Worship leading can sometimes feel like a juggling act. It's a fine line between playing or singing the right parts and leading people in worship. I'm a total music guy and am constantly on the look out of not getting lost in the music, but instead getting lost in Jesus. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always great at it.
Since I'm a music person, I look at my personal devotion time like I look at my personal practice time on my instrument. I practice my instrument so I can play the correct notes while on stage. In the same sense, I use my devotion and prayer time to draw closer to Jesus so as to reflect Him during our time of worship. When I'm on stage, I try to think about my instrument as least as possible. The idea is to be confident in the practice time that I have put in. While I do want to play the right notes and do things correctly, that's not the overall point. That's why what we do as worship leaders is so unique. The idea is to direct attention to someone other than ourselves. In other words, while execution matters, application matters more. I'm confident that our teams can and will play and sing things correctly, but I like to look at how we lift our faith in order to lead people. When we give attention to having a heart for worship and spending time with Jesus, then our application is nourished and has what it needs to effectively lead. If I practice my guitar and hit every single note and play parts with 100% accuracy, but haven't cracked open a bible in a week, or sought the Lord in any area of my life, what has it been for?
There's a balance to worship. While we absolutely want to look and sound the best we can, our service is a matter of our hearts. Prepare for worship. Prepare your voice or your instrument, but most importantly prepare your heart. Don't only sing the right notes or play the right parts. Worship. Lead people into an atmosphere of worship and ultimately into the presence of Jesus.