5 THINGS I WISH WE DID LESS

We don't livestream worship at my church, but I do enjoy video recording services when I get the chance. Not only do they give me a whole new perspective on what our platform looks like and what the sound in the room is doing, but it also helps me see the stuff that needs fixing.

Here are 10 things I wish worship leaders (ME AND YOU) did less.

SPEED IT UP

We do songs too fast, gang. I know it feels like you need to bump up every song your team learns by 6 or 8bpm, but a lot of the time, those album tempos are there for a reason. It also seems like the faster you play worship stuff, the more out-of-date it sounds. Why is that? If there's any upside to using click, it keeps us from running away with the songs.

STRUMMING

Those of us who lead from guitar could stand to chill on the strumming. Believe me, I know when you're feeling the music you just wanna' strum like a madman, but don't forget that your sound engineer is probably already running your guitar too hot already. (Why do sound techs do this? Just because you're the leader doesn't mean YOUR instrument has to be heard non-stop.) The more we jangle away, the less clearly the groove of the song is heard and felt.

TALKING

Man, we gotta' stop devotionalizing. We never sound as clever as we think and we almost always talk longer than we should. It's so hard to go from one song to the other without dropping some wisdom in between, but our people are going to get plenty of talking once the sermon drops. Plus, I'm way less smart about stuff than I think. Why I gotta' be talking the whole time?

WASTING REHEARSAL TIME

Song 1 never goes as quickly as we planned. There's a sound system issue or a blinking light or the piano player can't remember the riff or the monitors are messed up and we burn 30 minutes of practice just trying to get through the first song (which most of our people aren't going to hear anyway!) There's nothing more frustrating than running out of time and being unable to play through that last song.

DOING COVERS

There are definitely "hooks" that make or break songs, but a lot of that stuff doesn't translate in a live setting. Plus, most of our people don't even listen to worship music and aren't going to know what we're trying to pull off. This is never more obvious than in octave jumps. It sounds cool on the record when the worship leader starts in a low whisper, but don't forget that's been mixed to be vibrant and clearly heard. Our octave drops end up sounding like we just lost our voice in the middle of the tune.

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What else? Be honest. What sort of stuff do YOU need to do less?