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Reflections on Worship

by Tom Parsons [+/-] show/hide

Over at my personal blog, Daddypundit, I've been interviewed by several other bloggers (you can read them here and here). Craig from Not (quite) Balanced noticed in my profile that I lead worship at my church and had some questions for me about my thoughts on worship. Craig has been gracious enough to allow me to post his questions along with my answers:

- You mention that you're a worship leader at your church: How did you get into this ministry? How long have you been a part of the worship ministry?

I've been involved in leading worship off and on for many years. My first experience was when I was in college. Right at the beginning of my freshman year one of my suitemates (who observed that I play the guitar) had invited me to be part of a campus fellowship and encouraged me to help lead worship with a couple of other folks. As it turned out, I led worship all through college through that ministry.

After I graduated it would be a couple of years before I got back into leading worship and did it mostly in small group settings for the next few years. I've really only been leading worship full time for about the last two or three years. But I've also been blessed to be part of several different worship teams over the years that have helped me to develop a deeper understanding of what is required of me as a worship leader.

- What artists/music types/styles appeal to you? Are these the same types/styles that you play at church?

I tend to gravitate to the more contemporary or modern worship styles. These are the same types of music I play in my own church. Some of the artists that have been big influences on me would include Chris Tomlin, Third Day, Brian Doerksen, Darlene Zschech, Kathryn Scott, Matt Redman, and Andy Park.

- What helps you to enter into worship?

It may sound corny, but what helps me to enter into worship is to worship myself. When I arrive at church on Sunday and I'm rehearsing the music with my team I try to remind myself that the rehearsal is just as much a worship time as the service itself. I'm also thinking and praying about the service and praying that our church will be ushered into worship not so much by what I do but because we are allowing the Holy Spirit to move each of us into worship.

- How do you pick your songs for a worship service?

I've tried several different methods of selecting songs each with mixed success. Sometimes I will intentionally try to tie songs to the message of the sermon (assuming that I know what the person preaching is going to be talking about). Other times I'm impressed with a particular theme that I need to follow and the songs will reflect that particular theme. The thing I'm trying to focus on the most is to be flexible and allow God to show me what songs we need to sing. I usually plan the service early in the week but it's not unusual for God to confront me with something either Saturday night or even Sunday morning during rehearsal that causes us to change what we do.

- What are you trying to accomplish when you lead worship? How do you tell if you're successful?

This is a tough question because so often I want to fall into the trap of judging success in worship according to man's standards rather than God's. I still struggle a lot in this area. The best answer I can give to this question is that success in leading worship can be in large part gauged by whether I worshipped during the service. If I'm not worshipping then I certainly can't lead a congregation into worship. God has really been impressing me to be less concerned about what others think of how I'm doing at leading worship and focus entirely on pleasing Him.


  • Hey Daddypundit,

    Thanks again for your thoughts on worship.

    I had a couple more questions that I asked here if you care to comment.


    By Blogger Craig, at 3/09/2005 10:01 AM  

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