If you’re a worship leader, I hope you’ve read the first half of this post where we talk about the stuff you should know about your the person who shepherds your church. Because it’s probably important for you to read the stuff that focuses on you before you start clicking like a crazy person and email this post to all of your pastor friends. So if you haven’t read the deal that was written for you, go do it now!
If you’re a pastor, thanks for taking the time to read this article. Your job is very daunting and sometimes managing the person in charge of the worship service can be stressful. Thanks for taking time to look for ways to better understand and care for your worship minister.
1. Your worship leader wants your approval.
It doesn’t matter how confident he or she seems, your worship leader wants to know that you value what they do. Week after week, they work hard to provide a meaningful, God-honoring worship experience and most weeks, they leave the campus having heard nothing in the way of encouragement. They don’t need someone who loves everything they touch – they just want to know that what they’re doing matters.
APPLICATION: Thank them for their hard work. Make sure you’re in the service while they are leading. And please, please, please…sing along. It’ll make your worship leader feel like a million bucks.
2. Your worship leader is drowning in resources…that don’t work.
There are tons of websites, videos, books, magazines and podcasts aimed at the ministry of worship. Most of them promise (explicitly or implicitly) to immediately improve the quality of worship with some “next big thing.” The inherent problem is that these resources are targeting a large audience and simply can’t provide training in a consultant approach. This is why worship leaders often operate from an “everybody-is-doing-this” mentality as opposed to a customized ministry plan for your specific congregation. They’ve got lots of resources, but they don’t all help.
APPLICATION: First off, talk a lot about the unique makeup of your congregation. Help your worship leader learn the DNA of your people. Secondly, when he or she submits and idea, help them to adjust or fit it to your specific people.
3. Your worship leader is competitive.
I don’t care how humble we act – somewhere, deep down – we want to have the best band in town. Or the coolest screens. Or the most people. Most worship leaders are the first thing people see when they walk in and it freaks us all out to a certain degree. To combat that, many of us want to be larger-than-life and we look for things that distract or cover up our insecurity. (You’re probably competitive, too, so you can imagine how fun things can be when both of you are that scared!) Just know that your worship leader is constantly fighting distractions when he or she leads. Looking or sounding cooler than everybody else can completely consume your worship leader.
APPLICATION: Give honest encouragement to your worship leader. Help him or her to become secure in who God’s made them to be. A secure, confident, praying worship leader is a humble worship leader. Don’t just compliment – encourage!
4. Your worship leader is often the best sermon analysis you’ve got.
Think about it – worship leaders are pretty much the only other people crazy enough to step on a stage and say, “Hey, everybody follow me!” And the good ones are adept and reading and responding to a crowd. From week to week, there’s a good chance they’ve got a better awareness of where the crowd is. (Asking people to sing along with you reveals a lot about a congregation!)
APPLICATION: Use your worship leader when you review sermons. Ask this person to give you feedback and suggestions. Sure, it makes them feel great, but it also provides an opportunity to serve from their gifting!
5. Your worship leader wants more.
That guy or gal leading worship isn’t content. That person wants to do more. Or better. And one of the only people they’ve got who help them is you. This “more” is different for everybody, but knowing that your leader wants to improve and grow in ministry should compel you to action. You want your staff hungry for excellence!
APPLICATION: Periodically ask your worship leader what he or she wants to do better. Ask about vision or calling. And when they tell you, take it seriously and help them.
Pastors, your worship leader wants to honor God with excellence and wisdom. And you want that, too. Be watchful and prayerful for your leaders as they grow!