TWLL #4: The Value Of Musical Skill Development In Worship

May 25, 2023

When we lead worship, the primary thing we’re aiming to do is behold Jesus, and help our room behold Him too.  But the platform or medium that we’re using to do this is music. 

And if the music itself is not stable enough to support the worship, it actually can be a distraction from that primary focus of beholding Jesus.  Which means we need to value musical excellence and skill, and then invest in our own growth as worship leaders- vocally and instrumentally.


1 – It’s Not About Perfection Or Performance

Before I go any further, it’s important to emphasize that musical skill development is not about perfection or performance. 

It can be easy to even subconsciously put the primary focus on how good everything sounds in worship- to the point that we’re so focused on it that it really becomes about how well we’re playing and singing. 

When this is the case, the focus on Jesus can be lost or at least put on the back burner.  The purpose in highlighting the value of musical skill development is totally the opposite of this.


2 – It’s About Making It Easier For You To Engage In Worship

The reason we value musical skill development is because we want the primary focus to be on Jesus, and we want to make it as easy as possible for ourselves and for our teams to engage with Him in worship. 

If we and our teams are inexperienced and musically shaky, it means we’re having to put a lot of mental energy and focus on our playing and singing, just to musically function.  In a scenario like this, our focus really just has to be on the music, simply because of our lack of skill and experience. 

But if we’re vocally and musically solid, it means that our singing and/or playing is easier for us, and therefore requires less energy and attention.  And less energy and attention on our voice or instrument means more energy and attention for us to engage with Jesus in worship. 


3 – It’s About Making It Easier For The Room To Engage In Worship

Our vocal and instrumental skill also directly impacts our room as we lead worship.  If we’re struggling vocally and musically, we’re actually drawing attention to the music and away from worship- simply because it stands out.  When the music and vocals are solid and tasteful, it draws less attention from the room, and directs the attention to Jesus instead.


4 – Three Options For Musical Growth And Development

If you're looking for ways to grow vocally and instrumentally, here are a handful of things you can do right now:

Number 1- Find 1:1 vocal or instrumental instruction.  I’m a bit old school with this- from my own experience one of the best ways to grow vocally and instrumentally is through private lessons. 

The time you spend in the lessons with your teacher, and the daily element of practice between lessons will take you far, over time.  It’s a commitment, it’s an investment, but in my experience it’s worth it.  I've spent years taking private piano and vocal lessons, and I'm SO glad I did. 

Sidenote, if you’re having a hard time finding a good vocal or instrumental teacher in your area, you might consider lessons over zoom.  Definitely becoming more of a thing these days.

Number 2 – Online classes or courses.  Lots of schools are offering online courses and classes for voice and instruments.  Not as strong of an option as 1:1 lessons, in my opinion, but still beneficial.

I’ve created a keys mini-course and a vocal mini-course, both of which are for growing in specific areas within the broader spectrum of voice and keys, and you’re welcome to check those out.

Number 3 – Books on voice and instruments.  Simple, but still helpful options for learning.  I’m sad to say I don’t have a specific book to recommend for instruments (email me if you have recommendations :)), but I definitely have a STRONG recommendation for vocals. 

It’s a great book by W. Stephen Smith, and you can pick it up here.  I’ve really benefitted personally from this book, and friends of mine have been helped as well.


That’s all for now.

See you next week.



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