Worship Roles and Teams
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)
As a worship planner, leader and instrumentalist I find myself filling various roles during worship from week to week. Sometimes I plan the service, and for various reasons will not participate in leading (I may be gone that day, or not scheduled). Sometimes I plan the service, or play as an instrumentalist, but otherwise do not lead as a vocalist. Yet, at other times I am leading a service (vocally) which I have not planned and I may (or may not) be playing an instrument as I lead.
This requires several important aspects of team dynamics to work. At a minimum, I need other team members who are both competent and confident to fill each of these roles. The worship program needs several planners, worship leaders and band leaders. However, these leaders also need to be trained and guided. There have been issues of varying degrees of quality (both in planning and musical quality) that can only be brought to some standard by oversight and assessment.
It’s really not wise to set up a standard and say, “Do this or don’t lead,” since we often learn best when we make mistakes and are able to try something again to do it better. It’s like learning to ride a bike – the principles we use to learn are to first have someone hold on to the bike as we ride, then they let go and we fall over. We get back up and try again. This time we may go further, but we fall again (or, in my case, run into the tree at the end of the driveway!). Eventually we go further and further, and become a little expert at starting, stopping and riding. It’s really not much different in participating in various aspects of worship.
If you are one that is part of this process, my encouragement to you is to keep trying and working at improving in your role. Whether you plan, lead, play, sing, do tech work – it doesn’t really matter – do your work with a goal for improvement and a willingness to fail sometimes.
But there is more. There is a certain perspective we must have. From my own life, I could easily get frustrated from week to week that I’m not the main worship leader. Or I could say to myself, “I could have easily planned a better service than this.” Maybe I’m listening to another instrumentalist and noticing the wrong notes, missed timing or other errors. I begin to have a view of myself that does not match reality (“I can do it all!”). Pride could easily swell in my spirit, and contempt for others could grow.
Do I dare use the word “humility” to describe what I’m talking about? This word, so easily misunderstood, does not mean that we are doormats for others to walk on. Nor does it mean that we squelch our own God-given abilities by covering our eyes or ears from noticing what could have been done better. One of the better definitions of humility that I’ve heard can be simply stated as “having the right view of yourself and of others.”
At a basic level the right view of ourselves and of others should be the same – we are people in need of God’s grace from day to day, and in need of mercy from Him and others. We also must see that God has gifted each of us in a special way. This gifting empowers us to serve Him well, but it also comes with responsibility to both teach others and to be patient with them as they learn. This is the beauty of the Body of Christ as it works together.
Heavenly Father, give us the grace to see one another as You see us: people who need Your mercy daily, but have been gifted to serve You as well. Grant that we might also love each other enough to be a part of what You are doing, regardless of the part that we play in Your plans. In Jesus name, Amen.
Posted on June 23, 2015, in Content of Worship, Corporate Worship, Leadership, theology, Worship Leader and tagged Mark Sooy, theology, worship, worship leader, WorshipThink. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.