I’ve been a worship leader now going on fourteen years. I’ve been through many transitions within the church & have experienced quite a variety of church staffing environments. With those in mind, I want to share a few things I think every worship leader would love to express to their senior pastor but may be too afraid to say.
- I am not the table that supports your showbread. In other words, I want you to know what I’m doing isn’t holding up the “Word” you’re about to give. I need you to begin to believe that worship is the Word of God and through the musical expression of the Word, people encounter the Living God just as well.
- Please don’t use me as the emotional manipulator for your invitation or altar call. While the nature of music is emotive, ask yourself why you want me playing music underneath every invitation. Is this causing the congregants to react or respond? While there are times for response in worship musically during the invitation, does this pave the way for you to rely more on the music or the Spirit?
- I care about the text you’re teaching. Please open yourself up to sharing how the Word is flowing through your life that particular week so I can respond to God in a similar way. I want our corporate gatherings to feel fluid and unified as ONE experience instead of a two-part event; the music then the message.
- Please care more about my well-being than the gift I can bring to a particular worship context. I need you to be willing to get to know me as a person and not only for my function on a stage. Invest in me!
- Don’t take spiritual inventory with me based on how good my skills are. Don’t assume that because I can play and sing well that my life with God is doing well. Talent can be deceiving.
- Be an advocate of responding to God through outward expression. Biblically speaking, outward expression often reflects the inward thoughts of your heart. Your leadership off the stage during our worship services defines the culture corporately. Whether you like it or not, if you’re thumbing through your sermon notes, sitting with your arms crossed, or seem disengaged during the musical part of worship you can guarantee the church culture will follow. Culture is indicative of leadership, even off stage. You’re the leader, and you’re creating the culture. Do you like the worship culture you see?
- Know that I lead people by providing a framework for them to enjoy and move with the Spirit of God. I’m not just singing songs. Spiritual entertainment is not what I do.
- Do you want me to be a spiritual leader outside of Sunday mornings? What does that look like for you and what do you see me doing in defining the church culture? If I had to put my guitar down and couldn’t sing for a year, would you still want me to be a leader? Again, it’s got to be more than the talent I bring to the stage.
- How do you measure my success? Are you basing it on others subjectively responding in the congregation? Are you spending more time measuring the things I do on the platform or off?