Thursday 4 August 2011

A worship ramble.

One thing about Twitter is that it's been leading me to interesting links/sites. I just started following a whole bunch of worship related accounts which has led to blogs, one of which is Rob Rash. (I'm not sure why he uses ".us" because it makes me think of Rashes. Like Rob has Rashes. Err. Anyway.)

His recent post on Worship Pastor vs. Worship Leader vs. Song Leader is an interesting one:

The Song Leader - The song leader does just what the title implies, leads the church in songs. There is no real leadership or vision. There is no shepherding going on, it’s the simplest form of leading worship as there can be. The song leader sings worship songs.
The Worship Leader - Once again, going off the title, the worship leader knows how to lead the church in worship. This is a step above a song leader and they know how to speak, cast vision, and lead the church beyond just singing songs.
The Worship Pastor - The worship pastor goes beyond just singing songs, casting vision, and speaking into people’s lives from the stage. The worship pastor is shepherding the church. Moving past the stage and Sunday mornings, the worship pastor gets involved in people’s lives and has a sense of responsibility mixed with a calling to move people in their faith.
There is a major difference in all three, as each one assumes a slightly different role. I believe it’s important for those of us that are leading the church, whether in worship, preaching, teaching, or in leadership, to have a real clear understanding of our calling.
I figure that most of our "worship leaders" (WLs), me included, are more inclined towards being just "Song Leaders". A lot of times, it's about throwing a bunch of worship songs together based on our own directions - maybe the current themes in our heads/personal devotionals/etc - with no clear vision, no clear direction that is in line with the church. Maybe this has to do with the disconnect between the WLs and the general leadership of the church. I don't know if this is something the other WLs feel, but it's been something I've been mulling over.
I may be wrong, but I just some how think that if the church is entrusting a bunch of guys (and a girl) to lead the church in worship every week, there should be some kind of deeper discipling happening at that level. I mean, if you really take worship (as in the corporate worship-in-song, not the worship-as-a-lifestyle) seriously, there has to be a correlation between what is going on during the worship, including the songs selected, and the general sermons coming out over the pulpit. There has to be a connect. (On an aside, having the sermon theme/outline BEFORE choosing songs is a great plus. True, it's great and awesome when both WL and the Pastor are so in tune that they sing/speak on the same theme... but face it - it's not that common an occurence. Then the WLs have to scramble about for a suitable song for altar call on the spot.)
Taking that further, it shouldn't only be the WLs per se who are getting this deeper discipling - the whole team need to be on the same page as well. Because a worship leader doesn't lead on his/her own. The musicians and singers need to engage as well, because if not, it will fall back into another weekly performance. The tech people need to be there - not just to make it sound right, but to be sensitive to where the service is going.
I don't know. I suppose that the carecells are supposed to be taking care of this, but it just seems to me that this new cell model is shallower than the previous one. It's a lot more about connecting, yes, but it's not much about discipling. Or maybe I should just be patient and wait until the next level of discipling starts and wait and see if I'm on it. As it is, this leadership cell thing is only for cell leaders. (Okay, this could be a personal chip.)

So the question now is how do we move ourselves from being "song leaders" to being "worship leaders"? And do we wait for a church appointed / ordained / paid Worship Pastor, or do we seek to step up into that role because that is what the church needs, and where our hearts lie?


  1. Hmm.. where I am even the youth WL is speaking to the congregation between songs but would probably be doomstruck if were asked to choose song for altar call.
    So would that be categorized under WL or SL? =.=
    All you need is a pause between songs to start off an evolvement of worship with an enflamed heart of course....I'd say STEP UP. GET GOING!

    We're meeting sometime soon.
    Can't believe I'm taking time from work to comment! >.<

  2. Great reflective thoughts Anna. Keep thinking through these and God will be sure to reveal and lead you.

    To try to answer your question a bit, don't wait on the church to ordain or appoint, but just lead out of your personal faith experience.

    Follow what God is doing in your heart. Song leaders should not be minimized nor should worship pastors be elevated. We have to be faithful in what God is calling us to do and be. He calls and confirms...

    Keep at it!