Worship Leader Workshops For Praise Team Members – Dan Macaulay

Abbie Stancato of Rockin' God's HouseI recently interviewed solo recording artist Dan Macaulay. Dan offers Worship Leader workshops. He began leading worship as a teenager and has continued doing so for more than twenty years. His skills have lead allowed him to travel around the world, even as far as a Bible College in Malaysia.

“One of the things I like to do is offer workshops to worship teams in churches. I try to figure out where they’re at by taking the time in advance to talk to the Worship Pastor or Music Director.  This way I can discover any issues or special needs they’re having and discreetly address them in the session if desired.”

“I’ll come in and speak to the team for a couple hours. Do a question and answer session. At times I’ll work with the band. I’ll help them through the arrangement of a song, teaching them how to listen to one another, and not play on top of each other. Praise bands need to learn how to leave space for each other and for the congregation. You want to allow the congregation to feel like there’s ‘room’ sonically to jump in and contribute by singing along – that’s the whole point, right? So teaching is something I really enjoy doing.”

I asked him the most common issue he discovers when working with most worship teams. Dan replied, “They don’t always listen to each other, and they don’t have to play throughout every song. If you have eight members in the band, in theory, each person should be playing only an eighth of the music. I tell them, your best solo simultaneously with my best solo does not equal good music. As a musician, you sometimes need to leave space and listen to one another. As musicians and vocalist, learn to sometimes wait, to sit out a verse or a chorus. There are times some musicians or singers should sit out an entire song. It shouldn’t be an entire band playing their hardest from start to finish. It’s boring for the congregation. It can be interpreted as too much noise. Learning to plan and build an arrangement together that builds over the course of a song is important.”

“Stage presence is another big factor. Realize your body language communicates a lot to the congregation—about as much as the music itself. I tell members you’re either adding to everyone’s experience of worship or your subtracting. Do you look like you would rather be somewhere else? Do you look mad or nervous? Consider videoing yourselves and watching back as a team later. You might be surprised!”

“To quote a comment Darlene Zscheck once said, ‘The more we prepare, the more we have to offer our congregation on Sunday.’ So the more we are ready, the more we know the music, the more confident we are in what to play and what to sing. We then have less distraction and less to think about while we’re simultaneously leading worship. You can then use that brain-power discerning what the spirit is saying in that moment, and discerning how to help people get there. Being prepared helps you do all those things.”

“Those are some of the key issues churches need to hear and be reminded of. That’s part of what I teach!”

You can visit Dan’s website for additional information on his workshops and check out his music while you are there. Both are time well spent!