Frustrated Worship Leaders Should Take on This Challenge

Pastor and love your current team. Build people.
Pastor and love your current team. Build people. (iStock photo )

On a scale of 1 to 10, how frustrated are you?

I suppose that's a sad way to open an article. I'm sorry.

But if I'm honest, not a week goes by where I don't hear from a frustrated worship leader. That frustration centers around these issues:

Musicians who:

  • Show up late.
  • Have bad attitudes.
  • Don't know the music.

I understand the struggle. You have a burning desire to see God move. You want to build a great team. You want to be unified and foster a unique, healthy, kingdom culture. But Daisy the Drama Queen is on your team and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.

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I've been there. I remember leading a worship team when I was in high school where the percussionist (yeah, remember congas?) would lay down on the ground, mumbling and complaining about everything he disagreed with—which was everything. Sometimes he was so frustrated he would even leave rehearsal early. But we let him play because we didn't have anyone else.

I remember a musician who used to make people on the team cry because of his attitude. He was rude, negative and unhappy.

I remember rehearsal times where no one knew what was going on. Rehearsal felt like a nursery—spoon-feeding everyone the chords and lyrics.

I remember coming home so discouraged because nothing was going well. You're not alone.

And there's hope. Today, I enjoy a wonderful team with some of my best friends and very minimal drama. Sure, we're not perfect. I'm not perfect. But there's a culture of excellence that makes doing ministry enjoyable.

Here's my encouragement to you: Enjoy your present as you work to build the future.

We all need to improve. We all need to go to the "next level." But there's something you can't forget: Your goal isn't to build a team that outsiders are impressed with. Your goal is to build people. Your people. The people you have right in front of you.

Like this:

  • Pastor and love your current team ... as you seek to recruit more drummers.
  • Lead with compassion your current congregation ... as you seek to break the 500 barrier.
  • Engage and encourage the older members of your you seek to raise up the next generation.

Don't wish you had someone else's team. Start to build the culture you want to see happen.

The Beautiful Mess of Ministry

Leading people in the local church was never meant to be easy.

Think about Jesus. He gathered the most unlikely people to do the most extraordinary miracles. He gathered tax collectors that everyone hated. He called the introverted fisherman. What did He do with them?

He modeled what it was like to follow God, love people and establish the kingdom of God in the earth. Then He released them to do it, too.

As you look at your team, you may be discouraged. Everyone is too old, too young, not experienced enough, too set in their ways and irritable.

Enjoy your present as you work to build the future. Pastor your people, and build. Love your team, and build.

But that's easier said than done, right? It's easy for me to write. It's easy to preach. It's easy to package up and sell.

But you have rehearsal Thursday night. You have songlists to craft, emails that need sent and Planning Center that needs updated.

This is ministry. It's not just what happens on the grand stages and the hit records. It's showing up early to pray and prepare for your team. It's staying late to encourage your guitar player. It's giving the unlikely a chance. It's the little things done over time that create culture. Excellence. Community.

So consider yourself prayed for today. Be challenged. Be encouraged. The work you are doing is a kingdom work of stored treasures in heaven.

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For the original article, visit

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