So, here we are rounding the corner on another year as we’re moving full-steam ahead through the holidays and into 2016! It’s amazing how fast years seem to go by, yet they are all exactly the same length, the same amount of minutes in every hour, day, week, and month. Here are 3 things that we believe every worship leader needs for the coming year:
1) A Simple and Sustainable Rhythm
This starts with discipline. Worship Leaders need to embrace a disciplined approach to their own worship life. It can be very easy for WLs to coast on the fumes of worship experience to experience, treating Sunday morning services and mid-week rehearsals as their personal worship time. Although, it’s GREAT to approach these times as a worshipful time in your busy schedule, it’s not a substitute for the relational richness and opportunity for growth that comes from a personal, consecrated time of worship. Just you and the Father.
Simple: don’t over complicate it. You don’t need to craft a set list or read Scripture for hours. You just need to ask for the Lord to meet you. He will! God has lots of grace to extend to us when we are weak!
Sustainable: This needs to be something that you can commit to, day in and day out. Sure, there will be exceptions, but generally speaking, depth, growth and discipleship happens in a committed and disciplined relationship. It doesn’t usually happen in a scattered and accidental approach.
They “rhythm” that we’re talking about is something that becomes second nature. It is something sustains. It doesn’t rise and crash on the ups and downs of emotion. It stays steady. You’re there when you feel like it, and when you don’t. You begin to see that part of your day as vital. It becomes like a heartbeat or a breath. You don’t have to think hard about it, it just becomes instinct.
Because of our human nature, because of our weakness and tendency to be prone to distraction, sometimes this can be tough to implement. But there is grace. There is HIS strength in our weakness.
2) A Close-Knit Family
Some of us are introverts, some of us are extroverts, but we ALL need close family. Sure, we might be recharged and be drained differently, but we still need the safety and strength of family. Spiritually speaking, this means that as worship leaders we don’t have to be lone rangers.
We need a few other folks in our life that will call us up, call us out, and call us together. And we need to be that for those other folks. There are layers of accountability here that you can’t get elsewhere. There is opportunity for the Lord to speak into our lives through our brothers and sisters.
When I was a young worship leader/youth pastor I had the closest of friends in my “family” group. He was across town at another church (youth pastor). We met weekly and encouraged one another. We hung out. We “did life” together. We collaborated. We dreamed together. We played sports together. He officiated my wedding. I played the music for his. To this day, although we live hundreds of miles apart, we’re still “brothers” that still encourage one another.
Currently, I meet with three other men weekly. There’s almost no reason that keeps us from meeting. It’s on the calendar come hell or high water! I find great strength in this core group of “family.” We confess to one another. We encourage one another. We pray and worship together.
As worship leaders, we need this. Find a few other people and become family. It’s really what Jesus would do!
3) A Mentor/Coach
Sometimes it’s very easy for us musicians and singers to be at the “top of our game” (at least in our own minds). We wouldn’t be hired or promoted to our roles if we weren’t decent, right? Why should we have a mentor?
It’s called Discipleship and it’s the WAY of our faith. There isn’t a point in life when mentorship shouldn’t be a part of your journey. You’re either discipling or being discipled. When I was a young worship leader I met with an older man who “coached” me. It was more life coaching, but this is exactly what EVERY young worship leader needs. An older, wiser, more experienced person to help walk with them through life.
That doesn’t mean that young worship leaders are idiots and that older folks have everything figured out, it just means that we submit ourselves in a Christ-like manner to someone who has much to pour into us. Sometimes, in our meetings, I would say something that really encouraged my mentor.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen the benefits of BEING a mentor as well. When I was much younger, I was too busy to intentionally mentor, although over the years I accidentally (by proximity) had great influence on a few people. In my “middle” years, I’m very focused on continuing to be mentored while I also mentor someone much younger. I still meet with someone who is older and wiser than me weekly.
Jesus kicked off the “Kingdom” here on earth by mentoring His disciples and teaching them how to mentor others. Throughout the early Church, we see this example passed on to successive generations of believers.
These are not the only things Worship Leaders need for 2016, obviously we could make a REALLY long list, but we thought these were 3 great things to get us thinking! What would you add to this list?