How to Catalyze Your Worship Leader's Success

Here are 25 ways you can help your worship leader succeed.
Here are 25 ways you can help your worship leader succeed. (Lightstock)

What if you knew 25 ways you could help your worship leader succeed?

Would that make a difference for your congregation every weekend? In your relationship with your worship leader? In your worship leader's life?

Yes. Yes. And again, yes.

The most important staff relationship in most churches is between the lead pastor and the worship leader. I know there is cause for friction; I've felt it. The artist's temperament rules; the workload is heavy. The criticism can be constant from everyone, including you.

What if your worship leader's success shifted away from his or her current shortcomings, and toward your mindfulness of how you lead the creatives on your team?

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What if you could lead your worship leader in a way that helps him perform at his highest level?

This list of 25 ways you can catalyze your worship leader's success looks at the pastor/worship-leader dynamic from the both sides of the field: from the lead pastor's perspective and from the worship leader's perspective.

Take a minute to ask God to speak to you if you face challenges in this area.

From the lead pastor's perspective, here are 10 practices for leading worship leaders:

1. Be clear about who is in charge. The lead pastor is the lead worshiper. It is your job to clearly outline your hopes, expectations and desired style of service to the worship leader before the worship leader is hired.

2. Friends work together better than colleagues. The worship leader should be one of the lead pastor's closest friends, no matter how large the church. If your worship leader is a woman, then your families are friends.

3. Good worship flows from a nourished soul. Encourage your worship leader to keep his spiritual-tank full.

There will be peaks to the worship leader's schedule—like Christmas, Easter, and other signature events in the church. No one can keep their tank completely topped off twelve months out of the year, but the worship leader must refill and refuel following intense seasons of activity.

4. Give him/her plenty of time to plan. Give your worship leader your preaching calendar at least three months in advance; and your message title, purpose, and passage at least three weeks in advance.

5. Get together regularly. If you only meet when there's a problem, you will train your worship leader that getting together with you is a negative experience. Meet to celebrate, pray, plan and/or have fun together.

6. Save all negative criticism until Tuesday. Worship leaders are artists. Artists have tender souls. They are particularly vulnerable on Sunday and Monday. Save your negative feedback for Tuesday or later in the week.

7. Make sure your worship leader has a team. No one should do ministry alone. If your artist is an introvert, recruit the team for him/her. Be on that team yourself for at least a year to make sure it's a healthy team.

8. Feed the artist's soul. Provide opportunities to attend worship conferences, mainstream music concerts, plays, musicals, and other dramatic arts performances.

9. Make sure they have the tools they need. Churches usually supply drums and keyboards and ask musicians to bring their own guitars and other instruments. The church's main worship leader should have a budget for downloading new worship songs, a CCLI and CCLX license, and the audio and projection equipment needed to enable an excellent worship environment.

10. Encourage him/her to visit high-impact churches while on vacation. Good art is better caught than taught. Every worship leader should witness and experience great worship on the Sundays they aren't leading worship.

My son, Bryan, is the worship leader at the Central campus at New Song; and he carries the weight of the position lightly and successfully. Here is his take, from a Monthly PastorMentor session, on what lead pastors can do to help their worship leaders perform at their highest level.

1. Thank and encourage them often.

2. Ask for their input and then use it.

3. Have them show you something that moves them. Ask: What have you been exposed to recently that moved you into God's presence?

4. Find something in common that is not ministry related.

5. Pray for them.

6. Give them credit for things that they were involved in, even if you did most of the work.

7. Show them—and tell them—what piece corporate worship, arts, and the worship ministry play in the life of the church.

8. Describe to them your specific vision for your worship ministries.

9. Be clear about your expectations and their responsibilities.

10. Call them to a higher spiritual commitment, constantly.

11. Push them to want more of God.

12. Push them to desire deeper worship from the congregation. Push them to develop the kind of worshipers the Father is seeking.

13. Further their education.

14. Keep an eye out for resources they need.

15. Seek to keep their spirits high.

You will catalyze your worship leader's success with steady doses of time, appreciation, support, fun, clarity, equipping, vision, resources, and challenge.

Now What?

How is the Holy Spirit leading you to shift your expectations off your worship leader's shoulders and onto your own? What do you want to do differently as you lead your worship leader? Tell me about it in the comments below.

You might be interested to know that you can learn much more about your worship planning in my Monthly PastorMentor Video #9: Your Worship Planning System.

Hal Seed is the founding and lead pastor of New Song Community Church in Oceanside, California. Hal mentors pastors to lead healthy, growing churches. He offers resources to help church leaders at www.pastormentor.com.

For the original article, visit pastormentor.com.

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