I read a lot, or at least I’d like to think I read a lot. I have my google reader filled with so much reading that it is impossible to actually read all the articles that I have pumped into it on a daily or weekly basis. But one of the things that I read about all the time and also personally know to be true is that there is simply not enough time for everything these days.
The majority of worship leaders out there these days aren’t full time employees of the church. And I read an article the other day that was talking about the inevitability of worship leading as a job as out the window this next year, or in a lot of ways decreasing and re-labeled so to speak!
Now it’s understandable that when you are paid to do a job that the expectations of you would be a bit high and that you would consistently contending to to much better, be innovative, and take it up a notch every year (what ever that looks like to you). But the fact of the matter is that most of us are not paid, at all, for leading worship. We are however asked to do a similar amount of work that paid staff get paid to do, and we usually do it gladly because our purpose is indeed higher. Here’s the thing, we worship leaders usually take this very seriously and tend to pour our everything into it. The problem still remains, how do I find time to be better, serve more, raise future leaders, and spend time with my family? This can be absolutely maddening at times, and to be honest makes me want to quite altogether. But I don’t and I won’t. Here is something that we are doing in my church, and something I hope to see catching on more and more in churches everywhere.
Multiple Worship Leaders.
Yeah, it’s not revolutionary, but how many of the churches out there utilize this aid. To be honest as Rich mentions in his article, worship leading is turning into a show. It’s often held to standards that match up more with a concert than a worship “experience” or gathering, what ever you want to call it. So the question that I think is necessary to address is, “What are we trying to do?” This will point us in the right direction I think, and to be honest, I think every church should be doing this, paid staff leader or not!
We’re not perfect, us worship leaders. In fact, we artist especially are quite self aware, and like that. Each leader in their own right wants to be the center of attention (at some point). You, who just denied it, give me ten push-ups. Seriously though, we kind of had a problem in our leadership circle, because we all wanted what we wanted. We all wanted to be better at what we were doing, and we wanted to get to the place that we were aiming for. But, the problem here, is that we were, and still at times, are so worried about where we are going (because that dictates whether we get to stick around; pastoral expectations), that we weren’t raising up leaders, were weren’t helping to improve anyone but ourselves. And we have a three-four worship leadership staff, all unpaid. I can’t imagine what that looks like when there is one person leading the pack, no helpers, no other leaders to stand with them, make decisions, take the fall, pick each other up. Sounds totally crazy, especially as an unpaid staff member.
An Option: The Solution
Build a team. Slowly but surely build a group of people that long to see the church grow, respond, and live a life full of Jesus. I mean, I don’t think we’re called to lead alone, and I don’t think artists should ever be left to be creators, organizers, schedulers, team leaders, and guiders all in one package. I mean, as me and I’ll say I can do all of those things, given the right circumstance and all the free time in the world. But I don’t have that. I have a full time job, a wife, three kids, some friends, my own projects, and my own soon-to-be businesses.
Split the responsibilities, push out duties to people that can cover certain areas with more ease than others. Sure, you can have a leader for the leaders, but don’t lean so much on that person that they can’t respond, they can’t lead and raise others, or grow personally. Open up wide, be willing to give away recognition. When you’re with a team, when one person succeeds, the whole team does as well. When one person sees growth, we all learn growth. You get what I’m saying, right?
So, what are your fears? What are the fears of the leaders in your church? I don’t think that decisions by church leaders should be done out of fear, but through prayer and tempered thinking about what the reality of our job is as both worship leaders, staff members, and the people of God.
1. Communicate the majesty and glory of God.
2. The story of redemption found in Jesus Christ
3. Lead people in an effervescent and thoughtful time of corporate worship.
4. Teach and raise up a growing body of leaders for the church of tomorrow!
What could be scary about that, bwahahaha. Ok, sorry, I’m composed again. But seriously, I think we as a church have to think long and hard about where we are going and what we want to teach people about worship. Remember, things may seem behind the scenes to you, but the people of your congregation see everything, seen and unseen. What you fight for in your leadership ranks will pour over into the congregation.
This seems to be an eternal issue. What are you doing in your leadership team or worship team that is working?
Let us know below if you have any thoughts about this!