1. (v.) To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of; to laud; -- applied to a person or his acts.
2. (v.) To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works; to do honor to; to display the excellence of; -- applied especially to the Divine Being.
3. (v.) To value; to appraise.
4. (v.) Commendation for worth; approval expressed; honor rendered because of excellence or worth; laudation; approbation.
5. (v.) Especially, the joyful tribute of gratitude or homage rendered to the Divine Being; the act of glorifying or extolling the Creator; worship, particularly worship by song, distinction from prayer and other acts of worship; as, a service of praise.
1. (a.) Excellence of character; dignity; worth; worthiness.
2. (a.) Honor; respect; civil deference.
3. (a.) Hence, a title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and others of rank or station.
4. (n.) The act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; religious reverence and homage; adoration, or acts of reverence, paid to God, or a being viewed as God.
5. (a.) Obsequious or submissive respect; extravagant admiration; adoration.
6. (n.) An object of worship.
7. (v. t.) To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
8. (v. t.) To pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration; to perform religious exercises in honor of; to adore; to venerate.
9. (v. t.) To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission, as a lover; to adore; to idolize.
10. (v. i.) To perform acts of homage or adoration; esp., to perform religious service.
PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Praise and Worship is a ministry that has a unique and specific calling, requiring special gifts and skills that are different than that of a musician, choir member, lead vocalist, Pastor, etc. The Worship leader is an individual called and anointed by God to minister in the house of God by leading people of God into His presence.
Leading Praise and Worship can be one of the most difficult ministries in the church. Imagine, leading an entire congregation, (some of which are tired, sick and hurting, stubborn, lazy, un-teachable, etc.), into the very presence of the Almighty God, on both an individual and congregational level. Needless to say, it can be an extremely daunting task!! This is why you must be specifically called and anointed for this ministry.
Remember, Praise and Worship should be an active, participatory, integral part of the worship service. The congregation is not to be a spectator, but should become an active participant.
THE THREE FUNCTIONS OF THE WORSHIP LEADER
1. To lead the entire congregation into the presence of God.
The congregation needs to have a supernatural encounter with the Father
in the service.
2. To prepare the congregation for the delivery of God’s Word.
Make sure that you are one with the leadership of the church.
Understand the direction God is taking the church through the
Vision of the Pastor.
3. To coordinate and cover the praise team and musicians.
Make sure you understand the basics of music and the ministry of
singers and musicians working with you. When you are leading
Worship, you are responsible for what is going on
musically on the platform.
THE PREPARATION OF THE WORSHIP LEADER
1. Sanctify yourself - If your Pastor has not set a weekly consecration and fast day for you, set one for yourself and the praise team or singers.
2. Develop a strong prayer life. Prayer enables you to hear God's voice and to be sensitive to His Spirit.
3. Spend quality time in His Presence. Remember, you can't give directions to a place you haven't been or are unfamiliar with yourself.
4. Make sure you are in sync with the Pastor's vision and remain relevant to the theme of His messages and convictions. This is not the time to go off on your own tangent or agenda.
5. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, take over and have free course!
6. Wait on the Lord for direction
7. Keep an accurate, categorized list of songs
8. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
THE ATTITUDE OF THE WORSHIP LEADER
1. Be enthusiastic and positive. Smile!! Let your face reflect His glory and
joy. If you don’t, the congregation won’t.
2. Be a discerner of the spiritual climate ; whether it requires a fast song of praise and rejoicing or if it's appropriate for a slow worship song. This is done only by the Holy Spirit!!
3. Remember your objective, you are there to lift up the Name of Jesus Christ. You have a short time to get them into His Presence.
4. Be in charge. Don’t be too timid. Give strong direction. Remember,
insecurity destroys creativity.
5. Lead by example. You set the example for active involvement. (clapping,
shouting, lifting hands, etc.)
6. Be an encourager, and an exhorter. Don’t preach!! Just encourage.
7. You must always worship with the congregation.
PRACTICAL POINTS FOR THE WORSHIP LEADER
1. Know your musicians, singers, and/or soundtracks
○ Practice with the musicians and singers
○ Keep hands signals easy to follow
Tempo changes , Modulation or new keys, Directions within a song (like repeat chorus, etc.)
Volume changes , Transitions between songs
○ Have songs chosen (with appropriate keys) before service
2. Don’t spend too much time talking
○ Encourage the people as they worship (Don’t assume everyone understands what is going on).
○ You can easily break the “flow” of worship with too much talking.
○ Don’t beat the congregation over the head!! If any corrections or rebukes need to be given, this should be done by the Pastor, not you.
3. Choose your songs carefully.
○ Attempt to develop and accomplish setting an atmosphere of worship. See worship as a whole picture.
○ Be careful with theme, tempo, and key changes (some songs cannot go together!)
○ Maintain a flow between songs. Don’t stop after every song. Learn medleys or sets of songs that go together (spiritually and musically)
○ Are you singing a key that is comfortable for you but not comfortable for the congregation?
○ Worship songs generally need to be song in a lower key range than praise songs.
○ Do not choose songs that have an enormous amount of words for the congregation to sing, or long “solo” verses. You will only lose the congregation and they will not be participating in worship.
○ Choose more songs than you need (be over prepared)
4. Know your music.
○ Do not practice on the congregation
○ Do not sing something you yourself are not familiar with! This will only breed confusion and make it difficult for the congregation to focus on God.
○ Be willing to move on if a particular song is just not going over well.
○ Be prepared!!
5. Give strong leadership
○ You MUST lead. Not the congregation, or the choir, or the praise team, musicians. You!! (They are to follow you as you follow Christ and the Visionary.)
○ Always lead with your voice. Don’t be scared of the first note, and stick with the melody as much as possible.
○ Give clear directions. People respond well when they know what is expected of them . Be what you are looking for. ○ Stay slightly ahead of the verse or chorus of the Praise/Worship song you are singing. Sometimes it is even good on a new song, to speak out the words just before singing a particular verse or chorus. You must lead vocally.
○ Make sure that you are leading people to the Lord, and not to yourself. Lead in a way that does not draw attention to you. This is not your concert.
○ Open your eyes!! Make eye contact.
6. Be sensitive to the flow and timing of the Holy Spirit (Very Important!)
○ Do not be scared to sing a chorus or verse several times or to omitt them.
○ Do not be scared of silence ( There are different waves of worship)
○ Know when enough is an enough for a particular song!! STOP!
○ Do not get in a hurry. Allow time for the Holy Spirit to move .
○ You must be prepared and sensitive to the Holy Spirit
○ Never put God in a box.. He may want to do something completely different from what you have planned. (You may only sing one song for your entire Praise and Worship time! Be open to that)
○ Always keep an eye on the Pastor. He/She will know when certain things are in order and when they are not.
○ Do not be afraid to change the mood or method of things by perhaps letting the women sing a verse by themselves, or letting the congregation sing a cappella
○ Do not be so “lost in the Spirit” that you are not aware of what is going on around you.
7. Do Not Show-Boat!!! This is not the time for anyone to grand stand or show off! All attention must be on worship and praise unto God…not how talented someone may be.
“My sons do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him, and burn incense.” 2 Chronicles 29:11 NKJV