PASTOR & SEARCH TEAM:
When searching for a new worship pastor or worship leader, you must dive in and get familiar with all the aspects of the job description. So often, the pastor, staff or search team do not understand the complexity of the position. They know the end result they want, but don’t fully grasp all it takes to put together the worship experience.
For instance, the worship pastor is usually responsible for many parts of the service.
- recruiting the band
- rehearsing the band
- preparing all the parts for instrumentalists
- determining what is to be memorized
- communicating with the pastor and media team
- finding new songs to teach the congregation
- determining a balance of worship songs that fit the church
There is a musicianship knowledge that is required for being able to both communicate and lead the instrumentalists and vocalists.
- a reasonable understanding of each instrument
- comprehension of the level of musicianship of each instrumentalist
- the singing range of all vocalists
- knowing the ability of vocalist to sing harmony or not
If you are responsible for looking for the next worship leader for your church, talk to other worship pastors in area churches. Ask them to tell you about their week and what it takes to get ready for Sunday. Doing your homework early will help you put together the job description and expectations for the person you want to be your next leader.
Once the information is gathered, write a sample job description and let other worship leaders review it. The end job description may not be as detailed, but this process will help the pastor and search team better understand the details it takes in preparation to make Sunday look and feel very natural, which leads to a stronger worship experience for everyone who attends.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of my hands.” Psalm 138:8
To gain a better understanding of David’s prayers in the psalms, you must read I Samuel. There are 31 chapters. Commit to read one chapter each day for a month. You may want to read it several times in a day and meditate on all that God shows you. Then, the following month, read 5 psalms each day (30 days x 5 psalms = 150 psalms). Repeat this pattern, reading in one month all of I Samuel, then in the next month all of the psalms. As you read, ask God to show you how to have a heart after the Lord like David did.
Allow God to search your heart and to draw you near to him. Look for all he is teaching you, during the good days AND during the difficult times of life. God WILL work all things together for good for those WHO LOVE HIM. (Rom 8:28)
A HEART AFTER GOD
Seeking him in his word, daily.
(READ if you are starting as the new worship leader.)
Once you have gone through all the interviews, you may be overwhelmed with where to start on your new job. You are getting to know the others working with you. You are adjusting to a new schedule and new environment. AND, you are now responsible for leading others.
As you begin gathering all the ideas and suggestions, write them down. Make 3 categories: 1) Yes – immediate action; 2) Maybe – look more into it soon; 3) Maybe – someday. If you are the new lead worshiper (worship pastor) for the church, your primary goal each week is to plan and lead worship.
TAKE YOUR TIME. Prioritize all the ideas. Look at the YES action items and lay out a calendar plan of when to work on those items. Gather volunteers who are passionate about the same ideas and lead them to help you move toward completing the new tasks.
Just remember, it may take you six months to a year to implement new ideas and changes. Your top priority is leading worship. Give it your best each and every week.
Defining the role is crucial when preparing to search for a new worship pastor.
During this time you should outline 1) the role of the new leader; 2) the qualifications of the new leader; 3) what is important to you; 4) what is important for the church.
There is not one person who will have the leadership ability or musicianship strength to accomplish every role you have defined. Therefore, you must prioritize the roles. Place in order the most important tasks and the most important skill sets of the leader.
For most churches, the top task is the ability to lead the church in worship. Next is the ability to choose appropriate songs that are fitting for the musicians and songs that help the church move forward in worship. Also, high on the list is the ability to recruit musicians and rehearse them — in order to be prepared for leading worship each week.
Find a few trusted friends who will help you as you prepare for the search. Dedicate time to plan. Set a date (or a goal) to launch the search.
Your qualifications or expectations will likely change once you begin the search. That is to be expected. So, as things change, adjust your plan and redefine your expectations.
Remember, your search process is very public. Everyone, including your volunteer leadership and your staff will be observing your journey. They will soon be searching for new leaders in their ministry area. You are their example. Show them how to do it well.
Many worship leaders have a tendency to say yes. There are songs to find and learn, services to plan, staff meetings to attend, phone calls and emails to answer, and so on.
If you are going to be successful in leading your church, you must learn how to say yes and follow through with your commitment. You must also learn how to say no without damaging relationships.
Saying yes to one thing will cause you to say no to others. Example: If you say yes to helping with a wedding, you will be saying no to family on Friday night and Saturday. If you say yes to singing or speaking for a special event, you will also be saying yes to preparation and will have to say no to something else.
Spend time each week prioritizing your commitments. We have all been guilty of saying yes too much. Learn from your mistakes. Find a friend or family member to help you learn how to be stronger at saying no. Ask someone to hold you accountable.
You must find the balance that works for you, for your ministry, and for your family.
Commit to make your “yes” yes and your “no” no. You will be appreciated for doing so.
Job listened ten times to his friends and family insult him with crushing words. (Job 19)
His testimony is found in verse 25-27.
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”
Job is a great example to us of his heart after God. In the midst of so much pain and hopelessness, his lips speak of his living God, his Redeemer, the One he will one day see.
Take a few moments and reflect on the struggles of this past week or even today. Can you release it all into his hands? Do it now.
A HEART AFTER YOU, O GOD
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O GOD …
… my Rock.
… my Foundation.
… my Redeemer.
You are my Hope.
I walk with you.
I Corinthians 9:24 says:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? SO RUN THAT YOU MAY OBTAIN IT.”
As a worship leader, you MUST keep running strong. Take a look at your run with…
…time in His word
…the team you lead
…standing strong for what is right
…becoming a stronger musician
…developing your leadership skills
Run for the prize this week and lead your team to do the same.
As the leader, you need to know where you are going, before you can lead others there.
Carefully think through each song and how you are going to lead it. Don’t just lead it the same way every time. Sometimes you may want to keep the energy level high. Sometimes soft. You may want to extend the song or possibly use just the chorus. Consider how the song can best be used in the service you are planning.
Take the congregation on a journey. Be intentional with scripture, prayer, and songs. Spend a lot of time thinking about transitions and how to help the flow of the service from the very beginning to the end.
Commit to spend more time this week in planning and preparing for worship.
Study. Rehearse. Communicate. Pray.
Prepare yourself and your team, then come to worship expecting GREAT things.
1. being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance
2. power to resist legal, logic or moral force
3. emotional qualities in dealing with stressful situations
4. intensity of a feeling or belief
In our society today, weakness is not something we strive to attain. Nobody wants to be seen as the weakest link, the last person to finish a race, the one who gives in to peer pressure too quickly, or the one who quickly sheds a tear. We do not want to look as though we are weak in any way. But isn’t it interesting that God says “when you are weak, you are strong”?
God views strengths and weaknesses in a completely different light than we do in our human minds. God knows that if we try to accomplish something in our own power and strength that eventually we will run dry. Although maybe for a time we can muster up enough strength, we still can’t be fueled by our own power forever. First Corinthians tells how God chose the weak in the world to shame the strong. He knows that by choosing us, weak and broken people, that He will be most glorified as He makes us strong. If we do things on our own, we want recognition and our sinful pride inflates, but when we know that it is all through Christ alone, then He receives all the glory and praise.
Life is hard. We can’t live it on our own. Temptations come our way that we can’t bear to withstand. Heartache happens that only breaks us to pieces.
People let us down.
Status quickly changes.
We are not made to walk through life alone and try to handle everything through our own power and strength. We are made to walk by his power. We are made to be weak in our flesh so that He is made strong in our spirit. We are made to make much of His Name, for his power is made perfect in weakness.
Worship the God of Strength and Power
God you are almighty, powerful, full of strength and might. You display your power in the heavens, on the earth, and in each of our lives. Thank you for the strength that you pour into our lives everyday. We know that we are in desperate need of your strength within us, and we pray we never forget that.
Scripture references for strength/strong
“the Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation” Ex 15:2
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually” 1 Chron 16:11
“O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble.” Jer 16:19
“God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s.” Hab 3:19
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel.” Romans 16:25
“God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” 1 Cor 27
“my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:10
“he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being” Eph 3:16
“that you… may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” Eph 3:18
“finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Eph 6:10
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might.” Col 1:11
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim 2:1
“will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
(all scripture references are ESV)
This posting is a part of the THEME section of FQ PLANNING and FQ LEADER. More themes for worship leadership are available at FQWORSHIP.COM.