Preparing for leading worship at a church, a small group Bible study, around a camp fire or at a gathering like WorshipCityPraise is VERY important!!! Here are a few things that have helped my band and me strive to serve the Lord in this way.
As worship leaders (each member is a worship leader, not just the lead singer), you need to remember that leading worship is NOT trying to get people to sing. It is WORSHIPING GOD yourselves, SO THAT others will FOLLOW your LEAD!!!! Instead of concentrating on worship leading, focus on being a lead worshiper. Instead of concentrating on keeping your eyebrows up (hoping everyone will think you are happy and in love with Jesus), focus your thoughts and heart on Christ.
For starters, you and your band or worship team MUST worship the Lord together as a small group, alone, away from people and the stage in order to be able to lead worship properly and in front of others. This is not easy. Put in a Delirious CD (and play it loud) or have someone lead on guitar or piano and then have everyone in the band sing along TO GOD!! Force yourselves to spend this time - it is as or more essential as the precious rehearsal time!!! In fact, I would recommend cutting your current weekly rehearsal time in half and spending one half in Bible study, singing, and prayer and the other half rehearsing, in that order. This way you will get the most out of your rehearsal. You might say there isn't enough time for this. But, trust me, you don't have time to NOT do this! Once you've all worshiped together, you will be amazed at how much quicker you learn songs and how much better you all work together.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE - then when you get on stage, forget it all! What I mean is, be very prepared, but be equally prepared to do anything God would have you do once worship begins - you need to be in great unity musically and spiritually so that you can go together where ever God leads you. Maybe you'll do a song you planned to do fast, much slower or the opposite. Maybe you'll do a song that was not even on the set list. Maybe you'll do one song several different ways for 20 minutes! You may even find that you will write new songs while you are on the stage!!!! The best worship comes out of the heart and is SPONTANEOUS, especially from the leaders!!! Don't be afraid of the unknown - just trust God, and sing and play to Him from your heart!
Each member MUST worship God with his instrument AND his voice. One of the keys to worshiping God is getting truth in your spirit. Music has a way of doing that - singing especially. You need to emphasize the need for your band to worship with their instruments - let God lead your fingers and hands as to what to play. AND even if some guys don't sing into microphones, EVERYONE SHOULD be singing most of the time. This helps each of you worship God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. It also helps you to not focus too much on what you play so that God will be more capable of playing through you!
You need to all study Psalms intensely! Get a feel for how David worshiped the Lord. There are times when he was very intense and times when he was still enough to know that God was God. You can read Amos 9:11-12 and Acts 15:16-17 which shows us that God is going to restore the Kingdom of David in our day - and for HIS purpose - SO THAT all men might find the Lord!!! You can also look at passages like 2 Chronicles 5-7 & 20, Psalm 40, Psalm 84, Revelation 4-5. David and Solomon are some of the greatest lead worshipers ever! The first book of Chronicles talks about David bring the ark (the presence of God) to the people, dancing all the way - there is lots of symbolism here. The second book of Chronicles talks about Solomon building the temple to God. The dedication of the temple is especially AWESOME!!! These and many other passages will help you see the importance and power of worship music in the Bible.
You also need to start reading Song of Songs. I know this book is a little strange, but it is actually God's symbolic love letter to us. King Solomon represents God, and we, God's people, are represented as Solomon's bride. The first verse says this book is the song OF songs. That means it is the most important one!! I'd say that means it must be significant for us!!!! As you read it, you will start to develop a new vocabulary for praising God. Verse 5:1 says we should drink deeply of God's love - that is what worship is!!!! When you begin to drink of His love on stage, you will find God drawing people to Himself just like He says He will in John 12:32. That is what it is ALL about!