have decided to assign me to sing lead on several songs for our worship service on February 17. This will be the first time for me to lead worship at my home church in Greenhills, and the first time for me to lead in any worship service since 2005.
Admittedly, I am concerned about my readiness to lead, so I’m covering myself in prayer (and request my regular readers to please include my intentions in your own prayers) to ensure that it be about God – and God alone – who is glorified during the praise and worship, and not about me. I am also concerned about my vocal preparations, so vocalization and song prep (to ensure I don’t forget a single word!) are part of my daily regimen.
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship recommends the following tips, in turn taken from John Wesley’s Select Hymns, for people preparing to sing or lead at worship:
- Sing all. As few ad libs as possible, don’t let weakness or weariness get in your way. If you are weak during the service – and that has happened to me quite often when I led in my former church – take up the weakness as cross, and let it be a blessing.
- Sing strongly. Lift up your voice with courage.
- Sing humbly. Not about you as leader, so don’t intentionally try to stand out, to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation. Contribute to the harmony, and unite your voice, so it is one clear, melodious sound.
- Sing in time. Always a challenge for me, it’s important not to run before nor stay behind it.
- Above all sing spiritually. “Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.”
By the way, I’m still totally in love with Unrestrained sung by Mandisa and written by Calvin Nowell. Do visit the website of that fellow, who is now my new inspiration. He writes songs for God and lost 240 lbs. WOW. God’s grace! Calvin, brother, you are my hero!