Leading lyrics is an important part of corporate worship in our churches today. Even though this can seem minuscule in scope compared to the audio mix in the room, the lighting used in our services, the style of our teaching and communication, and many other aspects of our corporate gatherings, I do believe that this small part of worship can help promote and foster a corporate worship culture.
First off, however, let me define what I mean by the term leading lyrics.

LEADING LYRICS: the practice of transitioning slides ahead of the time they need to be sung. And here are 3 reasons that affect WHY we must, not only give the lyrics to our congregation, but set them on the screen a little before they are about to be sung. 

1. We lead lyrics because our God, loves us (his people), and desires for the collective body (us) together to worship and praise His holy name.

In Psalm 100 the discussion of giving thanks is described in group terms. God does love you and me personally, that is of course true, but God loves His people. He loves the praises and thanksgiving offered by His people, the church. This idea is not just manifested in the Psalms but throughout the New Testament such as in Romans 15:6, Colossians 1:3, and other scriptures as well. This concept is the scriptural foundation for why we lead when we run lyrics.

We start with the foundation that God loves for His people to worship Him together, but then there are other reasons for why we need to put importance on the WHY for leading with our lyrics. 

We lead lyrics because we know that people in our church don’t know every word to every song. Have you ever been to a concert for a favorite band of yours releasing a new album? I love being exposed to the new music during these times, however at some of these concerts the lyrics have been poorly behind. When I don’t have lyrics to see what we are singing I start to feel disconnected and unengaged. We want our people in our communities to be engaged. We want people to know what to sing and when. We want them to not feel behind because when people do our default is to disengage.

In a culture that tries to pull at our attention, we as a church need to be proactive in leading people to engage in worship. Now just because you lead with lyrics doesn’t mean everyone will be engaged but if you choose not to lead in lyrics I can guarantee you are setting up opportunities for people to feel disconnected and disengaged. I want to do everything I can to be a part of engaging them and leading our people into worshipping our great Savior together.

Suggested Tweet: "In a culture that tries to pull at our attention, we as a church need to be proactive in leading people to engage in worship. @stevodirks"

2. Another reason for the WHY is because we want to bring others along with us.

Have you ever had new people in your church? I hope and pray the answer is yes… We as the church are called to reach those who don’t know Him so there’s a chance that people in your church haven’t ever been to church or have maybe been gone for a while is great. If so, we want to engage them by helping them sing and join with us.

If we are leading in our church, the people in our church bodies will be able to quickly join along with our worship times together. Have you ever done karaoke? If so you know that when you know what to sing before you sing it sometimes is the biggest part of the battle. If I know what to sing I can engage with singing even on new songs. The same thing applies, I believe, to the new people in our midst. We want to not only welcome people with our love and care for them but also ensure that our worship services invite them to join in worshipping our great and glorious Savior together. We don’t want to push them to believe that they need to know all the words and songs in order to engage in our midst.

Suggested Tweet: "We don’t want to push attendees to believe that they need to know all the words and songs in order to engage in our midst. @stevodirks"

3. The last reason we lead with lyrics is because it takes time to read.

This may seem simple but it’s important. If we time our lyrics to be shown as we are singing them we are more than likely going to find people just reading and not singing. If we lead with the lyrics, people are able to read the lyrics before they sing and then engage with the worship as they say, sing, shout, or cry the lyrics our to God himself. We desire for worship to not be a spectator sport but instead we desire to foster a collective anthem that we all join together in singing back to our great God. 

About Steve Dirks

Executive Director
Church Visuals

Steve Dirks is the Executive Director for Church Visuals. He has spent over 10 years serving in different churches serving in lyric presentation, audio, and visual content creation, and helping lead teams of volunteers. Steve lives in Pittsburgh and uses production background to serve Steel City Church. He loves being a father to Mercy & Caleb and a husband to Bekah his amazing wife. He is a huge fan of any sports team in Pittsburgh and of course his hometown South Carolina Gamecocks!

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