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Why So Serious? | The Importance of Platform Presence

What are we communicating with our facial expressions and body language during worship?


As worship leaders, how we carry ourselves on the platform matters. It matters a lot! We want to steward those holy moments well and limit distractions.

But sometimes, WE are the distraction.


Years ago, as a younger worship leader, I was given feedback concerning my platform presence. To be honest, it hurt a little.


I was told that I looked very serious, almost mad, while leading worship. This was an unintentional facial expression due to the passion I felt and partly due to straining to reach notes that were uncomfortable.


In addition, a trusted Pastor shared that I clenched my fist a lot and would shake it in the air. This was usually when I was speaking or exhorting during a moment. Again...I'm passionate. LOL!!


Although, not on purpose, this body language communicated a stern and harsh demeanor in worship.


After looking back at several videos, I realized that the feedback was accurate.


I put myself in the place of someone in the congregation and how those expressions may come across. My platform presence at times was distracting in worship and didn't reflect the true posture of my heart.


I started being intentional to lift my eyebrows, smile, and think about the lyrics I was singing, which helped my furrowed brow :). Once I learned proper vocal technique, I was able to sing without having a strained look.


I also began holding my hand open as I spoke instead of clenching my fist, which helped me appear more relatable.


Sometimes we may have habits, mannerisms, or movements that can be a distraction and hinder the connection we are facilitating in worship.  Knowing WHAT they are and WHY we are doing them is very important.


Examples of this could be over-exaggerated motions that draw attention to ourselves, staring at the lyrics too much, closing our eyes the entire time, looking disinterested, tight clothing, not smiling, or improper mic technique. 


We may not even realize we are doing it, but that's why it's crucial to step back and take an inventory of how we lead.


Here are THREE SIMPLE STEPS to take when looking at your platform presence.


Overthinking, people pleasing, and comparison can keep our worship expression from being authentic. We need to intentionally ask the Lord for revelation in how we can engage with the people we are leading while worshiping God authentically. When we worship from a genuine heart, our platform presence will usually take care of itself.


Lead from a place of security and identity in Christ. When we know who we are and what we are called to do, there will be a humble confidence in how we carry ourselves. The presence and life you bring to the platform is so valuable. As worship leaders, we should be demonstrating the kind of engagement that we want to see in our congregations!


Spend time with God and seek Him concerning your platform presence. He will reveal areas that need growth. Pay attention by watching videos back of yourself and observing your body language and expressions. If you're singing about joy, you should look JOYFUL! When a worship leader has sharpened their sense of awareness, they will lead the room confidently and effectively.

"As worship leaders, you are not performers.  You are world changers, influencers, and you help steward the atmosphere.  Let your outward expression reflect your inner love and honor for the Lord. It will be contagious. "  Amber Peairs 

As I wrap this up, I'm going to leave you with some questions to ask yourself honestly.


1. Do I have any distracting movements or hand gestures? 

2. Do my facial expressions look mad, sad, serious, or disinterested? 

3. Is my clothing or accessories creating a distraction or hinderance?

4. Am I worshiping from a genuine place when leading?

5. Am I engaged with the congregation and present in the moment?

6. Am I overthinking or anxious in worship?


Allow the Lord to guide you and bring revelation while answering these questions.

I hope this was helpful for you. Until next time...lead boldly and worship passionately.


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