david santistevan


How Worship Leaders Can Prepare for a New Year

A few days ago my friend Brad Leach wrote an insightful post called “5 Things I’m Doing to Attack the New Year”. Practical, helpful, and wise. It got me thinking about what worship leaders can do to prepare well for a new year.

I have a heart for worship leaders to do more than just lead worship. I’m not talking about being busier for the sake of busyness. Don’t just fill up your schedule with tasks to keep you occupied. Do the right things. Do the things that make the biggest difference. And do them well.

As worship leaders, we are often preoccupied with music and scheduling. We have to pick a killer setlist out each weekend, we need to schedule the band, we need to prepare for Easter, we have that week of special services coming up. Great.

But what else?

What is your strategy for discipleship? What apprentice worship leaders are you raising up? What are you going to do in 2011 that will have some major impact?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to reflect on 2011 and simply say, “well, we played some cool songs. We had a killer Easter production. We used loops, got tighter jeans, and sound better than ever.”

Let’s go deeper.

The start of a new year is a perfect time to figure that out and prepare yourself for what’s ahead. So here’s a list of things you can do to attack your new year with fresh vision.


I love fasting at the beginning of the new year. Well, I don’t always love it when it’s happening because I love food, but the spiritual focus it offers is amazing. When I fast, I’m realigning my heart with the first commandment – to make sure I’m loving God above all else. And also to wean myself off of distractions to that goal. As a worship leader, is so important to keep your heart alive in God as you lead people to encounter him. Btw, I always get focused with this hilarious video on fasting.


This may seem like ‘duh’, but a lot of times we just mirror what everyone else is doing. What is your church and culture all about? What are the things you want to see happen? What are the big events that will make a huge difference this year? Write more songs as a worship team? Go on a missions trip together? Do a recording? Start a new campus with your apprentice worship leader? Seek God. Write it down.


After you’ve written down your ‘main things’ – the things you want to see happen in your worship team, meet with your senior pastor. It’s important that your vision supports his. They should be the same. He needs to agree on what your doing. Even if he doesn’t agree everything on your list is necessary, he’ll appreciate that you’ve prayed it through and planned it out. He may even suggest some things to work on.


Part of what makes certain worship leaders great is their depth in God. They’ve walked through trials. They devour Scripture. They read great books. It’s easy to coast through a year without read much of the Bible, if any at all. Don’t let that happen to you. Make one of your goals to grow a deeper passion for the Word of God. The Word of God is the fuel for your ministry. Everything else will let you down. For a suggestion, I always read THIS.

There are other things I could add, like pursuing a tighter sound and deeper creativity, but that is really secondary to these four things. It will really help you to zoom out and think about your year before you start living it.

Are there other things you would add to the list?


December 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized, Worship Leaders | 1 Comment


%d bloggers like this: