How To Actually Worship While Playing Your Instrument

  • Written By 
  • Shalon Palmer

how to worship from instrument

Today I want to answer a question that we get quite frequently here at Worship Online. The question usually goes something like this:

“I am so focused on what I’m playing a lot of the time. How do I still focus on God and worship while I’m playing my instrument.”

I’ve got 3 points to make while answering this question. I’ll start with the first one:

When you’re playing your instrument, you’re a worship leader whether you realize it or not. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts (and despite popular belief), the first job of the worship leader is not to worship, it’s to lead. For those of us playing an instrument, that means our first job is to play our instruments with excellence.

It would be great if we could just go up there, close our eyes, forget about everything around us, and worship. However, we HAVE to lead and focus on creating an atmosphere of worship for those we are leading.

With that said, you should know that doing this excellently is a form of worship in itself. No, it may not be the “lift our hands and cry out to God” style of worship that we typically associate with worship. However, when you serve the ministry with a servant heart, this is worship to God.

God desire’s our best. When God was telling Moses how to build the tabernacle, one thing He consistently did was tell them to overlay everything with Gold. In other words, God said, “give it your best.” Gold was the highest standard achievable. It represented their best.

Everything we do should be overlaid with gold (our best), because that’s what honors God! Now our best is different at different levels, but at the end of the day you know wether you really brought your best or not. This probably means that it’s time to actually start practicing your instrument.

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The second point I want to make is that you can still very much “lift your hands and cry out to God” worship while playing your instrument.

The KEY to this is simple. Prepare enough so that when it comes time to play, you can focus on worship. If you’re spending your entire set trying to remember chords or parts, maybe you didn’t prepare enough. That’s a judgement that only you can make personally.

However, my opinion is that if you did spend time practicing and really learning the songs, when it comes time to worship, you can focus more on God and less on what you’re playing.

My final and most important point in answering this question is this: Every person should have their own personal worship times with God! Especially those of us in leadership positions!

We shouldn’t be absolutely dependent on getting our worship in during corporate times of worship. When I’m playing electric guitar, there are many time where I absolutely have to focus on what I’m playing in order to not screw something up.

I don’t leave that service kicking myself for taking my attention off of God during that moment. This is because I know that I’m still getting my worship time in on my own.

Let’s recap:

  1. Leading is your number 1 goal as a worship leader
  2. Prepare enough before-hand so you can “lift your hands in worship.”
  3. Have your own personal worship time so you aren’t dependent on corporate worship

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