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Worship Leading
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Hannah McClure and Paul McClure

0:53:03 · Worship Leading

The Value of Co-Leading and the Culture of Empowerment

Paul & Hannah’s History

  • Paul & Hannah came to the Bethel Worship School back in 2010 and they rea
  • We all need each other
  • Co-leading in and of itself is empowerment
  • In 2015, Paul was hired as the worship department manager

The Culture of Co-Leading

  • Something happens when you worship together on stage, it’s an opportunity to go somewhere as a team. 
  • There’s safety in co-leading and you’re not just going off in your own direction. 
  • Even Bill Johnson co-leads with Kris Vallotton and Danny Silk
  • Jenn & Brian aren’t afraid of other people being awesome, they want their ceiling to be their team’s floor
  • Are you able to see the potential of others around you?

The Culture of Empowerment

  • Are you okay when other people fail? Is there grace when people mess up? 
  • When people are genuinely doing their best and they still fail, there needs to be a safe place of encouragement where people know they’re believed in.

The Culture of Encouragement

  • Take the time to share testimonies, prophesy over each other, and speak truth over each other as a worship team
  • Does your team know that they’re believed in? During the “Team Nights” at Bethel Music, they make a priority of encouraging each other before they jump into tactical practice
  • As a co-leading, are you encouraging and supporting the leader even in their body language and engagement during the entire service? 
  • After every set, they hold a quick debrief to talk about places where improvement is needed and even more so, the places where victories happened
  • The culture of encouragement has to start with the leadership, it’s not going to just happen 

The Culture of Feedback

  • How do you create a healthy environment where feedback is given in a constructive way?
  • Believing in people looks like having hard conversations with them. 
  • Avoiding hard conversations is oftentimes a mechanism to defend ourselves, not develop someone else. 
  • A big lesson of leadership: it’s not the leader’s job to make sure someone reaches their full potential
  • Paying for voice lessons: ways to invest as a leader in your people
  • Be humble enough to receive feedback yourself, no matter what level of leadership you’re at
  • Always start feedback with encouragement, this is the basis for trust
  • Don’t delay hard conversations, it will only make those conversations harder in the end and the people will never feel honored by a delayed confrontation

Logistics of Scheduling Worship Teams 

  • Paul schedules two months at a time
  • He tries to start newer leaders at smaller services where there is less pressure
  • The only way to get better as a leader is to have opportunities to lead
  • Give the co-lead a song that is going to build their confidence
  • As far as setlists go, let the co-lead pick a few songs so that they have a choice in what they sing, while the leader ultimately chooses the song they sing
  • Setlists go out two - three days before the actual service 
  • “Spontaneity is the reward of preparation” - Brian Johnson

Leading With Your Spouse

  • Be patient with each other
  • Doing it yourself is quicker and easier, but you miss out on the benefit of the power of operating as a team 
  • Leading worship is a vulnerable thing
  • Choose a good time to talk about sensitive things, don’t discuss hard topics when one of you is raw or tired
  • Feedback in a group setting is never received well. Give feedback privately in a one-on-one setting
  • Honor the point, even when you don’t understand or feel it
  • Support is as simple as singing on the mic or leaning in


  • Is the handbook that Bethel Music uses for their worship teams publicly available? 
    • Yes. The handbook contains Core Values, Expectations, Rules, and it needs to be signed by team members
  • Under what conditions do you ask worship leaders to change their setlists? 
    • Mainly what they’re looking for most of the time is “who is the band and is it going to work for them?” “Do these songs align with Bethel’s doctrine or theology?” “Are these corporate songs that are easy to sing along with?” 
  • How do you bring forth your team in confidence and pastor people to step out spontaneously? 
    • Practice the spontaneous worship in the practice sets
    • Communication between leaders and musicians is key in the midst of spontaneous moments
    • Having a Music Director “MD” on stage is hugely helpful to see where the leader wants to go and bring the band along musically
    • Confidence takes time to build in your team culture
    • Sometimes we treat the spontaneous with such reverence that we don’t want to touch it, but it’s good to jump into the planning of the spontaneous. 
  • How does a debrief flow? Give an example of a cool situation and a tough situation. 
    • It’s good to include your sound guy
    • The leader will ask “how did that feel?” or “how could we have done better?” 
    • Always include the band and ask everyone’s feedback
  • In dealing with hard conversations, how do you deal with people who feel like you’re limiting them?
    • Attitude is key 
    • If you have a team night where you can build relationships
    • Set the expectation from the start that feedback will be given and growth is expected
    • If people know your heart and your vision, they’re usually not going to feel limited
    • Give people the option to not be a part of what the team is doing and where they’re going