Posted by Chris Eaton on 10 August 2015

Whenever I am asked to comment in any way about writing tips for worship leaders, I immediately have two different reactions. First, I think about what a privilege it is to be able to encourage those who are excited enough about Jesus to write life changing songs! Second, there’s a huge sense of excitement that, through God's amazing grace, people can experience the freedom of writing not just for church, not with a set formula, but simply for love, with a grateful heart.

I am constantly learning that musicians can blossom beyond measure when they are encouraged. Keyboard players, guitarists… even drummers don’t have to cower behind their instruments or overly project their abilities. Instead, through willing hearts and solid confidence they can be transformed into sensitive team players, who unknowingly enhance the worship experience of everyone. 

I like to talk of confidence in the same breath as humility. To some this seems like a paradox, but actually it is a huge factor in becoming a strong leader in worship. If we recognize that our musical gifts come directly from God himself, then it is right that we respect those gifts and nurture them. After all, Jesus taught us how to live in complete selfless humility, yet live confidently in the sustaining power of God.

So if you love music, then experience it. Listen to it. Learn from it and from all your favourite genres. Listen to the power of melodies, the sensitivity of dynamics in your favourite songs. Practice different chord progressions, elevate the dexterity of your playing and learn how to play tight with other musicians. Listen    to each other, practise playing to a click.

These are all good tips, but the best one of all is this; live in the worship.

If you allow the power of the Holy Spirit to truly permeate your heart whilst you are playing or singing, you will naturally begin to feel the beautiful pace and dynamics that a moment of true worship demands. 

I guess what I am saying is, as a leader of worship, your sensitivity to the spirit of the Lord is of paramount importance. Use dynamics wisely and don’t be afraid to slow down versions of songs even to silence… even extend a section, if it enhances the moment of pure worship. Often the most life-changing moments in worship come not in big production, but in absolute silence. Try to enter in completely to the amazing truth that music can be the gate opening into the very presence of an awesome holy God.

God is relentless in pursuit of an intimate relationship with us, despite our human weakness. We are his children. He really loves us unconditionally.

So, for this first blog, I would like to set you a task, purely for your own pleasure. Pick a worship song you love and do a version that allows you to include a section of silence, or at least a breakdown section where you meditate on the truth within the lyric, and see where that moment takes you.

Oh and one last thing, prepare yourself before you head into the music. Take a few minutes at least to empty your head of the things of your crazy life, and invite God to slow you down, and make room for his saving grace to enthral you. 

Happy writing!

 

Chris Eaton: Since the early 1980's, Chris has been building a profile as one of Britain's classic songwriters. Chris' unique brand of 'white soul' song writing has made him a favourite of the world's pop aristocracy. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Keith Urban, Sir Cliff Richard, Amy Grant, Jessica Simpson, Vince Gill, Janet Jackson, Sheena Easton, Patti Austin, Donna Summer, Grover Washington jnr., Boney James, Jaci Velasquez, Wayne Watson, 4 Him, Point of Grace, Rachael Lampa, Mark Schultz, Sheila Walsh, Diamond Rio and many others.

Chris Eaton Official Website

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