Day 6 of “12 Days Of Weekend Service New Year’s Resolutions!” Today’s resolution is “Make Eye Contact!” There are times that a worship leader should have eyes closed in a prayerful posture – however, that should not be ALL the time [or even most of the time]! Inherent in the title Worship Leader is the concept of leading – you are not singing “at” or “for” the congregation, you are leading and helping them to express THEIR worship to God. That requires a connection, particularly on songs where the lyrics are encouraging each other or marveling to each other about the goodness, holiness and merciful nature of God!
On those songs, look people in the eye. Don’t “scan” the crowd – chose a person and lock eyes for at least a few seconds at a time. I get it – stage fright is real, even in the church world. However, it can be lessened a bit by realizing that the vast majority of the congregation actually do want you to win. For every “griper” or congregational member with crossed arms and scowl, there are 10 [probably more] people who are worshipping, at least in their hearts.