Jamie Brown

How to Approach Guest Worship Leading

Jamie Brown shares how he approaches serving as a guest worship leader for a church that isn’t his own.

This coming Sunday I’ll have the privilege of filling in for a friend who’s the worship director at a local church. He’s on vacation and asked me to be the guest worship leader. Since he’s filled in for me in the past, and it was easy for me to find a sub at my own church, I said yes. It will be kind of fun.

I wanted to share how I approach serving as a guest worship leader for a church that isn’t my own. This kind of opportunity pops up for me 3 or 4 times a year, and I’ve made enough mistakes and learned a few lessons that I thought sharing them might be helpful.

1. Approach it as a servant. You are not a celebrity.

2. Don’t just come in and do your own thing, in your own way, with your own songs, and your own personality on display. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when some people in the congregation didn’t really notice that you were there.

3. Ask as many questions as possible about what they’re used to. Have them walk through a normal rehearsal, and a normal service with you. Once you’ve settled on a song list, ask them if they do any of those songs differently from how you do them. Get lots of details.

4. Collaborate on a song list. You want to pick songs that the congregation knows really well. You’re a guest, so it’s OK if you err on the side of really familiar songs. Ask what songs they might suggest you lead.

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