I know that spiritual preparation is more important, but right now I want to talk about how a worship leader should prepare the set list. This preparation goes along with spiritual preparation that a worship leader should do before going to the battle.
Worship leaders are overwhelmed by millions of songs appear when they type keywords in the google search box and they choose the ones they are comfortable singing with or the ones that have a great vibe or melody without scrutinizing the lyrics of the song or even the theme of it. That way, they forget why they lead worship.
Worship leaders teach while leading the congregation, hence, they must choose songs with sound biblical doctrine. Arrange a story line that point out to Jesus during worship, with a theme in mind. It is about combining biblical truths with music to magnify Jesus Christ. Most of the people in the congregation do not remember the points of the preaching but rather sing the chorus that you led for the entire week. They affect and influence the entire congregation and that makes them hold a higher accountability. King David wrote psalms and he taught the entire nation through it. The songs you sing and the way you lead is teaching people.
It is not just about music. Worship leaders are concerned with the overall flow of the service fellowship. They serve the speaker since they create a meaningful responsive elements to the sermon. Worship leaders are like waiters in a restaurant, they prepare the table for a meal that the chef, who is a preacher, cooked for them. The central idea is that we want a table where we can gather and feast the word, hence, they should create a memorable meal for everyone in the congregation. One of the things that the worship leader must do is to let the congregation realize that they come hungry into the presence of God because if not they only want entertainment and not to be fed. We do not want that to happen because worship leaders do not entertain they lead and prepare the table for a meal.
Preparing set list is like walking but not a walk in the park. You have to go through certain stages before you can reach your destination. Here’s what I personally do in preparing my set list:
- Pray – You need a lot of this.
- Theme – I usually get this from verses that revealed during Prayer Intercessory Meetings.
- Identify Worshipers – Consider worshipers who will attend the service, and you will know what type/genre of songs you will put into line up.
- Listen – Listen to melodies and lyrics.
- List – Jot down the possible songs.
- Scrutinize – Study the lyrics if it is in accordance to the Bible. Remember we teach.
- Arrange – The songs into a story that magnifies Jesus. I will talk more about this in my next blog, stay tuned!
- Practice – Do this alone before you meet your worship team
- Repeat – steps 6-8 until you can say that “this is the set list that we need to fill the place of worship”.
Every worship leader has its own strategy in preparing set list. This is mine but you can do it as I do, I give you my permission. Remember, Teach, Table and Tramp!
God bless you always!