Tips for Speaking During Worship
Since the end of Seeds Conference, so many of you have contacted me about specific worship issues that I thought I’d try and give my spin to a few thoughts. Today, let’s talk about speaking during and between songs.
First of all, let me say that we don’t talk much at all during our worship sets. We were hired to sing, not to preach. Honestly, I have a hard time adding to a good song - they are four minute sermons in themselves. If songs are rehearsed properly and thought through in their placement in the set, they really should speak for themselves. There are times, however, when talking is appropriate and needed. Here are a few guidelines we use:
Get rid of the worship speak.
Think through your choice of words. Make sure that the phrases you’re using aren’t foreign to non-Christians. How weird is it for a first-time church-goer to hear “Sing to the Lamb” or “Let’s thank Him for His blood”? Not disregarding those ideas that are central to our faith, but as the first point of contact in the majority of our services, we owe it to our guests to say things they’ll understand.
If you need to speak, get to the point.
Those that preach on the weekend, at least those at our church, spend days on end writing and rehearsing what they’ll say, making sure they say only what’s necessary. Worship leaders tend to ramble because they haven’t prepared what they’ll say between songs. One rule we follow is “Shorter is always better.” Figure out what needs to be said and say it in the most deliberate way possible.
Don’t hype the crowd.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying your hardest to get the crowd going with phrases like “C’mon - clap your hands!” or “Shout it out!” ….. aaaaand …. crickets. Shouting at the congregation won’t win them over, especially if you’ve been barking at them for 20 minutes.
Let the music do the talking.
I love what one of our worship leaders, Kenneth Weston, said a while back: “The music should be so good, you shouldn’t have to say a word.” One of the reasons we feel compelled to talk during worship is to alleviate the awkward moments of a song not ending right, or a pause between two songs that lasts way too long. Any number of mismanaged moments can cause us to want to step in and “fill”. Work on making the music so good and interesting that speaking would actually kill the moment. Let the music do all the work for you.
So there are a few ideas. I would love to hear from you on this subject and if you have some funny stories of awkward things you’ve said, I’d love to hear those too! Here’s one of mine…
“C’mon let’s the give…uh…give….uh…the Lord a praise right now!”