This summer may be the strangest season to transition in ministry that anyone can remember. For worship leaders who may be seeking a role and for churches seeking someone to fill a worship role, here are some insights into hiring – both in general and during this unique Covid season we’re in.
NARROW IT DOWN TIGHTLY
It’s important for church leadership to tightly narrow down what they are looking for. The staff and leadership teams need to do the ultra-hard work of deciding what exactly this role entails. It might be good to write a vision or snapshot of what you see actually being the result of your hire in three years. What will this person be responsible for that are non-negotiable? What will not be their responsibilities? Too much can sabotage from the beginning. Pray that you can narrow down and focus the role before you begin putting out the information.
PREPARE FOR A LENGTHY PROCESS
You don’t want to rush the hiring of any position and that’s especially true for worship leaders. All ministry staff roles are important, but the worship leader role is very public. Everyone not only sees the worship leader on a regular basis, but the congregation is shaped by the worship leader both culturally and theologically. As a result, you want to hire very slowly. Pray that God will lead you to the right person. Be nimble enough to determine and move fast when that happens, but until then, do not apologize for all the hoop-jumping you will be asking of candidates to make sure you are fit for them and they are a fit for you.
WORSHIP LEADERS NEED TO BE WELL ROUNDED
A worship leader who can sing and play is crucial, but this person must also be able to lead worship and grow in pastoral heart as they serve a congregation. In our day and age, the worship leader must also be able to talk the tech talk and serve as a team leader for those who lead digital ministries. Worship leaders need to be confident of their creativity and upbeat in their attitudes. And a worship leader must able to manage details and help grow a team of leaders around them.
PART OF THE TEAM
The worship leader is part of the church staff team. Your ministry is to help support the pastor and congregation in the mission It’s a ministry of serving and sacrifice and always will be. Nothing is beneath the worship leader.
A CHURCH SHOULDN’T BE NAIVE
Modern worship ministry is one lynchpin to an effective and growing local church ministry. Too many churches try to add too much to a part-time role and they don’t offer enough compensation for a full-time role. In general, there are three tiers:
- TIER ONE: Someone who leads music (this is a very part-time role, maybe a rehearsal night and the worship time on the weekend, part-time pay, possibility of growing).
- TIER TWO: Someone who leads worship (this can also be a part-time role, but takes it up a notch including the rehearsal, the leading and helping with planning and flow).
- TIER THREE: Someone who leads the worship ministry (this has to move to full time, including overseeing, developing, recruiting, nurturing the worship and tech teams as well as helping to design, plan and lead worship in the church).
It’s hard to place a dollar amount on these three tiers, they are different for the different regions, but a naive church leadership team will try to accomplish tier three with tier one pay.
GREAT TRAITS FOR WORSHIP LEADERS
We all want a great musician and that’s hugely important. But we’re looking for someone active in leading the worship experience, a prayer warrior for the church, able to confidently and smoothly transition in various worship components and to be warm, relational and kind. Worship leaders aren’t performers. They can perform, but they combine a spirit of leadership, serving the congregation and a heart for the Lord with excellent music and presentation. There are great singers, and there are great worship leaders.
HOW DOES A CHURCH HIRE SOMEONE?
The stories of how ministry leaders get hired are always unique. It may be a relational connection, in fact, this is primary. Share the word with people who will share the word and eventually the right person will hear about the opportunity. There’s a good chance your next worship leader will be homegrown – serving in ministry in. volunteer or part-time way, then be transitioned to worship leader. A church leadership team can utilize Facebook groups, Facebook ads, and other social media posts. There are also companies with whom you can post your job opening to reach the maximum number of quality applicants, examples include churchstaffing.com, churchjobs.net, ministryemployment.com, or event indeed.com.