chick worship leaders? (or, for a nicer title: women in worship)

woman-blue.jpgwell, as most of you have figured out, i’m a chick worship leader…. been one since i started leading worship ten years ago. its quite an interesting dynamic, but we won’t get into that today.

what i’m really wanting to talk about is other female worship leaders. namely those who blog. blending worship is blessed to have diligent, passionate, and committed male readers [hey guys!!!]…but i’m looking to increase my connections with other female WLs out there.

so. i need your help.

you know any i can connect with?

ht: anne jackson

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~ by mandythompson on August 15, 2007.

39 Responses to “chick worship leaders? (or, for a nicer title: women in worship)”

  1. Well, there’s me. And there’s my friend Krysta at I have one other friend who is a worship leader but she does not yet have a blog. I hope to have a second blog dedicated to worship stuff soon. Truth be told, the real world is totally distracting me as I try to make progress in this one.

    • Hi, I’m a female worship leader in Florida. I’ve been leading worship for about 15-17 years, and have never actually been on a worship team without leading. I am one of three people on staff at the Church where I currently attend. Almost a year ago I was called by the Lord to write and to teach both a Worship Team Course and a Worship Leader Course, and this curriculum has become the standard for being on the worship team, or to be a worship leader at this particular Church where I attend. I had made up my mind after the last Church I was at that I would never (unless God AUDIBLY spoke to me) again become a permanent worship leader in any Church. With that in mind, my mission was clear at this Church, to train a team and a new worship leader and be on my way…well, I had 4 people go through the Worship Leader Course and none of them stepped up to take my place, so basically, I’ve just stayed too long and now I am so over the whole thing. I love to worship the Lord, and believe He has given me a gift to lead worship, however, as a woman I can almost feel the tangible double standard in the American Church today. I can’t possibly tell you my whole story on this blog, but the straw that broke the camel’s back (remember, a straw is a very light thing and may seem insignificant) happened the other day when the Pastor chose to put a newer (male) member of the Church in charge of a prayer meeting during his (the Pastor’s) two week absence. A meeting that I have been faithfully attending since it began, and where I have some definite leadership role. The Pastor did this thing right in front of the whole group and right in front of me (to my utter amazement). Now, I know this may not sound like much, ergo, the straw, but believe me, even though they say with their mouths that women can lead worship and have gifts of leadership in the Church, it still boils down to the males in charge. In my case they have been systematically stripping any authority I used to have in the Church. For me, I just don’t have the energy or maybe the patience to be a pioneer in the Women Worship Leading thing anymore. I’m done, stick a fork in me, I’m done. I could really use some encouragement right now as I make some decisions that will not only alter my life, but, no doubt, the lives of others who are taught and built up by the gifts God has given to me. Thanks so much for reading this long, drawn out thing, but there’s really no one I can talk to in the Church that won’t stumble over this, and I certainly don’t want to cause division or anyone to stumble in the Body of Christ. I’m considering quietly transitioning out of this Church Worship ministry altogether, and, as the Lord leads, do some ministry outside of the Church structure. Any thoughts? D

      • Hi, I just came across your story when googling to find a female worship leader for our women’s conference in March 2011. I just wondered how things are going for you and if you are still worship leading. Where in Florida are you?

      • Sorry, I didn’t know how to reply :o Technically challenged I guess… Anywho, it’s December 2010, and I have to say I have been set free on so many levels! I moved to the U.P. of Michigan this past June. That’s right, I went from the bottom of the Country to the top of it :) That means I resigned from my position as Worship Leader at the Church in Florida, and didn’t realize how much bondage I was in until I was out of it. I’ll try to keep this short (not possible:). Like I said in my earlier post, I’ve been consistently leading worship (almost nonstop) for the past 15-17 years. I have grown to absolutely LOVE to lead worship, but some of the stuff that goes with it like church politics, etc. was wearing me down and I didn’t even know it. I came up to live in this small town where, ironically, they had a Church with contemporary worship. The Worship Leader that is there was looking to utilize other worship leaders to give him a break. He waited about 2 months before asking me to fill in for him…(sensitive guy:), and of course I said, yes. In the worship leader position at this church, I don’t think it’s a matter of discrimination against women, but rather, discrimination against the ministry of the Worship Leader! They don’t pay the one they have, and really don’t seem to understand even a little bit of how much work goes into leading worship. Anyway, I filled in the first time, the congregation was great, they can worship no matter what song you sing :), but the leadership didn’t as much as say ‘thanks.’ Not that I do it for that, but it really speaks to the heart of someone when they don’t recognize the time and or effort you put into something, and appreciate the work done…incidentally (indirectly) for them! (Clearly, we worship God, but the ministry of Worship is 50% of the service on Sunday, so, it should be important to the Pastor and other leaders). I’ve led there two more times since, and I don’t think I will do it again, but I am so open to whatever God says! Like I said at the beginning of this ‘book,’ :) God has set me free on many levels since I moved, and I don’t think HE wants me to jump right back into bondage again. He’s given me a whole bunch of new songs, writings (Truths revealed to me), and other ministry opportunities. I’m so blessed right now I can hardly stand it! I think the church politics (men and women issues) are what was burying me last year. I think it buries a lot of people. I am FREE to sing and worship, and lead, and follow, and do anything and everything God calls me to! And I know one thing, as Christians we all go through seasons. Seasons of growing and learning, and being blessed and being in the fire, and through it all we just need to hold on tight to Jesus because HE is the only constant, the only Truth, the only real peace…and ultimately the ONLY ONE WE WORSHIP. PS My husband still goes back and forth to Florida on a regular basis for our business, so I’m still able to go there or anywhere the Lord may call me to lead worship or do an evangelistic concert or whatever. I’m sure I’ve scared away any potential ‘job’ opportunities by my blog here, but God is above all that too, and if He wants me to be somewhere, He will make it a reality. Peace In, D

  2. I’m not a worship leader, but I’m technically a ‘lead worshiper’ in the sense of the term since I, along with others in our praise band & our worship leader, help lead the congregation in worship. :)

    & maybe one day, God will lead me to exactly what He has already set for me to do in serving Him, & it could be in leading worship. Only God & time can tell! :)

    If I discover anyone when I’m browsing the web, I will let you know! :)

    This is not a worship leader, but a woman’s blog about worship:

  3. Like Kim, I have a friend who is a WL. Her name is Sue. She’s actually Brents leader when he’s gone and sometimes co-leads with him. I’m trying to get her to start a blog. We’re suppose to meet this week actually to get her rolling! I’ve told her much about you Mandy…all GREAT!

    Also there’s Deborah too! You and her already have contact so that’s great! That’s about it on my side of the country =)

  4. I’m not a chick worship leader. Sorry.
    But hey, I came across your blog when reading your comment on klampert’s blog. I like your writing! Would you care to swap links? Let me know…!

  5. [...] is asking for input on “chick worship leaders” at [...]

  6. uhh i like chicks and worship – do I get any points?
    (seriously, I think you are addressing a huge issue… the whole definition of worship leader needs to be refined. We went from Michael W Smith to Chris Tomlin, now we need ____________ – and I think that women should be discussed!

  7. Does anyone else think it’d be a good idea to create a ‘listing’ of women in worship, whether worship leaders or lead worshipers or musicians/singers serving the music ministry in worship. Sort of like some of the other ‘listings’ I’ve seen out there. This may be an idea to make connections easier! I know it’d be helpful for me, as someone who leads worship on occasion (I mainly sing or play flute, but I also lead our choir sometimes).

    If no one else does it, maybe I should start this…. :) But if any of you reading this want to, by all means, go for it! :)

  8. i like the idea… i’d devote my blog to getting it done as well, since its central as a worship blog (and by a female worship leader – HOW convenient!!!)
    but i’m gonna need LOTS of help.
    wanna team u? and get a few more in on it as well?

  9. I’m a female lead worshipper too. At the moment I’m just a BV person again in the worship team at the congregation I’m at, but I love using song to worship and communicate with God.

    Always up for a chat, debate, discussion…!

  10. I just found your blog through and I am a female worship leader. I’m glad I found you, and look forward to reading your blog. I must confess that my blog is a “on again/off again” kind of thing because I have a love/hate relationship with writing. :-) I’m hoping to get it more on than off, if my life would slow down a tiny bit. BLessings!

  11. Hi Mandy. Fred McKinnon over at “The Worship Community” put me in touch with this blog. I am the worship leader at my home church “Vineyard Christian Fellowship” in Hyannis, Massachusetts. I have been a worship leader for over 12 years. Like you, I have been in search of other “women worship leaders” as we are far and few between especially in the northeast; I am origianlly from Southern California and moved to Cape Cod 6 years ago. My husband and I prayed for a mission field and this is where the Lord sent us. I have always had a heart to help raise up other women worship leaders and have always wanted to have a network for them for support, connections, etc. I have web site at and I also have a myspace page at I would love to hear from you.
    Blessings to you,

  12. found another one that helps out @ Sandals Church:

  13. [...] i asked a few weeks ago for all the female worship leaders to let me know who they were. “Chick worship leaders“… the response was great, and i’ve found a few more since then. thank [...]

  14. [...] 1, 2, 3, 4 [...]

  15. Hey I am one. We have a small congregation, about 300 or so. I have been doing this in varying capacities since 2005 but now this is it for me! I let go of my other part-time career almost a year ago now, and am focusing on this calling. I would love to chat … we do some blended worship, but are contemporary- heavy. We do Hillsong United, Crowder, some older Jami Smith, Vicki Beeching that sort of thing. Anyway, I just started reading your stuff and hope we can connect!

  16. Hi Mandy. I’m a female worship leader but I don’t blog. Like you, I lead at a small New England church (Newport, RI). I am a transplant — most recently from Jacksonville, FL — and started leading in October 2007 after having sung on a couple of worship teams. We are not blended, but we do one hymn (usually with a contemporary flare) each Sunday. I found your blog while googling “female worship leaders”. . mostly trying to get info about controversy involving women as worship leaders as this is an issue with a couple of folks who attend my church. I’m on facebook and will contact you there. Would love to touch base if you have time.

  17. Hello I am a chick worship leader in Elizabethtown, Ky and have also been searching for other fenale worship leaders. I think it is awesome that God is calling and raising women up to lead others into the presence of the Holy Spirit and feel extremely blessed to be one of those women. I have been leading worship as a volunteer worship leader at my church New Hope Community Church under the Music Minister/ Worship Leader Chris Nall. We rotate leading worship and have recently added another worship leader into the rotation who is also a female. Right now we have two services and a congregation of around 500 people. The type of worship we do is contemporary with a hymn for each service. the overall style changes however due to which praise team is playing. As a female worship leader I tend to look for songs that are written by other female worships leaders and that fit in with the majority of our church which is made up of mostly people in their 20′s to 40′s.

  18. Hi. Just came across this blog. I’m a chick worship leader/choir director myself here in Brandon, MS. I’ve seen postings for churches hiring worship leaders, but specify “male” leaders. Not that I’m offended by it, but the pastor of the church wants what he wants. Also I have a question for anyone who wishes to answer. Of all the female worship leaders who’ve responded to Mandy, are you all musicians as well? I can hear music, I can teach vocals, I can direct the choir, but I cannot really play keyboard or guitar. I’ve also seen job postings where it’s specified that the leader MUST play an instrument……share? I’ve never even heard of churches hiring worship leaders before until a week or so ago.

  19. Hello, I am a new P&L leader. Thank you Mandy for trying to get us in touch! Like Sonya, I hear music well and can teach voals, but can’t really play an instrument. It makes me feel a little in adequete for the job, sometimes. I am determined to learn, but since I work a full time job beside this, it makes it rather difficult. Is anyone else frustrated with the lack of (upbeat and exciting) praise songs written for women vocals? Our team constantly has to change keys so I am able to lead them. Does anyone have book to suggest for women in P&W Ministry?

  20. hey im a female worship leader too. iv led worship for about six years now but i recently just got a job as a worship director at a church in Anaheim California. interesting situation but i was looking around for other female worship leaders to network with possibly through around some ideas.

  21. I am a female worship leader. My husband and I have fellowshipped at a nondenominational church of around 250 members in Fort Collins Colorado for twenty years. We have participated both in set teams, and for the last 8 years in a pool of 15 to 20 musicians and worship leaders who rotated weekly. Seven of the members chose worship sets and pulled available musicians from the pool. The Beauty of the pool was a humble development of servant hearts among the musicians. We learned to support each other and function in many roles from leading, to enhancing a leader’s vision, to teaching musical theory and technique to each other, to setting up the sound system, to handling instrument repairs, and worshiping in the congregation as intercessors for the worship environment. Our diversity let us feel the pulse of the congregation more readily. We learned to submit to each other’s discernment as we chose our repertoire of music carefully to bless the congregation that we served. New members with musical giftedness and a heart for worship were quickly assimilated into the pool, and young people who could not commit on a consistent basis due to the demands of their education had opportunities to share their musical skills in worship as their schedule allowed. It truly was a loving family table environment, and the mess of a family was managed with a committed love for God and each other.

    Since our worship pastor has retired one year ago, our senior pastor replaced her with a gifted guitarist who has chosen to disassemble the rotating pool in favor of set teams and consistency. Six of the seven leaders were removed. Though I was the only lay person asked to remain as a team leader, I have had to bow out as I have been ruined for the ordinary! Having experienced the pool of musicians, I can no longer participate in the exclusive, competitive environment that set teams have ignited in the body of Christ. I have tasted beauty in Christ’s body life through a very functional, rotating pool of musicians who volunteered because they were thoroughly in love with Christ and could not resist serving His Bride with the gifts given to them by God.

    In God’s Awesome Grace,
    Kristy Thiemann

  22. I just joined up for a worship course at St. Stephen’s University, called Essentials. Dan Wilt is the leader of the course, but I know they are many women enrolled. I am not a musician, but I am seeking to lead others in the many expressions of worship in our lives. Perhaps you can link into that community somehow.

  23. Dance, paintings, photograghy, water and fire in the sanctuary, banners, and streamers, silence… and even washing a floor on my knees while contemplating the humility of Christ who did not count equality with God something to grasp, but made himself nothing to take on human form for us… then there are the sunsets, the geese flying overhead, the mountains, children playing, and elderly woman or mand’s patient wisdom, a person with handicaps haing the courage to share their gifts inspite of fear of rejection… so many ways to worship our Lord… music is a small part. Worship is breath and life for those of us who have been found by Jesus…

  24. I too am a female worship leader and found this blog looking for “lists” or resources for female worship leaders. We too are always changing keys so that I can lead. I hate doing that to our team all the time even though they are great about it. If anyone has found any great female resources I’d love to know about them. My email is God bless you all!

  25. Hi. I am not the worship leader, but I am on the Praise team as a vocalist. I am young (still in college) and wondering about making worship ministry my career? Can you offer any advice as to where to start with this? I am very curious as to what your experiences have been as a women WL’s. I have a musical background and a heart for people and the Lord… Any reason I should think twice?


  26. Hi. I found this site while searching women worship leaders. I’m only a senior in high school but i do lead worship in my youth group(praise band) and in church services sometimes. I’ve been thinking about careers and feel that god is pulling me towards worship leading as a career. God has put a desire in my heart to help people connect with him through worship and he has gifted me with musical abilities. But people have told me that, being a woman, there arent many jobs for women worship leaders. Can i get some input on what kind of jobs there are and what classes i need to take to become a woman worship leader in college? Thanks.

  27. Hey Mandy,

    Just found this post through my search stats on my own blog. I set up a forum for discussion among women in worship called WorshipChicks. I’m posting discussion questions to my blog, allowing for either just comments, or links to related blogs through Mr. Linky.

    Join in the discussion any time – we’d love to hear from you! :)


  28. Contemporary Worship Leader here in Fort Smith AR, responding…Is there any kind of website dedicated to Female worship leaders? We need one…if I don’t find one, I may start one…After Jesus, we need each other…BLESSINGS…P.S. Following this blog closely

  29. Hello. I am a chick worship leader! I love this blog. I have been feeling quite lonely lately being a woman in the area of worship. It is great to get connected to others. I am on staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. We are a large contemporary church and it is definitely a challenge finding chick worship songs. I always change the keys as some of you have mentioned. There are a few songs out there and I hope to write some more in the next couple of years. To the girls that are thinking about going into the career of worship leading… go for it! It is a challenge, but for the most part is the most amazing journey I have been on. I have a long way to go in my journey, but am excited to follow God’s calling. Be encouraged and know that I am here to talk to any of you. -Ashley Beckford

  30. Hello everyone. I praise God i found this site. I am a woman worship leader for 18 years and i have been longing to be in contact with other chick WLs. I am from the other side of the globe, I notice you are all American. I hope you will welcome this Filipina worship leader in your ‘community’ as well and encourage each one as if we are near each other. Thank you Mandy for starting all this. …betsy

  31. “I will praise you, Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.” Ps 9:1
    Let the marvelous work of the Lord be proclaimed and resounded in the leading of these marvelous women worship leaders all over the world.

  32. yes yes and yes!
    I’m Mary Jane and I’m in a band with 4 other women!
    Feel free to Message me!
    - Arkansas

  33. Hi, I am a chick worship leader too. I am discouraged and need encouragement. I have been leading in worship as a voulunteer for the last three months at a Baptist Church of 500+. I was called to apply for the interim worship leader position when our minister of 14 years left. I was obedient to God’s call to apply for the job even though I knew it would be hard to get the job being a woman. As a member of the praise and worship team for 7 years and having a career as a professional vocalist, I was the most experienced and qualified but was turned down. Humbly, I still serve in obedience to God’s call. Where do I go from here. I can’t go backwards. Any thoughts?

  34. I have been leading worship for over twenty years, when female worship leaders were basically unrecognized. I am grateful that God has raised me up, and brought me to my hearts passion. I simply desire to worship at His feet and bring others there in spirit and truth.

  35. Dear Pdac,
    Thanks so much for your reply to my post. I would love to continue this discussion over email if you are interested in doing that. If not, just leave a comment on this forum and I will answer your questions. Thanks! Denise

  36. Glad to see a site devoted to female Christian worship leaders. I am origionally from Nova Scotia, Canada but found my way to the USA on a missionary VISA while on the road in ministry with my family for many years. Shortly after meeting wonderful man and now have been leading worship to remain in one location finally! I am excited God has opened so many doors for woman in ministry of all types!

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