Last week was the first night of worship and it was quite awkward. Though we were to be worshiping the same God, the sense of community was greatly lacking. Since I had never met any of the youth before and likewise they me, it was a testing of the waters. The youth minister had warned me before that the youth group doesn't really sing until they know someone. So my first objective is to develop relationships with those that I will be leading into the throne room of God
Introductions are always clumsy for me. I want to go full force with a teen but when there are 30+ others that you have yet to meet it is quite difficult to stay in a conversation as long as you need. I do not want to short change the one I am speaking with but my mind begins to wander. I pray for the consistency of mind to begin a friendship with these teens.
A good technique I have found is to simply sit down with the teen and engage their eyes. Responding to their questions and asking of them who they are in full. What are their hobbies, ideas, dreams, etc? This I have found to be most useful in keeping a connection going. It is good to know all of the names of the youth group, but I don't think that I could develop deep relationships with all of them, that is why there are other sponsors. So going shallow with many will not be as beneficial as going deep with a few.
Leading worship is also knowing the needs of the community and praying for God to lead you in serving the community. The community takes precedence over the worship leader. His/her job is a guide, opening the door to the throne room of God and reminding everyone of the history of God, the splendor of God, the voice of God, providing a way for God to show himself to the community and remind them himself of who he is.
We are the guides, not the attraction. Let us never forget that.