A recent topic of conversation in worship leader circles has been revolving around the question, “What is your biggest challenge as a worship leader?”
As those whose personal ministry work largely revolves around helping our churches grow their worship ministries in skill, training, and equipping as well as spiritually, emotionally, and numerically, our biggest challenge often revolves around shifting a worship culture at a church. Often this is because of an unhealthy attitude of “meh, that’s good enough” (see the attitude in Mal 1:6-14) and “I’ll serve only at my convenience or pleasure” (see the attitude in Isa 14:13-14). The goal is to grow and encourage a culture that embraces the attitudes of “I will not give the Lord my God a sacrifice that cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24), and “we work at whatever we do with all our heart” (Col 3:23).
Making an attitude shift will invariably result in sifting uncalled people out and bringing called people in to serve in ministry. The next biggest challenge is helping people whose lives are already packed to the gills with too much activity, to simplify and reprioritize so that they actually value and invest in the gift they will give to the Lord and share with His people. Part of that process is providing an atmosphere where they can discover the wisdom of choosing the things that are best for them over the good. Perhaps eliminating a lot of good to focus on best. And the best is always aligned with God’s mission for our lives: to be disciples who make disciples, following and obeying Jesus.
A Source For Resources
Then there’s the challenge of guiding these called people to the best resources to help them develop their gifts so that they become trained and skilled for the Lord. It could be directing them to YouTube tutorials or financially accessible gear and equipment, or creating content ourselves that support our team members. You can schedule workshops and training sessions to help members identify and learn parts and grow in their craft, or take them to conferences and outside training opportunities. Growing together is augmented by carving out time to spend one on one with team members.
All this so that we can be a part of serving the mission flowing from Jesus’ Great Commission to go in to all the world and make disciples, baptizing them, teaching them to obey all that He said. He promised He would be with us until the end. Through all of this we are called to worship Him in every aspect of our lives, as living sacrifices. Every day. All day. In everything we do. Glorifying God with a heart of thanksgiving (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17).
At The Heart Of Mission, Discipleship
Make no mistake, our work of worship as described by the Greek word latreia used in Romans 12:1—our active service for the sake of others—is completely missional. As Paul Baloche has reminded me, our role as worship leaders is all about others: ministering to God in song, and helping others worship Him. And yet, it’s still about us. Because if we’re not disciples first, following Jesus closely, we cannot lead people where we have not been. If we desire to lead people into closeness with Jesus, we begin with our own spiritual development as disciples. We seek to be learners (2 Tim 2:15) who change for the better and grow emotionally, spiritually, in knowledge of the Lord by His grace and Spirit, through prayer, fellowship, and the Word. It’s so much better to approach the throne of grace boldly and yet humbly, asking the Lord to work in us, through us, and around us, rather than in spite of us.
Be blessed as you serve God and others through your mission of worship ministry.