If you lead worship in a small group setting or at a church that doesn’t have a band, you have a unique opportunity as a worship leader.

You can literally go wherever you feel led at a moment’s notice. You can change tempo, key, song, or arrangement without having to communicate to a team. There’s a ton of freedom that comes with leading solo corporate worship.

But there are also some challenges.

Here are 5 tips for leading corporate worship without a band.

1. Know that it’s not second rate.

You don’t need a band or sound system to lead worship. In our video driven culture it’s so easy to watch LIVE worship video’s that look and sound amazing but leave you feeling that what you’re doing is second rate. Don’t discount the significance of what you’re doing. The stage, the band, the lights, or how many people are in the room doesn’t matter. Worship is so much deeper than that. Your worship, in the exact scenario and place where you are right now, is precious to him.

The stage, band, and lights don't matter. Worship is much deeper than that. Click To Tweet
2. Play and sing with dynamics.

This is important with or without a band, but when it’s just you on the keys or guitar, it’s even more important. Pay attention to your strumming pattern,  how hard you’re playing the keys, and how loud you’re singing. You don’t want to play and sing the intro, verse, and chorus of the song at the same intensity. Start out gently picking the guitar for the verse, then gently strum at the chorus. Make verse two a little more aggressive and then hit the second chorus full on strumming with some aggression. Have a song that’s more aggressive followed by a more gentle song to change up the dynamics.

3. Incorporate spontaneous times into your set.

This may depend on whether you’re leading a congregation where the goal is Godward-focused room engagement the whole time or a more laid-back soaking/prayer meeting. No matter the format, find those moments to veer off the beaten path of a song and be spontaneous. Sing a scripture, sing a spontaneous chorus, or just sing your heart to the Lord. These times can very life giving and can really keep the set feeling fresh, especially when you’re leading solo.

Leading worship without a band gives you some unique opportunities. Click To Tweet
4. Sing well known songs.

When you don’t have a band to lean on for arrangements, musical moments, or crescendos, it can be helpful to sing songs that people can hop in and sing with you right away. Congregation participation can really strengthen a solo corporate worship set.

5. Get sound help.

If you’re leading in a space that has a sound system, ask your sound guy to really help you make it sound full. You don’t want it to sound like a boom box at one end of the room. You still want it to be a dynamic even though you’re leading solo. Don’t blow people’s ears out, but run it louder than you would if you had a band. Also, having good EQ on your voice and instrument helps a lot!

No matter how large or small the venue in which you’re leading, it is an honorable thing to stand before God and help usher people into His presence.

Do you lead with a band? If not, what are the main challenges you’ve found?

I’m Justin Rizzo. I’m a worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist. I want to help you achieve your highest potential and walk out with confidence everything you’ve been made for.

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4 comments

  1. Awesome tips! I also find that it is helpful for me to have pads that I run off of my ipad. Gives that fuller sound.

  2. Rick Wezowicz

    I also find it great to use loops too; Ableton is amazing but a simple drum machine or finding something on YouTube can give a good solid foundation to build off of … an I also find loops to be great in personal worship times too (just remember if you have it on repeat a few hours might go by 🙂 … just warning you)

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