The Best Way For Worship Leaders To Start The New Year

WebWorship Leader, it’s a new year.

A clean slate. The beginning of new opportunity.

Before you stress yourself out at all that needs to get done, I want to challenge you to do one thing. If possible, simplify your task list for today and just do this.

This exercise will help you enter the new year with confidence. It will help you operate from a place of vision, rather than a place of stress.

And, it will only take a half hour of your time. Trust me, this half hour just might make the biggest difference for your worship team this year.

What should you do?

Write a Discipleship Sketch for 2013. In other words, write out a plan for how you’ll disciple your team this year. I call it a “sketch” because it’s subject to change.

Don’t place too much pressure on yourself in this moment to come up with an air-tight plan. Give yourself space to enjoy the success of last year and dream anew for this year.

How To Write A Discipleship Sketch for the New Year

Let’s get started:

1. Reflect on Last Year – Take time to be grateful and enjoy what happened last year. Write down the victories. Revisit the good moments. Reflect on the progress you’ve seen in your team, your own leadership, and the powerful worship services your church experienced. There’s not a whole lot else you’ll do with this list other than write it down. But the very act of writing is good for you.

2. Dream for This Year – What do you want to see happen? What are the areas of growth you need to focus on? How will you focus on them? How will you disciple those on your team in their relationship with Jesus? Write down what you want to do and how you will do it.

3. Develop a Schedule – The next step is to write out these ideas in an actionable calendar – a schedule. You are developing an action plan. You want to have a tentative plan for your year before it begins. This will cause you to lead with greater confidence and internalize your vision.

OK, my friend, now it’s your turn.

I’d like to hear from you, 2 things. What was your favorite worship moment in 2012 and what are you looking forward to in 2013?

Take a minute and leave a comment. This blog exists for worship leader to encourage one another. Leave a comment, encourage someone else.

And…thank you for reading my blog in 2012. You are incredible.

See you in the comments.


  1. says

    I struggle with faith – not my spiritual gift. But there was a moment this year while singing Redman”s “Where Would We Be Without Your Love”, I saw a new musician in the congregation. He was totally unengaged – not even standing. My heart was overwhelmed with faith in that moment. From the deepest part of me I prayed “God, you are going to save him.” It was an amazing moment of faith. It was a gift from God in that moment. I still feel that same faith that God will save him. He’s more involved and God is working in his life. I suppose it was a great moment of worship for me because while worshipping God answered a simple prayer in my life – that he’d give me more faith to believe for the unseen. I worry this doesn’t seem all that impressive, but it is definitely the worship moment that first comes to mind as I reflect on this year.

    As for the new year, I’m believing God for that young man’s salvation. I’m praying he brings ten new, contributing musicians to our ministry (this would be band instrumentalists). I’m praying for ten, healthy one-to-one discipling relationships within my ministry. I’m looking forward to the release of our church’s original worship CD in April. Last, I’m looking forward to developing training materials for developing worship keyboardists.

    (Oh, and every year I pray Jerry Jones will sell the Dallas Cowboys, or at least give up his role as general manager. HA!)

      • says

        Album is going well. In the final tweaking stages. Some other guys on our team are leading the effort and doing a great job. It is all original material written over a few writing retreats last year with our worship pastors and key volunteers. Everyone came up with some great stuff. I was blessed to contribute on two of the songs. We recorded rhythm tracks with studio players in Nashville. I like your organic approach a lot, but for our first record we decided to go a different route. We are pleased with the results. Because of our church calendar this year we are waiting to release the album until April.

  2. says

    I don’t have a single favorite worship moment from this past year, but there are many Sundays where the following happens. Everything seems to be going wrong, the sound is off, the team is not together, I’m feeling ill, etc, etc. Then at the end of the service I have a number of people come up and express how great worship was and how they were touched. It never ceases to amaze me that God shows up powerfully in our weakness.

    As for this coming year, I’d really like to feel like I (and the team) are operating more from a vision and a plan. So many times it just feels like I’m holding onto God and praying that He carries me through and fills in the huge gaps that I leave. I know we can’t plan out everything and God’s Spirit can move in spite of us, but I also know that He calls us to serve Him with excellence. I’m praying for a more excellent year.

    Thank you so much for contributing to the praise and worship community with this blog. It has really been an encouragement to me.

  3. says

    Honestly, one of my favorite worship moments happened just this past Sunday, when we as a church were singing the chorus to “Our God”. It was an amazingly honest moment, with all of our hearts and voices proclaiming the might of our God!

    For 2013, I am looking forward to continuing to grow our worship team, both in numbers and spiritually, so that each person understands that they are worship leaders just as much as the “lead vocalist” is.

  4. says

    Hey David! Great post and love this “sketch” to kick off the new year.

    Favorite worship moment from last year? I have a few. The last few weeks at the church I’ve been serving have been really sweet. We mixed Christmas hymns with modern worship and it just worked. The team jelled and the people really engaged. We’re progressing as a wholehearted worshiping community and I’m grateful.

    The second was from SOZO festival in Serbia, with 26 nations present and the sound of “every tribe, every nation”. Most of the time, the worship times are phenomenal. One morning though, it seemed disaster was imminent. I was just exhausted , everything was out of tune, the team was not on the same page, and – it seemed like big a mess. A few songs into the set, however, I looked at the “congregation”, and they were worshipping their heads off – they were leading us! It was AWESOME!

    For 2013, I’m excited about raising up and developing more leaders and team members in my ministry context, and on the road.

  5. says

    Definitely happened on the last Sunday of the year! On December 30, 2012 we had the honor of having a few girls who had been sexually abused and gone through addictions to drugs come up and give testimonies about how God made them new creations in Christ. I had not anticipated how emotional I would get during the testimonies and found myself standing up there with my guitar weeping unashamedly. As I dried my eyes and ushered them back down off the stage to start our next song, “The Stand”, I looked out and saw our church stand and begin to cheer. Not just for these women, not just for their testimonies, but for the One whom they were testifying of! When we got to the line “You stood before my failures, You carried the cross for my shame.” One of the girls fell to her knees and just screamed out the words. I backed away from the mic and couldn’t help to do the same.

    People came up to me afterwards and talked about how powerful the experience was, and it was amazing to resonate our joy for the Holy Spirit with one another, but one person stood out to me. He walked up and simply said, “sometimes tears and shouts are the closest things we can come to words. Sometimes they are our testimony. Thanks for not trying to cover anything up, cause there won’t be a dry eye in Heaven.”

    My prayer is that we’d continue, and grow even deeper in Him during this new year! That He would pour out His spirit on us. That all of us worship leaders would do our best to stand up in front and get out of the way. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

  6. Yoni Linder says

    one of the most significant moments of this year, was a chance I had to lead a worship time with my wife, and that his work schedule, it was not possible.

    for this year 2013 I expect the blessing is greater than it has been, not only in meetings of worship, but also in our homes and in our community.

    Yoni linder


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