This week we wanted to dive more into the final point that we hit last week about creating space in your set lists to find your flow (if you missed it, you can find it here).
When we say that we want to find our flow, what we mean is that we don't want to just execute set lists as they are, but we want to find some space for ministry and whatever the Lord wants to do in our gatherings. This week we brought Ross in to talk to Instagram with James about what it means to create space in our worship sets to find a flow.
1. Be prepared.
As worship leaders the greatest thing that we could do for people is to be Spirit-led and to allow God's Spirit to sing through us, use our instruments, and anoint us to lead. Most of us have at some point tried to "wing it" in a service but we know the difference it makes when we really press in to being Spirit-led. The difference is in the atmosphere and personal strength you have as you lead.
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead through you.
A lot of times it feels like jumping off a cliff. For example a couple of weeks ago, James shares that he was leading a service and he felt the Holy Spirit say that the night was going to look different. So he led a song and then told the people what he felt the Lord was saying, which is very much out of the norm for him. When he interrupted the set list to share that word, it was like jumping off a cliff. But something happened and the whole room became more engaged and worship went to a new level that night.
To this point, Ross added that he always goes into a set with something in his heart to say. He wants to be spiritually prepared and ready for the Lord to speak through him. Ross says that in those moments when we're seeking the Lord during a worship set, we can easily second-guess ourselves and become nervous but if we're prepared spiritually, we're willing to take the leap. Even if the moments come off a little "shaky" and unsure, if God is in the moment, things will shift. As leaders, we set the temperature for the culture of worship in our church. We want to be ready for anything and believe that anything can happen.
3. Fully Commit to the Jump
James shares that if you've ever jumped off an actual cliff before, you know that you have to fully commit to doing it. If you half-commit, you can seriously hurt yourself. When we half-commit to what the Spirit wants to do in our services, it can come across awkward and "shaky" as Ross said. But at least this is a starting place to grow in as a worship leader. When you fully commit to something in a service and go for it with confidence, it actually makes people feel comfortable. People are always open and hungry to receive something, but if they can sense that you're unsure or not fully confident about what the Lord wants to do in that moment, there can be an uneasy presence that rests on a crowd. James says he's had many moments where he tried to go for something but was half-committed, and the whole thing came across a little... weird. Ever been there?
If you're new to this and making space is something you want to do, there's certain points in your set that can put you in a position to do that.
Here's a couple tips:
1. Choose a song that your church loves and pick out a piece of the song that really engages your people- maybe a strong bridge or an amazing chorus. At the end of the song, work a way to go back into that part of the song. Instead of ending the song, go into a flow and force yourself into a position to lead.
2. You could explore some tags that thematically make sense in where you're going in the worship set. Choose a tag that is an anthem that everyone knows. You'll notice a shift in the room as people respond in worship. This allows you to get off the grid a bit instead of just executing songs from a set list. Remember, you're taking people on a journey with you.
Don't Be Afraid to Be Led By God's Spirit
Your ministry and leadership will be completely different when you move from your head to your heart. Move from executing a set list to list to leaning in to what God wants to do. When you make this shift, everything will change but it will require a full commitment to jump off the cliff. When you feel led to make space, just do it. You may have times where it doesn't go over as well as you hoped, but at least you did it and you were willing to take the risk. You're growing each time that you do it. We will continue to unpack set lists and share practical tips over the next couple of weeks. We love the response we've been getting from those of you that have watched the Instagram Live Videos and follow us here on the blog. Thanks for joining us as we all continue to grow as worship leaders!