4 Ways You’re Making Your Worship Pastor's Job Impossible


Worship is one of the biggest "make it or break it" points of your church. Every church leader knows how important it is to have great candidates to fill your worship jobs for the retention of the visitors at your church.

While it can be difficult to find the right person for your church and culture, the success of your worship leader actually begins with your leadership and the way you shape the role. Below you’ll find 4 common ways you’re unknowingly making it impossible to retain great people for your worship jobs.

1. You’re micromanaging.

Worship leaders need space.Tweet: Worship leaders need space. https://bit.ly/1SXmJFh via @VanderbloemenSG

They need your permission and trust in order to be optimally creative, and most often this is communicated through setting your expectations and then maintaining distance. Constant check-ins, interferences, and restraints will have the opposite affect of what you hope for and will typically result in sub-par work. This generation thrives when high expectations are set and they are given authority to make things happen, and that is even truer for creatives. Hire someone you believe in, set expectations, and then trust your choice and in the person you chose. You’ll be surprised at the end result.

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2. You are close-minded.

I’ve never met a group of people more excited about change than musicians. When I first married my kind, worship-leading husband, I got offended every time he proposed a better way to execute one of my ideas. Eventually I learned that while my mind is strategic, his is also, just in a completely different way – a way that loves change and constantly improving ideas, experiences, really anything and everything.

On any church staff team, there is more than one way to arrive at an answer.Tweet: On any church staff team, there is more than one way to arrive at an answer. https://bit.ly/1SXmJFh via @VanderbloemenSG

It’s easy to dismiss ideas from your worship team members because they seem unimportant to us as non-creative people, but they see and understand things we don’t, and these things are valuable growth drivers for your church. If you refuse to give them a voice and an opportunity, you will arrive at one of two places – your worship leader will either stop suggesting things and stop thriving, or will leave to find a place that nurtures creativity. In either case, you’ve lost a great leader and you now have to spend time and money to replace them.

Stop and take a moment to listen to their ideas. Ask questions to help you understand why they think something is important. You may be surprised at the great ideas buried underneath “outlandish” suggestions.

3. You expect too much.

Asking for a pastor, professional singer, graphic designer, team-builder, recording artist, etc. all in one is too much to ask of any person, regardless of how talented they are. The more directions your worship leader is running, the less time they have to actually devote to worship and your congregation.

Our suggestion to you is to find a creative person (preferably your Worship or Creative Arts Pastor) who is both strategic and highly capable, and put them on your lead team. Let them spend their time building your team and furthering the quality and reach of your church’s worship. Trust them as the authority in their field, and give them resources to build a team and set realistic parameters for their team’s job descriptions.

4. You don’t pay enough.

I know this hurts to hear, but it’s true. As with any ministry position, there is a fine line to walk between a person being called to ministry, and this job being that person’s livelihood. In order to get great people for your worship jobs, you should pay competitively. It just makes sense. (The upside is that this also means you get to hold your team to high, albeit realistic, standards.)

These are just a few ways you can improve the tenure of worship jobs at your church.

What are some other barriers have you seen, or changes you have made to overcome impossibilities with your church’s worship jobs?

If you liked this, you'll also enjoy The 5 Mistakes Churches Make In Worship Pastor Searches

Free webinar church staffing & church structure Tony Morgan and William Vanderbloemen