Encouragement for Part-Time & Volunteer Worship Leaders



You are valuable. Just because you are not full-time (or compensated at all) does not mean you aren’t making a big impact for the Kingdom. The distinction between those who are paid and those who are not, IN THE KINGDOM, isn’t real. You are either doing Kingdom work or you aren’t…there is no distinction.

A full-time salary does not make you a better worship leader. You are not more and more “successful” as you climb the ladder from youth worship leader to college worship leader to full-time worship leader. Success is in creating spaces for people to gather and join their voices in collective worship. Success is in finding the right notes and melodies and putting them together so that people can whole-heartedly join in the offering of praise being lifted to our Father.

A part-time salary doesn’t mean you are half as successful. A volunteer position doesn’t mean you are worth nothing. On the contrary, remember that those who are faithful in the little things will be given much and that the first will be last and the last will be first. Store up your treasures in heaven by being a good and faithful servant RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, part-time or full-time or volunteer.

Here are some thoughts about NOT being full-time:

  • You don’t receive all of your paycheck from the same people you minister to.
  • You have opportunities to build other income streams outside of the church building.
  • You aren’t tied to as many “office” hours.
  • You can work in the “marketplace” and minister there, sometimes better than the full-time church employee.
  • You don’t have to fill time with busy activity just to reach a set amount of full-time hours per week.
  • You might be able to LOVE your role more than if you see it as a job.
  • You bring a fresh outsider’s perspective to those who ARE on full-time ministry staff that you might work with.

This is not a slam on full-time ministry staffers. I’ve been one, actually for more years than I’ve not been one, and I’d gladly take a full-time position were it offered at the right time and in the right place. This is, however, ENCOURAGEMENT to those who might feel somehow less worthy or less of value to your church because there isn’t a relatively large salary attached to what you do.

You ARE valuable! Jesus loves you! The Father inhabits the praises of His people, and you have a hand in creating environments where that can happen collectively.


Russ Hutto is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.