Ever found yourself in the middle of a powerful worship moment, only to realise your team isn’t quite on the same page?
We’ve all been there.
In 22 Worship Leading Tips: Spark Life-Changing God Encounters I talked about how leading your team is crucial to your role as worship leader.
You’re lost in worship with your eyes closed, your heart soaring and your hands in the air like you don’t care.
But wait, your band?
They’re giving you the “Where are we going?” look 👀
Clearly, you need a way to communicate!
Vocal cues and body language work well.
You can always say, “Let’s sing the chorus” or sing the first line of the chorus so everyone knows where you’re going next.
However, there’s a time and a place for hand signals – and they definitely don’t need to be complicated.
6 Easy Worship Leader Hand Signals
1. Verse 1
A single finger extended – the universal signpost for the first verse.
2. Verse 2
Transition to the second verse by raising two fingers.
Shape your hand into a ‘C’ – a timeless signal for the chorus.
Raise three fingers to signal you’re going into the bridge
5. Repeat Tagline
Show your pinky finger if you want your team to repeat the last line of a song.
Show a closed fist when you want to end a song.
There you have it! It really is as simple as that! 😎
Try these out at your next worship team rehearsal and feel free to add your own.
An Alternate Set Of Worship Leader Hand Signals
While the set of hand signals I’ve just shared is undoubtedly effective, I’ve also had the privilege of leading worship in churches that employ a slightly different approach – a system rooted in the number of sections within a song.
Imagine you’re working with a song composed of three parts:
With this approach, signalling becomes as simple as it gets:
One finger for the verse, two fingers for the chorus, and three fingers for the bridge.
What makes this method especially intriguing is its flexibility. It readily adapts to songs that might feature a pre-chorus or additional verses and so on.
Check out this video for a quick run-through of how it works:
Do Hand Signals Have To Be Discrete?
I honestly don’t think so.
You see a lot of worship leaders subtly using signals behind their backs as if keeping their cues a well-guarded secret.
It’s not necessary because, yes you’re leading your worship team but you’re also leading your congregation.
It seems like Don Moen agrees…
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What Hand Signals Does Your Worship Team Use?
Are there any you use that aren’t on this list?
Do you think it’s necessary to try and hide your hand signals from the congregation?
Let us know in the comments! 👇