Last night 1700 of my closest worship-leading friends and I had the opportunity to worship with David Crowder (aka “Crowder” these days). I’ve seen him live twice now. He is a master artist. To my surprise and delight, when the lights came up, it was simply Crowder in a trucker’s hat with an acoustic guitar and a guy on dobro, banjo, and various other front-porch stringed instruments (let me know if you know who this was). He won me over right away.
Apart from his obvious artistic ability, Crowder models some really great stage principles for worship leaders. Here are my take-aways.
- Be a great host. He acknowledges the people in the room. He says hello and talks throughout his set. He tells stories that show his vulnerability. I can really connect with him. It also helps that he’s funny.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. I love that this rock and roller has experimented with electronic dance music and sings Hank Williams.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. This is a serious stumbling block for worship leaders. I know it is for me. Before starting “I Saw the Light,” his partner was having technical difficulty with his banjo. It wasn’t “in” the monitors (or the house for that matter). He mentioned to Crowder that he couldn’t hear his banjo. “Well, that’s alright,” Crowder quipped. “You can hear it in your head anyway.”
He ended with a set of gospel standards “I Saw the Light,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and closing with Bill Gaither’s “Because He Lives.” It was brilliant. Well done, Crowder. Well done.
Q: Have you ever seen Crowder live?