Today is my birthday and I think I’ve got a treat for myself as well as everyone else! I reached out to Leslie a while ago on Twitter and she was so gracious take take time from her busy schedule to share with us today.
Leslie is a really interesting Worship Leader because along with her recording and traveling with All Sons & Daughters, she’s also creative arts staff and a worship guide at Journey Church in Franklin, TN. Her perspective is something that is needed in the Christian music industry, but she provides a lot of great insights for all kinds of worship leaders.
Take the time to get to know Leslie a little bit, I know you’ll be encouraged!
Stick around til the end of the post to get your chance of getting a FREE copy of my favorite All Sons & Daughters album, Live.
Name || Leslie Jordan
Church & Role || Worship Guide/Creative Arts Staff, Journey Church (Franklin, TN)
Main Instrument || Guitar
Fun Fact || I used to own Llamas 🙂
1) How did you learn to/get into leading worship?
I was 15 when I was asked to join the “praise band” in high school. It was incredibly intimidating at first but it turned out that I only needed to know 4 chords to play most youth group praise songs! It was in college that I developed a deeper sense of what “leading worship” actually meant. I worked for a missions organization where I was leading new groups of people each week.
I was in charge of planning the worship times every morning and every evening and wrapping it around a nightly message. That was where it all came to life for me. There was purpose and intentionality behind planning a worship set that I quickly came to love. I have had amazing leadership and mentors throughout the last 15 years of leading worship – people who believed in my strengths and challenged me to grow in my weaknesses.
2) What is the most helpful habit you have developed as a Worship Leader?
The most helpful habit would have to be cultivating relationships. To know and be known. As a worship leader, there is no greater gift you could give your community or congregation than getting to know them. To lead people well, you have to know who you are leading.
And at the same time, allow yourself to be known. Be rooted in community. My husband and I are a part of a small group where we feel loved and known! It is a beautiful exchange and one that I believe adds to the heart of leadership. I also felt a shift in purpose and passion when I started spending less time in the office and more time investing in our team member’s lives. You really get to know people when you go to their kid’s basketball game or rollerskating birthday party!To LEAD people well, you have to KNOW who you are leading. - @itslesliejordanClick To Tweet
3) What has helped you develop as a Worship Leader?
On a practical level, the thing that has helped me the most as a worship leader is time. I’ve been leading for a long time. I’ve made a lot of mistakes! I’ve also had really great leadership in my life. I have led worship at Journey for 8 years. When I began, I was fresh out of college and had so much to learn.
On a personal level, having deeper relationships with my church family has helped me develop as a worship leader. As I mentioned before, to know and be known helps build trust between a leader and congregation.
4) What’s one thing you wish you would have known 10 years ago?
I wish I would have known how beautiful co-writing was. In the last 5 years, I have had an opportunity to write songs with some very inspiring and incredible people. It has stretched me in ways I never could have imagined. The act of creating anything can be very vulnerable but when writing worship music (especially) you can grasp somewhat of the community aspect by writing with one or more people. Creating from a place of togetherness instead of isolation results in some beautiful art and music.
5) If you could only give one piece of advice to a growing Worship Leader, what would it be?
I hate to sound like a broken record, but I would tell a growing worship leader to surround himself/herself with a church community. It seems in today’s fast-paced world, it is much easier to be transient and mobile and harder to be rooted. Dig in. Surround yourself with members of your church and other leaders who have more hours than you. They will make you better!Surround yourself with a CHURCH COMMUNITY, be rooted, DIG IN! - @itslesliejordanClick To Tweet
I don’t know if you caught the subtlety in Leslie’s responses, but it’s IMPORTANT that Worship Leaders are rooted in a local church! There is a reason why Jesus spent time setting up the Church on Earth, and while its definitely easier (as Leslie noted) to just come in and out of places, its MUCH more reward to know people and be known by them.
I think that that theme is something that all Worship Leaders really need to consider for themselves. I know that we can get burned sometimes and can be transitioning churches or something, but don’t just be a Worship Leader for hire when you don’t have your own roots somewhere. Don’t hear me criticizing guys & gals who travel and lead for a living, I think that’s great, but I am saying that its YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that you’re connected SOMEWHERE.
Thanks again to Leslie to taking time to join us today, and in honor of her sharing with us, I want to give YOU the chance to win a FREE copy of my favorite All Sons & Daughters album, Live, which was recorded live before a studio audience in Nashville’s Oceanway Studios.
This is EASILY one of my favorite worship albums over the last few years, and all you need to do to be eligible to win is SIGN UP for the cdenning.com Newsletter, which gets you every post in your email box, exclusive content, and you’ll be automatically entered in any drawing we have in the future! It takes 30 seconds and you’ll be set up, so CLICK HERE to enter the drawing!