If you’ve been leading worship for a while, you already know that you and your Senior Pastor are very different people. The uniqueness between you two is God-given and can create some pretty amazing things for the congregation, but you’d do well to remember that what you do is very different from each other.
One of the biggest difference between you and your pastor involves Sunday afternoons. Understanding this difference can help you and your pastor encourage and pray for one another specifically regarding the challenges each of you face.
How you both feel and react on a Sunday afternoon (or anytime “after” you’ve served in corporate worship) has to do with tension. Where you carry your tension impacts your physical and emotional reactions on Sunday afternoon.
Intrigued? See if this makes sense:
WORSHIP LEADER – LEAD UP TENSION
Where it lives: If you do a mid-week rehearsal (and you should,) all of your tension lives in the lead up to the service. Because you’ve rehearsed a few days prior, you know all the problem areas: maybe rehearsal started late and you didn’t have time to really work the last song or maybe the band’s having trouble hearing each other on a specific transition, etc. So you leave rehearsal and you live with that tension until Sunday.
How it’s resolved: When you finish leading worship on Sunday, you’re immediately relieved, right? If the set went great, you feel like a million bucks. If the set went poorly, you’re glad it’s over with. Most Sundays, we’re ecstatic that everything happened without falling apart in front of a group of people.
How it affects you: Sunday afternoons are party time. You wanna’ go out to eat or go home and watch TV with the family. In short, you want to celebrate because you did it and it’s over! Even if it didn’t go well on Sunday, you want to rest and rejoice a bit because you’re an optimist and next Sunday’s gonna’ be super awesome.
SENIOR PASTOR – REAL TIME TENSION
Where it lives: Preachers don’t do rehearsal (although I think they should!) Because of that, their tension is typically happening in real-time as they’re speaking. In addition to trying to be faithful to the text, communicating well, being aware of the congregational engagement and watching the time, your pastor also has to monitor what he’s saying to see if it’s even close to what he planned on doing.
How it’s resolved: This massive rush of working through the tension is in real-time is exhausting. And the hard part about exhaustion is that it doesn’t really care if the sermon was good or not. Either way, your pastor has a date with exhaustion some time after Sunday is done. He’ll crash. Hard.
How it affects him: He wants to unplug. This disconnection has nothing to do with the level of love your pastor has for the church. It’s a coping mechanism, plain and simple. I know you want to hang around and high five the preacher because you guys pulled it off, but your senior pastor is not up for that on Sunday afternoon. Give him space. Let him disconnect. It will keep him healthy and help be the best he can be at his job.
Worship leaders, help protect your pastor on Sunday afternoons. Don’t bug him and if you’re able in any way to deflect some of the minutia from landing on him after he’s preached, do it. Take those bullets for him!
Pray for your senior pastor this week…pray that his Sunday afternoon will be restful and beneficial to his spiritual condition.
And why not forward this blog to him as a way of saying, “I realize how hard your job is! Thank you!”