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Practicals of Worship Leading (Worship Leading 101)

Cory Asbury shares timeless practical advice out of his extensive experience leading worship.



Practical worship leading is NOT boring - we all need help!


Always learn from others


Just because you are practical, doesn’t mean you aren’t prophetic

Just because you are administrative doesn’t mean you aren’t creative



Servant Leadership

- Lifting other people in worship 

- Show off other people's beauty, skill, and talent

- The Lord will honor this and raise you up

- Support others

- Not using other people's giftings to prop you up

- Discerning other people’s abilities and calling greatness out of them

- Use these things to break things open so the Lord can actually move

- ”It’s not the Corey show”

- It’s about giving others a platform to break open heaven

- This will build tremendous loyalty and family

- Building history

- Acts 2 “they were all in one place and in one accord”

- The spirit shows up in the mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire


Encourage Your Band to be Bold

- Create clear lines of communication 

- This allows for permission for your band to step out

- This can eliminate confusion

- Ground rules that serve as launching pads for your team

- Selah moments before or after songs are beautiful moments that work for Corey

- People will be timid without clear communication

- This is the same as in leadership





Leading from the Father’s smile, not as a means of getting his smile

- ”I close my eyes… I don’t see anyone but I feel a warmth”

- Lead from here

- Work from rest not for rest

- I never get on the stage without finding this place


Corey tells a story about an experience from IHOP in KC. He has a friend who is very seen but Corey doesn’t see the same promotion. Corey wasn’t happy about it. He was striving to earn. He was striving for rest. God was teaching Corey to operate in who God says he is.


How to read room engagement


- Different people engage in different ways 

- Talk to the Holy Spirit

- You have the fullness of God living inside of you, ask his advice during a set

- Create dialogue instead of accepting discouragement or lies coming at you

- Watch as Jesus goes into the wilderness

- When he is tempted, Jesus responds with the WORD of God

- Live from the words of the father


Spontaneous moments in the midst of worship

- This is not the thing that makes us prophetic or connected to God

- Regardless of the length of your set, give him the best setlist you can, and speak to God. Even one minute of spontaneous can be so meaningful

- Don’t base the success of a set on the prophetic

- Songs are prophetic (they are declarations)

- Mike Bickle says Put your antenna up”

- It's a visual picture to ask the Lord what he is doing and saying

- Anything Jesus is doing, saying or being is the spirit of prophecy


Song Selection

- Praise vs Intimacy, fast vs slow?

- ”I want the set to flow”

- Flow helps keep your services connected

- Stay in one general vein

- Planning your set based upon song keys that work together

- There is practicality starting with a fast song

- BPM isn’t necessarily an indication of a song’s energy

- It's about the feel in a setlist 

- Everyone has a preference

Transitions - Leading Between Songs


- Pastor people in a moment

- Remind people to put their attention on Jesus

- Explain who he is

- Set your minds on things above” Colossians

- Pray

- ”How do I direct people at this moment?”

- Take a deep breathe (relax, don’t get in a hurry)


*Corey tells a story about Kari Jobe learning at a conference. She says, ”Just imagine it’s only you and Jesus is on the stage, now ask him anything you want. Tell him anything”



Hand Signals

- This allows for clear communication with your band

- Timidity crushes the prophetic spirit

- Subtlety

- Nashville Number System

- Some helpful signals

- Spin your finger to repeat

- Tap head for the beginning of the song

- C for chorus

- "Cutting" at someone to indicate a cut out to just them

- A swirl with the can indicate a rest moment

- A fist could mean a hard stop

- One finger for verse