Updated: Feb 14, 2019
When it comes to church worship leaders, there's more than meets the eye. I think most people know that's true, so I often get questions about what I do. Here's a stab at a few answers.
1. Sometimes I don't feel like worshipping.
This one can get controversial. Sometimes, when the countdown ends and I say "Good morning church! Let's put our hands together and worship The Lord today," I may not actually feel as chipper as I seem. Some people call that fake, which bothers me. Worshiping God no matter my present feelings has not always come easily, but it has become a discipline that I live by. Anyone can let their emotions control them, but it takes true intentionality in looking beyond oneself to choose to put emotions aside. God is WORTHY of my worship at all times!
2. Yes, I'll listen to your favorite song. No, you probably won't hear us play this in church.
A lot of people send me new songs to listen to, hoping that they'll hear our team play it next week in church. I actually love getting these songs and listening to them! 99% of the time, they're amazing songs. However, it takes more than an amazing song for us to play it in a worship setting. Here are a few things we look for: 1) Lyrics - do these lyrics ring true to the Bible and focus on God instead of self? 2) Singability - is the melody easy to catch on to? 3) The "Fit" factor - does this sound like us? If a song doesn't match at least these 3 things, we won't play it. Also, there are hundreds of thousands of great songs out there... at the end of the day, we can only play a few per service.
3. Yes, it is a full time job
In most larger churches (certainly those 500+), the worship leader is paid a full time salary. So what more is there than showing up on Sunday at church to sing? Well, there's running mid-week and pre-service rehearsals, giving and receiving communication about the service, shepherding a team of musicians, singers and more, responding to a portion of the pastoral care needs within the church, moving the ministry forward, training new leaders, creating set lists, planning out events, and managing conflict, to name a few. Oh, and of course, drinking coffee. :) I've heard it said that coffee shops are the watering holes of worship leaders. *True*
So welcome into my world! I hope you've enjoyed this little taste of what it's like being a worship leader!
What are the things about your job / calling / life that people often ask or wonder about?