How would you define success as a worship leader? It’s not always cut and dried. Effective worship leadership is an ongoing process. Think about this – people have been leading worship for centuries – and you an I have been leading anywhere from 1 – 30 years depending on our age and experience. A drop in the bucket. Additionally, long after our time here on earth is finished, there will still be worship leaders in the church. So, much of the success, if that word can even be used here, is God’s faithfulness and the expression of that faithfulness in the church.
So, how can a person succeed in a church staff worship leader role? Here are some thoughts:
Know your purpose – Your purpose as a worship leader is to serve the church. Both the worship leader and the congregation worships. The distinction between two is service. You are serving the church, helping to create opportunities for corporate worship.
Understand your call – Reflect on your call from time to time. How did you get into this? What led you to this place? What circumstances did God use to teach you, mold you and shape you into the worship leader role? Understanding your calling is a powerful part of succeeding in any ministry role. Without a clear understanding of your call, the tough times, which we know come often in ministry, will really do us in.
Be content where God has placed you – Be content with where you are. There’s a fine line between being content and being comfortable. You can always grow, learn and move your team forward. But, as far as your role in ministry, be content. Don’t always be looking and wondering where else you could serve – wait until God leads you. Until then, put all your energy into the church you are serving.
Pray – Spend time praying for your church. Pray for your team. Pray for your pastor. Pray for the people in your community who need to be in church. Pray for your growth as a leader. Create a system for praying – putting on your calendar who and what you will pray for each day. We serve a powerful and amazing God! Take the struggles you are facing to God in prayer.
Don’t try to make a name for yourself – I’ve often asked this question to get people talking: “Should a worship leader make a name for themselves?” The answers range, but most point to the goal of lifting up the name of Jesus. With this “less of me more of Him” focus, we are able to serve faithfully without regard to how well we are known by others. We don’t want to exude false humility, however. If someone thanks you for a song or your leadership, be gracious. Say thank you to them for the encouragement. Give God praise. But keep the perspective clear in your heart – it’s about Jesus.
Faithfully lead God’s people toward excellence – Your team is counting on you to help them grow. Create the systems, structures and strategies for your team members’ gifts to grow and be utilized. Help move everyone in the same direction. Be prepared, plan in advance, and do everything in your power for your people to grow in their ministries!
Continue to improve yourself – What do you need to improve in your life? Where do you need to grow? Have you been doing anything to enhance your musical ability? Have you been learning new songs? Have you attended a conference? Have you organized your office? I recently heard a great prayer from Jason Hatley at worshipleaderinsights.com which was, “Lord, help me to become the person I need to be to lead this ministry.” We also need to grow in personal areas in life – being a great spouse or parent. And we need to grow in prayer, word and faith. One of the best gifts you can give to your people is who you are becoming.