As a worship leader in a local church, there are three areas in which we have to earn trust. If we fail to earn trust on ALL three levels, it’s game over. These levels aren’t in any particular order because 1. they are ALL important, and 2. they will be accomplished in varying timelines depending on the situation. The first is with our pastors and leadership. For the others, click part 2 and part 3.
We must earn the trust of our pastor. It can be really nerve-racking for a pastor to give up to half the service to a person they don’t trust. Work at building a track-record that allows your pastors/leaders to trust and support you, not simply tolerate you. Obey your time constraints. Dress well. Outside the service, worship leaders should understand that there are other ways to earn the trust of the leadership. Study your pastor and leadership. In the same way we are charged to “find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10) take this same charge into finding out what pleases your leaders. If you win the support and trust of your leaders, how could that ever be bad? Learn to speak their language on. Your pastor likes hymns? Then sing a hymn. It’s not the end of the world. Let’s say you do the hymn and hit it out of the park. Now you’ve earned a measure of credibility to do a song down the line that you love but he may not. Or a project. Or an equipment purchase. You get the drift.
Good pastors are sharp, disciplined, and strong leaders. So be sharp, disciplined, and strong. Be punctual. Walk in integrity. Show you care about the service as a whole, not just the worship part. One practical thing my worship leaders and I do is pray during pre-service prayer. You don’t know how much it helps a pastor when the worship leaders pray. The pastor will think, “Wow! Mike really cares so much about the service that he is actually praying! I’m not alone in this thing!”
Don’t get into the “But if I’m not feeling it then I shouldn’t force myself to pray.” My honest response: then don’t lead worship. If you’re leading worship, you’re a LEADER. Leaders have to do things they don’t always feel like doing. Leaders think about the the whole, not just their part.
Earning the trust of your leadership means you learn to lead your organization offstage as much as you lead onstage. Your pastor may not feel like preaching that morning, but how would you feel if he just went out and told everyone he didn’t feel like preaching? Sure, you might find his honesty refreshing…for one week. But if he kept saying it week after week, you’d tell him to get another job and bring someone in that could lead your church.
So lead! Hold up your pastor’s arms like Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17. If you earn the confidence of your pastor and leadership staff you’ll go way farther than you would without it.
If you liked this post, check out: