I was having a great chat to Rowan Kemp today about song leading with regards to song leading at EU Public Meetings (that’s right, we’ve been singing this semester). We had a short chat about song leading which turn into a great discussion about song leading. One of the things that I have thought for a while and have had confirmed through this discussion is that…
Song Leading is different to singing.
That is to say that song leading and singing are two different skills, very different skills. Let me explain.
Singing is the skill that some people have, and some people think they have. Everyone can sing, but not everyone can sing really well. Although it is important for somebody singing at church to be able to pitch a note and lead the congregation as a singer, they do not have to have the most amazing voice ever that is perfectly trained (although having a singer like that at church would by no means be a bad thing, in fact it would be incredibly awesome!). Rather it is much more important to possess the skill of song leading.
Song leading is everything that the singer at church does apart from singing, the main part of this is guiding the congregations emotions and energy through what you say and do, both before, during and after the song. This includes (but is not limited to) giving clear signals as to when to come in (read this), praying, reading relevant Bible passages, and giving good song introductions which lead the congregation into the song.
For people who are up the front at church, it is much more important for them to be good song leaders as opposed to being good singers. Ideally we want people who are excellent at both, but I think that it is important for people who sing up the front at church to work on their song leading before they work on their singing.
This discussion has spurred me to think about song leading once again, and I’ll have more thoughts coming on song leading in the coming weeks. so for now, 2 things.
- Stay tuned for the upcoming posts
- Let me know what you think about this stuff in the comments below.