Let’s be honest, too many worship services are predictably boring. Every church’s lead pastor and worship pastor are in a prime position to change this reality. This post is basically a passionate appeal for you to do whatever it takes to get on the same page before you get on the same stage.
Here are a four ways I have done this with my worship pastors and leaders.
1. Push worship to the top of your priority list.
Your church mission statement likely starts with the terms similar to worship or gather or exalt. At least I hope it does, because loving God should clearly be our first priority. I don’t have a personal mission statement because I have not found one better than what Jesus gave me in the Great Commandments: Love God and my neighbors.
Since the most important thing I do as a believer is worship, and the most important thing I do as a pastor is lead worship, why would worship preparation be less than a top priority on my calendar? I realize that most worship leaders are not full time positions, so how you prioritize your worship planning time is more flexible than the urgency to do so.
2. Plan getaways with your worship pastor.
I am currently serving as an interim pastor with an interim worship pastor, which means we both have full time jobs to juggle. Some of you are bi-vocational as well, so we must customize these ideas to our situations and limitations. A couple of years ago I wrote a post to worship pastors in which I made this same appeal:
I can look back and see that when I intentionally invested time with my worship pastor off-stage and off-campus, our church benefited greatly on Sundays, as did we personally. Why not help each other improve your songs and sermons in regular planning meetings and annual retreats? This takes time, energy, and, most of all, humility—but it is worth it.
LifeWay Worship has two upcoming WorshipLife events to help you and your worship pastor lead well—together. The WorshipLife Conference is coming back to Gatlinburg, TN on June 25-29, and has added a new event in Riverside, CA, May 7-8. You can check these out and register at worshiplife.com/event.
3. Invest in your worship pastor personally.
I encourage you to ask your worship leader (and all staff/leaders) how they are doing before you ask them what they are doing. This has always been counter-intuitive for me because I am so task-oriented. Your love for each other must be genuine, which takes initiative. The devil hates it when staff get along, especially the two most visible ones. Remember that Lucifer was a very talented and disruptive worship leader himself, so he knows how to wreck a team and steal God’s glory.
4. Thank your worship leaders.
Finally, thank your worship leaders for helping your church push past their musical preferences to unite all hearts and voices in worship each week. Thank them privately and publicly, regardless of whether they reciprocate. Sometimes that can be a simple fist bump on your way to the pulpit. The members are watching us, and every move is monitored. I’m not suggesting that you posture or pretend, but gratitude and respect are willful acts that do not need to be reserved only for times when we feel led.
Double honor should be practiced as a rule, not an exception. If you are the lead/senior pastor, many will be blessed when you set the tone of your staff and leadership team by investing in those God has called to lead beside you.