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Day 5 - Pastoral Direction

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  • Day 5 - Pastoral Direction

    Day 5 (the final Day) of Week 5 in the Pure Praise discussion is on "Pastoral Direction".

    I'd like to discuss this, and specifically - hear from you ... please share the role your Pastor or Leader has in the worship services, and in the planning of the music and other non-sermon/teaching worship activities.
    Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
    blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

    Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:

  • #2
    Pastoral direction

    Up until a month ago, our pastor was also our worship leader. He was very, very stressed about doing everything to run the church and worship service and finally reached a breaking point. He gave up leading and moved a couple of us up into rotation for leadership. It has been challenging for us who have now taken on the responsibility -- it's so much easier to just show up to practice, play what someone hands you, and walk away with no worries. I can see now why he was so overloaded! The biggest change has been in him, though; he is so calm and peaceful. Worship was completely missing from his life because it was another job for him. He has said what a blessing it is to him now to be able to prepare for "his" part of the service by worshipping first. This was huge for him as he is a very talented musician and songwriter, and we never thought we'd see a day when he wasn't directly involved in the music. Funny how God works, isn't it? You hardly ever get blessed in the way you are expecting, but blessing definitely comes! Our worship has been intense, personal, powerful since then, and we in the worship team have been just smothered in prayer by the congregation and our "under-shepherd." Remember a few weeks back when we were talking about God creating crises of faith in order to grow us? This is us, and we are growing every minute!


    • #3
      My Pastor and I are close friends, and this definitely translates to the platform on Sundays. He believes in a very "Jack Hayford" model of platform ministry, where Worship Leader and Pastor both have a strong shared responsibility in worship, so we are always talking about and working on worship together. He is involved at every level of planning and preparing. He jumps on the platform when I need someone to fill in on an instrument! We've gotten really good at "serve-volley" and "playing doubles" over the past 1.5 years. There are times that he will come up and lead in a response to something we sang, and there are other times where I exhort and lead the congregation in things. It's a very healthy, unselfish dynamic that I will strive for everywhere I go from now on.

      This really flies in the face of the "mine/yours" ethic I've seen in a lot of the churches I've been at, and honestly, it comes from both ends of the equation. I've been on staff with Pastors who I flat out didn't really like, and our ministry together was very tense on the platform. I've also been with Pastors who I reached out to, but who never embraced relationship with me as important, so I see how much of a blessing it is to be where I am now. If I was to leave here, I wouldn't take a position at a church where I didn't feel some sense of relationship with the Pastor. I think it's crucial to have that. I think it's very unhealthy to "do your own thing and I will do mine" in a church.

      What is most funny to me is how this ethic between my Pastor and I has changed the dynamic of the worship team. After a little while of working this way, I started treating those in the worship ministry differently, like platform partners rather than subordinates. This was especially true with the sound ministry, who used to see themselves as being totally separate from worship. I ended that because of this value system, and now I find it easier to have the frank, sometimes difficult discussions I need to have with our tech people.


      • #4
        Good but not perfect

        My pastor does the greeting at the beginning, then sits out in the congregation until time to preach. The choice of music is mine, but it must "fit" the standard order of service. (It took about 3 months to teach him and the asst. pastor a minor change in the order of service that we all agreed upon!)
        I have a good working relation with him; the church staff meets monthly, I try to meet with him privately at least once a month over lunch, and his office door is open, and I have his cell phone number.
        His priorities and mine don't always match- I'm all about worship; I see the vital importance of teaching the people biblical worship; he sees that as a priority a year or so down the road.
        I accept that his vision for the church is God-given, so I defer my wishes when they aren't in line with his.
        I have learned that when people are unhappy with something about the music, they go to the pastor with it, rather than come to me, so he has to pass those things along to me. (Since we just started using a projection system 2 months ago, some of the "set in their ways" people have been complaining a good bit.)
        All in all, I think my relationship with the pastor is pretty good, but it can be better. It's up to me to make it so.


        • #5
          I'm on the blessed side - my Senior Pastor is also my "direct report" on our staff "org" chart ... we have a staff of around 22 people ... so to be able to connect with him for a few hours per week is a huge luxury ... both in our prayer times, planning times, and often we'll just sit and talk about things.

          I'd have it no other way!
          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:


          • #6
            My pastor used to want to have his hand in the planning of the music set lists for every week. Now he knows that he's hired and works with someone that can really coordinate the ministry without his help, allowing him to focus on other things that are more within his realm of talent.

            We used to sit down monthly and plan out the setlist song by song week by week together. One day I just asked him if trusted my ability to handle all the planning without his input and he released it on the spot. Really it's been a better atmosphere since then for both of us.

            If he needs a certain song or has a special request any week I'm of course willing and able to make it happen.

            As far as the, working relationship we meet once a week and share life. Our offices are in close quarters so any other times we're in the office we're just a few steps away.

            We work well together. I know he's "the boss" but I've always felt like we were partners in this journey. It's really cool to be respected for the experience and insight you bring to the table and he definitely let's me know that I'm appreciated. It's wonderful.
            Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.


            • #7
              We use a team of 5 volunteers that are given the teaching series 2 - 3 weeks before it begins, they choose thematic praise and worship songs already familiar to our congregation, possible music to be used as thematic Specials, and new praise/worship songs to introduce. I come to the meeting with any music our pastor has requested as well as drama, readings, anything creative that I have found so the team knows how much music we need for each week. The Worship staff also attends this first programming meeting with their suggestions and we begin to listen to, and list the songs that everyone feels are the strongest on the appropriate weeks.

              The worship leaders take these suggestions (theirs included) and create the music flow of the individual weeks. I then take the music packages and listen to them inserting any creative transitions or elements that I feel are needed. Our Senior pastor meets with myself and our 2 worship staff and 1 Tech staff weekly. We review the coming weekend as well as 2 to 3 weekends out, depending on what creative elements like drama/video I need him to see to make sure I'm on the right track.

              Probably more than you needed to know.. ha ha


              • #8
                My pastor is an anointed man of God. I have been with him since the church has begun. I have been under his leadership for over 5 years now. I work closely with him because I am the pastoral secretary and one of the ministers at our church. He begins Sunday’s by greeting the people as they come in the church. He sometimes does exaltation. I am not sure what his role is in regard to the choir. We have a music director and choir director. When the anointed is upon him during the service, there are times when he sang. We are new and there has been considerable growth in the church. Pastor has his hand full. My pastor and I both come from a Baptist church of many years; so the transition has been something for us. My pastor and his family are friends of mine - so we do get to share quality times together. Pastor makes a lot of decision; but I think because he is new at pastorship; there is still a lot of growth that has to be done. First lady is the problem we have; because once he has made a decision; she come back and changes it. It makes it hard for the congregation and members; so we all are standing in the gap for whatever and however God want us to go. We need more training. Our choir is awesome; however, pastor has to be there a lot because of to many chief and not enough Indians. I am praying all the times; that I never be the problem and God enable me to be the solution.
                Last edited by Rogenia; 02-13-2009, 10:31 PM.


                • #9
                  I consider myself to be very blessed by the relationship I have with my pastor. He was our minister of music up until last August, so we had a chance to build that friendship before he became the pastor and I became the worship leader. I consider him to be one of my closest friends.

                  As he was a music minister for close to 30 years, I do rely heavily on him as I am learning what my role is and how to fill it. I choose most of the music and we have a meeting each Tuesday to go over it. Some weeks there are a few changes, some weeks there is a song that he knows will fit better with the sermon, and some weeks it stays as is. It's working out really well. He is also our lead guitarist, and shares the leadership role in the band as I don't have the instrumental *chops* as it were (I'm working on that though!).

                  Admittedly it does create a funny dynamic at times - at worship practice I am the boss, and he makes sure the rest of the team knows that, but the rest of the time he is the boss (as he is the pastor!). Getting the role differentiation has taken some time, but I think we just about have it.

                  Right now (since we are a new church plant) we don't have offices, but we communicate regularly by phone and at weekly meetings. It's probably a good thing too - or I would be in his office constantly asking him questions!


                  • #10
                    Our senior pastor is a musician, but does not play on the team. He and the worship leader talk frequently (daily), and so there is a very nice "flow" from week to week, and also in our sunday services. Pastor shows up on wednesday nights, and early on sunday mornigs. I have never seen him say a word during those times - he just sits or stands, smiling.

                    Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!



                    • #11
                      My Senior Pastor and I are the best of friends. We`ve led Worship together for about 22 years. He is an amazing Man of God, with an overflowing Wisdom and an anointing that can keep you in Awe from one sermon to the next. For awhile He and I played and led Worship together, but now that our congregation seems to be growing, he has been moving more toward just preaching and leaving the entire praise and worship responsibilities to me. I still include him in the song selections, so as to add support and to compliment what he is preaching about. All and all its pretty cool.

                      United with Jesus