How to Raise Up Spiritually Mature Worship Leaders


"My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me" (Prov. 27:11).

Worship Leaders Are 'Spiritual Parents'

As worship leaders, we are "spiritual parents" to those who are under our care. When those people shine, it makes our hearts glad. There is nothing like seeing someone be promoted when you know you have had a direct impact on their life. It is great also when those we mentor grow in greater measure than we could ever take them.

Years ago I started teaching private piano lessons for beginners. Having previously worked at the Christian school in our church, parents already knew and trusted me with their kids. I had permission to use the choir room to teach my students, and parents allowed me to sign kids out of the after school program for their lesson, and sign them back in when their lesson was over. No driving required—all the parent had to do is send a check with their student. Because of the simplicity of this plan, I quickly gained several students who I taught each week.

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One student in particular was about seven years old when he began taking lessons from me along with his older sister. This child easily grasped music and soon surpassed his sister in his talent and abilities. I trained him for a few years before God moved us to another state. By that time I had referred him to a teacher who taught more complicated music and theory.

Years later, I happened to be on a missions-focused cruise and reconnected with this boy and his family who were there, too. I was delighted to find out that he was not only still playing the piano, but he was performing at an expert level and winning awards for his talent. It filled me with so much joy to know I played a role in the fulfillment of his passions and was so proud that he continued to pursue his call with excellence.

The Multiplication Factor Should Increase the Value of Someone's Life

I once heard a pastor say, "If you are not multiplying yourself, what good are you doing?" He was talking about raising up leaders who you train with what God has given you so they don't have to experience the mess that you had to go through to get where you are today. This is the multiplication factor. Make sure that you are not just leading the worship scene at your church, but raising up the next generation of worshippers to carry on the ministry—even further than you were able to.

My husband and I were young itinerant ministers who were pioneering our way in ministry when my husband happened to meet an evangelist who had been traveling and ministering for many years. We had only been at it about two years ourselves, and we did not have a mentor yet in evangelistic ministry. My husband was eager to glean anything he could from this man's experience. They were on a long road trip together and Andy thought maybe he could get a few snippets of advice along the way. He wasn't asking the guy to be a spiritual father or mentor, just for some tips and pointers. However, when Andy asked for some guidance, the man gave him a business card, snubbed the conversation and then said he would talk to my husband when we had been out there for a much longer time. How sad! Just a few minutes of time may have saved us from some difficult experiences we had to face over the next few years. Sure we learned from those, but it would have been better to have wisdom to begin with from someone's hindsight. The multiplication factor in ministry will always increase the value in a person's life.

The greatest thing you can do for the ministry that God has placed you in is to raise up capable worship leaders who can grab the reins and be moved into their calling and place in ministry.

"Share the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses with faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).

Cathy Sanders has been involved with music for over 27 years. She is an anointed worship leader and psalmist who regularly leads worship for community and church events. Having produced three albums, her music was played on the radio for over six years in the northeast. She is also a prolific writer who has authored/coauthored five books. Cathy carries masters and doctorate degrees in Christian education, graduating with honors. Cathy and her husband, Andy, reside in New York with their two teenage children.

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