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Worship Leading is Hard

Worship Leading is Hard

By Melissa Radke on October 08, 2013

Worship leading is hard. Really hard. I say this because this morning on the way to school my seven year old daughter said to me, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but daddy works so much harder than you. He sits at a computer and he goes to meetings and...well...all you do is sing."

I used to think the same thing. USED to.

But now I know leading worship is a whole heck of a lot more than just singing. Or, who knows, maybe I'm making it too difficult. Maybe there will be worship leaders all over the United States who read this article and think, "Where is this woman leading worship at? Guantanamo Bay?" So correct me if I'm wrong, but here is the run-down of things I have to do on a weekly basis in order to be ready for Sunday morning.

Monday: Review the previous day's service by watching the video of the service. How did the songs sound? Did the people respond? Were the songs well received? Oh great, my slip is showing. This is why I should wear jeans. My grandmother is wrong, there WILL be jeans in heaven. *Mental note: Make time for Jesus, but don't stress yourself out about doing it today because yesterday was Sunday and you spent a lot of time with Him then.

Tuesday: Get ready to send out Planning Center by determining...what is the sermon topic? (Please don't say Sex, please don't say Sex...) What singers are up this week? What band members are out with colds? What song from the 80's is the pastor dying for us to "bring back out?" *Mental note: Make time for Jesus. And get your roots done.

Wednesday: Stop everything you're doing to get ready for Sunday and prepare to lead worship for service tonight. It can only be two songs: one upbeat, one slow and the Spirit is going to need to move within a 10 minute window or what was it all for? *Mental note: Make time for Jesus!!!

Thursday: Worship practice is tonight. Print off chord sheets. Raise that Kim Walker song up a key because no one really sings that low. Make sure media team, lighting team and sound guys are all going to be at rehearsal. Steal away from the office for time with Jesus. In your car. While cramming down Chik-fil-A. And listening to Matt Redman. Aaaaahhhh.....world go away. Walk out of band practice at 9pm. Plot ways to kill your drummer.

Friday: Day off. Get roots done. Wax eyebrows. Buy jeans. Wonder if male worship leaders ever have to do this stuff.

Saturday: Field calls from a worship singer who's kid is throwing up - find a replacement. Field a call from the bass player who got called out of town for work - call in the backup. Squeeze in two soccer games and a birthday party while mentally trying to remember the song order of "God's Great Dance Floor". *Mental Note: Jesus called, He wants more time with me.

Sunday: Look at the crowd. Watch their faces. Wait for the pay-off. Be reminded of why we do what we do. Stop worrying about your slip. Or your roots. Or the fact that the bass player looks completely lost. And just worship. Be in the moment. Be present. Look up.

I don't know, maybe my daughter was right. Maybe daddy does work harder. But I don't know. Because in this job we don't clock in and clock out. Our materials don't fold up and fit nicely in a briefcase. Our business is God's business. And that is the part of this job I still cannot wrap my brain around. How do I - this blond headed, Texas mama - make sure that each and every week I bring to over a thousand people the chance to lift their hands, raise their voice and give honor where honor is due? The responsibility seems too great. How do I lead a crowd of worshipers into a battle? How do I make sure that their problems take a backseat and their God takes a front seat?

How do YOU do it?
Does it scare you as much as it scares me?

Does it sober you as much as it sobers me?

This job isn't an easy one. And don't let any seven year old tell you different! This job isn't for wimps or whiners. It's for those of us who are willing to go to battle without a bass player, forget our hair in light of heaven, and worry less about our clothes and more about our armor.

I'm a Worship Leader. It's a hard job....but somebody's gotta do it. And how blessed I am that it's me.

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Melissa Radke

Melissa Radke (Guest Writer)

Melissa Radke is the Creative Director and Worship Leader at LFA. She loves Jesus, movie popcorn and telling her friends what to do with their hair. You can follow her on Twitter @melissaleeradke