The Most Important Thing to Get Right as a Worship Vocalist

As a rule, I don’t like to make over-inflated statements. We’ve all clicked into videos or articles with headlines full of superlatives, that claim to be “literally, honestly, the greatest, best, most awesome, and absolutely incredible thing.” And we’ve all tasted the emptiness on the other end of those promises.

But this is not that.

There is definitively one most important thing in your vocal training and one most important thing in your involvement on your worship team.

Nothing else comes close.

If you get just one thing right, it should be this. If you miss this one thing, everything else falls short.

It’s not your pitch, tone, timing or mic technique. It’s not about getting the lyrics right, showing up on time or wearing the right clothes.

All those things matter, by the way. They just pale in comparison to this.

Are you becoming more like Jesus?

This is the pinnacle, the point, the purpose of all of it. When all the other things are long forgotten, this one will remain.

Romans 8:28 (ESV) says: 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” 

So what IS His purpose for us? The next verse tells us: 

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Don’t let those big words confuse you. Here’s what Paul is saying:

  1. God knew us and chose us from the beginning, before time began.
  2. He determined, in advance, what our one, ultimate purpose would be.
  3. That purpose is for us to look like His Son—sharing the same nature, thought patterns, characteristics and behavior. 

God wants us to become like Jesus.

That’s our purpose.

This whole life, everything on this side of eternity—our personal growth, our family life, our serving in our local church, our career or ministry assignment—is all unto that one purpose.

This is incredibly helpful to know, because it gives us a framework to approach our vocal training and our worship team involvement!

It gives us a way of evaluating where we are at and assessing whether we are making progress—the RIGHT kind of progress—or not.

So let’s try it out. Let’s apply this to our vocal training and worship team involvement by asking the question… am I becoming more like Jesus?

There are things we don’t know about Jesus… like what His singing voice was like. (Someday we’ll get to hear Him sing, and when we do… WOW! 🤯🙌😇)

But what DO we know about Jesus?

Jesus is humble. 

He set aside heavenly riches to become poor for us. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

He rode into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey. (Matthew 21:5)

He chose to die a horrible sinner’s death on a cross even though He was without sin. (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Remember when the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest, and He told them:

“whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45 (NASB)

So… how is my humility?

Do I take pride in the strengths in my voice? Am I boastful? Do I like to have my singing voice heard? Do I gauge opportunities to sing by how many people will hear me? 

Do I strive for the “worship leader” position or am I content to support others? Do I celebrate when others get a promotion or opportunity—even if it was one I wanted? 

Do I reject instruction or correction? Do I submit to leadership in my life even when I don’t agree with the decisions they make? 

🙏 Jesus, help us to be more humble about our voices and in our worship team involvement!

Jesus taught us diligent stewardship.

Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25—how He commended the servants who multiplied the gifts entrusted to them and rebuked the one who left it the same? 

Or in Luke 16 when He taught us that “one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11 ESV)

The night He was arrested, He prayed to the Father: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do… I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them” (John 17:4,8 ESV). He had accomplished everything the Father had given Him to do! 

So… how is my stewardship?

Do I only exercise my voice when I “feel” like it… or is there a deeper conviction and commitment toward what the Father is asking me to do? Is my voice at the same level as it was last year? Have I settled for having the same struggles, breaking points and limitations in my singing? Or am I committed to improving my voice? 

Am I diligent in my preparation for being on worship team? Do I come to rehearsal on time and fully prepared—knowing the lyrics, knowing my harmony parts—or do I settle for the bare minimum practice time?

🙏 Jesus, help us to be good stewards of our voices and with the responsibility of leading our congregations in worship!

Jesus taught us to love everyone… even our enemies.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us a new standard: don’t just love those who love you (anyone can do that!)… love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you! (Matthew 5:44)

1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love”, and since we know that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) and the “exact imprint of [God’s] nature” (Hebrews 1:3)—then Jesus is, in fact, the very embodiment of love!

So if Jesus is love, and models love, then that means we too should love—everyone on our team AND everyone in our congregation. Yep, all of them. The ones who are easy to love, and the ones who rub us the wrong way. Paul went as far as saying:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV)

Put that in our context. We could have the most beautiful singing voice, understand all there is to know about the voice, craft the most impactful worship set, and have thousands marvel at our gift… but without love, it’s just noise. Emptiness. Nothing.

So… how is my love?

Do I see who’s on the team with me on the weekend and groan? Do I go out of my way to NOT cross paths with So-And-So or be on his team? Do I stick with my friends during rehearsal and ignore the awkward, quiet member on the sideline? 

Do I veer toward the worship team green room before and after services, or do I connect with people in the hallway? Am I on the lookout for those who need love?

🙏 Jesus, help us to love everyone—especially the ones who are hard to love!

Jesus taught us to forgive.

When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive someone, Jesus told him “seventy times seven”—in other words, EVERY time. (Matthew 18:22)

Even on the cross, He prayed for His accusers: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 ESV). Being on a team with other people means having opportunities to forgive… it’s inevitable. People disappoint us and hurt us. 

So… how is my forgiveness?

Am I carrying around wounds and offence against a fellow team member or a leader who hurt me? Does that criticism or harsh word still echo in my head? Or have I released the hurt and forgiven them?

🙏 Jesus, help us to forgive quickly and generously when anyone wrongs us!

Jesus lived with purity and integrity.

Though He was God, He entered into a human body and was tempted in all ways, yet He remained sinless. (Hebrews 4:15)

He was the perfect, pure, spotless Lamb of God. (1 Peter 1:19)

Psalm 24:3-4 (ESV) says,

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” 

So… how is my purity? 

Am I guarding my “eye and ear gates”—the things that I allow into my thoughts and my heart? Is God pleased with the things that I do in public and in private? 

Am I the same person on the stage as I am off the stage? Do I live with integrity? 

Do I praise God on Sunday mornings, but then use the same mouth to gossip throughout the week, tear people down, or use crude language and humor?

🙏 Jesus, help us to be pure, holy and blameless before You—so that our lives would be a pleasing fragrance to You and to others!

There are so many other parts of Jesus’ nature that we could (and should!) explore, but for today, we’ll just look at one more—I’ve saved the best for last…

Jesus got alone with His Father. 

Time and time again He withdrew to a “desolate place” to pray and commune with His Father. Not just sometimes—this was His regular practice. (Mark 1:35, Luke 4:42, Luke 5:16, Matthew 14:13)

And so, if we want to live the kind of life Jesus lived—if we truly want to be like Him—then this is the way we do it: we make a regular practice of getting alone to pray and commune with our Father.

We can’t just “try hard” to be humble, pure, loving, forgiving and serving. No amount of trying will help us be those things—we’ll just end up exhausted!

We become humble, pure, loving, forgiving and serving by spending time with the Lord. 

Beholding Him. 

Sitting at His feet. 

Praying and worshipping alone in the secret place. Not with an agenda to sing better. Not with an agenda to practice songs for Sunday. 

The only agenda is Jesus. 

Jesus said to Martha, who had gotten “distracted with all her preparations”:

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (ESV)

What did Mary choose? She chose to be “seated at the Lord’s feet… listening to His word.”

So… how is my week going?

Is it filled up with busy-ness that has me anxious and troubled about many things? Or am I taking time to get alone and sit at Jesus’ feet? 

🙏 Jesus, help us to prioritize your presence over everything else in our lives! 

This, my friends, is what we MUST get right as worship vocalists! No matter where you’re at on your vocal journey, what your worship team looks like, what your role is or how often you serve… all of it is unto becoming more like Jesus! 

So… become a student of who Jesus is! Ask Him to reveal more about His nature that you can apply to your life and your vocal journey! 


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    1. This is SO timely and encouraging! Thank you for being obedient and posting this word that God laid on your heart. If it’s okay, I would love to share this with our team. This reminds me about the heart of worship. He is the heart of worship. He should be the center of it all. When He is the center of our life, that means our focus is on Him. When our focus is on Him, we become more like Him. When we become more like Him, He can use us for His Glory. When He can use us for His Glory, we are fulfilling our purpose; which is to be more like Him everyday so we can point others to Him.

    2. Wow, this is amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together! This is all SO true, and I really enjoyed reading this! It is such a blessing to be able to train my voice AND get amazing content and encouragement about doing it for the glory of God! I am so grateful for Worship Vocalist and excited for what’s ahead!

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