What’s Happening in the Mind of a Worship Leader on Sunday Morning?

Chris  —  March 22, 2012 — 1 Comment
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Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the head of a worship leader on Sunday morning?

I can tell you that he’s not just thinking about leading songs.

I can only speak from personal context (since I’ve not figured out a way to get into other people’s thoughts), but I can imagine that what I experience is similar to what worship pastors in mid-sized churches and smaller experience.

Depending on how many ministry responsibilities he or she has. :-)

On a Sunday morning, as a worship service is beginning and unfolding, here’s what going on in the brain of a worship leader, in no particular order of importance:

  • Part of the brain is given to worshiping.
  • Part of the brain is focused on leading the band/team
  • Part of the brain is leading the congregation.
  • Part of the brain is making sure their personal musical role is well done.
  • Part of the brain is observing what the congregation is doing and how they are participating.
  • Part of the brain is given to service flow – what’s just happened, what’s coming next, and what needs to happen to get there smoothly.
  • Part of the brain is focused on listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit for guidance and adjustments.
  • Part of the brain is conscious of the senior pastor and any instructions/alterations that may happen.
  • And part of the brain may be distracted by personal struggles, ministry struggles, church life, and the grumpy person in row 4.

And that’s after he/she has already been at church for an hour or more preparing, rehearsing, and praying. You can catch a glimpse of how some worship leaders spend the hour before a service through a blog series facilitated by Rob Rash a while back called The Hour Before.

What does this mean for you, dear reader and church congregation member? My intent isn’t to make you feel pity for those of us who serve in this capacity. We love what we do and count it a privilege to be given this responsibility.

My intent is to give you a peek so that you can more effectively pray for and encourage the worship pastor/leaders at your church. And if you have a suggestion or comment, please consider offering it at another time when we can focus on it and hear (and remember) what you would like to say.

For Discussion:

-If you are a worship pastor, what would you add to this list?

-If you are a congregation member, what surprised you about this list?

Let me know by leaving a comment.


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  1. Why Recognizing and Responding to God Matters in Worship | Journey of Worship - July 20, 2012

    […] least when I’m not distracted by tons of details. But that’s a post for another […]

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