Seems like every new technological application starts with the promise, “It will save you so much time!” These days, we use planning tools, presentational tools, content platforms, training videos, apps, and on and on – all in the name of making it easier, better, quicker, and saving time so we can do other important work.
Recently, we announced a link between Planning Center Online and lifewayworship.com to make moving files from our site into PCO easy. We want the churches we serve with our content to have every tool available. We have many more features planned in the future and would welcome your suggestions.
But that all leads me to the question – What are we doing with all of this time we are saving?
Another observation is this – because of all the ways we can automate recruiting, enlisting, scheduling, rehearsing, and preparing the worship ministry of our church, it is entirely possible to do it all and never have a single conversation with anyone we are leading.
So, let me get this straight.
We have the technology to save a ton of time and yet don’t really have to spend much of it talking to anyone to make sure everything is ready to go for our worship services. I think I’m beginning to see why so many worship leaders write their own songs, create their own artist videos, and make EPs these days – they don’t have anything else to do.
But, there is one thing you can’t delegate. You can’t automate. There is no software coming to make this easier. If you lead a worship ministry, there is no way or no one else that can make this part go away – and you shouldn’t want it to anyway.
You have to supply the “why.”
You do that as you share scripture with your choir. You do that when you exhort the congregation to offer praise to God. You give the “why” over cups of coffee with the leaders in the church where you openly share the vision of what you believe God has called you to do and why you make some of the choices you make.
You live and breathe it, and it naturally spills out of the overflow of your life. You have a purpose and you can articulate it with biblical authority in an elevator, burger joint, or rehearsal room.
You get the “why” from years of reading God’s Word and praying – from hours of conversation with your Pastor and other leaders. It is found through reading books and going to conferences and mornings in a prayer closet.
Your people can learn music a lot of ways. They can improve their skill through training. Your planning process can be enhanced and resources can be found to make it easier and faster. You can take advantage of every possible new way to do everything.
But there is one thing only you can discover and provide for the ministry you lead.
You have to supply the “why.”
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.