What is life like as a worship leader?
Maybe you’re thinking of taking on a worship ministry role and you wonder what it will be like.
Maybe you’re at a season of life where you’re trying to figure out your calling and career choices.
I thought I might share five basics to let you know what a worship leader does in ministry.
And I must add this thought before we begin….worship leaders are people. They are disciples, learners, and children of God. They aren’t superheroes, they are just as frail and fail just as often as you and I. In a world that elevates, or at least has been (and it seems to be changing a bit), worship ministry, worship music genre, and worship teams, worship leaders are human beings, seeking to use their gifts to glorify God and lift up the church. It’s not magical, it’s often practical. From the stage, you only see the tip of the iceberg. Much like a sermon may last about 30 minutes, but requires hours to craft, the four to five songs in most modern worship services take between 15-40 minutes, but it’s the small outcome of an entire week/month of background, planning, structuring, and putting things into place.
It’s a very important work of the church. But don’t get caught up in the ooh-aah of it all. Worship leaders get up in the morning, grab. their instrument, head to work. Stop for some lunch, keep on going. Get home just in time for crazy evenings and schedules in life… it’s not about our position in life, it’s about our posture toward God, our creator.
So, here are five aspects of the life of a worship leader on a day-to-day basis.
Discipleship – self, others, team, church, prayer, scripture
Communication – with pastors and staff, team, tech ministry, and volunteers
Music – planning, finding, charting, files, creativity
Organizing – rehearsals, staging, teams, flow, Sundays
Recruiting – praying for new people, raising up the next generation, discovering volunteers
Each of these takes on different forms and intensity for each season of ministry. And though every develops their own schedule, this might be one potential weekly calendar:
Sunday – lead music in worship, talk and visit with people, pray with your team, visit and talk with your team, make some notes about the week, take a break in the afternoon/evening
Monday – a block of time for scheduling and making the schedule looks good for a month or two out, working with song selections and chord charts to finalize these before the following week’s rehearsal, responding to texts and emails
Tuesday – planning and meeting with the pastor or worship leadership team, meeting with staff, prepping the stage area and details for Wednesday rehearsal, working with lyric projection and other details to get ready for Sunday, working on graphics, tech, etc.
Wednesday – Send some thank you notes to team members, respond to anyone wanting to be a part of the team, encourage team members with text reminders and other worship details, have everything prepared for mid-week rehearsal, maybe meet someone for lunch or meet a worship leader cohort group, listen to a podcast or catch up on social media worship ministry groups, scripture and prayer for your own life and for the purpose of being in sync with God’s leading your church in worship.
Thursday – last-minute stuff for Sunday, administrative details, writing and posting in church publications and social media, making changes to order, flow, or song details after mid-week rehearsal, communicating any details to your team for Sunday, making sure all the pieces are in place, and coming to a finish line for the week.
Friday / Saturday – Sabbath day, weekend, home time, etc.
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Sometimes ministry leaders hit up against issues, roadblocks, and other plateaus in their life and ministry. That’s where a coaching call or two can really come into play. Often, a different perspective and encouragement from someone – especially someone out of your typical circles – can be exactly what you need to take the next step. I would love to talk with you! Let’s set up a time here.