Nobody likes mistakes. We should avoid them, if possible.
But mistakes make great teachers. We learn from them. Worship leading mistakes may seem like the worst kind since they're often committed in front of a large group of people, but let's be honest - is there a better place to screw up than with a bunch of people who love Jesus?
We need to strive for excellence, but we also shouldn't forget to analyze our mess-ups. Some things you just gotta' learn the hard way.
DO TOO MANY NEW SONGS
It's a universal truth: young worship leaders do too many new songs. I don't encourage it, but it does teach a good lesson. Adding lots of new songs will teach you that songs that are awesome on albums may not be awesome in real life. Overwhelming yourself with new material will quickly make it clear that a worship leader's got to know his people and what songs work (both musically and thematically.) It will also reveal the importance (or overemphasis) on musical hooks. You'll start learning that some songs live and die by very specific parts.
PLAN SETS LAST MINUTE
This is a thing we do. Many of us start out as worship leaders thinking that what happens on Sunday can be scribbled on a sheet of paper on the way to rehearsal. Not so. The hard lesson worship leaders learn is that every minute matters in a service. Planning sets last minute will quickly reveal your own personal worship leading "crutches" and will quickly devolve into boring, rote setlists. Yes, it's fun to do something last minute, but leading a service this way will quickly teach you that this stuff is too important to be an afterthought.
DO THE STUFF YOU LIKE
When you start out leading worship, your personal preference is all you've got. That's how you pick songs, schedule videos, recruit volunteers. But this is a mistake. Why? Because there's way more people than you. Young worship leader who do only the stuff they like will learn a good lesson about pastoring people. Because eventually, somebody's gonna' tell you they hate a song you love. And you're gonna' be baffled by that. But after awhile, you're going to realize all these people aren't coming to church to watch you get your kicks up there on stage.
HANG ONLY WITH YOUR CREW
Everybody wants to hang with their friends...especially worship leaders after a good worship service! (Let's go out to eat and talk about how awesome we are!) This mistake will eventually reveal itself when you realize you don't know many of the people you're leading. Apart from your tiny clique, you're a lonely worship leader without much context for the people you're serving.
THINK IT'S ABOUT COOL
Young worship leaders often think that their job is to make their church the coolest in town. This usually means that the worship leaders spends a lot of time and money finding out what other churches are doing and trying to duplicate (or even outdo) that. The problem is that trends are fickle. Just as soon as you install that new light rack or the drum-setup-of-the-day, it's not cool anymore. But because the church sub-culture is so commercialized, worship leaders do well to learn early that it's never about the "stuff" you can buy.
By all means, avoid mistakes. But if you do make them, make sure you can learn from what you've done!a
What were some beneficial mistakes in your ministry?