david santistevan


How to Practice Better – Worship Leading

In a previous post I talked about how important practice is. But not just practice…deliberate practice – practicing those things that will make you more effective at what you do.

When we think practicing we typically think of pianists and football players. But what about something like worship leading? How do we practice that? Yea, I could try to lead worship more often but what about those times when I’m by myself?

What are some deliberate things I can do to become a better worship leader?

1. Listen Deeply

If you are a worship leader you should be listening to other worship leaders. But you are not just a casual listener. You must become a listening nerd 🙂 This is not just background noise. Listen deeply. Analyze it. Write down what different worship leaders do: How they interact with a congregation, what songs they do, how they arrange, how they navigate spontaneous moments, how they interact with the band, etc.

2. Read

In a previous post I recommended my favorite books on worship leading. Go read. It’s important to not only learn the practicalities of worship leading but also expand your view of God. Shameless plug: also, reading blogs like this one will help you gain knowledge and stay focused. This is a fantastic resource as well.

3. Sing all the time

if you are a vocal worship leader, don’t save all your singing for rehearsal and Sunday morning. You need to exercise that muscle. I’ve heard it said that leading worship is one of the toughest things on your voice. You sing, shout, and talk, all while pushing hard. Seek to daily strengthen your voice by singing in the car, at home, & on airplanes (maybe not that one).

4. Look for places to lead

Don’t wait for pastors to come to you, asking to lead worship. Make it happen in ‘smaller places’. Grab your friends and worship. Strong Christians love to worship. So go do it. Often.

5. Practice continual prayer

How do you expect to hear God’s voice when your leading worship if you’re not listening in the everyday? Live a continual posture of, “God, what are you doing? How can I accomplish your purpose today?” You’ll be surprised what opportunities and divine appointments will arise because of this.

6. Practice loving people

If you don’t like people, worship leading will be frustrating for you. It’s all about people. It’s all about connecting. It’s all about a journey with others. This may seem abstract but it’s definitely something you can practice. Engage in conversation. Smile. Pray for others. Connect. You’ll see a huge difference on stage if you’re living this everyday.

7. Listen to your pastor

When your pastor preaches, listen to what he says. Write it down. Internalize the DNA of your church. Make it yours. Even if he’s not a musician and doesn’t know as much as you do, respect the vision God has given him and implement it with all you’ve got. Practice it.

Anything that I missed? Help me out. How can I practice as a worship leader?


November 24, 2010 - Posted by | Worship, Worship Leaders


  1. Great points! I highly recommend Bob Kauflin’s Worship Matters. That book is really helpful for all church leaders but especially music ministers. I also recommend awesome cast metal skull mic stands to remind everyone in the congregation that we were dead in our trespasses and sins when God made us alive in Christ. (Okay, maybe that last one is a little bit much. Lol)

    Comment by Chris Arnold | November 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Nope. That last one is brilliant. That’s exactly what I think of when I see awesome cast metal skull mic stands. I just got saved again thinking about it.

      Comment by dsantistevan | November 24, 2010 | Reply

      • Hallelujah praise God!

        Comment by Chris Arnold | November 24, 2010

  2. […] Wednesday How to Practice Better – Worship Leading […]

    Pingback by The Weekly Wrap-Up « david santistevan | November 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] Really hard. I’ve been writing a lot on how to practice better. Check out my posts here and here. I asked Rob to give some insight into what he does. Love this post. I know you will too. Btw, that […]

    Pingback by Thoughts from a Touring Bass Player on Practicing Well « david santistevan | December 3, 2010 | Reply

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