Psalm 33:3 | Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy | (NIV)
When I read Psalm 33:3, three truths stand out to me: i) we are to be creative in our worship, ii) we are to bring our best in our worship iii) we are to be joyful in our worship. These three truths should be the foundational elements of any worship service.
Creativity | we are to be creative in our worship
We are created in the image of our creator. I believe God intended for us to be creative beings. Creativity is one way that we get to glorify and honor God with what he has entrusted us in the first place (our talents and ability to create).
I think as worship leaders we should be intentional in planning and putting together services that are creative in their flow, content, and presentation. Creativity should enable the worshipper to enter in the presence of God, rather than distract them from it. I don’t think that the order or intensity of our songs matters as much as the intent or purpose of why we have chosen that specific direction. For example, it doesn’t matter so much if the worship set starts with a fast or slow song, what is more important is why did we start the service that way? What direction will the content and intensity of that song take the worshiper in? What do these songs focus on?
Another great example is the usage of featured solos and instrumentals. Instrumental parts of worship are great for reflective moments for the worshipper as well as give them a break from constantly hearing a vocal lead (effective breathing room). However, instrumental music and solo-instrumentation shouldn’t take away from our focus of praising God (timing, length, placement of it should be considered and thought about).
The more intentional and focused our preparation time is, the better we can present and weave worship in a way that enables the worshiper to engage.
Excellence | we are to bring our best in our worship
We are called to give our best in all that we do, especially in knowing that we do it unto God and not unto men (Colossians 3:23). As a worship leader it is important to expect and inspire your team to always give their best. Practice makes perfect. But practice and showing up prepared also enables us to focus less on the practicality of playing/singing and more on God and his leading. If the band is well prepared and confident with the material, there is greater freedom to sense and hear what God wants to do within that worship service.
Joy | we are to be joyful in our worship
We don’t always feel like shouting for joy. There are days where no matter who you are, from congregation member to the worship leader, you wake up and the last thing you want to do is be excited to worship God. I think it is important to be transparent and realize that those days happen and will continue to happen; however the choice to shout for joy and ask God to help us in seeking Him is what matters. God looks at the position of our heart. He wants us to cry out to him, in the good and bad times, when we feel like it and we are completely burned out. As a worship leader it is our responsibility to encourage the congregation to be transparent, real, and persistent in our devotion for God. Our joy in worshipping God is not based on our inconsistent emotions, but rather on His constant love.