5 Benefits of Solo Leading Worship

Jeff Scott by Tommy Huynh on FlickrSometime having a big band on stage works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Every once in a while it’s more effective to scale back, scale down, simplify and reduce. This Sunday I’ll be leading worship by myself.

5 Reasons You Should Lead Worship Alone

1. Teach Worship: Often times with a full band on stage people don’t have to make an effort to worship – they get drawn into worship. That’s a good thing. It’s what we’re primarily shooting for as worship leaders. At the same time if you are always “drawing” and “leading” you are never giving a chance for people to step out on their own to worship God. It’s like teaching your kid to ride a bike but never taking off the training wheels. Simple worship gives people an opportunity to ride on their own into the presence of God.

2. Give Your Team a Sabbath: If your small church worship team is like mine you have a few folks who consistently sacrifice every week. Giving them a week off from rehearsal as well as an opportunity to simply enjoy worship can be spiritually renewing.

3. Create Diversity: Keeping the same band on stage week after week with the same sound is boring and unimaginative. We worship a creative God who calls us to be creative – so shake things up. Do something different. For some who always lead worship alone this might mean bringing in a full band for one Sunday. If you always have a full band then doing a solo Sunday adds diversity to the creative palette.

4. Make Your Big Band Even Bigger: “Dynamics” is kinda like diversity, but not. The concept here is contrast. On a dynamic scale if your band is always at an “8”  then when you go to “10” it’s not that big of a change. But if you take things down to “1” then you open the room for a larger dynamic range.

5. Communicate Commitment: In the last 4 months I have positioned myself at center stage only once. Most often I position myself off to the side while putting other leaders out in front. I do this intentionally as part of a healthy mentoring strategy to raise up other leaders. Two weeks from now I’ll be completely absent at Chase Valley – I’m taking a team to lead worship at a friend’s church that Sunday.

With my church in financial crisis the last thing I want to communicate is that I’m going to be “off to the side” or “absent” during the crisis. This Sunday, by leading worship front and center, I am communicating, “I am your worship pastor. I am dedicated to Chase Valley. I am here to lead, support, and love you through this process.”

Bottom Line:

Love on your team. Love on your Church. Do a solo Sunday!


7 Responses to “5 Benefits of Solo Leading Worship”

  1. 1 hitchface September 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Great post. I definitely agree that shaking things up is a good thing. Even not having a single member, but significantly less (or more) on stage can be really nice. I was leading a chapel team for college, and a whole bunch of the team left for a week. We had three people, and ended up doing a set with two acoustic guitars and drums. It ended up being the most intimate time we had for chapel all year.

    Nice blog, I’ll be back.

  2. 2 Dean Lusk September 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I’m diggin’ that silhouette you’ve got going there, Elvis! 🙂 (Is that a PRS? I’m wondering if that’s you or a stock photo… You seem to have a habit of enjoying photography.)

    Ditto on “good post”! Our youth pastor has been after me for a while to do what you’re talking about. Maybe he’s NOT so loony after all. 🙂 May shoot for this very soon.

    Interested in your song list, too, by the way.

  3. 3 Billy Chia September 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. If you like the blog you can subscribe to my RSS feed here:


    That photo is actually of Jeff Scott. I agree the PRS is killer.


    90% of my photos are Creative Commons Licensed on Flickr. (You can click on the photo to go to Tommy Huynh’s flickr page. He is the photographer.)

    I’ll post the set list along with a recap on Sunday.

  4. 4 Mark September 4, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I did a solo Sunday on Aug 24. (Ok, not entirely solo, I had one female vocalist sing with me), but I dismissed the band and led from piano.

    It was very well received. Part of our strategy to intentionally alter the instrumentation on Sunday mornings.

    Our next new configuration: Bluegrass Sunday. Woo hoo!

  5. 5 Mike Mahoney September 4, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I don’t sing too much so solo is out. I did it once, but it was 2AM during and all night prayer and worship session. I don’t think anyone minded…

    We did do this spring an acoustic set – just me on acoustic, one singer and congas. It was great! Agnes Dei is made for that!

    Good post, Billy. I agree, shaking it up once in a while is good. We do enough weekend events that we get to mix it up several times a year – all female, all male, one instrument… Good stuff.

  6. 6 Joey September 5, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Hey, I didn’t get response from you about the book. On this post, I like number 2.-Give your team a Sabbath. I found that is very important for musicians. My cousin played the drums for years and needed to step back for a moment to have his time to surrender. All service and no worship makes Jack a dull Christian….or something like that 🙂

  7. 7 Wisdom Moon September 11, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Hey, Billy.

    Could I publish this post on my website (allaboutworship.info) as an article?

    That would be awesome.

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