He might not be able to sing a lick. He knows the difference between a quarter note and a post-it note, but only because he knows what a post-it note is. He likes ‘70s Rock classics but doesn’t have a clue who Hillsong is.
And he is the worship leader of your church.
Your Pastor – whether you choose to believe this or not – has more influence over the worship ministry of your church than you do. Don’t let that bother you. Celebrate the impact that the Shepherd of your church can have on the worship services you lead.
He leads by faithfully preaching the Word of God.
The best New Testament view of Proverbs 29:18 has nothing to do with a growth strategy or a vision. “Without revelation people run wild, but one who follows divine instruction will be happy.” (CSB) The “revelation” here is the Word of God.
Worship is a response to that revelation. And the man of God standing with the Word of God proclaiming the truth of God about the Son of God is the starting place for worship. Your pastor leads the worship ministry of your church every time he stands and delivers. Because that’s true we should do everything we can to protect his time, serve his ministry, and guard the posture of the congregation to receive the Word. Those things matter much more than whether or not all the vocal team wore the right color palette.
He leads by setting the expectations.
I saw this beautifully done just this past week. I was at a ministry banquet at First Baptist Church, Madison, Mississippi and the pastor, Dr. Ronnie Falvey, attended and took the stage to speak to the Worship Ministry. I wish I had a recording of his remarks that I could play for every church. In a few minutes, he outlined his expectations for this ministry – that they be prepared, faithful, prayerful, excited, enthusiastic – and then expressed how much he loved them and appreciated their service through the worship ministry. I would have joined that church that night if I lived anywhere near there.
He leads by modeling personal responsibility in corporate worship.
Make no mistake, the way a Pastor engages in the corporate worship response sets the bar for the whole church. But I want to be clear about this – there are many ways for your Pastor to engage that don’t necessarily require him to produce full-throated singing during the congregational singing. Some Pastors aren’t singers. Those Pastors engage by their presence at music events, their visual engagement as the church sings (posture, expression), their words of encouragement and affirmation to the church about the worship and worship leaders, their faithful teaching about praise and worship both in the pulpit and beyond, and more. They are part of the worship and model participation in worship.
Your Pastor is the Worship leader of your church.
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 (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.