In a pamphlet titled, “So You’ve Been Asked to Plan a Worship Service,” John Witvliet gives a list of virtues for those who plan worship. These are attributes that persons who put together a worship service each week should consider. The worship planner should have:
1. Compassion for the congregation’s needs.
2. Wisdom about who should lead the worship service.
3. Ability to work with a worship team.
4. Wisdom to understand conflicts in worship.
5. Patience with a congregation that is slow to participate in worship.
6. Imagination – knowing songs, prayers, etc. that can give meaning to a scriptural theme.
7. Discipline to avoid too much innovation.
I believe these are great principles worship leaders should model for their congregations. The worship leader’s role is first a pastoral role. How well do we know the people who attend the worship services of our church? Do we have compassion and wisdom in dealing with worship issues? How often have we been impatient with our congregation when they are slow to accept changes in worship or new songs? Worship leader – we need to honor God in our worship planning and we need to care for our people. Jesus said that the two great commandents are to love God and to love our neighbor. We need to demonstrate this as we prayerfully and carefully plan the worship services for our church each week.
John Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Worship and professor at Calvin College in the areas of worship and music. His pamplet “So You’ve Been Asked to Plan a Worship Service” is one of a series of pamphlets along this line published by Faith Alive Christian Resources. There are several other pamphlets in this series that I have found helpful for training worship leaders and others who are involved in worship leading:
So You’ve Been Asked to Develop a Worship Team (Castle)
So You’ve Been Asked to Lead a Worship Service (Witvliet)
So You’ve Been Asked to Lead in Prayer (Mulder)
So You’ve Been Asked to Read Scripture (Smit)
So You’ve Been Asked to Sing a Solo (Witvliet)
webpage for these resources: www.FaithAliveResources.org