6 Things Worship Leaders Should Stop Saying From Stage. Like Right Now Please.

I’m a full time worship leader. It’s how I pay my bills.

I travel to churches, jump around on stage, and sing Jesus songs.
I think I’m pretty good at it.
But Lord knows there are times I watch the tape back and have a come to Jesus moment with myself.
These are all things I and 1000’s of other worship leaders have said and probably will accidentally say again while onstage that need to go away.

1. “Are you guys excited to be here this morning?!!!”
Clue phone… Maybe 10% of them are. And the 2 hoots and hollers back at you should not warrant the next item on this list…
2. “C’mon guys! You can do better than that! I SSSAAAAIIIIIDDDD…. ARE YOU GUYS READY TO WORSHIP THIS MORNING?!!!!”
First of all, now you are just guilting them into a scream. Second of all, you changed the freaking question. Which didn’t help. Now everyone is just rolling their eyes at you.  Third of all, quit trying to convince them that singing is the only way to worship.  K thanks.
3. Any sentence with the word BIRTH in it.
“This song was birthed here in our church”…”I pray revival is birthed from this church”… ect.
Birth should be saved for hospitals and bath tubs in hippies homes. Not for describing your songwriting process.
4. FatherGod
“Dear Father God, we pray Father God that you Father God come and rescue us Father God…”
Pick one. You’re not getting credit for the word count in your prayer. Father, or God. He gets it. 🙂
5. Praying the words to the next worship song…
“Father God, I ask that you give us 10,000 Reasons to love you right now.” “Lord Father God Lord, You are greater, stronger, higher than any other… Remind us of that right now.”
If you want to introduce the song, don’t do it when you pray.
6. [_________________ ]

OK. So I only gave 5. That’s because number 6 is for you.
Drumroll please…
Fill in the blank on the 6th point….


Author loswhit

More posts by loswhit
  • “If you’re here right now, and….” Um, aren’t we all HERE right now? Why is there an “if” involved? (This goes for pastors, too.

    • Ray S.

      Some churches are recorded for live audience and broadcast to online viewers or television. I think that’s where the “if you’re here..” comes into play.

  • “C’mon, let’s all clap our hands!” -unless you are the worship leader at one of “those” churches, most congregations do not take kindly to being told what to do, let alone anything that involves more than standing up or sitting down.

  • Sheryl

    Great post! I totally agree. I feel a tad bit manipulated when any of these are said. 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real!

  • liz

    You guys will scream over a smelly old football…you gotta be louder & more excited about God than that!!! UGH! 🙁

    • This would probably be my #1. Then Carlos’s #5 would be my #2. I’m putting together my own list I guess…ha!

      • Oh! And then telling me what to do…like clap my hands or raise my hands or just whatever with my hands! Don’t tell me what to do with my hands! 🙂 So that’s my #3.

        • Laura Gatannah

          Ooh, me, too. And when preachers/teachers tell me to highlight something or take a note in the margins of my Bible. Um. No. That’s between the Holy Spirit and me.

        • Yes!! Hate that. If I want to clap, I will clap. I may want to lie prostrate in submission! Don’t tell how to worship.

          • Lee Miller

            This is my hope Whitney! Worship as you want just worship the one true God! some dance others raise their hands. What ever love Jesus and praise our father in heaven!

          • pastor robert

            Be careful with this one – Scripture never once says “worship as you want” – that is humanistic (and dare I saw modern/liberal?) thinking. We should worship AS GOD WANTS

          • Char Fox

            God says to worship in spirit and truth. That is something in the heart and not outward. Scripture provides for many forms of outward worship as not using vain repetition, praying to be seen, going into your secret place. There is kneeling, dancing, music, lifting of hands, marching, bowing, quiet contemplation, communion, giving thanks to God. So the only true way to worship is in spirit and truth. How it is displayed outwardly may differ.

            My church encourages making a loud noise unto God. However, loud shouts are not my type of worship. I prefer a quiet conversation with God and contemplating His Word. But the person beside me is free to shout if it is truly a shout of victory and thankfulness to God. I just ask that they let me put my earplugs in as I’m sensitive to loud noise. 😉

  • Brian McNarry

    “You would just”

    “God, we pray that you would just be right here with us, that you would just fill us with your spirit and you would just bless the missions trip going on and you would just….”

    It makes me want to vomit.

    • Chaplain Lori

      Or anyone saying “just pray”. JUST pray?!?!?!

      • That’s the youjus prayer… I don’t like it either

    • Jen

      Ha. I should have scrolled. I have a NA habit of counting the “just’s”. I probably shouldn’t point it out to my husband every time he finishes a prayer, but I’m hoping to see a decrease in the amount 😉

  • I’m glad you said #5. I don’t know why that bothers me so bad, but…well…it does. 🙂

  • Karen

    To be fair, I watched a video of a local mega church before voicing my negative opinion on them. I was quite shocked by most of the service but for me number 6 would be a pastor should never stand before his thousands of worshipers, yes I do mean his, and use the term “screw that”.

    • samueljohn


      • karen

        Perhaps things have changed, when I grew up the word was a profanity equivalent to using the F word.

        • samueljohn

          So was ‘fudge’ and ‘darn’ and many other words “considered” profanity.
          If the guy’s not cursing another human being, or speaking with vulgar language (again, what’s “vulgar” is subjective)… then let him speak the language of his people.

    • Tim

      What was that, this past weekends message at LifeChurch? Get off your high-horse.

      • karen

        WOW, no it was not Life Church. But your comment does reinforce my belief that mega churches are not serving God. I would guess from it that this must be pretty common for you to think that.

        • samueljohn

          A mega church is serving God just as much as your 50-member church down the street. That is quite a biased, dogmatic approach to judging the body of Christ.
          Who am I to judge? Who are you to judge?

        • Natalie Witcher

          I was at LifeChurch for many years and I can personally attest to the heart of the leadership from people to Pastor. God-fearing, God-loving men and women of God. Please be careful what you say. I would not be who I am today were it not for my years with LifeChurch, it’s people and staff.

      • himmiefan

        Hey, we’ve all got a right to our opinion. Let’s all show some Christian love and respect, ‘kay?

  • #1 – #2 – #3 – #4 – #5 – Yep, I’m guilty!!! Ugh!!!

    • Jordan

      Isn’t it great that we can both recognize where we make mistakes and have a laugh about them at the same time?

      • I laugh at myself quite often. It’s the only way to get through it all.

  • dan waits

    sing it like you mean it

  • Kristen Murphy

    “Let’s sing that chorus one more time… this time like we really mean it!” or any variation thereof. Because apparently the first 12 times we sang those same lines we didn’t mean it at all.

    • Brandon

      Maybe the worship leader felt moved to sing it again. Maybe god said sing it till your lungs collapse

      • Astrapto

        Her point was “… apparently the first 12 times we sang those same lines we didn’t mean it at all.” Singing it again is fine, but implying that the previous iterations were insincere is not.

    • Donald

      Love it. Definitely a good one

  • klindquist

    Singing in a monotone voice between verses -“Comeonchurchletsworshiptogetherliftyourhandsandvoicesasweworship…….”

  • dougiemac

    #6. Using the name, “Daddy” in place of God or Father… for some reason it makes me feel icky.

    • Jamie McCann


    • Gretchen


    • Bald Bassist

      I feel the same way. cheapens it somehow.

    • Gary Langley

      How interesting… just English for Abba.

      • Jordan

        Actually, “abba” is better translated as “dad” the familiar form of “father.” The word “daddy” is a young child’s word, where “abba” was used by sons and daughters of all ages.

        • Gary Langley

          Jordan, I am going to venture a guess and say you are not from the south. Grown men in the south call their father “DADDY” til they assume room temperature. It is just common usage among southerners in general to say “Mama & Daddy” regardless of age. A few days before my father died, I spoke to him on the phone and told him “I love you, Daddy.” I was in my mid-fifties.

          • Jordan

            I have lived in the Michigan, Indiana, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, New York, and South Carolina. I have witnessed your experience, but never enough to consider it common place. If it is common among the majority of your congregation, I can see using that as a translation, but “abba” does not carry the connotation of a small child. Most worship leaders and pastors that I have heard using the abba/daddy translation try to make it a point that it is young child’s word, which is not consistent with it’s 1st century usage.

          • Gloria

            nothing wrong with being a little girl (or boy) with a big Daddy. as a matter of fact, i prefer it that way and I suspect any father, esp our Father prefers it that way too. just saying.

          • Jordan

            That doesn’t change the original point of my post: that is not what is meant by “abba” in the New Testament. And as long as we realize that our “big Daddy” is also Lord of All and that we live and move and take each breath through His active Will.

          • Barry Lackey

            I agree with you Jordan. God is our heavenly Father, our creator and loves us unconditionally. That is something Daddy is not capable of doing. Daddy is a term used to show the love of an innocent child toward their father. Once again grown ups are not innocent. I think you make some great points here. Born and raised in the south!

          • Pancake

            Lolol I’ve never heard anybody who’s over 6 and not crazy use that, and I live in Georgia. Saying daddy is totally creepy, because of sugar daddy culture(which is not bad) it’s seen as a sexy thing if an adult says it

          • James Marler

            “Jordan, I am going to venture a guess and say you are not from the south. Grown men in the south call their father “DADDY” til they assume room temperature.”

            That might be one of the most amazingly true things I have ever read. (Yes, it also made me laugh)

  • That time when the worship leader (me) is seated at the piano and says, “Would you stand with me?”, and then does it again next week, and then again the next week. The phrase just works so nicely for guitar players…

    • Every time a worship leader sits down and asks me to stand I’m tempted to yell “Hypocrite!”… But I haven’t done that yet

  • samueljohn

    #6 – “Let’s lift up a shout of praise.”

    Good? Yes. Overdone? Understatement!

  • And anything that refers to “My smokin hot wife” — I’m so over that phrase… gah.

    • elijah


  • Karl Vaters

    My skin crawls when the leader has everyone clap four beats per measure to get the energy level up. When the leader starts to play guitar again, no one knows what to do and someone in the crowd tries to get everyone clapping on the on-beat. Lead us in clapping on the off-beat and we can take it from there.

    • Nic Brouwer

      Unless you’re in Mexico, then they clap on the on-beat no matter how hard you try…

  • Mark Clement

    yes to ALL of that. it’s funny because it’s true. but i gotta say, any of it beats sitting in a church where the worship leader doesn’t ‘lead’ you to do anything (ask me how i know). at least you guys or these guys, or whoever we’re talking about here, is trying. so keep trying. keep getting better. the key is that you ‘lead’.

    • Butterflyingrace

      I like this philosophy.

    • Burningguitar

      Amen, brother! We are called to grow and lead people into worship. Many of them won’t budge until they’re able to follow some things happening during worship. Nothing blesses me more than seeing an older guy start participating and singing after years of standing there with his mouth shut. Interestingly enough, that’s also the moment when big changes for the better start happening in their lives… 🙂

  • Ben

    You won’t here a modern day “worship leader” say it, but how about “lets turn to page 298 in the red hymnal”?

    • Ben

      Better yet, “Now, brother Joe will come and ask a blessing on the offering.” Of course all of this is in the “bulletin… in detail” but we still need to be told. #samegospel #newdelivery #please!

  • Seth Poplaski

    Ah crap. I say the first one a lot. I suppose I should find a different choice of words. And yes, I totally agree with FatherGod. Needs to stop

  • Andrew

    When the piano player tries to imitate the movement of the Holy Spirit by playing chords during the closing remarks of a pastor’s sermon.

    • Emily Miller

      This one makes me SO crazy! They do that at our church during the first minutes (pre-prayer) and the final minutes. I find it unbelievably distracting. And it is so awkward when there is a guest speaker who doesn’t know why the keyboard player won’t get off the stage.

  • elijah

    “Let’s stand to our feet…” Ummm, unless you’re a circus acrobat, how else would you stand? Let’s all do a handstand for Jesus? Everyone on the left side of the room stand on your right elbow? Geez, what if you don’t have feet? Annoying!

    • Priscilla


  • dougiemac

    #7. Wearing one or more of the following while onstage: scarfs, skinny jeans or a long sleeve t-shirt under a short sleeve button down shirt.

  • Nic Brouwer

    I do stuff like, “Put the lyrics on the screen, let’s read through them before we sing them so we know what we’re saying.” or “Forget the melody, just yell this next part”, I’m sure it gets annoying.

  • Moosemanchuck

    1. Stop forcing the ebb and flow of the worship service to start fast then gradually slow down the manufacture a “Move” of the Holy Spirit;

    2. Stop forcing people to stand.

    3. Stop telling people that God considers certain actions (hand raising, eyes closed, standing) to equal better worship;
    4. Stop telling people that singing songs is equal to worship… the greatest worship we can offer s to wake up every day acting like Jesus;
    5. Stop perpetuating the “Culture” of Praise and Worship and be your unique self…

    Do all these things and I will join you for music on Sunday morning instead of coming in just before preaching.

  • Carlos Lonberger

    “You know the words to this next song.” Can’t assume that everyone knows. Drives me nuts when pastors assume everyone in the worship service knows what they’re talking about.

  • R W

    Ever heard of Tim Hawkins? You would love him….number four is one of his biggest pet peeves. Youtube him! 🙂

    • Stephen

      “Better is Hyuuuuuundaaaaaaai, better is Hyuuuuuundaaaaaaai!”

      Love Tim Hawkins lol.

      • R W

        “someone broke wind”……..favorite song right now!!! 😉

    • JK

      The Fire Ants!!!!!!!

  • AM

    Get your praise on.

  • Kelly Jones

    ROFLOL at the “Father God” thing. I CANNOT tell you HOW MANY TIMES I have felt so GUILTY for almost snorting from laughter in the middle of their PRAYER, but it’s SO distracting because I start to wonder and then LOL at how many more times ARE THEY GOING TO SAY THAT!!! Now the first Father God gets me. I thought I was the only one out there dealing with this. 🙂

  • Pre4ch3r

    How about stop saying Father, or God or Lord or Savior over and over in our prayer. I don’t talk to Carlos and say “Hey Carlos, it’s so good to see you Carlos. Would you like to come to my house Carlos and watch the game Carlos?” “Oh Lord, please be with us today Lord, and help us to seek your face Lord and know that you are Lord, Lord.” It’s just as annoying as Father God. It doesn’t make you more spiritual to talk to God in that manner. I’m sure there are more, but that is all.


    • Jordan

      It’s more than just annoying, it is using the words as commas and periods. That is the very definition of using the name of G-d in vain (empty manner).

    • Jen

      Hilariously, my 10 year old daughter does this when she writes me letters.

      (And my personal irritant is the over use of the word “just” in prayer. But I digress.)

    • Yep.

    • Lee Miller

      Some are nerves, for some of us to speak to more that one at a time is not an easy thing.

  • Andrea B.

    Stop telling us to “give the Lord a hand” between each song. How about you learn how to transition well? Sometimes it’s ok if we’re not singing or clapping!

    • Pre4ch3r

      We can thank Carman for that one! HA! And I’d say it’s definitely ok if there are moments of silence.

    • Matt Howard

      I would say that it isn’t okay if you’re not singing or clapping. Everyone who enters the worship space has a responsibility. The worship leader, the teacher, the congregant. The congregants responsibility is to respond. Look at the story of Moses and Israel at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Exodus. There are five components of that worship service that we should take cues from today.

      • I’m wondering if this comment isn’t snarky, but I’ll just quickly point out that the God says to “be still know that I am God.” Sometimes I am quiet even during familiar worship because I am soaking him in. Nothing wrong with being quiet, reverent, & still.

        • me

          I hate singing and standing in church,personally and mean I am just responsible for myself I dont care what you do….I…get more out of it not singing,clapping,standing.we stand for like a half hour.i want to concentrate and soak it in and pray.i wish we had a section for sitters so I don’t look like my legs are broken.my church judges the hell out of you. please no grammer police. God I cant stand these posts!!!! someone will start a fight with me for misspelling or my lower case I’s 😛

        • Haha, I meant “the Bible,” not “the God.” Lol.

    • JAMES


  • “I wrote this song last night. It was just me and my guitar…”

    You’re a nice guy and all. I respect what you do, but chances are you suck at songwriting. So um, thanks, but no thanks.

    • ryan m


  • How about an end to giving people instructions on how to worship?

    “Raise your hands”
    “Show the Lord you love him”
    “Don’t hold anything back”

    How bout you do it and see if people are inspired to follow?

    • kd

      AMEN!!! Just let the Spirit move…and no one can dictate how and when He does!

    • Burningguitar

      Well, I’m a bit torn on this. I think there are times when it’s totally ok to lead by telling people what to do. However, I wouldn’t use words like “show the Lord you love him” or anything of the like. So it’s not that it’s bad to say something, but we need to think and pray through what we will say. If we’re in tune with God’s Spirit, I guarantee you there will be times when He’ll tell us to say something, but you will know it’s true because it will be perfect! 🙂

      • bradhuebert

        I agree. If you never guide, suggest, invite, correct, or call out etc then you’re not leading. You’re having your own personal worship time.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Agree to disagree. We could be worship singers and just sing. Or worship leaders and actually lead.

      • From opposite sides of the mic, our perspective of what ‘leading’ means is probably different. One size does not fit all, but my heart is with the people still learning what worship means, who aren’t even sure if they want to worship. A worship ‘leader’ who barks commands at them, telling them how to hold their hands, what they should be saying and feeling – that ‘leader’ is not helping them worship. They are sending a clear message that says “Your worship doesn’t count unless you do ____ and _____”.

        Maybe that’s a strawman, too general. Most leaders probably don’t bark commands – but some do. Worship in some places is downright ….. confrontational. “RAISE YOUR HANDS” “DANCE!” “SHOUT HALLELUJAH”. I’ve seen those things shouted, yes, shouted from the mic AT the congregation. I’ve seen people pulled out of the pews and told to dance. Then I’ve seen those people leave and never come back.

        Saying “If you’re thankful today, raise your hands with us” is milder than “RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU LOVE JESUS!!! I SAID RAISE YOUR HANDS!!!”

        But neither of those carries the same message as

        “When you see us raise our hands it’s a way of showing our gratitude and thanks to our Savior. You’re free to do it as well.”.

        If the band worshiped, raised their hands, and created a glorious sound – is that worship heard less if no one in the audience raised their hands?

        If the worship ‘leader’ tells people to raise their hands, then agin, and again, and eventually the whole room does it – is the worship “worth” more? If so, why?

        What if half those people only raised their hands because they felt pressured – is the worship heard in heaven more then, through their discomfort and embarassment? Is it more pure because a bunch of people half-heartedly raised their hands because they were told to?

        What if nobody was ‘told’ to raise their hands, but the meaning of raised hands was explained, and the people who understood it – did it – worshipped with reckless abandon without ever telling another person what to do? What if five more people raised their hands out of a sincere desire to experience what they see around them. What if five more people chose to do something without being told to? Would the worship be even richer then?

        Five sincere people who chose to do something -vs- half a room full of people who only did it because they were told to?

        It’s completely hypothetical, but entirely possible, and very likely.

        I’m not arguing that instructing people *how* to worship has never had a place, and has never been effective. I’m just saying that pragmatically, in a world where people can find somewhere to run where they’ll never be told anything that challenges them, when distractions are a screen away – “leading” someone is eventually going to require “inspiring” them, not just “telling” them. Resistance to being told what to do is only going to get stronger as people have more and more ‘options’ for finding comfort.

        But a person’s response to being ‘inspired’ out of their comfort zone is only going to get stronger as non-fulfilling ‘options’ leave them even more aware of the emptiness we all start with inside.

        All of this is based on my own experience – limited to churches I’ve attended, Mennonite to Pentecostal – so grains of salt are probably required 🙂 It’s full of potential strawman arguments, over generalizations, a twinge of regret, and probably some frustration. Hopefully under all that mess there’s some truth in it.

    • Brandon

      Unfortunately, these comments seem more sarcastic and carnal, instead of productive. In the Psalms the director would often instruct the congregation to “shout, lift their hands” ect. (i.e. Psalm 134:2). The job of an instructor/leader/director is to help worshipers on their journey, to move beyond their “feeling” that they walked in with, and connect to the very presence of the Lord. A worship leader must gauge the atmosphere of the church service and helpfully lead people. Without a proper atmosphere lives aren’t changed, people don’t get saved etc. I’m afraid that many church-going westerners are comfortable worship and whether or not God has shown up or not. The instructions to: lift your hands, shout, dance, praise, bless ect. are for the benefit of the people. It’s an activation of faith – something in the spirit happens when you move beyond you and war and worship in Spirit & truth. I’m afraid many people love comfort over engaging with the Presence of Jesus. When David came back from war and all of the stuff was stolen, the women and children too, after he wept, he put on his priestly garment and sought the Lord. The end of the matter was the restoration of all things. We live in a war zone – we cannot afford to be apathetic.

      • liz

        We are worship leaders NOTFruit inspector

  • Jason A. Roth

    Please stop saying half of the next line of the song right before we sing the next line of the song. I can see it perfectly fine on the very large very bright video screen in front of me…….

    • ragamuffinsoul

      I do this all the time!

      • Jason A. Roth

        Sorry didn’t mean to call you out!!

      • Danielle

        I run pro presenter for our worship services, and I LOVE it when the worship leader does this, especially if they are “going roque” at the end of a song! Then I know where they are heading!

        • Danielle

          Ugh…rogue, not roque. Thanks, spell check!

        • Jason A. Roth

          Now if they are going rogue I understand or if what they are singing is totally not on the screen that is awesome but I know a lot of guys who just do it cause they heard some guy do it on a live album and think it makes them awesome and “worshippy”…… I think I just coined a new word…. A hipster worship leader = A Worsh-Hippie!!

          • Bob

            Do you know for sure that “sounding awesome and worshippy” is their motive?

            Sorry, that’s a rhetorical question. But it begs the question: Why assume the worst in people?

            Maybe the worship leader feels it helps the congregation. Maybe the congregation has TOLD the worship leader it helps. Maybe the lead pastor has asked the worship leader to do it. There could be a thousand reasons the W.L. is doing it that have nothing to do with something as self-centered as sounding awesome.

            If we go into worship seeking to be distracted by our judgments and fault-finding, then distracted is exactly what we’ll be. Unfortunately, that also means we’re missing out on worship.

    • zachagerty

      i do this, more for the band than anyone else, its better than having to quit playing the guitar and throw up a dumb hand signal or turn around and cue my drummer for the pre chorus in cut time…

  • James

    Lets give the Lord a Offering (or shout) of Praise!

  • kellyasummers

    i ALWAYS think of you when i hear a worship leader introduce or pray before a song and say the song title in it. it cracks me up every time. actually, i was at a show at a bar recently and the singer there did the same thing! and i thought, dang. it’s not just us.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      NO WAY!!!

  • Elizabeth

    At first, I thought this article was cheeky and funny. Then I started reading some of the comments and I felt sad. How quick the body of Christ is to judge and cast our opinions onto each other. These phrases may be overdone and irritate you, but so what? It’s not about you. God isn’t bothered or offended at all when people say “FatherGod,” at least they are praying! He doesn’t care if you wear skinny jeans and a scarf on stage. God sees the gold in people. He sees a child giving his all, bearing his soul in front of a congregation out of love to lead people to Jesus. God doesn’t look at the dirt. Who are we in our humanity to look at the dirt in our worship leaders? I think some encouraging words and lessons for worship leaders would be helpful, but this article seems to be breeding judgement, condemnation, and offenses. If you are really that bothered by something a worship leader says, then examine it carefully. Why does this bother you? Is it wrong? Is it unbiblical? Then you should address that with your leader specifically. Is it just annoying you? Then check your heart. Maybe you need to forgive someone. We need to edify and encourage each other. Shine the light in the darkness. Love each other as Jesus does.

    • ButterflyinGrace

      I agree. I find nothing wrong with any of the sayings. It is not easy being a worship leader. And to bring people into the heart of worship. Oh did I say that? “Heart of worship” are lyrics from a song, but the words coined by someone else in song just happens to be words that are meaningful to me. What’s wrong with that? And perhaps the ‘Are you excited” bit did nothing for you, but it may have livened it up for some one else whose interest was peaked. God can use anything as a channel to reveal Himself to anybody. So yes, Elizabeth, in so many words, I agree with you. Unless what worship leaders do is completely unbiblical, why ever do we find fault? Perhaps you can lead differently when it is your turn is what I say. =)

      • ragamuffinsoul

        So let’s not discuss how to get better! Whatever works!!! Nope. bad idea..

        • Elizabeth

          Discussing how to get better and poking fun at worship leaders are two different things. I wasn’t upset with the article in general, just disappointed in some of the comments. It’s so easy to slip into communication that doesn’t bring life and doesn’t line up with God’s thoughts. Excellence and growth are God’s desires. Bringing our words in line with His Spirit should always be the goal. I debated whether or not I should post anything. I don’t want to be a police officer or put a damper on what seems to be good fun. But underneath the sarcasm and the jokes is an accusing spirit. Someone is going to be reading this conversation and feel guilt, shame, and regret. I wanted to be the voice that said don’t listen to that garbage. God loves your heart, he loves your offering of worship, and He will lovingly, gently help you become an amazing worship leader. He will never judge you or be annoyed or irritated by the praise you bring Him. So some of your habits and phrases bother people? So what! That’s their problem. You deal with your heart, guard your relationship with God, and He will change your habits and transform your words to bring glory to Him. If you soak in His presence and walk with Him, you can’t help but be creative, inspired, transformed into a worship leader that naturally moves people into the presence of God because you carry it with you. Then you can examine your leadership style through His eyes and see what works and what doesn’t work. Be careful what you speak. Bullying worship leaders into change is not God’s way.

          • Michelle

            I agree with you Elizabeth. While I love you Carlos and the truth you facilitate…a lot of these responses just break my heart. Encouragement is different then pointing out flaws. Maybe some of these responses coupled with some encouragement would be more helpful for a worship leader, someone like myself, who struggles every week with being the very best leader God has called me to be. This isnt helpful for me personally. It brings discouragement. While I agree there are ways to bring up some overused phrases and repetitive habits some worship leaders continue to use, this seems more like it will cause people to be overly concerned with “saying the right thing” or “doing the right thing” rather than just being who they are. A better challenge for people to contribute to would be to encourage those who are worship leaders in their church. Your point is we should be able to point out things that help us…I agree…but so much of this is poking fun and not helpful. I just dont see Jesus in a lot of these comments. I dont see love and encouragement from those pointing their fingers from the pews to the worship leader whose heart is to lead them the best way they can, and know how. Im actually quite embarrassed by many of these comments. Just my honest opinion.

          • Redeemed

            The point is not to be unconsciously repetitious – not kumbaya. Trust me, as an audience member of many, many years, it is grating to hear what I feel is gratuitous yammering. Yes, most of us are happy to be in God’s House … no, we don’t need to be led in a cheer. Yes, we are pleased to pray … no, we don’t need to hear Father God 50 times in a 4 line prayer. Etc. No shot at the worship leaders, just a heads up about what we folks sitting out in the congregation don’t really look forward to putting up with each Sunday. You can call me bitter … you can be “embarrassed” … but the truth is the truth.

          • Simon Hebert

            I agree! I think sometimes we’re more concern about the people we’re leading than the one we’re leading them too.

    • Burningguitar

      I don’t think Carlos is judging worship leaders. As a coach of worship leaders who has trained us for a bunch of years, he is bringing this up because he sees how the above traits turn people off from worship in our services. He likes to shoot from the hip, and his audience knows it, so I haven’t felt offended by this or other articles by him. We need to hear this stuff to become better leaders, because if something we do continuously from the stage is preventing people from engaging in worship, it has to be changed! Iron sharpens iron, and I want mine as sharp as can be… Blessings!

    • James Marler

      I agree with this sentiment and, indeed, it is one on my mind often as I read this blog and the comments. That isn’t to speak down to Carlos or anyone commenting, but it says a lot, I think, when, so often, comments go negative so fast.

      And it isn’t that, as Carlos suggested, that we should “not discuss how to get better! Whatever works!!!” Of course not. But we are given commandments to be wise AND harmless. Too often we tend to be one or the other, and that’s just as wrong, if not more so, than telling people to “stand on their feet” or to express enthusiasm that grates on someone else.

    • justin

      I appreciate the spirit of what you’re saying, Elizabeth. I also think that too often we fall into patterns of speech and behavior that lack thought and creativity. And when this happens in leadership, it sets the wrong tone for the whole group. The fact that these expressions are so familiar suggests that it might be time to open our ears, listen to the patterns, and determine whether we’re living in the fullness of the creativity we’ve been given.

    • Katherine EsthersMom Witherell

      Yes, but as worship leaders, we need to do everything we can to make it easy for the congregation to focus on God. Saying some of these phrases is very distracting, annoying, or otherwise detrimental to helping the congregation focus on God. If I’m sitting in the audience, my job is to ignore all the dumb things said by the worship leader and focus on God, yes, absolutely. But if I’m the worship leader, my job is to keep dumb, annoying comments to a minimum to help as many people focus on God as possible- even those people who are picky and judgmental.

    • John

      We are called to judge, (not be judgmental), be discerning. In discerning todays church body, we have become VERY worldly and lack reverence. Do you know what that word means? Our focus should be on our Lord, not on the fad of the week, and clothing styles (some young ladies coming to worship their Lord in halter tops with belly rings showing and the such….it’s the “all about me” syndrome ). Keeping you in my prayers.

  • Bald Bassist

    Leader: “Let’s give the Lord a clap offering!”
    Me: (ah, do what now?)

    • ragamuffinsoul

      How much?!!!!

      • Lance


      • Lance

        Often confused with a “clap tithe”

    • Joseph White

      YES! I hate that phrase! In most cases like saying, “Let’s fill the uncomfortable silence here…”

  • themarkthomas

    “Let’s jam for the Lamb!”

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Rock the flock

      • Jen

        Ok, those two are painful. That really happens?!

  • Jacob


    • ragamuffinsoul

      JUST. LOL

  • scparris

    “Just.” My worship leader mentor Andy challenged me and some fellow WL’s to try to go one month without saying the word “just” from the stage. Right up there with “Father God”Tourrette’s Syndrome. “We just want to just enter into His presence this morning, and just bring Him everything. Just. Just lift your voice high and just blather blather blather.”

  • Burningguitar

    Nailed it. After years of leading worship, I was on a plane back from
    Europe and had an epiphany. Our job as worship leaders is to get those
    people to worship! However, as you alluded here, it can’t be done by
    coercion. When I explained my epiphany to the team, I ended up coming up
    with an example of how to go about it. It’s like you have invited
    friends over for dinner. First, you prepare well by cleaning the house
    and making the best food you can, setting the table beautifully. Second,
    when the doorbell rings, you open the door with a smile and a hug,
    welcoming them into your home. Third, you engage them in conversation,
    making sure that everyone gets to participate where they’re at, whether
    extroverts or introverts, in their own way. Gradually, you can help them
    change by your example and by speaking into their lives, but you must
    let them worship the best they can at this stage of their spiritual
    walk. 🙂

    • Andy

      And then you tell them, “Hey guys we’re gonna eat now! Let’s all eat together! Are you excited to eat! Just eat right now! Right now just eat! (um… Can I get my plate first) Eat!” (We’re trying!) Wait…
      But seriously I like the analogy. Much more personal and inviting than coercion. I love worship but the minute I start feeling like I’m being coerced I start the whole “make me” mentality and that’s never good.

      • Burningguitar

        Hahaha! Andy, that’s awesome. Yep, can’t push too hard. Someone once said that we can’t push people into it, just go there ourselves and welcome them to join in. Glad you liked the analogy, it was a blessing to me too.

  • Barry

    This article is just going to bring conflict (or give some people something to have to overcome) if they are worshiping somewhere and hear any of these things. This is a form of legalism “can’t do” …. Just lead from a prayed-up heart.

    • Burningguitar

      I don’t think so, Barry. It’s written from a coach’s heart, wanting us as worship leaders to hone our skills so people will be free to worship without our mannerisms getting in the way. Worship leading absolutely needs prayer, but it is also a gift. As with all God-given gifts from sports to math to arts, skills need to be honed for God’s glory. If one of my younger worship leaders engaged in any of the five things above, I would be the first to coach them away from doing so as these things will keep people from engaging in worship. Learning to drop mannerisms will help us become smaller so He can become greater. Blessings!

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Barry. It’s good to discuss this stuff. To become better. It’s ok to have fun whiule we do it

  • Sam

    confusing Father, Son and Spirit… ‘Father, thank you for saving us Jesus, oh Jesus Father God’ granted the triune God is one God, but it’s sloppy and unhelpful!

  • Jordan

    #6 “As we play, you come…” I have nothing against Spirit-led altar calls, but when it is a manufactured part of the service is often feels less than genuine. So many of these come from two misconceptions of worship leaders: (1) that you are actually leading worship, which is not Biblical since offering our bodies as living sacrifice is the Biblical definition of worship, and (2) the attempt to sound more pious. We move away from what is the common language for our areas and try to use words that sound more spiritual, archaic, etc. Let’s all have a sense of humor and humility as we encourage our congregations to join us is praising God through songs and celebration.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Important topic. Well done.

    • bradhuebert

      I know what you mean, but if you help someone offer their bodies as a living sacrifice, wouldn’t that be leading in worship?

      • Jordan

        No, the Spirit leads us in worship. You might assist a person, but it is the Holy Spirit that is leading.

        • bradhuebert

          Precisely. Through a person. Happens all the time.

  • Matty McFatty

    “We thank you, God for the Word of God and how it speaks to us God.”

  • Ryan McSherry

    “Let’s just be all in this morning….now raise your hands together…” So in order to be all in I need to raise my hands huh?

  • sam

    All of the college at my church would count how many times I said
    God in prayers lol.

  • Dan Kimball

    I also wonder about the phrase “We invite you here now God” which I hear somewhat often and sounds like we are talking to a vampire who can’t come into the room unless invited. I am never sure what worship leaders mean when they say “We invite you here…” Isn’t God there already? Why do we need to invite Him into the room?

    • Janie W

      Dan…so true! And you made me laugh. 🙂

      • Brandon

        There’s a difference between His omnipresence and His manifest presence.

  • Lori

    As long as it is truth and authentic and not what the “going phrase” of the moment is, I don’t care what is said. I want real up there. I want to be real as a worship leader. I want to make sure that at that moment I am leading or at the moment I am in the congregation and approaching the throne, that I am laying open my heart. Seeking Jesus with every ounce of my being is what I want to come through. There are mornings I will climb into His lap, there are days I will be flat faced , sometimes I am even…wait for it…silent…that’s some of my favorite moments…when you really feel the Holy Spirit take over whatever you planned the week prior. It’s allowing God to really come into that “space” we create and turn it to Holy ground. On that occasion, that is when the words flow…and you don’t remember a word you said…that is when your heart melts and compassion takes over to love on the smelly guy next to you…that is when you know…that Jesus really knows all the hairs on your head and that your purpose in life is to worship Him and to love His people. Just be real.

    • Bob

      Lori, I love your comments — and your heart.

      Recently, a man in my bible study group told me that he has come to a closer relationship with God over the past year because he sees me giving myself totally to Him as I lead worship. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could mean more to me than that. And I would certainly trade a thousand people saying, “Great music today”for a single comment such as his. Honestly, I don’t know what words I might have said to help him to this point. I don’t even know what it is that I’ve shown him. I just know that if we can facilitate an atmosphere of seeking His face, HE will use that to change hearts.

      Am I perfect? Oh my gosh, no! Not even close. Do I trip over my words sometimes? Sure. Does the occasional “just” find its way into my vocabulary? Yeah, more than I’d care to admit. But that’s simply not my focus. My focus is my heart. And my prayer, which I offer every single week before I take the platform is this: “Father, draw me to You. Speak Your will through me. Help me worship You so authentically that someone in the room sees Your face today.” That’s where I want to be as a worship leader. The words will work themselves out.

  • Bro Cope

    There shouldn’t be anyone speaking during worship. Every time anybody speaks, they are drawing attention off the Lord and onto themselves. Every interruption in our attending to the Lord in prayer and worship detracts from the connection. They are competing with our connection to the Lord. Best thing to do would be to have an empty stage, nothing projected on the wall, no loud music, and no one cheer leading. Get some old lady behind an upright piano, out of sight of the congregation, playing songs everybody knows by heart and NOT drawing attention to herself.

    I once attended a church that worshipped that way. The glory fell every week, and people got healed DRIVING BY THE CHURCH. There is too much ego in the musicians that competes with worship and draws attention off the Lord.

  • Brandon Markell Holmes


  • Andrew Brown

    There’s a dude at my church that keeps saying, “Sing it till you believe it.” What the heck, guy? Are you accusing me of lying?!

  • Matt

    how about “Everyone is welcome to worship God however they feel led- if you want to stand, sit, kneel, or dance.” Then after one verse into the first song when most people are still sitting they tell everyone to stand to praise the Lord, but then seem to “forget” to tell people to sit and be at ease.

  • Sam Halverson

    “Lord, Weejuss.” Who is this, and why do we pray to him? I’ve heard this Weejuss character lifted up in worship over and over again. Seriously, though, do we have to put those two together so much? Is it because we, like a child, are begging…”I just want this” or “We just want you to do this.”

  • Grace

    Every time the choir sings it is NOT necessary to say, “And all god’s children say, ‘Amen'” The pastor at my home church does this responsive dialogue after every hymn and prayer… it drives me so crazy, that I happily attend church where I work rather than subjecting myself to this redundant stupid ritual.

  • Dave Vander Laan

    Please don’t say the word ‘just’ in any way, shape, or form – especially in a prayer.

  • Brooke Elliott

    #6: Just. As in, “Lord, we just”, “and we just want to” and “God, we just praise you” … Just? Are we apologizing for praying, or talking to God?

  • Chantel

    Been leading worship a long time and guilty of a few…but not all. I can laugh. Some of these remind of being in bible college. One speaker said “I’m preaching better than you’re “amen-ing”. Really? We need to talk about these statements. Laugh folks.

  • Amy Albritton De Proft


  • This isn’t something I’ve heard on stage but something I’ve seen posted via twitter or facebook during a practice or after a service…and that is, “Worship team is really killing it tonight,” or “Worship team killed it this morning!” It seems so…I don’t know…self glorifying.

  • Gene

    Good news for many of you. It doesn’t matter if how someone prays annoys you because they aren’t praying to or for you anyway.

  • Casey

    Expectant. The more relevant version of “birth”

  • Jon

    Can’t really think of anything right now. I am so thankful for those who lead me and my church in worship each week. I am in a season of being led, rather than leading. So to all of you who lead, let me first say that your efforts are appreciated, even when they make us groan. Carlos, thank you for the way you invest in training and discipling young leaders. Your advice even when couched in humour is refreshing. My advice to those who lead is remember what a privilege it is to be able to lead. Seek excellence in your relationship with God.

  • KWHodges56

    Lay me down….. If I wanted to lay down, I would have stayed home and worshipped at the Bedside Assembly

  • ‘Me’, ‘I’, ‘We’.

    Why does it always have to come back to us, and what we do?

    • Burningguitar

      I agree with exalting God in our prayers, but isn’t it honest and good to say “we thank you for Your goodness, mercy and grace on us, as you provide our needs, speak Your wisdom to us…” and so on? There’s plenty of “I’s” in the Psalms, I think it’s the heart of the speaker and their motivation that makes the difference. Also, including the church with a “we” statement is effective when used from the same heart. 🙂

  • Christopher Dietze

    Love it……My wife a couple of weeks ago counted how many times I said Father God in prayer …..lol like 15 I don’t remember.What I say from the stage is something I work hard on. Want to e honest and sincere but…..repetative seems to come naturally.

  • Dawn Fallon

    I find the use of the word “just” in prayer a mixture of irritation and amusement! “Lord I just pray that you will just bless us this morning and just enable us to just worship you in just……”

  • dieselfluff

    I find a lot of worship leaders (A LOT) start with the assumption that their congregations lives are crap. Something like: “Whatever struggles you’re going through at the moment, we’re here now to worship the God who can meet you in that need.” Like everyone’s had some awful week and they just came to church to fix it – my life is generally pretty good. I come to Church to tell Jesus he’s awesome, serve my church family and get some good teaching. Yes, Jesus will meet me in my need, but He does that all week. Church is not like a hospital where I go to get my ‘poor broken heart fixed by Jesus’.

    • ZacDilone

      But isn’t it just as bad to assume that everyone’s lives are just fine, thank you very much? I think those whose lives are “pretty good” should allow for ministry to the broken-hearted during worship because THAT’S WHAT JESUS DOES THROUGHOUT THE GOSPELS. When Jesus meets with folks he doesn’t say, “Hey, tell me I’m awesome.” He meets people in the midst of their need, just as he still does today. Just because we might not have any particular needs doesn’t mean we should disparage that important aspect of encountering God on a Sunday. I would encourage you..rather than whine about what the worship leaders are doing, why not pray for those to whom their message is timely and greatly needed?

  • Zachary J Drummond

    I know from personal experience how easy it is for church members to become jaded to things within the church. That being said, that still leaves us no room to write up whitty, negative blog posts about our worship teams. Even if you had a good point, you shouldn’t try to make it in such a public manner at another’s expense.

  • Kim Sadlier

    This isn’t necessarily something they shouldn’t say but more something they should stop doing. Please stop playing the same Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Israel Houghton, Ed Cash worship music that we all know. Bring something different, someone new, something challenging, something that makes us experience God at a new level.

    • Kim Sadlier

      Bring in some Daniel Basha, Rick Pino, Michael Gungor and others like.

      • Brendan Murphy

        Did you seriously put Rick Pink and Gungor on the same level?

  • Son of Asaph

    I agreed. But then I began to read Galatians this morning and realized, Paul was a terrible worship leader! There goes in verse 1 referring to God the Father. What is he trying to do – get credit for the word count? ‘Father, or God. He gets it.’ Come on Paul, get with it. We are SO much more enlightened about how the gospel should be done than you were!

  • Markus

    I guess in SA we don’t necessarily have this “worship” tradition (yet) so there’s no specific phrase that annoys me. I just get distracted when a time of worship becomes more about how you do it and responding to the worship leader, than it is about what you’re doing and responding to God. It feels fake and forced and more like getting closer to an aneurism than God’s heart.

  • mlukaszewski

    Lift your hands and spin around…no literally….when we get to the bridge everyone put your hands in the air and spin around.

  • John Garrett

    “Press in.” Man, I can’t even attend these things any more due to the ridiculous show that is being put on.

  • Pingback: Theology Thursday – 08/29-13 | 13past1()

  • Praying the words to the next song was the one that struck a chord with me. It’s just so cliche, but so many worship leaders do it.

  • Larry

    I’m on staff at a church and when we have staff meetings one of the ladies on staff constantly does the “Father God” thing. I started counting how many times she says it and writing it down. 73. That’s the highest so far.

    • Burningguitar

      That’s amazing. And Jesus said not to make repetitive prayers… The point is clear, instead of focusing on the prayer, you tuned out, counting how many times she said it. Same thing in worship, we better make sure our prayers are poignant and free of things that push people away…

  • Luke Perrie

    #6 – (lyrics aren’t on screen for next song) “…and God, we thank You so much for our LYRICS TECH TEAMS, eghm, who LOVE TO PUT THE LYRICS ON THE SCREENS…eghm…..”

  • ZacDilone

    Praying an apology for something that went wrong earlier.

    “And Father God, even though we might sometimes get the words out of order, we know that You never put anything in the wrong place, because you work all things together for our good…”

    Something went wrong. Suck it up and move on.

  • Wingnut

    Saying “Our God”. God is God. For everyone, not just us.

  • Priscilla

    “Lord, Your word tells that whenever 2 or more are gathered (Matt. 18:20) there You are. We invite You to come be with us…blah, blah, blah…”

    This makes me crazy!

    1) This an example of a verse being used COMPLETELY out of context! Matt 18:20 has nothing to do with the presence of the Lord, but is about discipline.

    2) God is automatically present, whether in one believer or a 1000! He will “never leave us or forsake us”, so how can we ‘invite Him’ anywhere when He is already present???

    Thank you for this opportunity to rant. I’m done now.

  • Andy

    Saying, “Let’s just worship the Lord right now…”
    As opposed to what we’ve already been doing so far…

  • Priscilla

    “Lord, Your word tells us that when 2 or more are gathered in Your Name, there Your are. We invite you to come and…blah, blah, blah…”

    This is so wrong for 2 reasons:
    1) Matthew 18:20 is one of many scriptures that are misused regularly. Matt 18:30 has nothing to do with the presence of the Lord, it has to do with discipline.

    2) How can God be invited where He already is? If He will “never leave us or forsake us”, His words not mine, then how can He be invited where He’s already at?

  • Paul
  • Tanya

    Stop telling me to raise my hands or clap. That is not proof that I am worshiping God or “truly” love God, and it is not comfortable to me. And please stop acting as if singing is THE ONLY way to worship. It’s already been said but needs to be said as often as possible to get the point across. I doubt the early Christians were rocking out in the catacombs, but I’m pretty sure they were genuinely worshiping God.

  • And you forgot, “this time sing it like you mean it”. I hate it whenever someone says that!

  • Reid Dalton

    Prayers should framed in the attitude of reverence and respect, reflecting our fear and awe in the presence of the Almighty, as well as our gratitude and love. They should not be chummy, fraternal or in any wise casual and informal. There are no prayers in Scripture which reflect that attitude. The closest would be the prayers of Jesus, who spoke to the Father from a position of equality. We should come no closer than that.

  • james

    saying the words that are coming up in the song just a split second before the words come, even when those words are on all 4 projector screens

    • msjaave

      “most” of the time this is a way of leading. It let’s your musicians, and congregation, know where you’re going next, or if you’d like to repeat the chorus, etc., even more so if you’re playing an instrument and can’t use hand signals.

  • Abraham

    Presenting a member of the band ” Chris on the keyboard and yes ladies, he is single” or ” Julie on rhythm guitar and yes, she is single”. Seriously? You just diverted a whole lot of attention away from the reason were supposed to be in worship. And please figure out whether you are going to put on a show or lead worship before you start.

    • Brendan Murphy

      What?! People do that in a worship service?!

  • Lori

    What is worship? It is not necessarily singing, although it certainly can be. It is not a certain style of music even though in the contemporary church service world it is know as “praise and worship” music. Amazingly, worship can happen while listening to or singing along with the music of Bach. Bach actually wrote all of his music to the glory of God. I listen to Christian Rock music during the week in the car and such and I sing along and often pray the words of the song as I’m singing them. Kutless’ “That’s What Faith Can Do” is an example. I’m very involved in my church. It is a church which offers several different styles of services but I don’t attend the contemporary one mainly because I don’t want to be pressured to “worship” by holding up my hands and clapping just because someone thinks that is the way everyone should “worship.” God looks at the heart. Some of my most special times of worship have been out in nature; hiking in a beautiful national forest while listening to Brahms’ “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place.” Did other people know I was worshiping? I expect not yet I am certain that God did!

    What is worship? It is:

    But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”. John 4:23

    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

    All the best!

  • Lazarus

    #6. Female worship leader: “ok everyone! I know it’s hotter than my leather pants today but just lift your hands and rejoice!”

    Male worship leader: (round house triple-ally air kick onto the stage) “WOO! STAND UP BELOVED!!”

    • msjaave

      LOl! hahaha. That’s funny… unless you’re being serious.

      • Lazarus

        True story! But still funny 🙂
        Ah… I forgot to add cuordoroy skinny pants to the male worship leader and if he were from Kansas, “beloved” would sound like “bluhved” ( yes, it took me a year to reply)

  • Amanda I.

    Ugh, the responsive “God is good….all the time. All the time…God is good.” PLEASE STOP… We know he’s good now, hush.

  • RustbeltRick

    Making the congregation stand for 30 minutes is ridiculous. Especially for the old, young, and those with a physical issue which makes standing uncomfortable. I think it’s a subconscious challenge to the church, to see who’s committed to the group and who’s a dullard, but of course no worship leader would ever admit to that.

  • Jerry

    We file songs by first line (because no one can remember or figure out the title) and if we’re not sure of the first line – we may file the song in two different places – so we can find it by first line of the verse – or first line of the chorus… anyway – I was stunned one day when I realized the letter “I” tab in the file cabinet took up nearly a whole drawer – it was more than triple the size of any other letter tab. The “J” tab was about an inch wide.
    #6 I, I, I, I

  • Troy

    Nothing to do with this post, but I thought you would appreciate this picture. You may have seen it before, but I thought it was hilarious.

  • zachagerty

    “everyone in this room, under the sound of my voice ___________”

  • zachagerty

    ‘so hey guys, i was reading my bible last night you know, and the Lord just spoke to me so clearly and i just want to take a minute to share with you because well i feel that its for this moment you know so um the lord, he said….” and they spend the next 4 and a half minutes trying to explain what the lord spoke so ‘clearly’

  • Markus

    Thing is, we’re all different and we all have tendencies – things we do regularly, mostly without noticing. I agree that some things are better left unsaid and have become unnecessary tradition which, I think, is what this post is about.

    But we must be careful not to go to a service and pick on everything the worship leader does that annoys us. If that’s all we’re doing, we’re no better than those who make a show out of the musical worship setting, because then we’re as self-absorbed and misplaced in our focus as they are. Some people do and say the cheesiest stuff when they worship corporately, but on a few occasions I’ve heard these people’s stories after the service is over, those same people that I judged while I was pretending to praise Jesus. And their stories are great and I felt ashamed for judging their expression of faith.

  • JK

    “Let’s lift a shout of praise!!!!!” after every song

  • Steve Cuss

    Carlos, I’m a lead pastor.

    Thank you.

    You nailed.


  • Peter Sandoval

    “AMEN?!!…..(cricket cricket) AMEN?!! AMEN??!! AMEN??!!” -fishing is an outdoor activity.

    “Give Him a shout of GLORY!!!!!” – Worship leader, you are not king Leonidas and we are not the Spartan 300

  • Katherine EsthersMom Witherell

    Big one that I personally think should never be said (but is said almost weekly at my church)- at the end of a song or of the worship time: “Good singing, guys!” Or even worse, during worship “I can’t hear you!” / “Sing out!” etc. I can’t stand when worship leaders try to make it a singing competition instead of worshiping God. Or when they try to guilt you into clapping. I like clapping but many dear friends of mine have no rhythm and find it embarrassing and distracting trying to clap on beat with everyone else.

    If people want to whisper a song, don’t tell them to sing out; if they want to tap their toes, don’t force them to clap; if they are great singing, for sure don’t tell them “good singing” because it’s not about how well they sang- it’s about WHO they were singing to!

  • msjaave

    QUESTION: as worship leaders do you feel that it is youresponsibility, not only to lead people in worship, but also to “teach” them “how” to worship? If so, how would you say that you do that? Sometimes i get the feeling that not always are we instructed on how to, i hear many in our congregation call it the “just the music part” of the service. Who should be the one teaching different pastor or worship leader?

  • pbrening

    “And they all said???” this is one that is used too often. I don’t think Father God… in a prayer is hurting anything… you’re a bit picky there… “You may be seated” is another strange set of words that we’ve all used. i stuggle with more the words used from a platform like… Irregardless… 🙂 Actually, anything that brings honor and glory to God is perfectly fine! God knows the heart…

  • Truthful

    Jesus always said he made God’s name known to his followers. What is God’s personal name?

  • Julia Blissett

    “C’mon, louder!” or “Say thAnk you Jesus”, etc. etc. 🙂
    Worship = submission/obedience on all levels. Sometimes in the form of singing. Does God really require us to rely on a human being to prompt/persuade us to sing louder, quieter…a particular set of words? Were there worship leaders in the early church? These are questions I’ve had for years. I humbly submit that too often, the position of worship leader risks the potential of ‘stealing the spotlight’ and distracting from the genuine promptings of the spirit. It seems that the lyrics on a screen w/ a great band and worship leading on the sidelines would be the perfect set-up. Less of a potential ‘show’. Fewer distractions. More focus on the One we’re worshiping in unison. Thoughts?

  • willdabeast1027

    Wow I must say, some of these comments are very hateful. As a worship leader, I actually find most of it discouraging. I have to admit, when I pray I notice that I also use God a lot too…. In fact sometimes I am so concerned about how many times I use God in my prayer that I forget why I am praying or what I am even saying because I am worried about the word counters. I am sorry, but this whole topic is so immature. I understand the reasoning behind it and I understand that some of it may be the truth but I just wonder how many people that have commented here actually have led worship or have gotten in front of people to speak. IT IS HARD! Let me tell you something, it is not always a pleasure to get in front of people and sometimes feel like your effort is for nothing or to feel like nobody responds. I don’t know about everyone else, but I put a lot of time and effort into my music and my leading. I understand that saying God 50 times in a prayer is distracting, or praying the lyrics to the song before I sing it may not be the best transition, but do you know what else is a total worship experience killer??? It is knowing you have people in the congregation that purposefully count how many times someone says God….. Or people that are so focused on someones speaking abilities that they forget the purpose of worship in the first place! I think we all need to pray and check our own hearts… Sure the worship leader might be able to change his nervous habits while on stage… Which by the way, most of the things listed are just that! Nervous habits…. It’s like saying Umm or Like while talking to your friends or peers. Sure there are many people with perfect speech. But is it right to judge people that aren’t perfect? I would never tell one of my friends “gosh you say like too much! it is such a distraction” Why??? Because it hurts! I don’t want to point out something that my friend probably already knows in the first place and are probably already self conscience about it. I am just saying, I may not be a perfect leader like Carlos, but I know one thing…… My goal of leading is to bring Glory to God and to do my absolute best to bring others into His presence. When I do this it ushers in His presence and my responsibility as a worship leader is done! I want to worship Him in spirit and in truth. God knows my heart and in return He shows up every single time. God is not offended by your lack of transition words!
    For worship leaders that are reading this post….. BE ENCOURAGED! Do what you know to do. Focus on the important things and bring glory to God. If you know you have a problem with something on this guys “list” then do your best to change it if you want. But please don’t let it take your eyes off of the real reason you are on stage. Do your best, pray, read, and ask God to lead you. You can look to other people for advice and guidance all you want to, but always let God’s Word be your #1 inspiration. Remember, Moses was a murderer and his speech was terrible, but God used him in an awesome way even when the “congregation” complained and grumbled. Moses did not have perfect speech, nor was he a perfect leader, but he wanted to honor God and he was a willing vessel. I personally don’t ask for people to raise their hands, but at the same time I don’t judge people that do. Why??? Because I know their heart and so does God. I know there intentions are not to tell you what to do but I have seen several of you post that the worship leaders responsibility is to LEAD. This might mean that they will ask you to do something every once in a while…. haha If you have that much of a problem raising your hands to show surrender when you are asked by your worship leader, then I think you have a deeper heart issue. Why wouldn’t you be willing to do such a simple act of worship? I am not saying that when you raise your hands you are at the pinnacle of worship…. Please don’t misunderstand this… Some people worship differently! But… If your worship leader asks people to raise their hands, don’t complain about it! You don’t have to if you don’t want to! It is that simple! Please…. think of the difference it could make if people would spend the same effort praying for their worship leaders as they do to think about things that annoy them.

  • Lee Miller

    I will be truthful Mr Whittaker this has just started a lot of discourse among a lot of people. I like you advice to leaders, on what not to do. But did it help to ask what is hated about worship? I’m only asking seam not quite right to me. But there may be a point to this I do not see.I try not to judge I hope I am not now. But our goal is to lift up all in the name of Jesus.We all make mistakes and even though a Leader is lead by the spirit, his thoughts and fears will come out in all we do. I personally fear all the time I will not stay out of the holey Spirits way and let him speak. I,m sure as some get more and more time, we can get in a rut if it worked in the past. Sorry this is just me. All I do is encourage, I work to help those come to the lord. Some like change, some do not! I say praise God anyway you like just Praise God! .

  • Char Fox

    As a member of the congregation and not a worship leader, my view as the onlooker is that it’s sometimes leading one to believe they’re not excited or even worshipping correctly if they’re not shouting.

    Often scripture gets pointed out that the Bible tells us to shout and unless we learn to shout praises we won’t receive God’s blessings. Any pastor or worship leader conveying this message is 100% wrong. I’m not a shouter. I’ve never shouted at pep rallys or ballgames and I dont shout in church or at home. My time with God is very personal. While one is shouting AMEN you may see me with my head bowed low or raised toward heaven with tears streaming down my face because I’ve been sitting at His feet and looking on His majesty. And I’ve seen His blessings time and again. Sometimes I think those who coach that shouting is the only way to praise need to be reminded….

    Matthew 6
    5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
    6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

  • shan

    Let’s not split hairs. Worship is for God and worship leading is creating an conducive atmosphere encouraging and guiding the beliver to focus on God. At time some statements will seem appropriate and the same stuff offensive on other occasions. Being spiritually sensitive and above all love for God and His people should be the single motive and guide. The question to ask is… Will it Glorify God and Edify His people? On whatever we say or do

  • Corey

    Stop telling me to stand up to worship. I’ll do it by myself

  • David Chapdelaine

    “Come On, Church! Sing it out!” Guilty of saying it.

  • Reese

    Some interesting points have been made. Some of these comments below are read like, “War on the Worship Leaders Part 1” ( will be sold in the bookstore after service). Personally, my frustration is for with some of the western world worship. I see people in other countries who are hungry for God, while we gaze in space/ cell phones with arms folded and pick apart leadership when souls are really hurting and in trouble. Some worship in the western world can be so rehearsed and stoic. We need the glory! There is a lack of zeal and fervor for Jesus, programmatic worship, it’s entertaining, but it is not bringing change. Some lead with no conviction or power/ anointing of the Holy Ghost who live shabby unconsecrated lifestyles, sending up strange fire, and stale/dry/ritualistic singing. Sing for celebration, adoration, healings, deliverance, and salvation to break forth. Where are the prophetic songs, unrehearsed, and from heaven? It’s about Jesus! Now, I’m done with my rant, but my heart really longs for unity and a zeal of God’s people for expressing praise and glory to God together as one that will extend beyond one day of the week, but will become your life.

    Once, I went to this church that I believed was so dead and dry. Nobody hardly said a word, clapped, or raised their hands. Most stood like they were hypnotized and stared at the guy playing guitar while he poured his heart out in worship. It was scary. Closed mouths do not get fed. Nonetheless, yes, worship is greater than what we do when we gather together, but scripture commands us to magnify the Lord together, but I get it they didn’t do it our way, so now it’s wrong? Every assembly is different, so you might not be able to do it like the Planetshakers and Hillsongs of the world. Every church has its own unique worship culture, but the focus for all should be Jesus. The more we focus our mind on him and off ourselves/other faults, we’ll be better.

    First, it’s not easy being a worship leader/psalmist. They are not out to please self or the people, but God. I am guilty of being so critical and judgmental of others in church, but what am I doing besides picking people apart? What about interceding in prayer for those serving in ministry? Offering an encouraging word? Speaking truth in love? For some in ministry, it’s about a show or they’re in it for their own selfish reasons, but some are truly committed to the work of the Lord and God has given them a heart for the people to serve. That’s not easy, but they continue because of their ultimate love for God.

    Am I helping by nit picking at every thing you do? Someone broke it down for me clear…examine yourself, and if we do correct, then we do it in love and for edification (not so we can boast in how we don’t do that). A critical spirit is a prideful, rebellious spirit. God resists the proud. How do I know this? I feel like this a lot, but it’s not right. There is power in unity and if we are busy picking each other apart, then we will miss what’s wrong with us and what’s right about God. I miss out on what God is doing and can do when I am critical. We all have areas that need perfecting, so we receive correction, instruction, and teaching in alignment with the word in meekness. It’s a process and much can be achieved through uplifting communication over degrading conversations. This is the job of Satan to cause confusion and strife among the brethren. Pride says, “I do no wrong and I know best. I know how to worship God and I don’t need some guy/gal to tell me how to either. I know how to do it myself,” so you will have a problem when someone tells you to lift your hands or lift your voice in a moment they can sense breakthrough or deliverance in the spirit. Our disobedience could cause us to miss out on something the Holy Ghost was trying to get to us. Your praise & worship is about a worthy God who is due. It’s not about you or how you feel. It’s a yielding and submission to the most high God.

    The bottom line is we’re all striving and we haven’t got it all right, but we work on it day by day. We die to our way, the flesh. Flesh wants to glory in itself and boast of its works, when it hasn’t done anything. God gets no glory in that. We got to pray for each other to come up higher.

    Ask, Am I genuinely coming from a place of love or self-righteousness when I give advice to a brother or sister in Christ down, so I can be lifted up in my thoughts? Is it sound or godly advice?

  • Sierra

    I personally think, if you’re not going up there so performance driven and you go up there prepared to minister to the people with the Word of God, with a genuine motive to lead them into the presence ofGod to have an encounter with the Lord, you won’t have to be so technical, the Lord will move on their hearts, you are there to facilitate and be the vessel used to lead them.

  • Chris Spring

    I here what you’re saying, and can identify with it, but I know what draws the best from me as a worship leader keen to grow is simple love, a balance of seeing the gold and loving challenge. I can’t speak for anyone else but my heart is always to bring people to a place where they connect as deeply as possible with God, I would like to think that’s every worship leader, it’s not to manipulate or get a rise out of people but how to build momentum and faith for His glory and to bring his people into greater faith that they are so loved and empowered by him. Can we honour worship leaders and their hearts as well as have light hearted chat about the cliches that come from our lips in the heart of the moment. Thanks