Worship Tech = Worship Leader (And Why You Should Start Acting Like It)

The “Technical” Worship Leader

Do you serve in your church on the tech team? Did you know that you’re a Worship Leader?

I want that to sink in for a minute. I’ve capitalized Worship Leader for a reason.

What is a Worship Leader? The easy answer if someone who leads the music team and the congregation in playing and singing worship music. But it is really so very much more. Here’s a definition that I love:

“It is the responsibility of the worship leader to ensure that it is not the music, nor the instruments, nor the presentation, nor the voices which are the focus of the worship service.

Worship is bowing humbly before God and exalting Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The responsibility of the worship leader is to become less, that Jesus Christ can become more. And when all of this is done, when hearts are humble before Him, His people are ready to receive, and be changed by, the focal point of the worship service—His glorious and living Word.”

I want you to think this definition through with the following modifications.

“It is the responsibility of the technical worship leader to ensure that it is not the audio, nor the lighting, nor the presentation, nor the music which are the focus of the worship service.

Worship is bowing humbly before God and exalting Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

The responsibility of the technical worship leader is to become less, that Jesus Christ can become more. And when all of this is done, when hearts are humble before Him, His people are ready to receive, and be changed by, the focal point of the worship service—His glorious and living Word.” (emphasis mine)

So now let’s look at the worship tech as worship leader paradigm. If you, as the worship tech, look at your position as a worship leader, how different does that make you view what you do?

Would you want to pay attention to your attitude? To the way you do your ministry? To how much you sacrifice to serve the King of kings?

Does it make all those early Sunday mornings and late night rehearsals a lot more worth it?

Of course it does!

Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

The worship team is umbilically connected to the tech team. They are conjoined twins. While each one can survive without the other, together they are more than the sum of their parts.

You LEAD people into worship just as much as anyone on the music team. With one huge difference:

If we, as the tech team, do our job properly, we completely fade into oblivion during service.

“The responsibility of the worship leader is to become less, that Jesus Christ can become more. And when all of this is done, when hearts are humble before Him, His people are ready to receive, and be changed by, the focal point of the worship service—His glorious and living Word.”

We help build the environment to do this. If…

  • we hit all our cues…
  • sound levels are appropriate for the song and the mood…
  • the graphics match the song…
  • the slide timings are spot on…
  • the lighting matches the mood…

..then no one will notice a thing that we do. But they will notice that worship becomes easy and unfettered.

And that is a beautiful thing to experience.

The Trap of Thinking “I’m Just a Tech”

Our job may look like a thankless, invisible ministry. It isn’t. And we can’t let ourselves fall into the trap of thinking it is.

Why? Because it’s really easy for Satan to worm his way in and get us thinking this way. We’re in our own world, separated both physically and mentally from the congregation. We show up before anyone else and usually leave after everyone else. And the platform team and leader seem to get all the compliments.

But we have to remember the focus of the worship service: It’s not about us. It’s not about the musicians. It’s about the people in the congregation connecting with and worshiping God.

Someone in your congregation needs to hear God’s call to them in the most unobstructed way possible. So think about how much of that falls is about how we techs do our job.

Now, if a musician on the platform misses a note, probably few people will notice (unless it’s really bad). But when you miss a mic cue or cause feedback in your system, what happens? Everyone turns around and looks at the booth! Worship buzzkill.

So YES, you are a Worship Leader.

Your ministry is technical, but also artistic. And even though your isolated from the congregation and the rest of the team, it’s truly a people-driven ministry. You’re an integral and valuable part of the worship team.

You lead people into worship. Period.

Now, does God need you (or any of the rest of the team) to reach hearts? No, but He chooses to work through us and anoints us to help bring people to Him.

“And when all of this is done, when hearts are humble before Him, His people are ready to receive, and be changed by, the focal point of the worship service—His glorious and living Word.”

Takeaways

Let me give you some practical takeaways to start living out your role as a technical worship leader.

1. Take ownership of your position.

You are there because God wants you there. It not an accident that you’re on the tech team.

2. Don’t live in the booth.

Some techs do a great ostrich head-in-the-sand imitation. Don’t be that tech.

Get out of the booth and on the platform with the musicians. Get to know them and joke around with them. Talk to them about what they want out of their instruments. Build camaraderie with them. Which, by the way, builds trust.

3. PRAY WITH YOUR TEAM!

I cannot emphasize this enough. If the folks in the tech booth aren’t praying before the start of service, then they aren’t acting like Worship Leaders.

4. Guard against pride and resentment.

Pride and resentment can be issues with ANY worship team member. But the isolation of the tech ministry can allow it to go unchecked.

Remember, God will always, always, always deal with your pride. So it’s better step off your pedestal voluntarily than to have God knock you off it.

And it’s helpful to remind ourselves that we don’t do what we do for anything else but for God’s pleasure. It’s ultimately all about Him and His glory.

5. Encourage the platform team.

Let them know you enjoy what they do. A compliment and kind word from you can encourage them.

Another way to encourage them is to let them see you worship. You can be as much their worship leader as the worship leader.

You’re actually serving the congregation when you encourage the team. Your example and encouragement can help the platform team do their job of engaging with the congregation and encouraging them to worship.

 

So the next time you enter the tech booth, remember: Worship Tech = Worship Leader. So start acting like it.

Brian Gowing

Brian Gowing is the Business and Technology Manager for the Great Lakes District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He assists the 38 churches in the district with their audio/video/lighting needs. As an independent church technology consultant for over 15 years Brian has helped over 150 churches solve their audio/video/lighting needs. Brian’s articles have appeared in ProSoundWeb, Church Leaders, and others. He loves helping church technical and worship teams work well together.