How to Preside Over Worship

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The New Testament says that worship ought to be an orderly expression of one's whole heart, mind and strength in praise and devotion to God. For a worship leader, that means some of the prerequisites for a good service include preparation, sensitivity to the needs of the congregation and teamwork with assistant and lay ministers.

1 Prepare for the service

Prepare for the service. Collaborate with the music director, the family and children's minister and anyone else who has a role in making the service happen. If you are a minister in a liturgical denomination, use your book of worship to choose musical offerings that fit the liturgy and the appointed readings. Use the space to its fullest, planning for the expected number of congregants based on your weekly attendance.

2 Be and use judgment

Be sensitive and use judgment with respect to the needs of the congregation. This includes keeping services to an appropriate length, choosing familiar songs consistent with its style of worship, and preaching a challenging sermon without being divisive or inducing fear.

3 Emphasize the importance of teamwork

Emphasize the importance of teamwork. Take time before the service to show your assistants and lay ministers how to do their jobs. These may include the ushers, "fire" assistants (if your worship includes incense), readers, lay Eucharistic ministers and those who make announcements.

Colby Phillips' writing interests include culture and politics. Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Oregon and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Boston College.