Worship Leader Q & A with Layne Watkins

By Rachel Gall, Contributor

Continuing our Q&A with worship leaders around the country, we interviewed Layne Watkins of beautiful Boise, Idaho.

Q: How do you prepare your heart and mind before leading worship?

"When I first began to lead worship, a close friend made an observation about my countenance. He said, "You are so somber and serious when you are leading worship – you aren't normally like that in any other scenario." He was right! There was a disconnect between the me behind the microphone and the me in almost every other circumstance. This was creating a sort of disingenuous experience not only for me but obviously for the congregation I was leading. They knew the me that was very expressive and they weren't seeing that during worship.

Before the conversation with my friend, I thought that my heart was in the right place. I was compressing my personality in an attempt to shrink away and avoid being a distraction. What I didn't realize was that my created worship persona was the distraction. I was leading with a disengaged heart and a different personality.

Now, my goal is to worship first. When preparing for our worship services, I learn the music, I learn the lyrics and I connect with them where I'm at – I make the connection with the songs I'm bringing and my personal experiences first. Then, when it's time worship together as a congregation, what I'm bringing is sincere. What I'm expressing behind the microphone now is an engaged heart and an unleashed personality. I worship from my own understanding and experience to encourage the members of our congregation to do the same – to make the connections for themselves and worship our God from a place of understanding and authenticity."

Layne Watkins – Worship Leader at Real Life Community, Nampa, Idaho – www.reallifecommunity.com

Check back for more Q & A's with different worship leaders at churches around the country.

How do you prepare your heart and Mind for worship? Let us know in the comments!