Qualities of a worship leader

“One of the young men said, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who plays skillfully, a valiant man, a man of war, prudent in speech and eloquent, an attractive person; and the Lord is with him.” – 1 Samuel 16:18

There are many great worship leaders around the world today, but the most famous worshipper of all time still has to be David. His life has been a great inspiration to me over the years. From his simple faith in God as a young boy to the honest, relational worship in his Psalms. From his great exploits for God to his downfall in sin and his heartfelt repentance.

This one verse summarizes some characteristics which drew him to the attention of King Saul. I believe if we are to be great worship musicians or leaders people should be able to say the same of us. Let’s look at them in more detail:

Plays skillfully

If we are to serve God’s people effectively by leading them in worship it is essential that we are committed to becoming skilled in our craft. Skill on an instrument is nothing without the necessary character and annointing. However, without skill you will invariably distract people from God rather than helping them to worship Him. Being skillful is also more than just proficiency on your instrument. It’s about being able to use the instrument in a way that honours God and serves His people.

A valiant man

To actually lead people in worship requires boldness. Frankly, it is not that inspiring if the people who are standing in front of the congregation don’t look like they want to be there! Effective leadership (and good musicianship) requires a decision to be free in worship, be free on your instrument, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

A man of war

We need to realize that leading people in worship is not just a practical thing, it is a spiritual thing. In the Bible victory is preceded by praise, whether it be the musicians and priests leading the Israelites into battle or the New Testament believers singing songs followed by the earth shaking and them being filled with the Holy Spirit. When we step up and sing psalms to God or play our instruments in worship we are engaging in spiritual warfare, declaring to principalities and powers that there is only one God who reigns over all.

Prudent in speech and eloquent

This is an interesting combination. To lead a congregation in worship we must be eloquent: to be able to use words effectively in a way that will inspire and encourage people to God; to capture awesome mind-boggling truths about God and be able to put them into words that people can understand and will motivate them to worship God. However, to be effective we must also be prudent in speech: able to carefully select just enough of the right words to encourage people in worship without distracting attention away from God and to ourselves.

An attractive person

People only follow other people if there is something attractive about them. This is more than mere physical appearance. This is about visibly worshipping in a way which causes people to have a desire to do what you are doing. Psalm 33 says “praise from the upright is beautiful”. The most attractive people I know are the ones who freely express intimacy with God in worship.

The Lord is with him

The final and most important qualification. You can be the most super-talented musician of all time and the best-looking, most-eloquent person in all of history, but if God isn’t with you it means nothing. Worship is a spiritual thing. As such we must be full of His Spirit and operate out of His annointing. Ultimately our ability to lead God’s people in worship is more about our ability to follow Him than anything else. Remember ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5)


20 responses to “Qualities of a worship leader

  • What, another blog? « Life Encounters

    […] out ‘Qualities of a worship leader’ at WorshipEncounters. […]

  • mary kilonzo

    I agree with the qualities of a good worship leader ,they are very powerful .I think that if each individual may know the qualities of individual worship because a part being lead each has to worship.I was really blessed as a worship leader and I will improve my worship leadership by applying the qualities I have learned .God bless you so much to reach many.

  • asorepayin

    Thank God for this qualities it has realy blessed me so much.

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  • Makhosonkhe mavimbela

    Im short of words,only i can say; its Great stuff.

  • daniel

    i am being a worship leader.i want to worship god more.the five things which are above were helpful to many worshipers or god lovers.

    thank you
    daniel(worship leader)
    the redeemed christain church of god

  • janice

    yes i agree that we should like David in the way He worship the Lord,the most important is you open your heart and you are ready to what God’s do in your life,..and we need a pure heart in worshiping the Lord our God.and we should be a living testimony in others so they might see how great is our God and the salvation through worship will flow in their lives.


    the final point was really great!!!!!!!!!!

  • Samuel wekesa kuta

    Am really excited by this strong,inspired message on qualities of aworship leader am blessed

  • Ruth

    am really blessed with this message on qualities of a true worship leader

  • Nwai

    I realy impressed by this character/qualities of worship leader.

  • Joyelle

    I am a Worshipper. As the Worship Leader at my church, I am often approached by members who comment on how they are always drawn into the praise and worship experience by my evident passion during my leading. Pastor says, “I always know you’re working cause you work up a sweat! LOL! I work up a sweat every Sunday! And I can’t do it any other way but to give my all to Him in praise and worship. However, I have a worship team whose “passion” is not as evident as mine, and in my quest and heart-felt desire to show and teach them scriptually what God desires of them as worship leaders, I found this piece to be absolutely priceless! I could not have said it any better! Thank you so much for making it plain.


    We are all tallented in different ways and may be you thought what you shared in your message is just any other message. NO. That is the most powerful information you have shared with the body of Christ. you are tallented man, keep the burner burning, Gods people are perishing because of lack of knowledge.keep snarching them from perishing, you are blessed,

  • florence

    We are all tallented in different ways and may be you thought what you shared in your message is just any other message. NO. That is the most powerful information you have shared with the body of Christ. you are tallented man, keep the burner burning, Gods people are perishing because of lack of knowledge.keep snarching them from perishing, you are blessed,

  • Markson victor

    Honestly am bless by dis teaching. I ave been using it 2 enhance my teaching on effective praise/worship leading. Is been blessing alot of music minister my area.love 2 hear from you. God bless you

  • edna

    Great! Great! Great! I’m blessed, IT greatly help us worship leaders to be more effective in leading praise and worship. GOD bless you.

  • elimae

    I praise God for information such this concerning music ministry which was made possible through your church. Indeed, I practically learned much from this article.Being a lead worshipper in our church, I seek for advancement as I serve our God and Savior. As I continue to lead God’s people in His glorious presence, may I be all the more skillful. valiant, fearless , prudent, pleasing and anointed (Spirit-filled) that I may bring Him the highest praise! How I appreciate the sharing of your knowledge to your fellow workers in Jesus. I speak God’s overflowing blessings upon you!

  • Annette

    This is a truth I’ve probably known all my life but coming from this perspective,its almost as if I’ve never known it at all. Infact I’ve never heard like this,God bless you for such a beautiful revelation.

  • Wined Rodriguez

    I loved this study and used it as a guide in something that I made. Yes, I fully gave the credit too. Again, thank you.

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