Advice for a Young Worship Leader: smile

I can remember as if itwere yesterday, when it was actually over thirty years ago. As a high school student my local church asked me to lead worship for the services. I can’t remember if I was given this chance because they recognized some talent or I was their only choice. (It was a very small church.)


We were having dinner with some family friends and without fanfare or introduction the lady made a comment about my leading: ‘you need to smile when you lead. Worshiping the Lord is something to smile about.’


Today, thirty years later, I am a worship leader at a local church and almost every week I am reminded by that memory the importance of communicating not just through words and melody but with our body language.


I know there are songs that don’t call for a smile, but your face and body expression still need to communicate.


I am amazed at how many people can make great music and communicate effectively through the words and melody and yet stand motionless without a smile while they sing. Honestly, this is the wrong person to have on stage leading. Being a worship leader means communicating and great communication must include pleasant body language that states I believe what I am singing about and I believe in the God I am singing about.


Smiling while singing did not come easy for me, it is something I had to practice. Yes I practiced this. I wanted to make sure that how I presented myself on stage did not hinder someone else from worshipping.


Is it time we look at the people who lead or help us lead worship each week? Don’t we need to see how they are communicating? It is more, much more than making beautiful music.

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