worship essentials #5 – Spiritual leadership

As a worship leader, you have a big responsibility. Beyond the song prep, scheduling, rehearsing, creating, and executing, your primary role is to be a spiritual leader. It may be the most important thing you do. If you can spiritually influence your musicians, you can influence others through them. How can you be a solid spiritual leader?

  1. Lead yourself. You have to take responsibility for yourself. Your daily devotions are not optional. I was once sitting in on a college class taught by one of my long- distance mentors, Dr Wayne Cordeiro. There was a quiz that morning. Lucky me, I was exempt because I was just dropping in. First question: The number of times you did your daily devotions (life journaling) in the past seven days. As they were grading their tests (I think they traded and graded the tests), a young lady asked “What if we had 4 or 5 for the number of days we did devotions?” Cordeiro responded, “Mark it wrong if it is anything but seven. You are in leadership. Daily devotions are not a choice.”
  2. Recharge. With the pace that most worship leaders try to maintain, it is  essential that you get away and recharge. You need to build in time to recharge spiritually and personally. Give yourself permission to take a day (yes, a whole day) to be quiet. Go hike in the woods or swing in a hammock. The staff at Maryland Community Church (where I pastor) is supposed to take one sabbatical day a month to recharge. I stink at this.
  3. Pastor your team. You spend a large amount of time playing music with your team. If you are not getting involved in their lives, you are not leading them. Like we have said before, the people you lead with may be more important than the songs themselves. Wade into the lives of these people. Be their friends. If they are hard to be friends with, suck it up and do it anyway. You are probably not the easiest person to get along with either.
  4. Live what you believe. Listen, if you are just in a worship leader position because you love music and the rush of being on stage, do us a favor and quit. At least for a little while. If you don’t, it won’t take long until you are found out. You will build a team of creative musicians who love to play but are not on mission with Christ. You may get an A+ as the leader of a great band, but fail as a spiritual leader.

Pastoring your team comes with the territory. The better you care for your team, the better followers of Christ they will be. They will bring to the platform a level of spirituality in direct proportion to the level of your spiritual leadership. Lead well my friends.

Come back soon as we will explore the question of skill versus spiritual maturity. Which is more important?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “worship essentials #5 – Spiritual leadership

  1. Great post. And oh, so true.

    I’ve discovered, in my experience leading worship teams, that the personal investment that the leader makes in the band members is a counter balance to burn-out for those band members.

    As a paid staff leader (and musician by trade), leading worship and playing music is something of which I don’t think I could ever tire. In fact, it’s often a respite to the grind of other church duties. It’s easy to forget sometimes that volunteer band members are not always driven by the same motivation and can sometimes find the routine of the weekly worship schedule a grind.

    Leading the team spiritually, investing personally, not only helps those people grow in their faith, pressing on to maturity, but it helps keep their fire lit for service.


  2. Well said Bart! You make a great point that pastoring the band combats burnout. I have to watch that. The temptation is to be a machine where you churn out songs. Then we forget about the team. Just last night at rehearsal most of the band was totally worn out. We just laughed about how lame everything sounded since the energy level was in the basement. I focused on them instead of how they were sounding. It was just rehearsal and they always bring it come Sunday.

    Again, great stuff!