I recently heard the demand for worship leaders is growing more than ever. With all the churches starting new campuses, the greatest need is for quality worship leaders. You can pipe in video preaching, but it’s really difficult to connect without a live person helping to lead the congregation in worship.
Even without multiple campuses, churches need worship leaders and more and more it seems these roles are homegrown. So how can pastors, worship leaders and the church in general raise up new worship leaders?
Here are the two ingredients – two simple concepts to get things started. It may not be overnight, but these two actions will propel you towards new worship leaders in your church.
From kids to adults, we thrive on encouragement. Encouragement in music leadership doesn’t have to come from musical experts; it can come from anyone. Encouragement should be given authentically and generously. You can encourage someone at any level of competence. Encouragement might come in the form of advice to hone the craft, to take lessons, or to pick up an instrument. Encouragement can happen as you find out people in your church sing well, lead well or have been in a position of worship leadership in the past.
Here are the times when I have been encouraged:
- When I first began playing guitar, my mom encouraged me – even when it sounded pitiful.
- When I was in college, I was encouraged by the fact that people sang and participated when I led.
- In one of the first times I led and preached in a church, the whole congregation gathered around me after the service to lay hands on me and pray for me and the future ministry.
- I was encouraged to record music by a guy from a local church where I led some music early in my college days.
- I was encouraged to learn to new songs.
- I was encouraged to teach others about leading.
- I was encouraged to write about ministry in this blog by someone.
Encouragement is the seed of lots of great things happening in the life of someone. One great thing about music, you can use it for life! Even if the person you are encouraging doesn’t become a professional musician, they can volunteer to lead worship in their church for years to come.
A final word about encouragement – encourage the faith of potential worship leaders. Building up the faith of future worship leaders is foundational. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thes. 5:11)
When an invitation is extended it can be powerful. When can they serve? When can they participate? What is the framework to getting involved?
Here are the times in my life when an invitation has proved to be a catalyst for future ministry:
- In sixth grade I was invited to serve as the guitar player / worship leader for Sunday morning children’s ministry. In some ways, my life was never the same after that. In fact, most every Sunday morning since, I have played guitar and led in some fashion.
- In high school, I was invited to lead our student ministry both in music and in ministry leadership.
- Toward the end of high school, I was invited to lead worship for a week of camp – and my summers have never been the same since.
- In college, I was invited to take leadership of our Campus Christian Ministry. I was also invited to lead chapel services.
- In our church, I was invited to switch staff roles and help begin a new service.
- I have been invited by countless pastors and church leaders to serve as a speaker or worship leader for special events and conferences over the years.
In each of these areas, the invitation helped me grow, learn and experience. Without the framework of the invitation, who knows if I would have ever stepped into the role.
If you want to raise up worship leaders around you – encourage them and invite them to lead.
What opportunities have you given people to serve in worship ministry? They don’t have to be big.
Every year, we begin a new group of Jr. band members. These Jr. high students learn and practice instruments, learn songs, and sing in church a couple of times each semester. At times, it’s hard for me to think long term, but I’ve learned over and over again that the seed planted in the lives of students goes a long way to raising up worship leaders.
Ask any worship leader around to tell you the times they were encouraged and invited to serve. I’m sure they will have a quick answer and a great story.
I write with church leaders in mind and I would be honored to have you join me by subscribing to the blog. You can take a look at the top posts here. The posts are categorized: pastors, worship leaders, student ministry and kids ministry. In case we’re just meeting, here’s little about my life.