One thing I want to do here is introduce you to some Worship Leaders who you may have heard of and others you haven’t. The way I want to do that is through a series called 5 Questions.
The premise is simple: I want to ask these leaders the same 5 questions to get different perspectives, to observe common themes, and to discover some concrete takeaways for us to apply today in our own lives. Each one of these leaders have their own point-of-view and experiences, so I believe that we’re going to learn a lot from these guys.
I know you’re going to enjoy this series, so take a few minutes and dig in to our very first 5 Questions post . . .
When I was brainstorming some names of guys who I thought would be great to include as a part of our 5 Questions series, Lee was one of the first guys that came to mind.
Something that always catches my eye with Worship Leaders is when guys get that it isn’t only about having a great band or solid transitions, but that our responsibility is to be much more than that. To love God, love people, and to learn how to lead off the stage way before we learn how to lead on the stage.
Lee is one of the guys that gets it.
I’ve always appreciated how he leads his team, loves his people, and puts his wife first. I wish I would have read this 10 years ago, and I’m positive you’ll feel the same way after.
So, here’s Lee’s 5 Questions.
Name || Lee McDerment
Church & Role || NewSpring Church – Worship Director
Main Instrument || Vocal, Guitar, Piano
Fun Fact || My wife @alimcderment is the coolest person on planet Earth.
Links || Follow Lee @mcdzl
(All emphasis from Chris)
1. How did you learn to lead/get into leading worship?
I felt called to serve the church when I was an engineering student at Clemson. I transferred to Anderson College to study music (mainly choral directing), with the hopes of being a music minister in a traditional baptist church. Along the way, I led worship with the BSU and FCA bands on campus.
NewSpring Church started up on campus while I was a student, and Perry (our pastor) asked me to be the worship leader a couple of months before I graduated. My first day of work at NewSpring Church was the day after I graduated. That was almost 15 years ago! This has been my only job since college. Praise Jesus!
2. What is the most helpful habit you have developed as a Worship Leader?
A daily quiet time with Jesus. I know that sounds overly simple, but musical and ministry disciplines will come and go … but a daily discipline of meeting with Jesus is the most profoundly impacting thing any worship leader can do to be most effective.
My pastor says, “Leadership is as simple as listening to Jesus and doing what He says.“ That’s real. The only way to be a great leader is to get close to Jesus early and often.
3. What has helped you develop as a Worship Leader?
Leading on the same stage with the same church week in, week out for years. Great life mentors. Studying the scriptures. Developing deep brotherhood friendships. Going to rock concerts.
4. What’s one thing you wish you would have known 10 years ago about leading worship?
Get your personal life in good, disciplined shape. Become a real man or woman by being physically fit, financially fit, and sexually pure. Read the Bible like it’s your job. And have as much fun as you possibly can. A worship leader should have a life worth imitating and radiate joy! Sadly, ten years ago, I spent too much time as a lazy, moody artist and not enough time as a disciplined & joyful worship leader.
5. If you could only give one piece of advice to a growing Worship Leader, what would it be?
Read your Bible. Read your Bible. Read your Bible. This will create more faith in your heart, more truth in your speech, and more satisfaction and peace in your soul.
Pursue humility so that you can be ready for true greatness. Read Psalm 138 & see that “Though the LORD is very great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.” As a worship leader, I need the Lord’s closeness more than anything. Pursuing humility and recognizing my moment by moment need for the Gospel is key. Measure your desire for humility by how enthusiastically you seek wisdom from older people. If you aren’t proactively seeking wisdom, it’s hard to imagine you will amount to anything.
That was some serious gold. I know I emphasized all of Lee’s response to number 4, but if we all focused on doing only that, our churches would be different places.
I’d like to thank Lee for sharing his passion and insight with us, such a humble guy with a heart for leaders to love God and people.