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The Magic Formula for Worship Leading — 10,000 Fathers Worship School

We become comfortable with the actions we think will produce a certain response or gratifying reaction. It’s as if we think there might be a magic formula.

For Worship leaders; maybe one week it looks like this:

Great opening set + teaching that stirs the heartstrings + invitation with acoustic/piano or pad in the background = people come to the front in response. In the context of corporate worship within church today, I really believe we’ve developed lots of these formulas that generate baked up responses we as leaders look for in our community.

For me, from time to time I notice it is hard not to default into the formula of always playing certain songs, building up the music at the right time then saying a little word or prayer at just the right place in the set, already knowing what this will probably evoke from the people I’m leading. Being a worship leader, I used to think this is what the church expected of me. This is what I’m on the payroll to do…to use my pocket-full of formulas to generate a response through musical worship, then get off the stage.

Now I’m not saying that formulas are “evil,” per se, but it does feel a bit like manipulation, right? Rather than relying on the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of his people and creating space for response, we shape the response we have already dictated we want them to give.