David Taylor asked me and some others the following question:
I would appreciate your feedback on the subject of raising up Male song leaders.
In the Southside London, we have a core of guys who have been song leading for many years. We have had some 6th form students join the worship team before moving on to university.
What has worked for you?
We are asking the Lord of the Harvest to bring in men with the heart and ability to sing.
Here is my reply:
Good question. It’s an issue everywhere in every church!
In Thames Valley
we actually have a problem the opposite to most places. More capable male song leaders than female. In any case, we always need more, don’t we? In Watford we also have more men than women involved. However, we have enough for now.
Off the top of my head here are things that I tend to do to discover and nurture new leaders of worship:
- Keep an ear open for men who sing well. Also ask the rest of the worship team if they know of men who sing well.
- Occasionally mention the need for more worship leaders to the congregation and emphasise that it is more about the spirit than the talent.
- Make the early song leading experiences easy and positive. In other words things like singing on a side mic and a midweek before getting involved on Sunday.
- Many people capable of being song leaders do not have a technical background in music. This can create insecurity. Since I’m a professionally trained musician I’m the last person they need to speak to! Instead, I look for someone else in the worship team who leads worship because of passion and reasonable competency rather than technical musical mastery and have them speak to them about their own experiences and motivation.
- Pray for God to meet the needs. This can’t be overstated. It’s been my experience again and again that God brings the right people to our attention at the right time. Of course, this isn’t always at my timing! However, it’s important to remember that when God does not provide certain resources it must be because he knows we’re better off without them.
- Tapping on shoulders. I prefer inviting people personally into the worship team rather than making announcements (although both have their place). The personal invitation is more human and reassuring, especially for the introverted or less courageous. Public announcements of need can be interpreted as something like, “Would you like to join this struggling ministry?” It doesn’t sound very inspiring!
God bless, Malcolm
What are your thoughts on the matter?