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Encouraging Young Worship Leaders

Steve Jones

We thought you may enjoy this excerpt from an interview with worship leader Steve Jones of Autumn in Repair, which featured in Redpoint Magazine, a quarterly online magazine published by the Vineyard USA’s National Youth Task Force. As part of the interview Steve was asked the following question…

What are some things you’d like to encourage young worship leaders to do?


1) Love people. Know that your worship leading gift is like any other gift—annoying without love. The depth of your worship culture is inextricably attached to your love for the people you are leading. People who are not responding the way you’d like are not an obstacle to your success. People who are going for it in worship are not proof of your success.

It’s an amazing thing when you wake up thinking of how you can love your community more deeply. You feel their specific hurts and their specific joys. It’s not an abstract thing. You know them. You know their stories. And you know what God is doing in them. In the end, you start to see that everybody who draws near to God becomes more whole. That’s all that you want—to see the people you love becoming whole.

This is the source of our calling. We have personally become enamored with the Lord and can’t stand the thought that anyone would attach their hearts to anything else. We lead worship because we can’t help it.

2) Find mentors. The best mentors are mature worship leaders who are finishing well (their church and worship culture looks like what you hope yours will some day). Ask them to mentor you. Ask a million questions. Learn what the mind of a mature worship leader looks like. I’d be a hot mess if it weren’t for people guiding me. We all need people who are beyond us. Someday we turn around and do the same for those who follow us.

3) Be a lifelong learner. Never stop. Structure time for growth at your instrument. There’s nothing that the world needs less than a lazy work ethic masked in spirituality. We need you to steward the gift that you were given. We need you to be excellent at what you are doing. We need you to inspire us. Since there are no shortcuts, we need you to work. Hard.

4) Worship when nobody is around. Your private worship life is what you are bringing us into when you stand in front of us. The more ways that you meet with God, the more you’ll know when He is present during our worship times together. You’ll stay in moments when God is moving in our hearts and you’ll simply move on when it’s time to move on.  You’ll be leading worship. Your authenticity is the best thing that you bring to us.

5) Some of you need to write songs for us to sing. I want to sing your songs in my church. But I want to sing about God as He really is. So, read the scriptures. Study theology. Read what people have written about the scriptures. God will become so much bigger than He’s ever been. Your songs will be filled with awe.

Study songwriting. Study songwriters. Study music itself. The God of the universe deserves the best music.

To read the whole article visit the Red Point Magazine website.

Written by: Steve Jones

Article originally posted in Red Point Magazine and re-posted with kind permission.

Added: 2012-03-06   |   Filed under: Interviews & Stories

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