The 8 Rules for Talking While Leading Worship

When a worship leader opens his mouth to do something other than to sing during the service, he’s either popping a throat lozenge or is about to talk. Most of the time, we’re better off if he’s going for the Hall’s.

Let’s face it: we worship leaders aren’t the most eloquent bunch. So we need to have some rules when it comes to opening our yappers on Sunday morning. Here are eight rules for talking while leading worship:

1. Don’t Wing It.

It’s OK if you’re not great talking “off the cuff.” It’s actually good that you’ve acknowledge it. Plan out what you’re going to say, and only go off script when you really feel the leading of the Holy Spirit.

2. Keep It Brief.

Verbosity can kill momentum, stifle the mood, and cause people to check out.“Don’t use seven words when four will do.” (Rusty, Ocean’s 11)

3. Have A Point. 

And preferably just one. I know this sounds a little snarky. But we’ve all been in a service when we wonder if the worship leader remembers the point he was making. So ask yourself as you’re planning, “What’s the point?” And in the spirit of #2, figure out a way to get there as quick as possible.

4. Don’t Sermonize. 

Your church has a teaching pastor. And he would love it if you’d let him do his job.

We CAN teach as a worship leaders. But we have to look for ways to do so in memorable sound bites, versus a sermonette between songs.

5. Use Scripture More Often Than Not.

We can’t go wrong with God’s word. It’s not just true, it actively changes people through the illumination of the Holy Spirit:

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

6. Annunciate, Especially If You’Re Talking Over Music.

People may not hear us as clearly as we ourselves in the monitors. And keep the music sparse when talking.

7. Let The Songs Speak For Themselves. 

Often times, a song doesn’t need a verbal segue or set-up. If you’ve planned a well-flowing set, let the lyrics and music do the work.

8. When In Doubt, Don’t Let It Out.

If you have any question about something you’re about to say, don’t say it. It’s better to have awkward silence than fill it with blundering words.

The bottom line is this:
as we plan to talk, or not, in our services, two things rule: the Holy Scriptures & the Holy Spirit. And brevity comes as a distant third.

For discussions: What rules would you add to this and why?

Jon Nicol