Katie Eckeberger advises on being confident, while still honoring God with humility:
You might think it odd that I’m addressing stage presence in a worship leading context, but all too often I see worship leaders struggling to maintain a leading presence for their congregations. It might be a confidence issue, or they worry about getting in the way of God and “humble” themselves too much, trying to become invisible. Unfortunately, this can actually become a distraction. Our congregations need us to fulfill our role with authority and confidence so they can worship effortlessly.
So how can we be confident, while still honoring God with humility? Here’s some things I have learned:
There are certainly moments when closed eyes are appropriate. But excessively closed eyes can create an invisible barrier between us and the congregation. A friend told me once, “Our worship can still be personal without being private.” That’s the key: communal worship is not a time for us to close off from the people we are leading. We are there to worship together! Incredible personal connections are made when we make eye contact – it engages people, helps them feel known and loved, and communicates a shared feeling. It helps us draw closer to God together.
Have you ever been led in worship by a person who seems afraid or uncomfortable on the platform? It’s uncomfortable for everybody and can create tension in the air. Open yourself up to your congregation: stand up straight, facing front and sometimes tilting left or right to physically address every person in the room. This stance is engaging and conveys confidence. Don’t deny the authority God and your community have given you. In addition, people need to see our visual cues for where the song is going. Most people in our congregations are not musical and don’t feel things like musicians do. We need to guide them well with our body language.