Leadership training - Lesson 2

By Stafford North

Basic Principles in Planning and Leading Worship


To inform the class about the basic principles in planning and leading worship so they can both participate in and lead worship more effectively.


  1. Because of the prominent place which worship occupies in the Scriptures, it is clear that God has always desired that his people worship Him.
  2. The church especially is commanded to worship: I Peter 2:15; Hebrews 13:15.
  3. Not all attempts at worship, however, are acceptable; Isaiah 1:11-17; Matthew 15:9; Cain (Genesis 4); Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10); the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11).
  4. If we as Christians, then, would please God, we must learn to worship acceptably and effectively. Subject Sentence: Since those who lead in worship often determine how well others worship, particular attention must be given to leading the congregation into acceptable worship.


  1. Worship Leaders Need to Understand Worship.
    1. Worship, basically, is an expression of adoration and love.
      1. All are participants; God is the only spectator.
      2. The word “worship” contains the idea of kissing the ground before an object of adoration.
      3. John 4:24 tells us that worship, essentially, is a mental process, for God is a spirit and in worship we reach out to Him with our spirits.
      4. True worship is also an emotional experience which the Bible describes in such terms as “cheerfully” (II Corinthians 9:7), “thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6), “joyful” and “gladness” (Psalms 100:1,2). Ephesians 5:19 says we are to sing and “make melody in our hearts to the Lord.” 5.Worship without feeling is as unsatisfactory to God as a husband’s grudging birthday gift to a wife.
    2. God has designed Christian worship to be not only an expression of praise and love to Him, but also to be a means of personal benefit to the worshipper.
      1. I Corinthians 14:17 indicates that giving thanks also
      2. Sermons, for example, build knowledge; songs stimulate zeal; giving develops character.
    3. Worship involves a cycle of thought-response.
      1. The words of a song or prayer should start our thinking.
      2. We respond to such thoughts with feelings of love, sorrow, or happiness.
      3. More words bring more thoughts and more response-and thus the wheel of worship turns.
      4. Noise, movements, uncomfortable temperature, or a wandering mind stop the wheel immediately.
  2. Worship Leaders Can Make Worship More Acceptable.
    1. Plan the worship carefully.
      1. Be certain that all who take a leading part know in advance.
      2. See that each one who leads in worship is properly trained and prepared.
      3. Occasionally vary the order and elements of worship by closing with a song, including unison quotations of Scripture, including periods of silent prayer and other Scriptural practices. Nothing in Scripture gives the order to use in presenting our worship to God so we are meant to have flexibility here. We have certain customs, however, and we should not offend people by making them uncomfortable-this would thwart worship. If, however, they can be taught and prepared for some Scriptural variations in the worship, they will be less likely to be held by habit and more likely to think about what they are doing.
      4. Of course, the more you can teach the congregation about how to worship, the better they can participate. Teach the congregation about that our worship should achieve the following purposes:
        1. Proclamation-1 Corinthians 11:26-as we take the Lord’s Supper (and carry out other acts of worship) we “proclaim the Lord’s
        2. Adoration-Hebrews 13:15-in our worship we offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
        3. Communication-Ephesians 5:19-“making melody in your hearts to the Lord.” Our worship is directed to Him and offers us an opportunity of expressing the thoughts and feelings we have to Him.
        4. Exhortation-while we are primarily directing our thoughts and feelings to God, we are also benefiting each other. Paul said to the Corinthians that in worship “Let everything be done unto edification” (1 Corinthians 14:26).
    2. Prepare the place of worship.
      1. One can worship anywhere, but not all places are equally conducive to worship.
      2. Reasonable comforts and freedom from distraction must be provided.
      3. Lead the worship in a way to make the thought-worship wheel turn.


  1. The improvement of worship is one of the major problems facing the church today
  2. The responsibility for this improvement rests on us as those who can lead in the various phases of church work. What are some ways we could improve the worship here.


At home, stand before a mirror and practice aloud the following sentences -with with feeling. Notice both how you sound and how you look. Use gestures and good facial expression.

    1. “Every member of the church must be a worker.”
    2. “Prayer can change your life (Try this one several times and emphasize a different word each time.)
    3. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
    4. “I am going to be a better Christian. Will you?”
    5. Now each member of the class will read before the class one of the passage of scripture assigned in the last lesson. Notice the items that the teacher will be evaluating on your response sheet before you give it to him.

Please fill in your name and give to the teacher before you read.


Did the student walk confidently before the audience? Yes No

Did the student pause and look at the audience before starting? Yes No Did the student hold the Bible so he could see both the book and

the audience? Yes No Was the volume: too loud about right too soft? Was the speed: too fast about right too slow?

Did the student mispronounce any words? Did the student exhibit any nervous mannerisms? Did the student convey the meaning of the passage by using his voice well?

Yes No


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