There are some things every worship leader (volunteer or paid) needs to do and here’s a list that might surprise you.
Pray for the Church and the Team
Don’t go to the people on behalf of God until you have gone before God on behalf of the people. The role of worship leader is a spiritual position that you step into each week. And leading people into a place of encountering Jesus isn’t accomplished with the right order of song in descending keys and speeds as you approach the message for the day. Prayer for your church, your pastor and your worship team is important if we are going to be effective. It’s one of the underlying, foundational parts of holding the position of worship leader. Even if our team, our church or everyone else might be too busy to pray, it’s part of our calling to stand in the gap on their behalf.
Reading Scripture is important because it keeps us grounded. It’s our connecting point as leaders. Reading the passage of the week helps us know the direction that the message is headed. It helps clarify what kind of power will displayed. It does help us figure out the songs, worship order and inspires songwriting that is glorifying to God.
Scripture also helps us in leadership – to be clear, to be concise, to be ready for tough decisions. It creates worship leaders who are biblcally sound, not wowed by the stage, compassionate for the things Jesus was compassionate about. It’s the tool that God uses to speak directly to us and that’s key for anyone in authority in the church.
Think About Details
Many people who are musically or techincally creative may miss some of the details for the weekly worship gatherings. What’s worse, they might be tempted to find this aspect ot the personality noble or great – “I’m the big picture person – all the little people around me need to get these things done” or “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m the creative type.” I’ve said these before, and even more telling, my team has alluded to this on many occasions.
Don’t buy into it. Of course, we delegate. Of course, we rely on our team for details. Of course, we know our job is to think about vision and direction for the long haul. But, we are called to serve the church. It’s the job of the worship leader. The main person who helps make it all happen also needs to be willing and ready to move the chairs, copy the songs, clean the stage, set up a microphone for the community meeting on Tuesday night, get the schedule together, throw away the coffee cup left on the stage the week before (cleverly hidden behind the floor tom) and a host of other details. The main worship person also may need to change the keys to a song, learn a new song, or figure out the best way to get some of the electronics fixed. Even if the worship leader has a staff (volunteer or paid), they understand details are even more imortant! Keeping the staff moving together and foward requires details.
Communicate with the Team
Don’t take for granted that you team needs to know what’s going on each week. Send a note. Make a phone call. Text them. Get the systems in place for konwing when you will have rehearsal, who is to attend, how they are prepare ahead of time, etc. And if you make any changes to schedules or systems, spread the word. Your volunteer worship band is busy and any effective communication will help them.
Communicate with your team on a friendship level too . . . ask about trips they get home from. Ask about their families and work. Communication naturally builds friendships and makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of your ministry together.
Communicate with your pastor, staff and church custodians. Stay in the loop and intiate conversations that make things move forward.
Finally, communicate with your family. Don’t leave your spouse in the dark about the upcoming reherasal after worship this week. Or the invitation you received to attend a day-long staff meeting next month. Communicate with your spouse, kids, or other friends on Sunday morrnings. It’s one of the three most important greetings you can make on Sunday mornings – even in the rush – say “hi” to your family the first chance you get.
Tim Price serves as the Director of Harvest Ministry Teams, a midwest resource based in Troy, IL.
CC Image • aahyeah on Flickr