These are matters I value while leading worship and leading a worship ministry team.
To be effective, worship ministry must be focused on God and be operated towards the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a talent show no matter how excellent the participants are.
A worship ministry team is a part of the local church ministry which must operate in harmony with the whole of the local church’s ministries.
The time of praise and worship during a service is of paramount importance. Herein is the ultimate paradox. Though it is often preliminary to the preaching of the word, it must never be regarded to only be so. Once relegated to just a preliminary and warm-up to the preaching of the word, it is ineffective in fulfilling that mandate. When mandated to bring people into God’s presence without regard towards what phases of ministry happen afterwards, praise and worship becomes one of the most effective ways to prepare the people (and the preacher too) for the preaching of the word.
I have led worship off and on for over 30 years in a variety of settings and venues including:
- Church services
- Bible camp meetings
- Crusades and rallies
- Fellowship banquettes
- Outdoor events
- Regional Conferences
- Youth functions
- Prison ministry
- Altar ministry and prayer times
Each setting / venue has its own set of needs and considerations and you have to tailor your worship leading to each case.
In most cases, I am comfortable leading worship while playing an instrument but occasionally I find it necessary to step out, sometimes to do something unusual to engage the congregation. OK I admit it, sometimes the more unusual times are the most fun times too!
Worship Ministry Leadership
I have led worship ministries for over fifteen years. My leadership style could be described as being team oriented. I have always focused on developing a team and we minister together. Together, we strive for excellence in ministry in a manner appropriate for our setting, and within our means. I am not what you would consider to be a “star”, nor the type to draw attention to myself, except when necessary as a tool to facilitate leading worship. My goal is always to point people towards Christ and then to get out of the way.
The truth is that after many years, I am just as comfortable in the back directing the technical matters and supporting the service as being up front playing an instrument or leading worship. For the last few years, it has been more important to me to see other worship leaders develop as leaders, even leaders of worship teams, not just of specific services.
I believe that developing the ministry of others is a very important part of my own ministry. I have always made a point of helping to equip others to develop and move out in ministry. This has included getting youth involved in worship teams and working with those who are enthusiastic about worship ministry.
Part of my leadership philosophy has been that in order for me to have the “right” to make demands for commitment from the team (who are people there on a volunteer basis) I have to be prepared to give them value in terms of mentoring, training and other aids in their ministry development.
Mentoring is not limited to how the leader develops a team. I have been privileged in many cases as a musician to work with developing worship leaders where I have been able to assist with their development to the next level of worship leading. In some cases, it has been getting someone started and to an initial point of confidence leading worship.
The joy of mentoring others is that now when I attend a ministry function, it is not unusual to see someone involved whose life and ministry I had the privilege of helping develop. It is so cool to see them serving the Lord.
Summary – Mission Objectives
The mission objectives of the worship team are:
- Facilitate and guide Spirit led, vibrant and inspiring corporate worship;
- Nurture and train worshipers for ministry, guide them to fulfill God’s purpose, and provide opportunities for them to minister;
- Develop and maintain worship teams to support our corporate worship;
- Encourage participation from those of the target culture of the worship ministry;
- Mentor the next generations in the matters of worship ministry;
- Apply music, art, drama and other appropriate art forms, media and technologies to worship, ministry and outreach;
- Encourage the composition of new songs and other works inspired of the Holy Spirit, utilize them in ministry and publish them as appropriate;
- Launch and support worship ministry extensions in support of our ministries and outreach;
These are towards our overall objective to equip the church for effective Christian living, demonstrating God’s presence here and abroad, fulfilling His will.