In some ways, pastors have stepped away from worship leadership. I like the old joke that in the 70’s pastors hired youth pastors. In the 80’s pastors hired children’s pastors. In the 90’s pastors hired worship leaders. In the 2000’s worship leaders hired pastors!
Indeed, the greatest work of the pastor is to help build a culture of worship, to teach it, to help execute it and to make the worship gathering a regular weekly priority for all those in the congregation.
This doesn’t happen easily and doesn’t even always happen naturally. Don’t get me wrong – worship is as natural as breathing. Every created being worships. But, when it comes to planning the components and creating the environment for a whole assembly to worship, it takes effort. Just take a look at all the many specific details for the Holy community in Old Testament worship.
As a pastor of the flock, you are charged with leading toward the throne of God. Of course, it’s biblical to hire, delegate or find someone to aid in the process of music and worship. These roles join the team of the “priest” to help open the door for people to worship.
Some practical thoughts:
Do the hard work of planning – It takes time and effort to plan. For small church / team – it requires collaboration with volunteers. For larger church / staff teams it requires setting aside time to give intentional effort to the end product.
Authentic is best – You don’t want to become something you are not. But, you also don’t want to stifle something God is leading you to. Be authentic in worship and in worship leadership.
Involve the assembly – Who can be involved in worship that you may have never thought of before. Who is currently there and may have something to offer? Who is in the community who may be able to help you lead?
Go before God on behalf of the people – Spend time praying. Ask God where his people need to be led. What creative spirit can he place in you for leading his people during this time.
Make suggestions – Musicians / worship leaders need and want suggestions. If they are mature in their walk, they will be teachable and willing to work together to accomplish the goal of leading God’s people.
Open up to possibilities -There may be ways to help people worship you have never thought of before. There may be things you can experience, learn and grow in.
Have Confidence – When you are calling people to worship, when you are sending them forth, when you are teaching with scripture, and when you are leading God’s people, have confidence. Take your role seriously.