Today: the place for spontaneity as a worship leader

New Testament

  • Evidence for spontaneity in worship, 1 Corinthians 14:25-26
  • However, need for orderliness, 1 Corinthians 14:40

Erickson: “the spirit moves through spontaneity. The spirit also moves through form and structure. Obviously, for Paul both dimensions are vital to the dynamics of worship.”

Erickson: “…a balance between structure and freedom is easier to attain in theory than in practice. The tension between the two can become a source of discord within a congregation. The pastoral challenge is to maintain a creative balance amidst these two constantly shifting elements”

Key Principle: “Everything must be done so that the church may be built up” (1 Corinthians 14:26)

Before you go spontaneous:

  • Discuss the place of spontaneity with leadership
  • Agree on principles and practicals as a worship team
  • Get feedback

Enabling spontaneity:

  • Do not abandon structure – it enables freedom
  • Give the service structure to your team as far in advance as possible


  • Extend a song
  • Add/change a song
  • Read/quote a scripture
  • Pray
  • Say a few words

What else can you think of / have you seen?

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here.

PPS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John