Pastoring Your Worship Team
We must prepare for the music on Sunday morning. It must be excellent, but does our pursuit of musical perfection get in the way of our ability to really care for the souls of those that God has placed on our teams? Have you considered how you will pastor the people on your team?
More often than I care to admit, I have been more concerned about the quality of music that has been produced by those I have lead. A few years ago I knew something needed to change in the way that I was leading rehearsals, but I didn’t want to make changes at the expense of being musically prepared for Sunday. Therefore, I commend these four practices which have helped our teams be better prepared for Sunday and given me greater opportunity to lead them pastorally during the rehearsal time.
1. Be Prompt
While it seems simple, being on time is a pastoral issue. This is a substantial way that we can communicate to the team that we care about them. Being on time doesn’t mean a leader is simply present when the rehearsal starts; it means the leader is ready. Nothing is more frustrating for a team or threatens the worship leader’s pastoral integrity like a group of musicians watching him set up his equipment while they are ready to rehearse. Being on time means being ready on time!
2. Be Prepared
No one should be more prepared at a rehearsal than the leader. Preparation takes time, so we should set aside time to prepare and practice in our weekly responsibilities. The more comfortable we get with our team the greater the temptation will be to just “wing-it” in the rehearsal, but we must fight this temptation because our lack of preparation can also communicate a lack of care for our people. If we are prepared and structured with our time, we can give more time to address spiritual issues.
3. Be Intentional
One of the most difficult challenges to overcome in pastoring a team during the rehearsal time is budgeting time for pastoral moments (devotion, prayer, etc.) and time for perfecting the music for Sunday morning. However, perhaps we don’t have to separate the two categories as much as we might think. There are many pastoral moments within and around a rehearsal, but we will need our pastoral antennas up to notice them – we must be intentional. Many of these happen before rehearsal begins and after it ends. If you arrive early and stay late, you will have many more opportunities to serve your team members. Also, being aware of the lyrical theology in the songs that you are leading provides an opportunity for giving a short explanation of the Gospel truths that the church will be singing on Sunday.
4. Be Authentic
We lead and serve our teams by living openly before them. They need to know that we are sinners who have been saved by the same grace that they have experienced. This doesn’t mean that we confess a litany of sins to begin each rehearsal, but that we live openly and authentically – with wisdom – before them. It is our human condition to want others to think more highly of us than they ought, but we must fight against this this desire for honor. While we may have more education than many on our team or may be more musically skilled, we are just as sinful and just as saved. We must know our position in Christ and live authentically before those on our teams.
We cannot fail in our pastoral responsibilities at the expense of musical perfection. Let’s be resolved to serve and lead our people while producing good music. This investment is sure to produce fruit that extends beyond the rehearsal.
About Andrew Lucius
Andrew is the Associate Pastor of Worship and Fine Arts at Bull Street Baptist Church in Savannah, GA. He previously served as an Instructor of Worship and Church Music at Boyce College of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has written blogs for Worship Leader Magazine and Integrity Music. He is married to Rebecca and is the father of Molly and Matthew.