In this video, Marcus Dawes shares 3 ways to be a worship leader off stage.
Marcus Dawes: This past Sunday, I was leading worship at one of our campuses and it was one of the best Sundays that I’ve ever been apart of and I couldn’t really understand why. It could’ve been attributed to a number of things. It could’ve been the weather, the amount of people that were there, the song choice, the sermon, who knows. As Monday came around, I was reflecting about the Sunday we had and how good it was. It got me thinking, should I prep for this coming Sunday the same way I prepped for last Sunday?
It really struck a chord with me. Do our people even care about how good Sunday was and if next Sunday will be just as good? Then, it dawned on me. I need to be thinking about my people throughout the week. What are they thinking about throughout the week? Am I pastoring them well throughout the week or am I just pastoring them well on Sundays?
I wrote down 3 things that have been good reminders for me to make sure I’m shepherding the people I lead on a Sunday basis, very well on a weekly basis.
First, after every worship service that I lead, I try to get off the platform and stand at the front of the stage. Normally, we have a prayer time for people to come and pray with our prayer team, elders and staff. There are some Sundays that nobody comes up to me. If that’s the case, I will purposefully try to go find someone, introduce myself and try to get to know them. What this does is stirs up a conversation that might lead to getting coffee that week or lunch the following week. It allows me and them an opportunity for us to get to know each other. This has happened over the course of my time here at The Austin Stone and has helped me get to know our people and pastor them well on a weekly basis, not just on Sunday mornings.
Second, I try to be at events that our church puts on that have nothing to do with Austin Stone Worship. For instance, last year our kids ministry put on an event called “The Daddy Daughter Dance.” I made every excuse not to go. I would love to take my daughter out on a date any day of the week. I would do it right now if I could, but at that time I just didn’t want to do it. I tried to make up every excuse not to go. Well, I ended up going and had a great time with my daughter. What I noticed was that it connected me with other men in our church. It connected me with other men that were there with their daughters at the dance. What that did was allowed them to see me in an element outside of leading them in worship. We had conversation and I built relationships just because of that one event. So, if there are any events that your church puts on, try to be there and get to know your people outside of something you’re having to lead at or oversee.
The third thing that has helped me, is having people over for dinner. This week we’re going to have a couple of families over, have the food, drinks and desserts they love, all planned with intentionality. We want to get to know them. We’re strategically planning the night at our house and setting it up in a way that allows us to get to know them better and them to get to know us better.
The fourth thing I would say is, pray with your people. Any chance you get, pray with your people. If that’s going down front after service, over coffee, stop and say, “let me pray for you.” I believe all these things are very important and very vital for us as worship leaders because it allows us to lead without a guitar on our back and a microphone in front of our face. It takes us from just being a worship leader, to being a pastor.