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Zoom sur une interview avec Don Moen et Lenny LeBlanc

Questions gathered from a number of people involved in leading praise and worship were put to Don Moen and Lenny LeBlanc during their recent visit to Mauritius. Seated with the Indian Ocean as a backdrop, these two gifted men, with a combined musical experience of 80 years, had so much to share! Here are a few highlights…

What is the role or purpose of a praise and worship leader in the church?

Don: I’m almost sad to see that we’ve come to a place where people say, ‘Let’s have a time of worship,’ and they automatically translate it into music and singing. The role of the worship leader in the church is to build a platform, or a throne, for the presence of God, because when God is present, He is able to heal, save, deliver, and provide for every need. The praise and worship leader needs to be himself; to have his own identity and anointing, and his goal should be to bring people into the presence of God.

What are the practical issues involved in leading worship? What techniques or skills are required?

Lenny: I think the choice of song is very important when you’re leading worship. Obviously you don’t want to start off with a deep worship song that’s very intimate. I think there should be skill involved, I think we should at least try to play skillfully and as best we can.

Don: A good worship leader needs to be a good communicator. I used to say to worship leaders: ‘worship and don’t lead’; but today, I know this is not right. You need to be able to read your audience and feel where they are. I think it’s a calling… God puts His finger on certain people and says, ‘I’ve called you to this leadership role.’ There are some people that are so gifted at it, and when they get up there and lead it’s just effortless. There are natural God-given skills, and there can be learned skills.

With all the instruments, the leaders, the skills, the talents – have we moved away from the simplicity of worship?

Lenny: I’ll often lead with just my guitar and one other singer, but I think it’s good to have a variety. It almost makes you appreciate the band when you have it, and you appreciate it when you have something different.

Don: I think you can be simple even with a whole band. The danger is when the band takes over and the stage becomes the centre of attention, rather than the people, and what the Spirit of the Lord wants to do. It all comes down to leadership.

Where does faith and expectancy fit into the mix when you lead worship?

Lenny: I think we just need to be open to whatever God wants. It happens in my church a lot of the time that we’ll be singing a certain song and you’ll sense the Holy Spirit wanting to do something. That’s what you hope for, that He will show up in a way that people can experience Him tangibly.

Don: Psalm 22:3 says that God is enthroned on the praises of His people. We need to expect, that when we come together as the Body of Christ and offer sincere praise, God will come and inhabit that praise. There are times when I walk off the stage and I feel I’ve not delivered what I should have. Often, this is when people will say to me, ‘Wow, that was the most powerful service!’ It’s God reminding us that it’s not about us but all about Him.

Where do different styles and trends come into worship?

Lenny: I think there’s always going to be change; and I think we need to have an open heart and always remain true to Jesus being the centre of everything. Things are going to change and we’ve just got to figure out if we’re going to go along with the change, or stay in the same old ways.

Where does faith and expectancy fit into the mix when you lead worship?

Don: I would like to be able to 
hear the sounds that are happening in Heaven right now. That’s what I pray for: ‘God, open my ears to hear the worship that’s happening in Heaven and let me be a reflection of that!’ That’s what I want to be, and I think if we can get to that point musically, we will be closer to what we should be doing in the church.

Click here to watch the video of this interview.


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