So, how do you find the outstanding worship leader of your prayers and dreams?
- Yes, pray often for an outstanding worship leader, of course.
- Hone your perception of a great worship leader’s primary value: to engage people in worship—lean into worship.
- It doesn’t matter if your worship leader plays an instrument. The primary role is to lead people to experience worship. The band plays the instruments. The leader leads the people, with or without an instrument.
- Your worship leader primarily leads people, not the worship team. The worship team follows the worship leader.
- Use a spiritual gifts inventory survey when you are looking for your worship leader. Watch for the dominant gift of “leader.” This is non-negotiable, no matter what the level of musical talent.
- Working with a team that leads worship means that your worship leader must have great people skills. We recommend that you give your candidate two reflective surveys beyond spiritual gifts: (1) The Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis and (2) The Ministry Styles Profile—before you hire the person.
- Look for experience, but remember: (1) just because the worship leader taught band at a high school or (2) has a PhD in music from a prestigious university—it doesn’t mean they are fit for worship. (By the way, these are examples from real churches we consulted in Milwaukee and Denver).
- Get a handle on the candidate’s spirituality. Is she/he looking for a job or is your candidate called to ministry? Would they lead worship for free, if they could afford it? (Evaluate their passion). Ask about spiritual lifestyle issues: prayer, Bible study, church attendance, personal reading.
- Does your candidate have a worldview of “pastor of the worship team” and “developer of worship leaders for ministry”—as in discipling? Has he/she discipled others in the past?
- Where to search: look for a church where they have “white-hot” worship (a British term we’ve come to appreciate). (1) These churches are like magnets for those called to lead worship. (2) These churches end up with more qualified worship leaders than they can use. (3) Ask the senior leader of the church if you can look for one of their worship leaders who has caught the leadership culture, who you can “call away from that church,” with the pastor’s blessing. (4) With more worship leaders than the church can use, good pastoral leaders have a worldview that the bigger Kingdom is greater than their personal turf.
In my next blog post we’ll tackle how to look for a youth minister.