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As a WL (nonpaid) how do you look for a church?

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  • As a WL (nonpaid) how do you look for a church?

    I'm just curious if you think about whether or not a church can/will use you when you are looking for a church home. Do you just find a church that fits you and trust that you will be used if God wants you used or do you actively try to search out a church that has a need you can fill?

    We've moved recently and are still in the process of finding a church. I was co-leader at our previous church. My teenage son was the youth WL and also played and sang with the worship team. We both want (and feel led) to be somewhere we can participate. Of course it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if we found the perfect church otherwise.

    So far we've spent time at 2 different churches that we've enjoyed. I haven't figured out a way to feel out the current WLs to see if they are looking/interested in new blood without sounding like I'm insulting their current worship. In one of the churches I haven't been able to figure out who the WL actually is, no one stands out or sings a stronger lead or says anything.

    So I'm just wondering how you look for a new church?

  • #2
    Originally posted by way2tyred View Post
    I'm just curious if you think about whether or not a church can/will use you when you are looking for a church home. Do you just find a church that fits you and trust that you will be used if God wants you used or do you actively try to search out a church that has a need you can fill?

    We've moved recently and are still in the process of finding a church. I was co-leader at our previous church. My teenage son was the youth WL and also played and sang with the worship team. We both want (and feel led) to be somewhere we can participate. Of course it wouldn't be a deal-breaker if we found the perfect church otherwise.

    So far we've spent time at 2 different churches that we've enjoyed. I haven't figured out a way to feel out the current WLs to see if they are looking/interested in new blood without sounding like I'm insulting their current worship. In one of the churches I haven't been able to figure out who the WL actually is, no one stands out or sings a stronger lead or says anything.

    So I'm just wondering how you look for a new church?
    For what it's worth, I can provide at least a little insight. Since I'm a list person, how about some thoughts in list form. :-)
    • Seek the Lord with all your heart, and seek his kingdom FIRST
    • Seek the Spirit and make sure your servant's heart is in check
    • Make sure the steps you take do not have personal motives behind them; walk with integrity and purity
    • Note your core values, and compare those to the core values of the church and the worship ministry
    • Build relationships with people (anybody), get to know their hearts
    • Allow the Lord to guide your conversations
    • Be patient. The Lord knows your heart, and his ways will protect you from unforeseen complications.


    I know these are rather generic, but these are good heart checks when entering a new environment. Hope they help add perspective. May the Lord richly bless you!!
    Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
    BLOG: http://www.worshipvanguard.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      It may not be fashionable to say this, but doctrinal beliefs is the primary reason to join one church over another. If the pastor/priest decides to use your talent, you would be representing his (and his denominations') core beliefs. Any theological dispute you may have would have to be suppressed in order to express unity. You don't want to be compromising your beliefs.

      Nick
      Nick Alexander
      Host, The Prayer Meeting Podcast
      Worship that is Contemporary, Traditional, Charismatic, Contemplative, Spontaneous, based on the Church calendar, play it whenever you want.
      Find out what Nick Alexander can do for your conference, retreat or workshop.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by NickAlexander View Post
        It may not be fashionable to say this, but doctrinal beliefs is the primary reason to join one church over another. If the pastor/priest decides to use your talent, you would be representing his (and his denominations') core beliefs. Any theological dispute you may have would have to be suppressed in order to express unity. You don't want to be compromising your beliefs.
        When we moved here a couple years ago, this is where we started the search for a home congregation by looking at this first.

        After we identified the ones in our area that matched up with the way we understand core beliefs, we then started looking at other criteria. What made our list was largely swayed because my husband had recently left a FT associate ministry and, frankly, we were wounded. We were looking for a place where we could step back from things and take some time to heal. Because we are musicians, we were drawn to our congregation partly because
        of the music, but that was considered after other factors. We didn't consider future leadership possibilities at all at the time, but we did want to be able to enjoy the music.

        After a few months, he joined the team as bass player, and then I joined as a vocalist. When our full-time WL moved away, he became the part-time interim WL. Now he plays bass, I play keys and we both sing BGV's. He fills in as WL when our regular WL is out of town.

        In a nutshell, we did not consider future involvement, but that's exactly how it worked out.

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        • #5
          I probably wouldn't base your decision on who has a vacancy in their worship team, but on where you can see yourself growing and where you would love to serve if given the opportunity. A healthy church with healthy leaders will have a place on a team for someone who is committed, gifted and willing to serve.

          If you base your decision on who lets you on the team the quickest and it turns out to be a bad fit, or not healthy, etc. you won't last long. Community is important and so I would try and find a church you can commit to being a part of for awhile.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the opinions so far! I'm afraid my original post sounded a bit abrupt. We would never become part of a church family that different from our doctrinal beliefs; that's a given. And I would be uncomfortable with a church that was willing to let anyone who wanted join the ministry without time to get to form a relationship.

            BUT when a "professional" (paid) WL (or pastor for that matter) is looking for a position, these same guidelines aren't followed. If a church has a need and hires a WL (or keys player, or etc, etc), do they expect the prospective "employees" to join their church for a period of time before going to work, making sure the sense of community is present and everything is peachy? I'm not arguing, but for the sake of discussion, why is it different?

            Edited to add: When we commit to a church, it is "for better or for worse", so to speak. Once we've made our decision, barring theological upheaval, we believe that your church is your family through thick and thin and we're not meant to switch everytime we are not happy or not being fed. I've gone to 3 churches in my life, all changes because of a move.
            Last edited by way2tyred; 10-14-2010, 04:22 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by way2tyred View Post
              BUT when a "professional" (paid) WL (or pastor for that matter) is looking for a position, these same guidelines aren't followed. If a church has a need and hires a WL (or keys player, or etc, etc), do they expect the prospective "employees" to join their church for a period of time before going to work, making sure the sense of community is present and everything is peachy? I'm not arguing, but for the sake of discussion, why is it different?
              It shouldn't be as different as it is. I personally think much is left to be desired in the decision making process on both sides (the WL or whatever staff member is being hired and the church leadership involved). Not enough time is spent finding out if it is really is a good match. From our personal experience and the experiences of a number of our friends in ministry, I think many short ministry tenures are due to not checking these things out thoroughly before making a big move.

              I know of at least one congregation who has a "hire from within if at all possible" mentality. They actively keep their eyes open to be aware of future needs, who among them might be a good fit, and then they spend time mentoring/training the person in preparation. At this particular congregation, it has worked well for them. But I also know that's not going to work everywhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                Merry, I think you are right.

                I think I'm also just feeling a little at loose ends. It's been just a month but I'm already missing that part of my life horribly. I hear other people talk about burnout but so far I've been fortunate to have never experienced it; I am definitely feeling a void in my life without serving in WL.

                Becoming plugged into a church is harder than it seems it would be. There is never going to be a perfect church and so when deciding between the two that fit our doctrinal beliefs, it comes down to looking for reasons on which to decide.

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                • #9
                  I'm not arguing, but for the sake of discussion, why is it different?
                  Interesting question. It would be nice if there were no difference, but the fact is that pursuing a paid staff position is not the same as a family looking for a church home. I've done both. Barring a theological issue, most churches would not deny membership to any who seek it, but they can choose to not hire somebody because they don't think it would be a good fit.

                  It happens, and I don't think there's anything inherently evil about it.

                  As to your original question, I agree with most of the advice offered. Find the church that you & your family feel comfortable joining, then let the opportunities for service come as part of the natural process of being a member.
                  Tony Hartsfield

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by way2tyred View Post
                    I think I'm also just feeling a little at loose ends. It's been just a month but I'm already missing that part of my life horribly. I hear other people talk about burnout but so far I've been fortunate to have never experienced it; I am definitely feeling a void in my life without serving in WL.

                    Becoming plugged into a church is harder than it seems it would be. There is never going to be a perfect church and so when deciding between the two that fit our doctrinal beliefs, it comes down to looking for reasons on which to decide.
                    I know what you mean about feeling a void. It was weird to just "go to church" on Sundays, for a lack of better terms to describe the difference between being part of the planning and preparation vs. being part of the general congregation. But it also gave us a totally different perspective on things, so we learned to enjoy that also.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      God's Word says that he places the body together. You're only responsible for finding a church that fits who you are...allow Him to give you the opportunities to serve.

                      Nate
                      Practical Worship

                      Please Pray For My Wife

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by way2tyred View Post
                        BUT when a "professional" (paid) WL (or pastor for that matter) is looking for a position, these same guidelines aren't followed. If a church has a need and hires a WL (or keys player, or etc, etc), do they expect the prospective "employees" to join their church for a period of time before going to work, making sure the sense of community is present and everything is peachy? I'm not arguing, but for the sake of discussion, why is it different?
                        There's truth there, but I'm not sure the comparison is a complete one. A WL that is hired by a church will most likely have provided multiple references and a resume essentially proving through paper what we learn through relationship with non-paid leaders/team members (namely integrity, responsibility, reliability, experience, etc.) Also, the pastors and possibly the board or elders have all met and/or interviewed the paid WL, but we would never expect a volunteer to jump through all those hoops. Instead we generally rely on personal connection with them over time. Also, a WL on staff at a church will likely have accountability through the pastors, where a new member/volunteer will need time to build relationships. Maybe it's still not ideal to just hire a worship leader from outside, but there are generally measures taken to safeguard against some of the potential problems.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by milepost13 View Post
                          God's Word says that he places the body together. You're only responsible for finding a church that fits who you are...allow Him to give you the opportunities to serve.

                          Nate
                          I agree with Nate. Outside of that, you would run dangerously close to having an agenda attached. Many WLs go through the same "seeking to fill a void" phase when they find themselves in a different environment. Just be sure you are seeking the Lord to fill that void with Him, and not the strong desire to lead worship. God is always good at placing his children where he wants them, so just trust and obey. Many blessings to you!
                          Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
                          BLOG: http://www.worshipvanguard.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Keep praying about it and the Lord will let you know. We can trust the Holy Spirit to answer when we're ready to serve.

                            Be careful how you listen though, the heart is deceitfully wicked. Who can know it?
                            8-)



                            what? me worry?

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                            • #15
                              These are all very good replies and are helping me really think through things.

                              This is where we are at now, down to deciding between two churches:

                              #1 - love all the people, love the pastor and his teaching. P&W is almost painful to sit through. Just very unorganized, no visible leader, band doesn't start and end together even. Song types are what my family really enjoys though. Youth group has a few red flags. A few people have talked negatively about the YP to us plus we have a few misgivings of our own (he never talks to parents but only goes through the teens, large youth group but does nothing to encourage them to be part of the larger congregation coming on Sundays, etc) DH is former YP (former, on sabbatical, resting, whatever) and so we may be more sensitive to that area along with P&W. Those are our only issues with this church, we've attended prob. 4-5 times, plus lunch with a few different couples.

                              #2 - Amazing P&W, like a professional group, smooth and perfect. Non-Pentecostal so it feels a little stifled to me spiritually. Again, we like the pastor and his preaching. People have been less than friendly to us as a new family. Being new to town, this really bothers me as church is our main way to make friends and become a part of the area. Teen really likes the youth group and we trust his judgement and have good feelings about the YP ourselves. Also have attended this church about 5-6 times, lunch with the pastor but no connections with other families yet.

                              Finding a new church is hard!! Any opinions?

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