It’s 2019! 🎉
Whether your past year was amazing or full of difficulties, a new year always is a great time to believe for new beginnings.
It is truly a blessing that we have a Father that is the God of new beginnings. I believe He is looking for us to partner with Him in taking new territory this year, especially in the way we approach our worship.
Worship is a lifestyle. It’s more than what we do on stage. The steps we take to mature ourselves off stage will affect the way we approach the stage and lead others in experiencing God.
Below are 10 steps to a stronger year in 2019 for all of us who lead worship.
1) Invite God’s Voice Into Your Worship
Relationship with God is everything. We have to start here before approaching anything else. Take time to stop throughout the day and ask Him to speak to you. Practice journaling His voice to sharpen your ear. The intentionality and commitment of writing something down forces us to not overthink the process.
When you are on stage, try not to think about the music and production the whole time and let Him add His input to what you are doing.
2) Take More Risks
In order to gain something, you must give up something. For instance, if you want to build a relationship with someone, you have to give up time to invest in them. The most inspiring people are not afraid to take risks in order to achieve what they want.
If you don’t want this year to be the same as 2018…if you want your worship to grow and not be complacent…if you want to see a new side of God…ask Him for some areas where you can step out in faith and see breakthrough.
3) Get Uncomfortable
Musicians tend to build habits. We all need foundation to stand on or else we would be a mess in worship, but habits can also stunt growth.
Try minimizing your pedalboard, practicing on only 2 strings, not using a capo, playing in your least favorite key, not defaulting to the same kick patterns and fills, or writing songs in a different tempo.
4) Find New Inspiration
I believe this is one of the biggest factors to expanding creativity. The people who regularly and intentionally seek out new inspiration are the ones who sound the most unique.
Let God inspire you as you take time to find new artists or even new genres. Actively pay attention to the details of what makes music inspiring, and note how you can apply that to your musicianship.
5) Learn 2-5 Songs a Week
Practice, practice, practice. If you are on a worship team, you should be doing this regularly.
There have been times that I have had to learn 25+ songs in a week. It was pretty difficult, but those are the moments I am most thankful for because of the rapid growth.
6) Learn the Nashville Number System
One of the best things a musician (or an entire worship team) can pursue is learning the Nashville Number System. Not only does it act as a tool to better communicate with your team, but it trains your ear. This allows you to learn songs extremely fast.
Simply practice taking a piece of paper and charting out the songs you play on a Sunday. I guarantee you that if you stick with it, you will be an expert in no time.
7) Buy an Unusual Piece of Gear
Guitarists especially, it is easy to want the gear that we see others use. If you have the budget, try searching for something you would not normally go for and find a way to make it interesting and musical. This exercises your creativity muscles.
Last year I bought a phaser, flanger, and wah pedals to give myself the challenge of making them cool somehow. Many times they weren’t appropriate, but when I found the right time they brought a lot of fun to the game.
8) Give Away a Piece of Gear to Someone
With how gear-obsessed musicians can be, we can easily forget how fun it is to be generous. Instead of thinking about the next pedal you want to buy, try to find one thing to give away or buy for someone this year.
I remember God challenging me as I was thinking one day, “Man, that would be great if someone gave me gear like I’ve heard in my friend’s stories.” Instantly God brought to mind “do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Since then, I’ve given away some pretty significant items and by God’s grace, He has returned the value of that gear to me and more.
9) Encourage Your Team More
What if instead of looking for someone to compliment you after a set, you looked for things to compliment other team members on? What if instead of picking apart the preacher’s sermon, you chose to find some points you liked about it and let them know?
If you wish your team would have a culture of honor, then start it.
10) Let Go of Self-Defeating Thoughts
Finally, love yourself.
When you are on a platform, the easiest thing the enemy will try to attack is your confidence. He wants to make you feel unqualified to be there. Know that God has put you on your team and is using you for a significant purpose.
Believing God’s truths about who you are will make you sound better on stage and free you up to worship Him fully, rather than focusing on your performance.
I hope this encourages you all. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or ideas on how to succeed in 2019. Happy New Year!
You may also be interested in these posts!
- How to Equip Any Guitarist to Succeed on Sunday
- Worship Guitar Tone Master Class
- Breaking Through Creative Roadblocks [Podcast]
- 5 Tips for Practicing Difficult Parts
- How to Use the Number System in Worship Music [Video]