October is Clergy Appreciation month and we at The Worship Community love sharing our appreciation for all of pastors, worship leaders and teams, ministry leaders, etc.
Here are 3 ways you can show your Worship Pastor/Leader appreciation this month (or ANY month!)!
1) Be Honest.
Yep. Honesty is the best policy. When it comes to discussion about whatever it is you’re talking about, just be honest. There’s nothing more disheartening as a worship leader than leaving a conversation feeling like you wish the person speaking with you had just said what they meant.
If you need to bring a constructive criticism, do it honestly. Lovingly of course, but honestly. If you need to bring constructive praise, do it honestly. In a way that allows them to accept it humbly.
We worship leaders get really discouraged when an “anonymous” email or letter shows up that shreds what we are doing. Honestly, if you don’t have the courage to come talk to us face to face, it makes what you’re requesting (or complaining about) ring hollow and has the potential to leave us bitter.
Why not just come and have a good honest dialogue? We might not love it in the moment, but we’ll definitely be better for it (and so will you!).
2) Be Open.
Worshipers: be open to allowing them to lead you somewhere you’ve not been before.
Pastors: be open to hearing them explain their intentions and vision for certain directions. Be open to allowing them to experiment, but honest enough to say when it seems like it doesn’t work.
Worship leaders: You can also be open to input from congregants and from leadership! And don’t forget to create opportunities where you can be open to input from your team members as well!
3) Be Generous.
One thing that bothers me about artists (I am one) is that sometimes it seems like we need more affirmation than people with other skill sets in ministry. I’m not talking about the fake affirmation that puffs up and puts us on a pedestal. I’m talking about genuine encouragement.
As a worship leader myself, honestly, sometimes it feels like the only input we get is criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I HEAR the compliments. They are wonderful, but just be generous in the giving of your compliments AND in the giving of your critique.
I recently had a conversation with one of my pastors who needed to challenge me to up my game a little bit. The beautiful thing about the conversation was that I left it feeling like I was more equipped and empowered to take on the world. This pastor was very generous throughout the ENTIRE conversation, the good, bad, and ugly parts.
Granted, the ugly wasn’t really all that ugly, but ultimately. The message was received and I was better for it. And the next time I had an opportunity to lead, I did it in a much better manner.
Russ Hutto is currently volunteering in worship leadership at St. Simons Community Church where he also serves as High School Worship Mentor. During the day he’s a mild mannered graphic designer and makes print magazines look snazzy. Russ is also the editor of The Worship Community.com.