Sometimes I wonder how much I get in the way during a worship service. Do I play too many notes? Should I let others take the lead? Should we sing acapella (without accompaniment)? A couple of weeks ago, I was playing from the organ, and I slowly dropped out and let the congregation sing. Yes, it is possible...
So how much do you let your congregation just "sing"? Do you take a day off and let others lead worship or take your place? Are we stuck in the rut of having a set group of members participate?
Back to the Sunday I quit playing. The congregation was singing quite well that morning...I have been blessed by a congregation that can sing. So I tested their ability that morning and started dropping out and let them take over their own singing. It is quite a pleasing sound!
What new ways have you encouraged others to participate? Do you allow others to lead the singing? As worship leaders, do we dominate the service? After all, we are supposed to lead, correct?
I would challange you to a different approach. If you allow others to lead—great! If you haven't try it—it is refreshing to the congregation as well as you taking a break from being the one who holds it all together. Plus, you are saying to the others "you are important and valued." Have you quit playing or singing from a microphone and just let the congregation take over their own song? After all, it is their song they are singing to God. We gave it to them to sing, but they are the ones who are singing it.
Another question. At what age do you foster worship leading? Grade School? Middle School? High School?
All of this is important so that we include the congregation as a full, active, participating worshipper and not a spectator.