It's great when a worship leader communicates! I have played with worship leaders where you'd have to be a prophet greater than Elijah to know what they're going to do next! If people in the band get confused, just think how people in the church feel...
Some tips on communication:
- Decide on songs (or have 7-8 and then make choices from them) beforehand. Let the band know these are the songs, especially if you don't practice. So email out the songs in the week, preferably with the key you're playing in and the music. Consider less gifted musicians and how you can help them (e.g. get a guitarist playing in G capo 3 rather than playing in Bb)
- Communicate to the person doing the words before the service about the songs so they can feel organised.
- If you have a set order that you've prayed, played over and thought about then do a bit of paper so each member of the band and AV team have the order written. Remember that the person doing words or sound is just as much part of the worship. If they aren't a musician or don't know the songs, help them out before. If I play elsewhere I even take a memory stick with the song typed up and with the 'Verse 1' / 'Chorus' headings on etc.
- During the service have ways of communicating with the band. So if you want to repeat something, lift up your leg for example and make sure you tell people in the band to keep an eye on you so they can follow. Or simply shout out over the mic (the words of the next part) before you repeat something / go to a bridge. This also helps the person on words know where you're going and helps people stay in worship because they can see the words in time!
- Maybe communicate to the person on PA who is going to be in the band. As mentioned elsewhere, one worship leader forgot to ask people in the band so would even ask them when they arrived on a Sunday. Other times they had to ask someone to pick someone up or go and get an instrument etc. Not ideal. Tell the PA person they may have 4 vocalists this week, or whatever. Communication makes people feel involved and it builds team.
- Communication is also visual so keep your eyes on the band, keep your eyes on the church. Don't get too lost that people in the church lose track of where you are or the band loses you, or you get lost yourself!
- I sometimes say the title of the next song before I sing it (in a prayer or just words of praise to God) etc. This helps people know what the next song is, esp useful if you don't have an order of songs etc.
- Talking of comms, it's good to empower the person doing words to develop the skill of putting the next page of words up just before you go to sing the words. This really helps people in the church when they're singing.
So for example in the Chris Tomlin song 'Our God' it'd be like this (over two pages):
Water you turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There's no-one like you, none like you
Into the darkness we shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There's no-one like you, none like you
Even though there's a gap between the first '...none like you' and 'Into the darkness we shine', it's ideal if the person changing words before the church sing 'Into the darkness we shine' ahead of time - maybe as people are singing '...none like you'
This is especially important in songs like 'Strength Will Rise (Everlasting God)' by Brenton Brown where the change from the verse 'Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord' ---> goes into 'Our God, you reign for ever' etc.
- Basically keep communicating generally. It is very empowering. I always thank the band, do little prezzies for them, turn to new / young people after songs they learn and say 'well done', even turn and help young people doing guitar riffs by nodding the timing / humming out the riff with them so only they and myself can hear it etc.
- And remember to thank people afterwards. I thank people personally (even thank other worship leaders when you're not playing!) But when leading I also text or email / Facebook people after to say thank you, well done etc.
Every little helps ;)