Have you heard of unconscious competence? It’s having the practiced skill at something so you don’t have to even think about it when you do it. I’ve had the opportunity to lead worship many times in many settings for many years. Along the way, I’ve gained unconscious competence as a worship leader.
The problem with unconscious competence is that it’s just there, and since you don’t think about it, you don’t think about explaining it and sharing it. In this blog post, I’ll share some things I’ve learned as I attempt to make conscious those competencies that have been mostly unconscious.
We connect with God and with His people in worship. These are a few of the practical things I’ve figured out along the way.
1. Love your people by singing songs in a singable key. In most cases it will be a little lower than you’re used to, but you’ll have more people engaging if they aren’t pulling a throat muscle trying to sing along.
2. Enjoy what you’re doing (and make sure your face knows it!). Open your eyes and smile once in awhile. Be genuine. Be yourself. God loves you and He’s really, really proud of you.
3. Don’t be afraid of repeating songs. If a certain song is moving people’s hearts, and you sense the Spirit moving among you, why would you be afraid to sing it a few weeks in a row? Some songs seem to have a season of anointing or power.
Sing heartfelt, familiar songs to Jesus, where they are so familiar people can sing them without looking at the screen; joyful, weeping, kneeling. Songs like “Break Every Chain,” “Revelation Song” and “Wonderful” make their way into our hearts. Our kids sing them while they’re outside on the swing set. Why would we not encourage them by keeping it going?
4. Pay attention to how people are responding. Dynamics are important. You need to be aware of what’s going on. Sometimes, I’ll bring a loud song down to just the people’s voices with very little instrumentation and repeat a section several times. It’s a matter of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and our hearts. It’s not mystical and mysterious, but it is Spirit-led.