What qualifies you to be a worship leader?
What's necessary to be a great worship leader? Simply stated: spiritual maturity, leadership ability, and musical skill. Those things require development and a continual attitude of learning and service to others.
So how do you get there?
Leading worship is a part of the ministry of helps/service mentioned in Romans 12:7. You are helping the local church, assisting in fulfilling God's vision for that church, and facilitating opportunities for believers to worship corporately.
Worship-leading is something that God calls you to do; it's something that God will show you that He wants you to do. He gives you the raw talent and He directs the most impactful way to use it if you will allow Him to do so. Of course God expects us to seek Him on timing, location, and the rest of the details of His direction so we're at the right place at the right time with the right people. When you know that God wants you to lead worship, that knowledge will sustain you when it becomes difficult and you face challenges with people and resources.
A worship leader should be a strong singer with musical skills that can be used to develop the team and young musicians, to inspire creative musical arrangements, and to thoughtfully select songs that will engage the congregation. Relying on raw musical talent is not enough; it's important to develop that talent. Here are some questions regarding musical skills: Can you read music? Can you write music or create an arrangement? Can you sing in tune? Can you communicate musically with other instrumentalists to convey your vision for a team, a worship set, and a worship service?
And then there are the characteristics of a leader: the ability to communicate, faithfulness, a commitment to the local church's vision, the desire to continually learn and grow, the ability to inspire and lead, and a compassion for people. Also necessary are confidence on the platform/stage, and the experience necessary to lead the team through the worship experience.
When someone senses that God is inspiring them to lead worship, I recommend that some strategic development occur in the areas listed above. In the past, I've given worship-leading opportunities to young musicians—opportunities within the church where they can use the skills they've developed. The local church should be a training ground, and with some thought, people can be encouraged, taught, developed, and released into ministry.
So where are you in this? Have you prepared yourself as a leader spiritually and musically? Are you in the right place at the right time with the right people?
Growth is a part of life, and we are all continuing to adjust and learn. That's what makes life rich and ministry exciting.