Small group worship part one – the practical stuff

I believe in the verses from the Psalms ‘make a joyful noise unto the Lord’ and at times my worship sounds like noise, but it is always joyful.

We’ve all been there, squashed into a room with someone who is learning the guitar and someone starts to sing, either off-key or too high for the blokes in the room. It soon dissolves into a mishmash of unheavenly, yet joyful, noise.

Here are some things I have learnt about small group worship over the last 35 years along with some hints and tips:

  • Keep the songs simple – the latest worship songs can be really wordy and there are so many great songs and choruses out there that whatever your churchmanship you can use – you can hardly go wrong with Majesty by Jack Hayward or All Hail the Lamb by Dave Bilborough just to mention a couple. Importantly these are songs that allow you to fix your eyes on Jesus.
  • Embrace Modern Technology – You can buy DVDs with a range of songs, both ancient and modern, that display the lyrics on the screen as you sing along.Online video sites like YouTube allow you to play worship songs through a computer and also free music players like Spotify where you can create a playlist where your chosen songs play one after another.

Hints & Tips:

The free version of Spotify does have annoying adverts that randomly interrupt!

Invest in a wireless speaker that connects to your phone if you want to get better volume!

Check with your small group host that their Wifi is up for the challenge as there’s nothing worse than your worship being interrupted by buffering!

Keep the sound levels at a reasonable level so that people aren’t embarrassed to join in with the songs. And print out song words if the songs are wordier. Also remember older members or people with hearing aids may have difficulties if there is music playing and people singing at the same time.

Remember the aim is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the one we adore rather than trying to sing higher or better than the person next to us. This also allows quieter people & the ones who don’t think they can keep a tune to feel they can worship without focusing in on them.

Lastly worshiping together should be uplifting and a great way to collectively focus on Jesus. It can remind us that God works through us when we join with our friends to honour Him.


By Anthony

Ant has been leading and attending small groups for 35 years. Next month he and his wife Catherine, who is a worship leader in their local church, will co-write a blog for us to share some more wisdom and experience on worshipping in small groups.

Resource of the Month: Small Group Essentials

Small Group Essentials

Explore ten vital aspects of small group ministry.

Small groups are tricky because people are tricky! But even Jesus had a small group of imperfect people. Whether small groups are integral to your church or your group is the only one, discover how to change the right things, develop a compelling vision, value leadership, seek God’s involvement, allow people to flourish, and a host of other insights into small group life.

Full of wisdom and insight from Andy Peck, who has been involved with small group ministry in different forms all his adult Christian life, this book is ideal for leaders, co-ordinators, facilitators or anyone involved with small groups.


Meet the Author

Andy Peck has been involved in various forms of Christian ministry for nearly 30 years as a student worker and as a pastor in churches, as a writer and editor of Christianity magazine, and as a host of 400-plus interviews with Christian leaders on Premier Christian Radio, and counting. He has preached at over 50 churches and some have even invited him back!

He serves as a full-time tutor for CWR, on a range of courses and is author of Bible60, Bible Genres Cover to Cover Bible Study and Coaching and Mentoring.


More books and courses for your small group
by Andy Peck

COURSE: Small Group Essentials – Tools to unlock your group’s potential

Thursday 23 March 2017 at Waverley Abbey House

What makes for an effective small group?

This seminar will give you lots of practical insights and ideas for leading small groups. The course will explore how you can assess the potential of your small group, set goals and keep on course, how to understand group dynamics and the stages that a small group goes through, and the pastoral care of the members of your group.

God's story in 60 snapshots
God’s story in 60 snapshots

If you are looking to help people grasp the message of the Bible, Andy Peck shows in this book the key turning points and common themes that run throughout. As these are revealed, perhaps it will encourage you and your group to go on and dig deeper into the Bible. With thirty readings from the Old Testament and thirty from the New, questions are provided at the end of each day to prompt further thought and prayer.

Cover to Cover Bible Study: Bible Genres
Cover to Cover Bible Study: Bible Genres
Hearing what the Bible really says

This study explores seven of the major genres of literature used by writers of the Bible: law, narrative, psalm, prophecy, gospel, epistle and apocalyptic writing. Each study provides an opportunity to consider a wide range of Bible passages that demonstrate the focal genre style and to reflect on what God is saying.