Worshiping at Home

Posted by Will Shinnick on

Leading worship in your home can seem like a daunting task. As someone who has led worship for over 20 years, it’s almost easier to lead in environments that you’re used to singing as a congregation than in the places we spend the majority of our time. People may feel self conscious about their voice or may just feel uncomfortable in a different environment. But, if we push through the discomfort, I have found some of the sweetest moments of worship happen in a living room. 

Here are a few ways that you can lead a small group of people in song: 

Singing With Instruments

The first option is to find someone that plays guitar or piano that can also sing. If they can play but don’t feel comfortable playing and leading at the same time, partner them up with someone they can lead with. My favorite way to do this is to pick a handful of songs in the same key that many of the group will know. I tend to only lead choruses and bridges of songs, because those are the parts that people typically remember without having lyrics. Here are some songs that we regularly sing at Ethos that can work in that context:

Agnus Dei, Breathe, Build My Life, Fall Afresh, God I Look to You, Good Good Father, Goodness of God, Great Are You Lord, Here For You, Here I Am to Worship, Holy Spirit, Hosanna, How He Loves, I Don’t Have Much, Jesus We Love You, King of My Heart, Lift You High, Lord I Need You, Nothing I Hold Onto, O Praise the Name, Open the Eyes of My Heart, Our Father, The Heart of Worship, Way Maker, We Will Dwell, What a Beautiful Name, Worthy of it All, Yes and Amen

I suggest choosing 2–3 of songs and make sure you are leading them in a key that most people would feeling comfortably singing in. I usually lower these songs a bit from their original recordings to help with that. Make sure you feel prepared playing and singing the songs before you show up to lead — so that you’re able to worship with the group you’re leading, instead of just playing through the songs like you’re doing karaoke.

A Cappella

Another option is to sing a cappella. It’s a beautiful thing when each voice comes together as one to connect to the heart of God. I grew up in a context that worshipped with just voices every Sunday. The challenging part is picking songs that work without musical accompaniment. Here are a few options that could work that we sing regularly.

Open the Eyes of My Heart, Come Thou Fount, Be Thou My Vision, In Christ Alone, Nothing But the Blood, How Deep the Father’s Love

Worship Set on YouTube

And finally, if you don’t have anyone who feels comfortable leading your group, you can use a worship set on YouTube. Here’s one recording from a past At Home resource that works well in a living room environment, but feel free to make a playlist of songs if you want to go that route. I would recommend finding songs that have lyrics embedded on the video.

And finally, I want to take any pressure off…it’s ok if it’s a little awkward. Don’t work about it being perfect or professional. Enter God’s presence and pour out your praise. I’m praying that the Spirit of God fills living rooms across the city next week as we gather in smaller groups to communally seek him! 

Will Shinnick


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