I guess it was probably when I turned 30 that I realized the urgency in living my life to raise up not just a few worship leaders, but an army of radical disciples of Christ who cared deeply about the worship of God, in the seen and the unseen. Up until then, I loved the church, loved the team and had a great sense of personal fulfillment. However, in the economy of the kingdom of God, a life lived in Christ is a sacrificial life—a life poured out.
Sounds easy to bring through others, but throughout Church history you’ll find again and again, the next generation was not always brought through well, and God has had to continue to wait. Here are a few keys from my own experience as a leader.
Don’t Assume They Know Anything
As more and more people have joined our team, I have learned that many have no idea why we worship. So every week, for years, we have taught on the Psalms, on the theology of worship and on basic discipleship teachings. Because we are not called to raise up an army of Christian celebrities, but of disciples of Christ, teaching on leadership is of paramount importance. Leadership development takes time, needs to be lived out, needs to be invested into, but will bring forth the huge multiplication of devoted Christian leaders that our world needs.
Let Them See A Whole Life, Not Just A Platform Experience
Apart from if I’m writing, I like to live with an open door kind of life. I’ve found that the people coming through are usually much more skilled than I in all the musical areas and, really, just need a bit of guidance. What they really want to see, is how to do life—how to be a minister of the gospel in truth, how to be married and stay married, how to run their finances, how to stay on course in God. Being available to them is probably one of the greatest challenges Mark and I face, but we work hard at it.
When They Make Mistakes, and They Will, Put the Ball Back in Their Hands
Our mistakes are so public. It’s a hard way to learn, but welcome to ministry. I try to prepare them as much as I can about making mistakes—having a sense of humor. And I’ve had to learn to give them another go, and then another—I love it.
Don’t Throw Out The Old To Bring In The New
The strength of the Church is, and has always been its ability to include, rather than exclude, to bring dignity to a life and hope to the hopeless. Wisdom and enthusiasm is the most powerful combination.
So, my favorite words to someone I’m leading are, “What do you think?” It’s a simple phrase, but it allows for growth and shows respect and honor for those entrusted to your leadership.