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4 Tips For Leading Worship In A Small Gathering

4 Tips For Leading Worship In A Small Gathering

A prayer meeting.  A home group.  A christian club.  A missions Trip.  

I’ve lead worship in hotel courtyards in Guatemala, garages in Ohio, beaches in Florida and hillsides in Israel.  

There’s no sound system.  No lyrics projected. No band for support.  

Leading worship in this environment can be a challenge.  Some of the ways we lead our congregation in our sanctuary don’t always translate.  

For me personally I’ve had to adjust the way I approach a gathering like this.  I’ve had a lot of missteps along the way.  It’s a skill I think every worship leader should develop.  You never know when you may get the call.  “Grab your guitar and lead a few songs”. 

Here are four tips to get you started.  

1) Choose Familiar Songs

This is especially important if you don’t have lyrics projected or printed.  If you lead songs no one knows it's tough to have a meaningful time of singing to the Lord.

Know the group you’re leading.  What songs are they familiar with?

Lead songs they’re currently singing and are fresh on their mind.

Lead songs that are standards from the last 5-10 years. 

2) Lead Portions of Songs

One technique I use in a setting like this is singing Bridges or Choruses from popular or classic songs.  It may be tough to engage everyone with the wordy verses of some songs but most people can get on board with the chorus.  Even if they’re only faintly familiar with it.  

3) Find Comfortable Keys

Considering lowering the key of the songs you’re leading.  A key that hits the sweet spot of your power range with a sound system and full band supporting you is going to sound out of place in a classroom with ten friends.  

If you think comfortable congregational keys is important for regular Sunday worship it’s especially important in a small gathering context.  If there’s no fear of cracking trying to hit that high note engagement goes way up.  

Bonus tip.  This is especially helpful for early morning gatherings!

4) Call Out Sections And Lyrics

Speaking the first word of the next line.  Saying “lets sing that chorus again”.  These hints boost the confidence of everyone singing along.  No one wants to sing out the wrong lyric when everyone is guaranteed to hear them.  Even if it’s a subconscious thought it can limit how much people participate.   

So there you go. Four tips for leading worship in a small gathering.  

What are some of the small gathering settings you’ve lead for?

What things have you found helpful in leading for these groups? 

Leave a comment below! 

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