How To Lead Music At Young Life Club

Drew Hill October 7, 2019

Leading music at Young Life club is harder than it looks. Below are a few tips to help you knock it out of the park!


The crowd needs a focal point
to direct their attention. You may have a couple of people leading songs, but
one specific person needs to be “the leader.” It’s okay to take turns, just make sure the crowd (and you) knows who’s leading each song.


It’s often best if the song leader doesn’t have to worry about playing an instrument. Mike Ashburn says “a guitar player ought to swing his guitar around his/her back a couple of times during club so that there’s nothing between the leader and the crowd.”


Ideally, a song leader should be so familiar with the song that they don’t need to stare at the chord sheet or the screen, especially if the screen is behind them and forces them to turn their back to the kids. The song leader directs the group, encourages them to sing, leads the crowd as to when to come in and keeps the flow of the club going. Everything rises and falls on leadership. It’s not so much the song you sing, but how you sing the song.


Designate a few specific people on your team to regularly act as song leaders. Some people are naturally gifted and others can hone their skills by working on them week after week. This will work better than rotating song leaders each week, just so everyone gets a turn. Put people in their sweet spots. You may want to consider giving ownership of your club music to some senior Campaigners. Have them lead songs for a while. Teach them and give them regular feedback. They’ll likely be leading a YL club in a couple years- what better chance will they get to learn to lead?!


It’s often easiest to plan out your music for an entire semester. If a song comes up later that you absolutely must do, you can always insert it.

Here are some other things to keep in mind: 

  • Match the music to the message. Sing content songs about the Cross when you are speaking about the cross, Sing songs of brokenness when you speak about need/sin.
  • Build a repertoire. Repeat songs regularly and establish some continuity and favorites. It’s ok to use some of last week’s songs for the next week’s club.
  • Put a motion song or a song with claps in club each week. It helps folks get involved.
  • Always start club with an upbeat winner.
  • When you teach a new song, repeat it the next 2-3 weeks and sandwich it between two standards.
  • Build a team – If there’s only one guitar player, add another. If you have two guitar players, add a bass. Get someone to play percussion. Utilize campaigners who are mature and teach them the “whys” of everything you do with music. Help them realize that it’s different than a performance. You want music to unify the group and draw kids to Christ.
  • Use at least 30% content songs, maybe start with 15% at the beginning of the semester and move to 40% by the end of the semester. If there wasn’t a spoken message in club, would there be enough content in
    the music selected to present the Gospel? Kids often remember the content songs more than any other songs. If we don’t use content songs, we don’t capitalize on music’s power to bring people to Christ. What runs through your mind all day after you’ve gone to work or school? The last song you heard before you got out of the car.


  • Change your guitar strings every couple of months. Old and out of tunes strings are painful to hear.
  • Buy an inexpensive tuner you can clip onto your guitar.
  • If you plug in your guitar, have a spare 9-volt battery in case your battery dies.
  • Make good slides. Make sure the words are big enough to read and speled corecctlly. See, you notice when it’s not.

If you have other suggestions to add, email us here.

Oh, and if you need an AMAZING new club song, check this one out.

We found most of this helpful information here. Thank you to whoever wrote it. Let us know if it was YOU!

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