Three more ways to engage the congregation

People’s attention can be lost while we’re leading worship.

There are practical things that you can do to gain people’s attention and lead them in a corporate worship experience. Here are three simple but effective things that will make you a great worship leader.

Let them see your mouth

Your mouth is expressive. Not only does it indicate joy as you smile, but as you form words, people can visually engage with what you are saying and singing.

When we hold a mic close to our mouths, we miss that opportunity. The mic is not an extension of your face; it is a tool that augments your singing and speaking. When your mic is placed directly against your mouth, not only can people not see what you are saying, but you will distort the sound. When your mic is placed a few inches away from your mouth, the mic’s volume level and EQ can be set so people can both hear you well and see your mouth.

Make eye contact

People look at your face when you lead worship, whether you are the lead vocalist, part of a group of singers, or part of the band. It’s important to lead with your eyes open.

I’ve been in several churches lately where the worship leaders have been less than engaged with the congregation because their eyes were closed. They created a distance between themselves and the congregation by being lost in their own experience.

Our responsibility as worship leaders is to lead, not to be so immersed in personal worship that we forget that our primary responsibility is to facilitate a corporate worship experience. When your eyes are open, and you are actively looking at the congregation, they will connect with you visually and sense that you are aware of them and are purposefully leading them in worship.

Encourage participation

When our eyes are open during worship, we can see people who are engaged in worship and those who are not interested in worshiping. At times, you may be tempted to react negatively to people who are not participating. You will want to avoid doing that.

I’ve seen frustrated worship leaders stop the singing so they can correct people for their lack of participation. When you do that, those of us who were participating are pulled away from worshiping God, and we’re made to feel as if we were doing something wrong. We probably didn’t see that others were not worshiping.

Also, it is not your job to correct people when they do not worship. Instead, encourage people by continuing to give them the opportunity to worship. Also, provide verbal cues so they know what to do. Correction can create resistance. Encouragement inspires interaction.

In a previous post, I gave some additional ways to engage the congregation. Click here to see that post.

When we make a few simple adjustments in the way we lead worship, we can create a better, more dynamic worship experience where people are comfortable and more likely to participate. We’ll be stronger leaders.