Top Five Reasons 2013 will be tougher for Worship Leaders

Doomsayer or realist, you can decide. But, this year will continue a negative trend for worship leaders set in place by a variety of cultural, economic, and other changes in the Church in America. Basically, the outlook is not good when seen through anecdotal and insider data. I talk to many worship leaders on a regular basis and the stories are heart breaking. I also talk to lead pastors and am disappointed about how decisions are currently being made across our country. This year will be a tough one if you are a worship leader.

For whatever the reasons, the following trends will make it harder on those who feel called to lead worship. Some of these are not new, but perhaps a surprise or two is included. I believe that every negative does not have to brand us all. I applaud the many out there who are not beholden to the popular and look to the effective. What values do you sift your worship leadership decisions through, pastors? I have listed some values under each item.

1. Production value rules the roost. More specialty workers needed who know video, audio, and other communication technology. This means less resources for actual “creative” talent as far as those who write, present, and create music. Yes, a good sound system is now a non-negotiable for a ministry and intelligent lighting is now becoming coveted. One wise man said to me, “if you can’t do it well under cafeteria lighting, a $20,000 lighting system won’t help you.”

Excellence does not require out-of-scale facilities or production gear to achieve.

2. Contractors win over pastors. Worship pastor or Worship Arts Pastor will be seen less and less. The role of being upfront and on a platform is so important, that leading and pastoring a team of artists is just not what we want to pay for any longer. Who will shepherd the team? Who will mentor and raise up younger worship leaders? If the role of being a worship leader is that of a contracted platform performance we have lost the value of discipleship. The trend that most pastors call themselves a “communicator” or “teacher” over that of a shepherd reflects this. Leadership theory trumps grass roots connection. So, why would the guy leading music upfront need to think about anything other than that activity? This is bad news for the worship leader who desires to partner in shepherding his team and the church in worship. Either there is not time for it or it simply is not valued.

If you want spiritual impact, a worship team is far better than a bunch of guys playing a gig.

3. Pay to play. Full time employment as a worship leader will almost disappear. The trend is that volunteer worship leaders are growing in all sizes of churches and that full time church employees who lead worship are shrinking. If you are a volunteer, its like paying to play. The expertise, political pressure, and specialized skills required are bigger than most volunteer positions. There needs to be a lot more training for these new leaders who have less time to get to reach the same high expectations. This is not good news because with the amount of younger people expecting to make any kind of living on leading worship has created a huge gap from what is really available out there.

A worker is worthy of pay, so in the long run you get what you pay for. 

4. Cattle call. Tenure will be remain short for worship leaders. You are even more expendable now. Because more and more worship leaders are part time, even larger churches see this contracting as a way to throw ideas on the wall and see what sticks. This means if you are a young worship leader and after a short time your leaders are not just feeling it, you are out. There is a cattle call full of eager talented people to jump up and plug their Fender in and give it a go. The idea of being developed is gone. Worship leaders are now a commodity and that is just not cool when you think of these people as people.

Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.

5. Cover band. The pressure to “sound like” someone else will continue to grow. Think about it, if you have less time to achieve a good result you won’t be able to innovate. Besides that, most pastors and leaders want you to sound like someone. You essentially are asked to mimic a vibe rather than craft an experience. The worship “industry” feeds this, too. It is so much easier to “cut and paste” than to create something new. When programming, we borrow what we can download. Likely, in a larger church there are many creative people able to be tasked to create content custom to your culture, city, and theology. But, it takes a skill we lack and money we think we should not spend.

Cultivate and empower creative gifts in your church to help you lead worship over cutting and pasting from people you don’t know.

In summary, it is going to be a tough year for worship leaders. But, if we learn to apply higher values in making our decisions it is possible to spiritually impact our church and community in surprising ways. We can do the predictable and borrow what God has done last year in a famous church. Or, we can trust the Holy Spirit’s gifting in our own house of worship to lead us. I know it is not the popular choice these days, but does anyone think we should at least try it?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

156 comments

  1. This may be the sad reality of many worship leaders/pastors, however I’m pleased to say that this is not the case with me. My church just made a commitment to bring me on from 3/4 time to full-time in 2013. There is no doubt that the role of WL or W-pastor often suspect, questioned and undervalued, but I’m happy to say most of my church are appreciative of our team and the role we serve in leading worship.I’m equally disappointed that churches across NA are not fully valuing the contribution of artists.
    My God forgive us for elevating certain gifts while diminishing others for the sake of the bottom line.

  2. This may be the sad reality of many worship leaders/pastors, however I’m pleased to say that this is not the case with me. My church just made a commitment to bring me on from 3/4 time to full-time in 2013. There is no doubt that the role of WL or W-pastor often suspect, questioned and undervalued, but I’m happy to say most of my church are appreciative of our team and the role we serve in leading worship.I’m equally disappointed that churches across NA are not fully valuing the contribution of artists.
    My God forgive us for elevating certain gifts while diminishing others for the sake of the bottom line.

  3. This may be the sad reality of many worship leaders/pastors, however I’m pleased to say that this is not the case with me. My church just made a commitment to bring me on from 3/4 time to full-time in 2013. There is no doubt that the role of WL or W-pastor often suspect, questioned and undervalued, but I’m happy to say most of my church are appreciative of our team and the role we serve in leading worship.I’m equally disappointed that churches across NA are not fully valuing the contribution of artists.
    My God forgive us for elevating certain gifts while diminishing others for the sake of the bottom line.

  4. This may be the sad reality of many worship leaders/pastors, however I’m pleased to say that this is not the case with me. My church just made a commitment to bring me on from 3/4 time to full-time in 2013. There is no doubt that the role of WL or W-pastor often suspect, questioned and undervalued, but I’m happy to say most of my church are appreciative of our team and the role we serve in leading worship.I’m equally disappointed that churches across NA are not fully valuing the contribution of artists.
    My God forgive us for elevating certain gifts while diminishing others for the sake of the bottom line.

  5. This may be the sad reality of many worship leaders/pastors, however I’m pleased to say that this is not the case with me. My church just made a commitment to bring me on from 3/4 time to full-time in 2013. There is no doubt that the role of WL or W-pastor often suspect, questioned and undervalued, but I’m happy to say most of my church are appreciative of our team and the role we serve in leading worship.I’m equally disappointed that churches across NA are not fully valuing the contribution of artists.
    My God forgive us for elevating certain gifts while diminishing others for the sake of the bottom line.

  6. Well said Rich! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I do think this year and the next several will be challenging for those of us in Worship Pastor/Worship Arts Pastor roles.

    One issue that I see driving this phenomenon is that churches are becoming less and less effective when it comes to reaching the lost. So, unnecessary pressure is put on worship and production in hopes that people will be drawn into the show. The flaw in that thinking is so obvious, yet church after church after church pursue this model.

    What is astounding to me is the buy in of ripping off ideas from other churches. There are not two identical bodies of Christ. Every body is different, so taking a formula and stamping it on another church just isn’t going to work. At best, it will be a very watered down version of what it originally was. The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.

    Long comment, but I would recommend any worship pastor be working on coming up with other sources of income ASAP. You may think you’re doing a good job, and even the congregation and members of your worship ministry may love the progress you are making. But, if the church as a whole is unhealthy – you are likely to become a target.

    1. “The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.”
      AMEN

  7. Well said Rich! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I do think this year and the next several will be challenging for those of us in Worship Pastor/Worship Arts Pastor roles.
    One issue that I see driving this phenomenon is that churches are becoming less and less effective when it comes to reaching the lost. So, unnecessary pressure is put on worship and production in hopes that people will be drawn into the show. The flaw in that thinking is so obvious, yet church after church after church pursue this model.
    What is astounding to me is the buy in of ripping off ideas from other churches. There are not two identical bodies of Christ. Every body is different, so taking a formula and stamping it on another church just isn’t going to work. At best, it will be a very watered down version of what it originally was. The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.
    Long comment, but I would recommend any worship pastor be working on coming up with other sources of income ASAP. You may think you’re doing a good job, and even the congregation and members of your worship ministry may love the progress you are making. But, if the church as a whole is unhealthy – you are likely to become a target.

    1. “The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.”
      AMEN

  8. Well said Rich! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I do think this year and the next several will be challenging for those of us in Worship Pastor/Worship Arts Pastor roles.

    One issue that I see driving this phenomenon is that churches are becoming less and less effective when it comes to reaching the lost. So, unnecessary pressure is put on worship and production in hopes that people will be drawn into the show. The flaw in that thinking is so obvious, yet church after church after church pursue this model.

    What is astounding to me is the buy in of ripping off ideas from other churches. There are not two identical bodies of Christ. Every body is different, so taking a formula and stamping it on another church just isn’t going to work. At best, it will be a very watered down version of what it originally was. The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.

    Long comment, but I would recommend any worship pastor be working on coming up with other sources of income ASAP. You may think you’re doing a good job, and even the congregation and members of your worship ministry may love the progress you are making. But, if the church as a whole is unhealthy – you are likely to become a target.

    1. “The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.”
      AMEN

  9. Well said Rich! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I do think this year and the next several will be challenging for those of us in Worship Pastor/Worship Arts Pastor roles.

    One issue that I see driving this phenomenon is that churches are becoming less and less effective when it comes to reaching the lost. So, unnecessary pressure is put on worship and production in hopes that people will be drawn into the show. The flaw in that thinking is so obvious, yet church after church after church pursue this model.

    What is astounding to me is the buy in of ripping off ideas from other churches. There are not two identical bodies of Christ. Every body is different, so taking a formula and stamping it on another church just isn’t going to work. At best, it will be a very watered down version of what it originally was. The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.

    Long comment, but I would recommend any worship pastor be working on coming up with other sources of income ASAP. You may think you’re doing a good job, and even the congregation and members of your worship ministry may love the progress you are making. But, if the church as a whole is unhealthy – you are likely to become a target.

    1. “The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.”
      AMEN

  10. Well said Rich! I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I do think this year and the next several will be challenging for those of us in Worship Pastor/Worship Arts Pastor roles.

    One issue that I see driving this phenomenon is that churches are becoming less and less effective when it comes to reaching the lost. So, unnecessary pressure is put on worship and production in hopes that people will be drawn into the show. The flaw in that thinking is so obvious, yet church after church after church pursue this model.

    What is astounding to me is the buy in of ripping off ideas from other churches. There are not two identical bodies of Christ. Every body is different, so taking a formula and stamping it on another church just isn’t going to work. At best, it will be a very watered down version of what it originally was. The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.

    Long comment, but I would recommend any worship pastor be working on coming up with other sources of income ASAP. You may think you’re doing a good job, and even the congregation and members of your worship ministry may love the progress you are making. But, if the church as a whole is unhealthy – you are likely to become a target.

    1. “The reason these churches see success in their worship ministries is because they employ the creative talents of the members of their own body who are connected to the community and are aware of its needs and desires.”
      AMEN

  11. Rich, great post. I would love to see you re-post this with ways to mitigate what is going on in the church as it pertains to worship and leadership. True, there is a lack everywhere you pointed out, but if we don’t educate them and think of ways to overcome what is happening, we may as well give up.
    – How can we accomplish “out of the box” excellence?

    – How can we mentor and disciple those upcoming worship leaders with the time and resources we do have (or lack thereof)?

    – What is the value of “tentmaking?”

    I love your suggestions underneath, but this sure would make a great round table discussion. I would love to hear some of the issues and proposed solutions. Kind of like a summit of lead pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders all coming together to discuss and work out issues.
    Just thoughts. Thanks again, I really enjoyed the article.

    1. Hi Kellee, conversation is the goal from this.

      Obviously, there are some practical issues. However, in order to really get solutions, what we value has to come to light. How we make the decisions has to come from not what is cheap, fast, or easy. It will take hard work and the kind a lot of pastors are too tired to talk about.

      For instance, the idea of excellence has been replaced with perfectionism on one side or on the other with it being out of reach on the other. It is possible, given the right gifting being empowered, to get there. Some pastors want to choose everything from the font to the songlist and have no idea about either.

      When we get a less “alpha male” culture replaced with Holy Spirit empowered collaboration the sky is the limit. I believe that every church, even smaller ones, has tremendous gifting that is damned up do to ignorance or ego. No on intends this to be the case, but control has to be part of the conversation.

      Thanks so much. I would love to have the kind of dialog you mention. It is so needed as these things are not being talked about openly.

  12. Rich, great post. I would love to see you re-post this with ways to mitigate what is going on in the church as it pertains to worship and leadership. True, there is a lack everywhere you pointed out, but if we don’t educate them and think of ways to overcome what is happening, we may as well give up.
    – How can we accomplish “out of the box” excellence?
    – How can we mentor and disciple those upcoming worship leaders with the time and resources we do have (or lack thereof)?
    – What is the value of “tentmaking?”
    I love your suggestions underneath, but this sure would make a great round table discussion. I would love to hear some of the issues and proposed solutions. Kind of like a summit of lead pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders all coming together to discuss and work out issues.
    Just thoughts. Thanks again, I really enjoyed the article.

    1. Hi Kellee, conversation is the goal from this.
      Obviously, there are some practical issues. However, in order to really get solutions, what we value has to come to light. How we make the decisions has to come from not what is cheap, fast, or easy. It will take hard work and the kind a lot of pastors are too tired to talk about.
      For instance, the idea of excellence has been replaced with perfectionism on one side or on the other with it being out of reach on the other. It is possible, given the right gifting being empowered, to get there. Some pastors want to choose everything from the font to the songlist and have no idea about either.
      When we get a less “alpha male” culture replaced with Holy Spirit empowered collaboration the sky is the limit. I believe that every church, even smaller ones, has tremendous gifting that is damned up do to ignorance or ego. No on intends this to be the case, but control has to be part of the conversation.
      Thanks so much. I would love to have the kind of dialog you mention. It is so needed as these things are not being talked about openly.

  13. Rich, great post. I would love to see you re-post this with ways to mitigate what is going on in the church as it pertains to worship and leadership. True, there is a lack everywhere you pointed out, but if we don’t educate them and think of ways to overcome what is happening, we may as well give up.
    – How can we accomplish “out of the box” excellence?

    – How can we mentor and disciple those upcoming worship leaders with the time and resources we do have (or lack thereof)?

    – What is the value of “tentmaking?”

    I love your suggestions underneath, but this sure would make a great round table discussion. I would love to hear some of the issues and proposed solutions. Kind of like a summit of lead pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders all coming together to discuss and work out issues.
    Just thoughts. Thanks again, I really enjoyed the article.

    1. Hi Kellee, conversation is the goal from this.

      Obviously, there are some practical issues. However, in order to really get solutions, what we value has to come to light. How we make the decisions has to come from not what is cheap, fast, or easy. It will take hard work and the kind a lot of pastors are too tired to talk about.

      For instance, the idea of excellence has been replaced with perfectionism on one side or on the other with it being out of reach on the other. It is possible, given the right gifting being empowered, to get there. Some pastors want to choose everything from the font to the songlist and have no idea about either.

      When we get a less “alpha male” culture replaced with Holy Spirit empowered collaboration the sky is the limit. I believe that every church, even smaller ones, has tremendous gifting that is damned up do to ignorance or ego. No on intends this to be the case, but control has to be part of the conversation.

      Thanks so much. I would love to have the kind of dialog you mention. It is so needed as these things are not being talked about openly.

  14. Rich, great post. I would love to see you re-post this with ways to mitigate what is going on in the church as it pertains to worship and leadership. True, there is a lack everywhere you pointed out, but if we don’t educate them and think of ways to overcome what is happening, we may as well give up.
    – How can we accomplish “out of the box” excellence?

    – How can we mentor and disciple those upcoming worship leaders with the time and resources we do have (or lack thereof)?

    – What is the value of “tentmaking?”

    I love your suggestions underneath, but this sure would make a great round table discussion. I would love to hear some of the issues and proposed solutions. Kind of like a summit of lead pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders all coming together to discuss and work out issues.
    Just thoughts. Thanks again, I really enjoyed the article.

    1. Hi Kellee, conversation is the goal from this.

      Obviously, there are some practical issues. However, in order to really get solutions, what we value has to come to light. How we make the decisions has to come from not what is cheap, fast, or easy. It will take hard work and the kind a lot of pastors are too tired to talk about.

      For instance, the idea of excellence has been replaced with perfectionism on one side or on the other with it being out of reach on the other. It is possible, given the right gifting being empowered, to get there. Some pastors want to choose everything from the font to the songlist and have no idea about either.

      When we get a less “alpha male” culture replaced with Holy Spirit empowered collaboration the sky is the limit. I believe that every church, even smaller ones, has tremendous gifting that is damned up do to ignorance or ego. No on intends this to be the case, but control has to be part of the conversation.

      Thanks so much. I would love to have the kind of dialog you mention. It is so needed as these things are not being talked about openly.

  15. Rich, great post. I would love to see you re-post this with ways to mitigate what is going on in the church as it pertains to worship and leadership. True, there is a lack everywhere you pointed out, but if we don’t educate them and think of ways to overcome what is happening, we may as well give up.
    – How can we accomplish “out of the box” excellence?

    – How can we mentor and disciple those upcoming worship leaders with the time and resources we do have (or lack thereof)?

    – What is the value of “tentmaking?”

    I love your suggestions underneath, but this sure would make a great round table discussion. I would love to hear some of the issues and proposed solutions. Kind of like a summit of lead pastors, associate pastors and worship leaders all coming together to discuss and work out issues.
    Just thoughts. Thanks again, I really enjoyed the article.

    1. Hi Kellee, conversation is the goal from this.

      Obviously, there are some practical issues. However, in order to really get solutions, what we value has to come to light. How we make the decisions has to come from not what is cheap, fast, or easy. It will take hard work and the kind a lot of pastors are too tired to talk about.

      For instance, the idea of excellence has been replaced with perfectionism on one side or on the other with it being out of reach on the other. It is possible, given the right gifting being empowered, to get there. Some pastors want to choose everything from the font to the songlist and have no idea about either.

      When we get a less “alpha male” culture replaced with Holy Spirit empowered collaboration the sky is the limit. I believe that every church, even smaller ones, has tremendous gifting that is damned up do to ignorance or ego. No on intends this to be the case, but control has to be part of the conversation.

      Thanks so much. I would love to have the kind of dialog you mention. It is so needed as these things are not being talked about openly.

  16. Wow.. thought provoking… I’m not really seeing what you’re talking about in my situation but I can see how the trend can go that way.. Thanks for the warnings…

    1. Mark, based on the data and conversations I am having I am suspecting you are not the normative. I know most who are experiencing one or more of these issues is not likely to feel comfortable openly talking about it in this forum. In other forums it sounds like a roar. Thanks! -RK

  17. Wow.. thought provoking… I’m not really seeing what you’re talking about in my situation but I can see how the trend can go that way.. Thanks for the warnings…

    1. Mark, based on the data and conversations I am having I am suspecting you are not the normative. I know most who are experiencing one or more of these issues is not likely to feel comfortable openly talking about it in this forum. In other forums it sounds like a roar. Thanks! -RK

  18. Wow.. thought provoking… I’m not really seeing what you’re talking about in my situation but I can see how the trend can go that way.. Thanks for the warnings…

    1. Mark, based on the data and conversations I am having I am suspecting you are not the normative. I know most who are experiencing one or more of these issues is not likely to feel comfortable openly talking about it in this forum. In other forums it sounds like a roar. Thanks! -RK

  19. Wow.. thought provoking… I’m not really seeing what you’re talking about in my situation but I can see how the trend can go that way.. Thanks for the warnings…

    1. Mark, based on the data and conversations I am having I am suspecting you are not the normative. I know most who are experiencing one or more of these issues is not likely to feel comfortable openly talking about it in this forum. In other forums it sounds like a roar. Thanks! -RK

  20. Wow.. thought provoking… I’m not really seeing what you’re talking about in my situation but I can see how the trend can go that way.. Thanks for the warnings…

    1. Mark, based on the data and conversations I am having I am suspecting you are not the normative. I know most who are experiencing one or more of these issues is not likely to feel comfortable openly talking about it in this forum. In other forums it sounds like a roar. Thanks! -RK

  21. […] Top Five Reasons 2013 Will Be Tougher For Worship Leaders – Rich Kirkpatrick […]

  22. […] Top Five Reasons 2013 Will Be Tougher For Worship Leaders – Rich Kirkpatrick […]

  23. […] Top Five Reasons 2013 Will Be Tougher For Worship Leaders – Rich Kirkpatrick […]

  24. […] Top Five Reasons 2013 Will Be Tougher For Worship Leaders – Rich Kirkpatrick […]

  25. […] Top Five Reasons 2013 Will Be Tougher For Worship Leaders – Rich Kirkpatrick […]

  26. Wow, sounds like some of these churches need to read “Vertical Church”!! What a bleak outlook. Glad those values don’t rule at our church.

    1. Barry, I wish it would be as easy as reading a book! And, some of these are subtle in most churches where we really have not evaluated a values slip. For instance, the pull to sound like Christian radio sounds benign from our members. We have to value creation outside of our Christian media industry. When does the church take a role besides consuming CCM for Sunday worship music? So, its not necessarily bad motives, just a shallow view of the place of “creation” in our worship as well as our daily walk of faith. – RK

  27. Wow, sounds like some of these churches need to read “Vertical Church”!! What a bleak outlook. Glad those values don’t rule at our church.

    1. Barry, I wish it would be as easy as reading a book! And, some of these are subtle in most churches where we really have not evaluated a values slip. For instance, the pull to sound like Christian radio sounds benign from our members. We have to value creation outside of our Christian media industry. When does the church take a role besides consuming CCM for Sunday worship music? So, its not necessarily bad motives, just a shallow view of the place of “creation” in our worship as well as our daily walk of faith. – RK

  28. Wow, sounds like some of these churches need to read “Vertical Church”!! What a bleak outlook. Glad those values don’t rule at our church.

    1. Barry, I wish it would be as easy as reading a book! And, some of these are subtle in most churches where we really have not evaluated a values slip. For instance, the pull to sound like Christian radio sounds benign from our members. We have to value creation outside of our Christian media industry. When does the church take a role besides consuming CCM for Sunday worship music? So, its not necessarily bad motives, just a shallow view of the place of “creation” in our worship as well as our daily walk of faith. – RK

  29. Wow, sounds like some of these churches need to read “Vertical Church”!! What a bleak outlook. Glad those values don’t rule at our church.

    1. Barry, I wish it would be as easy as reading a book! And, some of these are subtle in most churches where we really have not evaluated a values slip. For instance, the pull to sound like Christian radio sounds benign from our members. We have to value creation outside of our Christian media industry. When does the church take a role besides consuming CCM for Sunday worship music? So, its not necessarily bad motives, just a shallow view of the place of “creation” in our worship as well as our daily walk of faith. – RK

  30. Wow, sounds like some of these churches need to read “Vertical Church”!! What a bleak outlook. Glad those values don’t rule at our church.

    1. Barry, I wish it would be as easy as reading a book! And, some of these are subtle in most churches where we really have not evaluated a values slip. For instance, the pull to sound like Christian radio sounds benign from our members. We have to value creation outside of our Christian media industry. When does the church take a role besides consuming CCM for Sunday worship music? So, its not necessarily bad motives, just a shallow view of the place of “creation” in our worship as well as our daily walk of faith. – RK

  31. […] Tough Times Ahead? → […]

  32. […] Tough Times Ahead? → […]

  33. […] Tough Times Ahead? → […]

  34. […] Tough Times Ahead? → […]

  35. While I am currently on staff full-time, the only way for leadership to validate the full-time status was to have me do youth ministry as well. I am a pastor at heart, and I care about shepherding, so I am happy to serve in any area. However, my true passion is worship. I have had several conversations with pastors who can’t seem to understand why a church would need a full-time worship leader.

    1. I did the whole Students/Worship thing for so many years Elgin. It was very difficult, but SO good for me as a leader. Like I said here before, I think the best way a worship leader with the heart of a pastor can go further in the craft is to go deeper. Love those kids, love your congregation and get you’re hands into making disciples and creating followers of Jesus. Praying for you and your situation; know that God knows where you are. These articles are great for the “heads-up” but I believe that RK knows that God doesn’t work on the “normative” scale. What he’s saying is to wake up and be more than “the music guy”.

    2. This is VERY common these days. Economics has shaped or revealed what we really value. We spend more on gear than on developing people for ministry and life.

      Yes, you are more than a music guy. Somehow, being a music guy needs to be reframed in our church leadership circles as a spiritual role.

  36. While I am currently on staff full-time, the only way for leadership to validate the full-time status was to have me do youth ministry as well. I am a pastor at heart, and I care about shepherding, so I am happy to serve in any area. However, my true passion is worship. I have had several conversations with pastors who can’t seem to understand why a church would need a full-time worship leader.

    1. I did the whole Students/Worship thing for so many years Elgin. It was very difficult, but SO good for me as a leader. Like I said here before, I think the best way a worship leader with the heart of a pastor can go further in the craft is to go deeper. Love those kids, love your congregation and get you’re hands into making disciples and creating followers of Jesus. Praying for you and your situation; know that God knows where you are. These articles are great for the “heads-up” but I believe that RK knows that God doesn’t work on the “normative” scale. What he’s saying is to wake up and be more than “the music guy”.

    2. This is VERY common these days. Economics has shaped or revealed what we really value. We spend more on gear than on developing people for ministry and life.
      Yes, you are more than a music guy. Somehow, being a music guy needs to be reframed in our church leadership circles as a spiritual role.

  37. While I am currently on staff full-time, the only way for leadership to validate the full-time status was to have me do youth ministry as well. I am a pastor at heart, and I care about shepherding, so I am happy to serve in any area. However, my true passion is worship. I have had several conversations with pastors who can’t seem to understand why a church would need a full-time worship leader.

    1. I did the whole Students/Worship thing for so many years Elgin. It was very difficult, but SO good for me as a leader. Like I said here before, I think the best way a worship leader with the heart of a pastor can go further in the craft is to go deeper. Love those kids, love your congregation and get you’re hands into making disciples and creating followers of Jesus. Praying for you and your situation; know that God knows where you are. These articles are great for the “heads-up” but I believe that RK knows that God doesn’t work on the “normative” scale. What he’s saying is to wake up and be more than “the music guy”.

    2. This is VERY common these days. Economics has shaped or revealed what we really value. We spend more on gear than on developing people for ministry and life.

      Yes, you are more than a music guy. Somehow, being a music guy needs to be reframed in our church leadership circles as a spiritual role.

  38. While I am currently on staff full-time, the only way for leadership to validate the full-time status was to have me do youth ministry as well. I am a pastor at heart, and I care about shepherding, so I am happy to serve in any area. However, my true passion is worship. I have had several conversations with pastors who can’t seem to understand why a church would need a full-time worship leader.

    1. I did the whole Students/Worship thing for so many years Elgin. It was very difficult, but SO good for me as a leader. Like I said here before, I think the best way a worship leader with the heart of a pastor can go further in the craft is to go deeper. Love those kids, love your congregation and get you’re hands into making disciples and creating followers of Jesus. Praying for you and your situation; know that God knows where you are. These articles are great for the “heads-up” but I believe that RK knows that God doesn’t work on the “normative” scale. What he’s saying is to wake up and be more than “the music guy”.

    2. This is VERY common these days. Economics has shaped or revealed what we really value. We spend more on gear than on developing people for ministry and life.

      Yes, you are more than a music guy. Somehow, being a music guy needs to be reframed in our church leadership circles as a spiritual role.

  39. While I am currently on staff full-time, the only way for leadership to validate the full-time status was to have me do youth ministry as well. I am a pastor at heart, and I care about shepherding, so I am happy to serve in any area. However, my true passion is worship. I have had several conversations with pastors who can’t seem to understand why a church would need a full-time worship leader.

    1. I did the whole Students/Worship thing for so many years Elgin. It was very difficult, but SO good for me as a leader. Like I said here before, I think the best way a worship leader with the heart of a pastor can go further in the craft is to go deeper. Love those kids, love your congregation and get you’re hands into making disciples and creating followers of Jesus. Praying for you and your situation; know that God knows where you are. These articles are great for the “heads-up” but I believe that RK knows that God doesn’t work on the “normative” scale. What he’s saying is to wake up and be more than “the music guy”.

    2. This is VERY common these days. Economics has shaped or revealed what we really value. We spend more on gear than on developing people for ministry and life.

      Yes, you are more than a music guy. Somehow, being a music guy needs to be reframed in our church leadership circles as a spiritual role.

  40. RK,I’ll agree with some of what you say, but what you’re taking about qualifies more for churches 350 and below than larger churches. Theres no doubt, there’s a crowd at the door there at that level. I believe that there is a widening gap in the experienced right now in the ranks of worship leaders. The key to going long in this craft is going deep in the church, your faith and in your diversity. I’ve been a worship pastor at churches from 100 to 10,000 in my career and it’s the same story from beginning to end; diversify. Be more than a musician/singer/songwriter always looking for your next “gig” and you’ll rarely have to wonder where you’ll be in a year. Churches need guys that are skilled musicians, singers and more than anything else LEADERS.

    I’ve met worship leaders recently that had great gifts but couldn’t find their leadership “backside” with both hands. You can duke it out with the crowd at the door trying to get into the “business”, or you can go deep into what makes a church NEED a worship leader and what makes fully devoted followers instead of interested bystanders.

    My shout out to Worship Leaders: Read, LEAD and go deep in you’re church.

    1. Scott, I believe LARGER churches are more the culprit. They hire a manager, then contract worship leaders and others to produce a service. Or, the trend is to value management rather than spiritual and artistic leadership. So, the expendable nature of worship leaders is to keep up with the times, perhaps. The trend is to devalue developing people. I think in some larger churches this is less visible because it appears that things are big. In actuality, most larger churches have a very small percentage of gifted people doing the bulk of platform ministry. This is why multi-site and multi-venue settings are a good thing. More people at different levels can serve. But, I digress.

      What the issue is here is that spiritual leadership is not desired at the person-to-person level where most people are developed into leaders. Platform results are measured in short-term with no tie to long-term anything. Yes, there is a widening gap in what “worship leader” people experience across the country. There are still a good amount of churches with worship arts pastors who help spiritually shepherd. But, managers are what is desired.

      If you are in a large church, the expectation is to go deep, and yet either work two jobs, or carry a load that pushes only the most visible things into focus. Developing artists, worship leaders, and so forth is a luxury. And, in most cases not valued. This is true of lead pastors who claim to be a “leader” or “communicator” rather than a shepherd. The problem is our model in general, not just worship leadership.

      1. I agree 100% with most of it 🙂 When you classify large churches, you’re really talking about the MEGA church (1500+), which i’ve had that experience as well, serving at a church of 10,000. The hiring process isn’t transparent because they look for robots or the “managerial” type to lead on multiple levels; not the heart-driven pastor. These churches ARE the reasons why these trends are happening but I am not seeing it as normative yet. It may very well be in some areas but not in the bible belt, at least not in churches below that magic number of 1500. The problem with the MEGA church I’ve encountered is in still trying to push a person a mile wide and an inch thick in leading out of their comfort zones. Example; Be the Worship Pastor…Scott. But here, lead the front of house audio teams..and the video teams. Thats easy enough. Do it while leading worship, leading rehearsal and leading the band, and leading the congregation. Do it while you edify, but if someone needs the hammer, you’d better bring it because we don’t put up with stupidity. And if anything goes wrong you’ll be stood in the corner and interogated because after all, what is on stage is the most important part of what you do. And please find more volunteers that can play the drums like we hear it on that Matt Redman CD and we sure don’t want to compensate them because that is not what we’re about. You need more band members, please go find them…but only if they’re good, because thats what we’re about. Please don’t mess up Scott. If you do, we’ll have to debrief on that. If you’re singers mess up, then we’re going to have to talk about that too. Oh, and hey…remember; it’s about Jesus. Oh one last thing…can you be creative in that?

        It’s an enigma that just about caused me to drop my pack and go sell insurance. It caused me to go deep, cling to the call and what I knew I could do. It’s a shame, because in the 2.5 years since I moved on, so have 2 other worship leaders that stood in my place after. The sad thing is that the NORMATIVE tenure for mega church worship leaders is about the same as for smaller ones.

        One last thought; the devaluing of people development is a sign of the problem; larger than life aspirations and goals, and not enough time to develop those who could and would soar to the level you’re asking the experts to rise to. it’s a catch 22. Creativity cannot stand on it’s own; it must point back to the one for whom we create and so many times there are other goals we must first meet before we develop people. I’m not into that model. Been there, done that, and it’s broke.

  41. RK,I’ll agree with some of what you say, but what you’re taking about qualifies more for churches 350 and below than larger churches. Theres no doubt, there’s a crowd at the door there at that level. I believe that there is a widening gap in the experienced right now in the ranks of worship leaders. The key to going long in this craft is going deep in the church, your faith and in your diversity. I’ve been a worship pastor at churches from 100 to 10,000 in my career and it’s the same story from beginning to end; diversify. Be more than a musician/singer/songwriter always looking for your next “gig” and you’ll rarely have to wonder where you’ll be in a year. Churches need guys that are skilled musicians, singers and more than anything else LEADERS.
    I’ve met worship leaders recently that had great gifts but couldn’t find their leadership “backside” with both hands. You can duke it out with the crowd at the door trying to get into the “business”, or you can go deep into what makes a church NEED a worship leader and what makes fully devoted followers instead of interested bystanders.
    My shout out to Worship Leaders: Read, LEAD and go deep in you’re church.

    1. Scott, I believe LARGER churches are more the culprit. They hire a manager, then contract worship leaders and others to produce a service. Or, the trend is to value management rather than spiritual and artistic leadership. So, the expendable nature of worship leaders is to keep up with the times, perhaps. The trend is to devalue developing people. I think in some larger churches this is less visible because it appears that things are big. In actuality, most larger churches have a very small percentage of gifted people doing the bulk of platform ministry. This is why multi-site and multi-venue settings are a good thing. More people at different levels can serve. But, I digress.
      What the issue is here is that spiritual leadership is not desired at the person-to-person level where most people are developed into leaders. Platform results are measured in short-term with no tie to long-term anything. Yes, there is a widening gap in what “worship leader” people experience across the country. There are still a good amount of churches with worship arts pastors who help spiritually shepherd. But, managers are what is desired.
      If you are in a large church, the expectation is to go deep, and yet either work two jobs, or carry a load that pushes only the most visible things into focus. Developing artists, worship leaders, and so forth is a luxury. And, in most cases not valued. This is true of lead pastors who claim to be a “leader” or “communicator” rather than a shepherd. The problem is our model in general, not just worship leadership.

      1. I agree 100% with most of it 🙂 When you classify large churches, you’re really talking about the MEGA church (1500+), which i’ve had that experience as well, serving at a church of 10,000. The hiring process isn’t transparent because they look for robots or the “managerial” type to lead on multiple levels; not the heart-driven pastor. These churches ARE the reasons why these trends are happening but I am not seeing it as normative yet. It may very well be in some areas but not in the bible belt, at least not in churches below that magic number of 1500. The problem with the MEGA church I’ve encountered is in still trying to push a person a mile wide and an inch thick in leading out of their comfort zones. Example; Be the Worship Pastor…Scott. But here, lead the front of house audio teams..and the video teams. Thats easy enough. Do it while leading worship, leading rehearsal and leading the band, and leading the congregation. Do it while you edify, but if someone needs the hammer, you’d better bring it because we don’t put up with stupidity. And if anything goes wrong you’ll be stood in the corner and interogated because after all, what is on stage is the most important part of what you do. And please find more volunteers that can play the drums like we hear it on that Matt Redman CD and we sure don’t want to compensate them because that is not what we’re about. You need more band members, please go find them…but only if they’re good, because thats what we’re about. Please don’t mess up Scott. If you do, we’ll have to debrief on that. If you’re singers mess up, then we’re going to have to talk about that too. Oh, and hey…remember; it’s about Jesus. Oh one last thing…can you be creative in that?
        It’s an enigma that just about caused me to drop my pack and go sell insurance. It caused me to go deep, cling to the call and what I knew I could do. It’s a shame, because in the 2.5 years since I moved on, so have 2 other worship leaders that stood in my place after. The sad thing is that the NORMATIVE tenure for mega church worship leaders is about the same as for smaller ones.
        One last thought; the devaluing of people development is a sign of the problem; larger than life aspirations and goals, and not enough time to develop those who could and would soar to the level you’re asking the experts to rise to. it’s a catch 22. Creativity cannot stand on it’s own; it must point back to the one for whom we create and so many times there are other goals we must first meet before we develop people. I’m not into that model. Been there, done that, and it’s broke.

  42. RK,I’ll agree with some of what you say, but what you’re taking about qualifies more for churches 350 and below than larger churches. Theres no doubt, there’s a crowd at the door there at that level. I believe that there is a widening gap in the experienced right now in the ranks of worship leaders. The key to going long in this craft is going deep in the church, your faith and in your diversity. I’ve been a worship pastor at churches from 100 to 10,000 in my career and it’s the same story from beginning to end; diversify. Be more than a musician/singer/songwriter always looking for your next “gig” and you’ll rarely have to wonder where you’ll be in a year. Churches need guys that are skilled musicians, singers and more than anything else LEADERS.

    I’ve met worship leaders recently that had great gifts but couldn’t find their leadership “backside” with both hands. You can duke it out with the crowd at the door trying to get into the “business”, or you can go deep into what makes a church NEED a worship leader and what makes fully devoted followers instead of interested bystanders.

    My shout out to Worship Leaders: Read, LEAD and go deep in you’re church.

    1. Scott, I believe LARGER churches are more the culprit. They hire a manager, then contract worship leaders and others to produce a service. Or, the trend is to value management rather than spiritual and artistic leadership. So, the expendable nature of worship leaders is to keep up with the times, perhaps. The trend is to devalue developing people. I think in some larger churches this is less visible because it appears that things are big. In actuality, most larger churches have a very small percentage of gifted people doing the bulk of platform ministry. This is why multi-site and multi-venue settings are a good thing. More people at different levels can serve. But, I digress.

      What the issue is here is that spiritual leadership is not desired at the person-to-person level where most people are developed into leaders. Platform results are measured in short-term with no tie to long-term anything. Yes, there is a widening gap in what “worship leader” people experience across the country. There are still a good amount of churches with worship arts pastors who help spiritually shepherd. But, managers are what is desired.

      If you are in a large church, the expectation is to go deep, and yet either work two jobs, or carry a load that pushes only the most visible things into focus. Developing artists, worship leaders, and so forth is a luxury. And, in most cases not valued. This is true of lead pastors who claim to be a “leader” or “communicator” rather than a shepherd. The problem is our model in general, not just worship leadership.

      1. I agree 100% with most of it 🙂 When you classify large churches, you’re really talking about the MEGA church (1500+), which i’ve had that experience as well, serving at a church of 10,000. The hiring process isn’t transparent because they look for robots or the “managerial” type to lead on multiple levels; not the heart-driven pastor. These churches ARE the reasons why these trends are happening but I am not seeing it as normative yet. It may very well be in some areas but not in the bible belt, at least not in churches below that magic number of 1500. The problem with the MEGA church I’ve encountered is in still trying to push a person a mile wide and an inch thick in leading out of their comfort zones. Example; Be the Worship Pastor…Scott. But here, lead the front of house audio teams..and the video teams. Thats easy enough. Do it while leading worship, leading rehearsal and leading the band, and leading the congregation. Do it while you edify, but if someone needs the hammer, you’d better bring it because we don’t put up with stupidity. And if anything goes wrong you’ll be stood in the corner and interogated because after all, what is on stage is the most important part of what you do. And please find more volunteers that can play the drums like we hear it on that Matt Redman CD and we sure don’t want to compensate them because that is not what we’re about. You need more band members, please go find them…but only if they’re good, because thats what we’re about. Please don’t mess up Scott. If you do, we’ll have to debrief on that. If you’re singers mess up, then we’re going to have to talk about that too. Oh, and hey…remember; it’s about Jesus. Oh one last thing…can you be creative in that?

        It’s an enigma that just about caused me to drop my pack and go sell insurance. It caused me to go deep, cling to the call and what I knew I could do. It’s a shame, because in the 2.5 years since I moved on, so have 2 other worship leaders that stood in my place after. The sad thing is that the NORMATIVE tenure for mega church worship leaders is about the same as for smaller ones.

        One last thought; the devaluing of people development is a sign of the problem; larger than life aspirations and goals, and not enough time to develop those who could and would soar to the level you’re asking the experts to rise to. it’s a catch 22. Creativity cannot stand on it’s own; it must point back to the one for whom we create and so many times there are other goals we must first meet before we develop people. I’m not into that model. Been there, done that, and it’s broke.

  43. RK,I’ll agree with some of what you say, but what you’re taking about qualifies more for churches 350 and below than larger churches. Theres no doubt, there’s a crowd at the door there at that level. I believe that there is a widening gap in the experienced right now in the ranks of worship leaders. The key to going long in this craft is going deep in the church, your faith and in your diversity. I’ve been a worship pastor at churches from 100 to 10,000 in my career and it’s the same story from beginning to end; diversify. Be more than a musician/singer/songwriter always looking for your next “gig” and you’ll rarely have to wonder where you’ll be in a year. Churches need guys that are skilled musicians, singers and more than anything else LEADERS.

    I’ve met worship leaders recently that had great gifts but couldn’t find their leadership “backside” with both hands. You can duke it out with the crowd at the door trying to get into the “business”, or you can go deep into what makes a church NEED a worship leader and what makes fully devoted followers instead of interested bystanders.

    My shout out to Worship Leaders: Read, LEAD and go deep in you’re church.

    1. Scott, I believe LARGER churches are more the culprit. They hire a manager, then contract worship leaders and others to produce a service. Or, the trend is to value management rather than spiritual and artistic leadership. So, the expendable nature of worship leaders is to keep up with the times, perhaps. The trend is to devalue developing people. I think in some larger churches this is less visible because it appears that things are big. In actuality, most larger churches have a very small percentage of gifted people doing the bulk of platform ministry. This is why multi-site and multi-venue settings are a good thing. More people at different levels can serve. But, I digress.

      What the issue is here is that spiritual leadership is not desired at the person-to-person level where most people are developed into leaders. Platform results are measured in short-term with no tie to long-term anything. Yes, there is a widening gap in what “worship leader” people experience across the country. There are still a good amount of churches with worship arts pastors who help spiritually shepherd. But, managers are what is desired.

      If you are in a large church, the expectation is to go deep, and yet either work two jobs, or carry a load that pushes only the most visible things into focus. Developing artists, worship leaders, and so forth is a luxury. And, in most cases not valued. This is true of lead pastors who claim to be a “leader” or “communicator” rather than a shepherd. The problem is our model in general, not just worship leadership.

      1. I agree 100% with most of it 🙂 When you classify large churches, you’re really talking about the MEGA church (1500+), which i’ve had that experience as well, serving at a church of 10,000. The hiring process isn’t transparent because they look for robots or the “managerial” type to lead on multiple levels; not the heart-driven pastor. These churches ARE the reasons why these trends are happening but I am not seeing it as normative yet. It may very well be in some areas but not in the bible belt, at least not in churches below that magic number of 1500. The problem with the MEGA church I’ve encountered is in still trying to push a person a mile wide and an inch thick in leading out of their comfort zones. Example; Be the Worship Pastor…Scott. But here, lead the front of house audio teams..and the video teams. Thats easy enough. Do it while leading worship, leading rehearsal and leading the band, and leading the congregation. Do it while you edify, but if someone needs the hammer, you’d better bring it because we don’t put up with stupidity. And if anything goes wrong you’ll be stood in the corner and interogated because after all, what is on stage is the most important part of what you do. And please find more volunteers that can play the drums like we hear it on that Matt Redman CD and we sure don’t want to compensate them because that is not what we’re about. You need more band members, please go find them…but only if they’re good, because thats what we’re about. Please don’t mess up Scott. If you do, we’ll have to debrief on that. If you’re singers mess up, then we’re going to have to talk about that too. Oh, and hey…remember; it’s about Jesus. Oh one last thing…can you be creative in that?

        It’s an enigma that just about caused me to drop my pack and go sell insurance. It caused me to go deep, cling to the call and what I knew I could do. It’s a shame, because in the 2.5 years since I moved on, so have 2 other worship leaders that stood in my place after. The sad thing is that the NORMATIVE tenure for mega church worship leaders is about the same as for smaller ones.

        One last thought; the devaluing of people development is a sign of the problem; larger than life aspirations and goals, and not enough time to develop those who could and would soar to the level you’re asking the experts to rise to. it’s a catch 22. Creativity cannot stand on it’s own; it must point back to the one for whom we create and so many times there are other goals we must first meet before we develop people. I’m not into that model. Been there, done that, and it’s broke.

  44. RK,I’ll agree with some of what you say, but what you’re taking about qualifies more for churches 350 and below than larger churches. Theres no doubt, there’s a crowd at the door there at that level. I believe that there is a widening gap in the experienced right now in the ranks of worship leaders. The key to going long in this craft is going deep in the church, your faith and in your diversity. I’ve been a worship pastor at churches from 100 to 10,000 in my career and it’s the same story from beginning to end; diversify. Be more than a musician/singer/songwriter always looking for your next “gig” and you’ll rarely have to wonder where you’ll be in a year. Churches need guys that are skilled musicians, singers and more than anything else LEADERS.

    I’ve met worship leaders recently that had great gifts but couldn’t find their leadership “backside” with both hands. You can duke it out with the crowd at the door trying to get into the “business”, or you can go deep into what makes a church NEED a worship leader and what makes fully devoted followers instead of interested bystanders.

    My shout out to Worship Leaders: Read, LEAD and go deep in you’re church.

    1. Scott, I believe LARGER churches are more the culprit. They hire a manager, then contract worship leaders and others to produce a service. Or, the trend is to value management rather than spiritual and artistic leadership. So, the expendable nature of worship leaders is to keep up with the times, perhaps. The trend is to devalue developing people. I think in some larger churches this is less visible because it appears that things are big. In actuality, most larger churches have a very small percentage of gifted people doing the bulk of platform ministry. This is why multi-site and multi-venue settings are a good thing. More people at different levels can serve. But, I digress.

      What the issue is here is that spiritual leadership is not desired at the person-to-person level where most people are developed into leaders. Platform results are measured in short-term with no tie to long-term anything. Yes, there is a widening gap in what “worship leader” people experience across the country. There are still a good amount of churches with worship arts pastors who help spiritually shepherd. But, managers are what is desired.

      If you are in a large church, the expectation is to go deep, and yet either work two jobs, or carry a load that pushes only the most visible things into focus. Developing artists, worship leaders, and so forth is a luxury. And, in most cases not valued. This is true of lead pastors who claim to be a “leader” or “communicator” rather than a shepherd. The problem is our model in general, not just worship leadership.

      1. I agree 100% with most of it 🙂 When you classify large churches, you’re really talking about the MEGA church (1500+), which i’ve had that experience as well, serving at a church of 10,000. The hiring process isn’t transparent because they look for robots or the “managerial” type to lead on multiple levels; not the heart-driven pastor. These churches ARE the reasons why these trends are happening but I am not seeing it as normative yet. It may very well be in some areas but not in the bible belt, at least not in churches below that magic number of 1500. The problem with the MEGA church I’ve encountered is in still trying to push a person a mile wide and an inch thick in leading out of their comfort zones. Example; Be the Worship Pastor…Scott. But here, lead the front of house audio teams..and the video teams. Thats easy enough. Do it while leading worship, leading rehearsal and leading the band, and leading the congregation. Do it while you edify, but if someone needs the hammer, you’d better bring it because we don’t put up with stupidity. And if anything goes wrong you’ll be stood in the corner and interogated because after all, what is on stage is the most important part of what you do. And please find more volunteers that can play the drums like we hear it on that Matt Redman CD and we sure don’t want to compensate them because that is not what we’re about. You need more band members, please go find them…but only if they’re good, because thats what we’re about. Please don’t mess up Scott. If you do, we’ll have to debrief on that. If you’re singers mess up, then we’re going to have to talk about that too. Oh, and hey…remember; it’s about Jesus. Oh one last thing…can you be creative in that?

        It’s an enigma that just about caused me to drop my pack and go sell insurance. It caused me to go deep, cling to the call and what I knew I could do. It’s a shame, because in the 2.5 years since I moved on, so have 2 other worship leaders that stood in my place after. The sad thing is that the NORMATIVE tenure for mega church worship leaders is about the same as for smaller ones.

        One last thought; the devaluing of people development is a sign of the problem; larger than life aspirations and goals, and not enough time to develop those who could and would soar to the level you’re asking the experts to rise to. it’s a catch 22. Creativity cannot stand on it’s own; it must point back to the one for whom we create and so many times there are other goals we must first meet before we develop people. I’m not into that model. Been there, done that, and it’s broke.

  45. True words Rich…bleak as it may be.
    What would you say to the reality that (belief and style of presentation aside) the time and place experience of ‘going to church’ is morphing into a new/old way of doing ‘church’.

    I have found that gathering around the table is a better church experience than gathering around the stage.

  46. True words Rich…bleak as it may be.
    What would you say to the reality that (belief and style of presentation aside) the time and place experience of ‘going to church’ is morphing into a new/old way of doing ‘church’.
    I have found that gathering around the table is a better church experience than gathering around the stage.

  47. True words Rich…bleak as it may be.
    What would you say to the reality that (belief and style of presentation aside) the time and place experience of ‘going to church’ is morphing into a new/old way of doing ‘church’.

    I have found that gathering around the table is a better church experience than gathering around the stage.

  48. True words Rich…bleak as it may be.
    What would you say to the reality that (belief and style of presentation aside) the time and place experience of ‘going to church’ is morphing into a new/old way of doing ‘church’.

    I have found that gathering around the table is a better church experience than gathering around the stage.

  49. True words Rich…bleak as it may be.
    What would you say to the reality that (belief and style of presentation aside) the time and place experience of ‘going to church’ is morphing into a new/old way of doing ‘church’.

    I have found that gathering around the table is a better church experience than gathering around the stage.

  50. “Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.” Best line in the entire piece! Close relationships, a shared agreement (discernment) re. who the gifted & called worship leaders are or might be, the heart and time (as well as financial allotment needed) to disciple musicians and other artists re. worship gatherings are all community-based. Or should be. Judgment calls are unavoidable but as you and others here say Rich, values and the economy all affect them. I would also add that numbers (of people in the seats) is a core problem in that Jesus tells us the good shepherd -leaves- the 99 and goes after the one. I often wonder if our ideas of success are about numbers rather than folks coming to saving faith and discipleship. Financial math is a reality, but I do think church growth is more a matter of heart and art, not mere numbers. Alas, that’s heresy to many in the body of Christ, so at times numbers rule over relationships. Both cost… but one is far more important to Jesus (so it seems as I read His words) than the other.

    1. “heresy…at times numbers rule over relationships. Sad but true!

  51. “Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.” Best line in the entire piece! Close relationships, a shared agreement (discernment) re. who the gifted & called worship leaders are or might be, the heart and time (as well as financial allotment needed) to disciple musicians and other artists re. worship gatherings are all community-based. Or should be. Judgment calls are unavoidable but as you and others here say Rich, values and the economy all affect them. I would also add that numbers (of people in the seats) is a core problem in that Jesus tells us the good shepherd -leaves- the 99 and goes after the one. I often wonder if our ideas of success are about numbers rather than folks coming to saving faith and discipleship. Financial math is a reality, but I do think church growth is more a matter of heart and art, not mere numbers. Alas, that’s heresy to many in the body of Christ, so at times numbers rule over relationships. Both cost… but one is far more important to Jesus (so it seems as I read His words) than the other.

    1. “heresy…at times numbers rule over relationships. Sad but true!

  52. “Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.” Best line in the entire piece! Close relationships, a shared agreement (discernment) re. who the gifted & called worship leaders are or might be, the heart and time (as well as financial allotment needed) to disciple musicians and other artists re. worship gatherings are all community-based. Or should be. Judgment calls are unavoidable but as you and others here say Rich, values and the economy all affect them. I would also add that numbers (of people in the seats) is a core problem in that Jesus tells us the good shepherd -leaves- the 99 and goes after the one. I often wonder if our ideas of success are about numbers rather than folks coming to saving faith and discipleship. Financial math is a reality, but I do think church growth is more a matter of heart and art, not mere numbers. Alas, that’s heresy to many in the body of Christ, so at times numbers rule over relationships. Both cost… but one is far more important to Jesus (so it seems as I read His words) than the other.

    1. “heresy…at times numbers rule over relationships. Sad but true!

  53. “Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.” Best line in the entire piece! Close relationships, a shared agreement (discernment) re. who the gifted & called worship leaders are or might be, the heart and time (as well as financial allotment needed) to disciple musicians and other artists re. worship gatherings are all community-based. Or should be. Judgment calls are unavoidable but as you and others here say Rich, values and the economy all affect them. I would also add that numbers (of people in the seats) is a core problem in that Jesus tells us the good shepherd -leaves- the 99 and goes after the one. I often wonder if our ideas of success are about numbers rather than folks coming to saving faith and discipleship. Financial math is a reality, but I do think church growth is more a matter of heart and art, not mere numbers. Alas, that’s heresy to many in the body of Christ, so at times numbers rule over relationships. Both cost… but one is far more important to Jesus (so it seems as I read His words) than the other.

    1. “heresy…at times numbers rule over relationships. Sad but true!

  54. “Value and develop people over time instead of stealing and buying talent off the shelf.” Best line in the entire piece! Close relationships, a shared agreement (discernment) re. who the gifted & called worship leaders are or might be, the heart and time (as well as financial allotment needed) to disciple musicians and other artists re. worship gatherings are all community-based. Or should be. Judgment calls are unavoidable but as you and others here say Rich, values and the economy all affect them. I would also add that numbers (of people in the seats) is a core problem in that Jesus tells us the good shepherd -leaves- the 99 and goes after the one. I often wonder if our ideas of success are about numbers rather than folks coming to saving faith and discipleship. Financial math is a reality, but I do think church growth is more a matter of heart and art, not mere numbers. Alas, that’s heresy to many in the body of Christ, so at times numbers rule over relationships. Both cost… but one is far more important to Jesus (so it seems as I read His words) than the other.

    1. “heresy…at times numbers rule over relationships. Sad but true!

  55. Thanks for the post, Rich. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year for some worship pastors. Particularly those who have been investing more in playing/singing, than developing as a leader.’Down under’ we are a few years behind the trend, so fortunately there is still churches who are hiring Music Pastors and trying to fund them from p/time to f/time.

    1. Sounds like we need to learn a bit from you guys down under! RK

  56. Thanks for the post, Rich. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year for some worship pastors. Particularly those who have been investing more in playing/singing, than developing as a leader.’Down under’ we are a few years behind the trend, so fortunately there is still churches who are hiring Music Pastors and trying to fund them from p/time to f/time.

    1. Sounds like we need to learn a bit from you guys down under! RK

  57. Thanks for the post, Rich. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year for some worship pastors. Particularly those who have been investing more in playing/singing, than developing as a leader.’Down under’ we are a few years behind the trend, so fortunately there is still churches who are hiring Music Pastors and trying to fund them from p/time to f/time.

    1. Sounds like we need to learn a bit from you guys down under! RK

  58. Thanks for the post, Rich. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year for some worship pastors. Particularly those who have been investing more in playing/singing, than developing as a leader.’Down under’ we are a few years behind the trend, so fortunately there is still churches who are hiring Music Pastors and trying to fund them from p/time to f/time.

    1. Sounds like we need to learn a bit from you guys down under! RK

  59. Thanks for the post, Rich. Sounds like it’s going to be a tough year for some worship pastors. Particularly those who have been investing more in playing/singing, than developing as a leader.’Down under’ we are a few years behind the trend, so fortunately there is still churches who are hiring Music Pastors and trying to fund them from p/time to f/time.

    1. Sounds like we need to learn a bit from you guys down under! RK

  60. Such a timely post. I’m a worship leader, creative artist, tech guy, etc, etc. – you know, all the hats you wear… and as of 12/31/2012 I am now jobless. Replaced by a very part-time person… coincidentally, right before the start of a building campaign. I agree with all you wrote, but the question remains… what now? I have a diversity of skills and talents, but it doesn’t open up many “normal” jobs outside of ministry. Need a job bad and soon. – Chris

  61. Such a timely post. I’m a worship leader, creative artist, tech guy, etc, etc. – you know, all the hats you wear… and as of 12/31/2012 I am now jobless. Replaced by a very part-time person… coincidentally, right before the start of a building campaign. I agree with all you wrote, but the question remains… what now? I have a diversity of skills and talents, but it doesn’t open up many “normal” jobs outside of ministry. Need a job bad and soon. – Chris

  62. Such a timely post. I’m a worship leader, creative artist, tech guy, etc, etc. – you know, all the hats you wear… and as of 12/31/2012 I am now jobless. Replaced by a very part-time person… coincidentally, right before the start of a building campaign. I agree with all you wrote, but the question remains… what now? I have a diversity of skills and talents, but it doesn’t open up many “normal” jobs outside of ministry. Need a job bad and soon. – Chris

  63. Such a timely post. I’m a worship leader, creative artist, tech guy, etc, etc. – you know, all the hats you wear… and as of 12/31/2012 I am now jobless. Replaced by a very part-time person… coincidentally, right before the start of a building campaign. I agree with all you wrote, but the question remains… what now? I have a diversity of skills and talents, but it doesn’t open up many “normal” jobs outside of ministry. Need a job bad and soon. – Chris

  64. Such a timely post. I’m a worship leader, creative artist, tech guy, etc, etc. – you know, all the hats you wear… and as of 12/31/2012 I am now jobless. Replaced by a very part-time person… coincidentally, right before the start of a building campaign. I agree with all you wrote, but the question remains… what now? I have a diversity of skills and talents, but it doesn’t open up many “normal” jobs outside of ministry. Need a job bad and soon. – Chris

  65. We have a 16 year old contemporary ministry. I am the Director of Creative Arts.

    I am fully dedicated to my 2 full-time Worship leader/pastors. What we have recently done is to hire our first part-time guitarist (one of most dedicated young musicians) because we have begun launching mulit-site locations.

    I remain fully committed to keeping our worship guys who mentor the teams both spiritually as well as musically for as long as I’m in my position! I will never go back to what we did out of necessity when we first launched and that is to throw anyone with talent on the stage. Now we have a lengthy process everyone must go through before joining any of our teams.

    We do guest musicians when we have a need, but we strictly limit the times we use guest players.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless our never ending attempt to raise up the most excellent musicians/singers from a quality stand point but more importantly dedicated to fully maturing followers of Christ!

  66. We have a 16 year old contemporary ministry. I am the Director of Creative Arts.

    I am fully dedicated to my 2 full-time Worship leader/pastors. What we have recently done is to hire our first part-time guitarist (one of most dedicated young musicians) because we have begun launching mulit-site locations.

    I remain fully committed to keeping our worship guys who mentor the teams both spiritually as well as musically for as long as I’m in my position! I will never go back to what we did out of necessity when we first launched and that is to throw anyone with talent on the stage. Now we have a lengthy process everyone must go through before joining any of our teams.

    We do guest musicians when we have a need, but we strictly limit the times we use guest players.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless our never ending attempt to raise up the most excellent musicians/singers from a quality stand point but more importantly dedicated to fully maturing followers of Christ!

  67. We have a 16 year old contemporary ministry. I am the Director of Creative Arts.

    I am fully dedicated to my 2 full-time Worship leader/pastors. What we have recently done is to hire our first part-time guitarist (one of most dedicated young musicians) because we have begun launching mulit-site locations.

    I remain fully committed to keeping our worship guys who mentor the teams both spiritually as well as musically for as long as I’m in my position! I will never go back to what we did out of necessity when we first launched and that is to throw anyone with talent on the stage. Now we have a lengthy process everyone must go through before joining any of our teams.

    We do guest musicians when we have a need, but we strictly limit the times we use guest players.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless our never ending attempt to raise up the most excellent musicians/singers from a quality stand point but more importantly dedicated to fully maturing followers of Christ!

  68. We have a 16 year old contemporary ministry. I am the Director of Creative Arts.

    I am fully dedicated to my 2 full-time Worship leader/pastors. What we have recently done is to hire our first part-time guitarist (one of most dedicated young musicians) because we have begun launching mulit-site locations.

    I remain fully committed to keeping our worship guys who mentor the teams both spiritually as well as musically for as long as I’m in my position! I will never go back to what we did out of necessity when we first launched and that is to throw anyone with talent on the stage. Now we have a lengthy process everyone must go through before joining any of our teams.

    We do guest musicians when we have a need, but we strictly limit the times we use guest players.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless our never ending attempt to raise up the most excellent musicians/singers from a quality stand point but more importantly dedicated to fully maturing followers of Christ!

  69. We have a 16 year old contemporary ministry. I am the Director of Creative Arts.

    I am fully dedicated to my 2 full-time Worship leader/pastors. What we have recently done is to hire our first part-time guitarist (one of most dedicated young musicians) because we have begun launching mulit-site locations.

    I remain fully committed to keeping our worship guys who mentor the teams both spiritually as well as musically for as long as I’m in my position! I will never go back to what we did out of necessity when we first launched and that is to throw anyone with talent on the stage. Now we have a lengthy process everyone must go through before joining any of our teams.

    We do guest musicians when we have a need, but we strictly limit the times we use guest players.

    I pray the Lord will continue to bless our never ending attempt to raise up the most excellent musicians/singers from a quality stand point but more importantly dedicated to fully maturing followers of Christ!

  70. Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32). Maybe if we concentrated on that more than we concentrated on making the whole thing a "show" or a "production," we might begin to win the world to Christ. How many $20K lighting configurations do they have in the foreign missions fields? I dare say none, yet God is moving in a mighty way in many of those areas. We are wasting our time, using things of the world in trying to reach the world, That might look like it is working, but in the long run, it will fail.

    1. Ron, I would push back a bit. For instance, how many of us use a $20K car to commute to work to feed our families? So, spending a one-time $20K bill to help communicate to say 1000 people can’t be a terrible idea. The issue is simply this is our culture. Let’s not let it rule us. But, let us also be wise and speak to our people and actually win them for Christ. It is not either or but both and.

  71. Hi Rich,

    A brilliant post! I’m glad Fletch Wiley posted this on his Facebook timeline.

    What I’ve come to notice is that, as you’ve mentioned above, the Worship Team becomes a cover band, hurriedly trying to learn the latest Hillsong album before the next is released, while trying to have the sound, lighting and staging to make it seem authentic.

    The problem we have is that we are paying more attention to the performance aspect of our so-called "worship" that we have left the Word by the wayside.
    A great number of the so-called "christian" songs we sing in Church nowadays are no more than New Age, inspirational messages that reflect on ourselves, instead of praising, glorifying, edifying, exalting, worshipping and loving on God!

    We have permitted the world to invade our Churches, we look to the world system for inspiration, gleaning the guitar riffs, bass lines, drum beats, etc. so as to "be more seeker friendly".
    However, all we’re doing is appeasing a handful of people in our Churches who would remain secular in their thinking and actions.

    As Ron Bolen stated, Jesus said: "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32)
    Jesus also said that God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23, 24 my paraphrase).

    In 2011, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr. Ron Kenoly and he, when I asked him about worship, noted that if our worship songs are not rooted in God’s Word, we have a far larger problem trying to retract them from the Church at large than a Pastor/Reverend who may misquote/misinterpret a Bible verse in a local Church setting.

    Think on that for a minute …

    A song, that is NOT rooted in God’s Word, that dos NOT edify God, exalt Him, lift Him up and praise Him, a song that, rather, speaks about us, the "I", the problems we face, how blessed we are, etc. but only refers to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "Him", "He", etc. is NOT rooted in God’s Word and therefore does not edify, exalt or lift God up.

    How do we expect to worship God when we are not rooted in His Word? God Himself says:
    "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

    How then, do we expect God to act on our behalf when we aren’t speaking/singing His Word back to Him?

    As we continue to copy the world, or the latest trend in Christian music, chasing after so-called "big name" Churches/Groups, we continue to turn our backs on God’s Holy Order and Structure, we miss out on the Sound of Heaven in our worship and our spirit is not in sync with His Holy Spirit.
    Therefore the Kingdom of God cannot come to earth if our worship of God is "learnt by rote", as it says in Isaiah 29:13 (NLT): "And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.""

    Maybe my observation of the situation is a little simplistic, but then again, I’ve always believed that having faith in God’s Word is indeed simple, it’s just organized religion that likes to have us jump through hoops with their rules and regulations, replacement theology and the like.

    We have numerous examples in the Old Testament where we note that the Levites were excellent in playing their instruments and singing and that they taught others to be excellent too, all the while worshipping God.

    We have lost the ability of offering God worship which is Biblical and excellent, and instead offer Him a second-rate copy of someone else’s song/arrangement, all-the-while trying to be that person/group, instead of our spirit crying out to His Spirit: "Abba Father" and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

    Romans 12:2 (NLT) says: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
    Yet, we continue to chase after all the world can offer us, we are consumed and transformed by the world, instead of being consumed and transformed by God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and God Himself and thereby transforming the world.

    I salute you Rich for your dedication to seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and seeking His Kingdom first.

    I pray God continues to anoint you and bless you, to sustain you, uplift you, encourage you, energize you, inspire you and use you for His glory.

    Let us not forget that Lucifer was the Worship Leader of Heaven, taking the worship of man to God in the Heavenly Realms. May we not become so puffed up with pride about how good we think we are, or how slick our services run with the lights, sound, staging, etc.
    May we remain humble and seek to serve at all times, remembering that while we are servants, we are also Sons and Daughters of the Most High God and Kings and Priests who are seated with Christ at the right-hand of God.

    Blessings,
    Michael

    1. Yes the "word" or "TRUTH" aspect of what we sing in our worship songs is vital. However, truth is also more than the literal. The message we send by copying a vibe rather than creating a home-grown expression of worship to season our services is what is lacking. And, we fear it more than error or shallowness in lyrics.

  72. Hi Rich,

    A brilliant post! I’m glad Fletch Wiley posted this on his Facebook timeline.

    What I’ve come to notice is that, as you’ve mentioned above, the Worship Team becomes a cover band, hurriedly trying to learn the latest Hillsong album before the next is released, while trying to have the sound, lighting and staging to make it seem authentic.

    The problem we have is that we are paying more attention to the performance aspect of our so-called "worship" that we have left the Word by the wayside.A great number of the so-called "christian" songs we sing in Church nowadays are no more than New Age, inspirational messages that reflect on ourselves, instead of praising, glorifying, edifying, exalting, worshipping and loving on God!

    We have permitted the world to invade our Churches, we look to the world system for inspiration, gleaning the guitar riffs, bass lines, drum beats, etc. so as to "be more seeker friendly".However, all we’re doing is appeasing a handful of people in our Churches who would remain secular in their thinking and actions.

    As Ron Bolen stated, Jesus said: "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32)Jesus also said that God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23, 24 my paraphrase).

    In 2011, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr. Ron Kenoly and he, when I asked him about worship, noted that if our worship songs are not rooted in God’s Word, we have a far larger problem trying to retract them from the Church at large than a Pastor/Reverend who may misquote/misinterpret a Bible verse in a local Church setting.

    Think on that for a minute …

    A song, that is NOT rooted in God’s Word, that dos NOT edify God, exalt Him, lift Him up and praise Him, a song that, rather, speaks about us, the "I", the problems we face, how blessed we are, etc. but only refers to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "Him", "He", etc. is NOT rooted in God’s Word and therefore does not edify, exalt or lift God up.

    How do we expect to worship God when we are not rooted in His Word? God Himself says:"It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

    How then, do we expect God to act on our behalf when we aren’t speaking/singing His Word back to Him?

    As we continue to copy the world, or the latest trend in Christian music, chasing after so-called "big name" Churches/Groups, we continue to turn our backs on God’s Holy Order and Structure, we miss out on the Sound of Heaven in our worship and our spirit is not in sync with His Holy Spirit.Therefore the Kingdom of God cannot come to earth if our worship of God is "learnt by rote", as it says in Isaiah 29:13 (NLT): "And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.""

    Maybe my observation of the situation is a little simplistic, but then again, I’ve always believed that having faith in God’s Word is indeed simple, it’s just organized religion that likes to have us jump through hoops with their rules and regulations, replacement theology and the like.

    We have numerous examples in the Old Testament where we note that the Levites were excellent in playing their instruments and singing and that they taught others to be excellent too, all the while worshipping God.

    We have lost the ability of offering God worship which is Biblical and excellent, and instead offer Him a second-rate copy of someone else’s song/arrangement, all-the-while trying to be that person/group, instead of our spirit crying out to His Spirit: "Abba Father" and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

    Romans 12:2 (NLT) says: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."Yet, we continue to chase after all the world can offer us, we are consumed and transformed by the world, instead of being consumed and transformed by God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and God Himself and thereby transforming the world.

    I salute you Rich for your dedication to seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and seeking His Kingdom first.

    I pray God continues to anoint you and bless you, to sustain you, uplift you, encourage you, energize you, inspire you and use you for His glory.

    Let us not forget that Lucifer was the Worship Leader of Heaven, taking the worship of man to God in the Heavenly Realms. May we not become so puffed up with pride about how good we think we are, or how slick our services run with the lights, sound, staging, etc.May we remain humble and seek to serve at all times, remembering that while we are servants, we are also Sons and Daughters of the Most High God and Kings and Priests who are seated with Christ at the right-hand of God.

    Blessings,Michael

    1. Yes the "word" or "TRUTH" aspect of what we sing in our worship songs is vital. However, truth is also more than the literal. The message we send by copying a vibe rather than creating a home-grown expression of worship to season our services is what is lacking. And, we fear it more than error or shallowness in lyrics.

  73. Hi Rich,

    A brilliant post! I’m glad Fletch Wiley posted this on his Facebook timeline.

    What I’ve come to notice is that, as you’ve mentioned above, the Worship Team becomes a cover band, hurriedly trying to learn the latest Hillsong album before the next is released, while trying to have the sound, lighting and staging to make it seem authentic.

    The problem we have is that we are paying more attention to the performance aspect of our so-called "worship" that we have left the Word by the wayside.
    A great number of the so-called "christian" songs we sing in Church nowadays are no more than New Age, inspirational messages that reflect on ourselves, instead of praising, glorifying, edifying, exalting, worshipping and loving on God!

    We have permitted the world to invade our Churches, we look to the world system for inspiration, gleaning the guitar riffs, bass lines, drum beats, etc. so as to "be more seeker friendly".
    However, all we’re doing is appeasing a handful of people in our Churches who would remain secular in their thinking and actions.

    As Ron Bolen stated, Jesus said: "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32)
    Jesus also said that God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23, 24 my paraphrase).

    In 2011, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr. Ron Kenoly and he, when I asked him about worship, noted that if our worship songs are not rooted in God’s Word, we have a far larger problem trying to retract them from the Church at large than a Pastor/Reverend who may misquote/misinterpret a Bible verse in a local Church setting.

    Think on that for a minute …

    A song, that is NOT rooted in God’s Word, that dos NOT edify God, exalt Him, lift Him up and praise Him, a song that, rather, speaks about us, the "I", the problems we face, how blessed we are, etc. but only refers to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "Him", "He", etc. is NOT rooted in God’s Word and therefore does not edify, exalt or lift God up.

    How do we expect to worship God when we are not rooted in His Word? God Himself says:
    "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

    How then, do we expect God to act on our behalf when we aren’t speaking/singing His Word back to Him?

    As we continue to copy the world, or the latest trend in Christian music, chasing after so-called "big name" Churches/Groups, we continue to turn our backs on God’s Holy Order and Structure, we miss out on the Sound of Heaven in our worship and our spirit is not in sync with His Holy Spirit.
    Therefore the Kingdom of God cannot come to earth if our worship of God is "learnt by rote", as it says in Isaiah 29:13 (NLT): "And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.""

    Maybe my observation of the situation is a little simplistic, but then again, I’ve always believed that having faith in God’s Word is indeed simple, it’s just organized religion that likes to have us jump through hoops with their rules and regulations, replacement theology and the like.

    We have numerous examples in the Old Testament where we note that the Levites were excellent in playing their instruments and singing and that they taught others to be excellent too, all the while worshipping God.

    We have lost the ability of offering God worship which is Biblical and excellent, and instead offer Him a second-rate copy of someone else’s song/arrangement, all-the-while trying to be that person/group, instead of our spirit crying out to His Spirit: "Abba Father" and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

    Romans 12:2 (NLT) says: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
    Yet, we continue to chase after all the world can offer us, we are consumed and transformed by the world, instead of being consumed and transformed by God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and God Himself and thereby transforming the world.

    I salute you Rich for your dedication to seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and seeking His Kingdom first.

    I pray God continues to anoint you and bless you, to sustain you, uplift you, encourage you, energize you, inspire you and use you for His glory.

    Let us not forget that Lucifer was the Worship Leader of Heaven, taking the worship of man to God in the Heavenly Realms. May we not become so puffed up with pride about how good we think we are, or how slick our services run with the lights, sound, staging, etc.
    May we remain humble and seek to serve at all times, remembering that while we are servants, we are also Sons and Daughters of the Most High God and Kings and Priests who are seated with Christ at the right-hand of God.

    Blessings,
    Michael

    1. Yes the "word" or "TRUTH" aspect of what we sing in our worship songs is vital. However, truth is also more than the literal. The message we send by copying a vibe rather than creating a home-grown expression of worship to season our services is what is lacking. And, we fear it more than error or shallowness in lyrics.

  74. Hi Rich,

    A brilliant post! I’m glad Fletch Wiley posted this on his Facebook timeline.

    What I’ve come to notice is that, as you’ve mentioned above, the Worship Team becomes a cover band, hurriedly trying to learn the latest Hillsong album before the next is released, while trying to have the sound, lighting and staging to make it seem authentic.

    The problem we have is that we are paying more attention to the performance aspect of our so-called "worship" that we have left the Word by the wayside.
    A great number of the so-called "christian" songs we sing in Church nowadays are no more than New Age, inspirational messages that reflect on ourselves, instead of praising, glorifying, edifying, exalting, worshipping and loving on God!

    We have permitted the world to invade our Churches, we look to the world system for inspiration, gleaning the guitar riffs, bass lines, drum beats, etc. so as to "be more seeker friendly".
    However, all we’re doing is appeasing a handful of people in our Churches who would remain secular in their thinking and actions.

    As Ron Bolen stated, Jesus said: "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32)
    Jesus also said that God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23, 24 my paraphrase).

    In 2011, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr. Ron Kenoly and he, when I asked him about worship, noted that if our worship songs are not rooted in God’s Word, we have a far larger problem trying to retract them from the Church at large than a Pastor/Reverend who may misquote/misinterpret a Bible verse in a local Church setting.

    Think on that for a minute …

    A song, that is NOT rooted in God’s Word, that dos NOT edify God, exalt Him, lift Him up and praise Him, a song that, rather, speaks about us, the "I", the problems we face, how blessed we are, etc. but only refers to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "Him", "He", etc. is NOT rooted in God’s Word and therefore does not edify, exalt or lift God up.

    How do we expect to worship God when we are not rooted in His Word? God Himself says:
    "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

    How then, do we expect God to act on our behalf when we aren’t speaking/singing His Word back to Him?

    As we continue to copy the world, or the latest trend in Christian music, chasing after so-called "big name" Churches/Groups, we continue to turn our backs on God’s Holy Order and Structure, we miss out on the Sound of Heaven in our worship and our spirit is not in sync with His Holy Spirit.
    Therefore the Kingdom of God cannot come to earth if our worship of God is "learnt by rote", as it says in Isaiah 29:13 (NLT): "And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.""

    Maybe my observation of the situation is a little simplistic, but then again, I’ve always believed that having faith in God’s Word is indeed simple, it’s just organized religion that likes to have us jump through hoops with their rules and regulations, replacement theology and the like.

    We have numerous examples in the Old Testament where we note that the Levites were excellent in playing their instruments and singing and that they taught others to be excellent too, all the while worshipping God.

    We have lost the ability of offering God worship which is Biblical and excellent, and instead offer Him a second-rate copy of someone else’s song/arrangement, all-the-while trying to be that person/group, instead of our spirit crying out to His Spirit: "Abba Father" and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

    Romans 12:2 (NLT) says: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
    Yet, we continue to chase after all the world can offer us, we are consumed and transformed by the world, instead of being consumed and transformed by God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and God Himself and thereby transforming the world.

    I salute you Rich for your dedication to seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and seeking His Kingdom first.

    I pray God continues to anoint you and bless you, to sustain you, uplift you, encourage you, energize you, inspire you and use you for His glory.

    Let us not forget that Lucifer was the Worship Leader of Heaven, taking the worship of man to God in the Heavenly Realms. May we not become so puffed up with pride about how good we think we are, or how slick our services run with the lights, sound, staging, etc.
    May we remain humble and seek to serve at all times, remembering that while we are servants, we are also Sons and Daughters of the Most High God and Kings and Priests who are seated with Christ at the right-hand of God.

    Blessings,
    Michael

    1. Yes the "word" or "TRUTH" aspect of what we sing in our worship songs is vital. However, truth is also more than the literal. The message we send by copying a vibe rather than creating a home-grown expression of worship to season our services is what is lacking. And, we fear it more than error or shallowness in lyrics.

  75. Hi Rich,

    A brilliant post! I’m glad Fletch Wiley posted this on his Facebook timeline.

    What I’ve come to notice is that, as you’ve mentioned above, the Worship Team becomes a cover band, hurriedly trying to learn the latest Hillsong album before the next is released, while trying to have the sound, lighting and staging to make it seem authentic.

    The problem we have is that we are paying more attention to the performance aspect of our so-called "worship" that we have left the Word by the wayside.
    A great number of the so-called "christian" songs we sing in Church nowadays are no more than New Age, inspirational messages that reflect on ourselves, instead of praising, glorifying, edifying, exalting, worshipping and loving on God!

    We have permitted the world to invade our Churches, we look to the world system for inspiration, gleaning the guitar riffs, bass lines, drum beats, etc. so as to "be more seeker friendly".
    However, all we’re doing is appeasing a handful of people in our Churches who would remain secular in their thinking and actions.

    As Ron Bolen stated, Jesus said: "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Myself." (John 12:32)
    Jesus also said that God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23, 24 my paraphrase).

    In 2011, I had the privilege of meeting and working with Dr. Ron Kenoly and he, when I asked him about worship, noted that if our worship songs are not rooted in God’s Word, we have a far larger problem trying to retract them from the Church at large than a Pastor/Reverend who may misquote/misinterpret a Bible verse in a local Church setting.

    Think on that for a minute …

    A song, that is NOT rooted in God’s Word, that dos NOT edify God, exalt Him, lift Him up and praise Him, a song that, rather, speaks about us, the "I", the problems we face, how blessed we are, etc. but only refers to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as "Him", "He", etc. is NOT rooted in God’s Word and therefore does not edify, exalt or lift God up.

    How do we expect to worship God when we are not rooted in His Word? God Himself says:
    "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)

    How then, do we expect God to act on our behalf when we aren’t speaking/singing His Word back to Him?

    As we continue to copy the world, or the latest trend in Christian music, chasing after so-called "big name" Churches/Groups, we continue to turn our backs on God’s Holy Order and Structure, we miss out on the Sound of Heaven in our worship and our spirit is not in sync with His Holy Spirit.
    Therefore the Kingdom of God cannot come to earth if our worship of God is "learnt by rote", as it says in Isaiah 29:13 (NLT): "And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.""

    Maybe my observation of the situation is a little simplistic, but then again, I’ve always believed that having faith in God’s Word is indeed simple, it’s just organized religion that likes to have us jump through hoops with their rules and regulations, replacement theology and the like.

    We have numerous examples in the Old Testament where we note that the Levites were excellent in playing their instruments and singing and that they taught others to be excellent too, all the while worshipping God.

    We have lost the ability of offering God worship which is Biblical and excellent, and instead offer Him a second-rate copy of someone else’s song/arrangement, all-the-while trying to be that person/group, instead of our spirit crying out to His Spirit: "Abba Father" and seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

    Romans 12:2 (NLT) says: "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
    Yet, we continue to chase after all the world can offer us, we are consumed and transformed by the world, instead of being consumed and transformed by God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and God Himself and thereby transforming the world.

    I salute you Rich for your dedication to seeking to worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and seeking His Kingdom first.

    I pray God continues to anoint you and bless you, to sustain you, uplift you, encourage you, energize you, inspire you and use you for His glory.

    Let us not forget that Lucifer was the Worship Leader of Heaven, taking the worship of man to God in the Heavenly Realms. May we not become so puffed up with pride about how good we think we are, or how slick our services run with the lights, sound, staging, etc.
    May we remain humble and seek to serve at all times, remembering that while we are servants, we are also Sons and Daughters of the Most High God and Kings and Priests who are seated with Christ at the right-hand of God.

    Blessings,
    Michael

    1. Yes the "word" or "TRUTH" aspect of what we sing in our worship songs is vital. However, truth is also more than the literal. The message we send by copying a vibe rather than creating a home-grown expression of worship to season our services is what is lacking. And, we fear it more than error or shallowness in lyrics.

  76. As you have sown, so shall you reap. How did some of the people whom you are "defending" get their jobs? By replacing Godly men who had taken the time to get a music degree or even a seminary education, then had the audacity to turn 50 and not play guitar, but lead a choir instead. That’s where your trend started. It is not new. This is just the next logical step in the progression. And, yes, it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. I am not defending anyone other than stating the state of things with hope for a conversation that edifies and prophetically offers solutions. It is NOT a sad thing that things change. What is sad is our reaction and expectation to not reproduce values over form. What transcends our tastes that we need to pass on and value?

  77. As you have sown, so shall you reap. How did some of the people whom you are "defending" get their jobs? By replacing Godly men who had taken the time to get a music degree or even a seminary education, then had the audacity to turn 50 and not play guitar, but lead a choir instead. That’s where your trend started. It is not new. This is just the next logical step in the progression. And, yes, it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. I am not defending anyone other than stating the state of things with hope for a conversation that edifies and prophetically offers solutions. It is NOT a sad thing that things change. What is sad is our reaction and expectation to not reproduce values over form. What transcends our tastes that we need to pass on and value?

  78. As you have sown, so shall you reap. How did some of the people whom you are "defending" get their jobs? By replacing Godly men who had taken the time to get a music degree or even a seminary education, then had the audacity to turn 50 and not play guitar, but lead a choir instead. That’s where your trend started. It is not new. This is just the next logical step in the progression. And, yes, it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. I am not defending anyone other than stating the state of things with hope for a conversation that edifies and prophetically offers solutions. It is NOT a sad thing that things change. What is sad is our reaction and expectation to not reproduce values over form. What transcends our tastes that we need to pass on and value?

  79. As you have sown, so shall you reap. How did some of the people whom you are "defending" get their jobs? By replacing Godly men who had taken the time to get a music degree or even a seminary education, then had the audacity to turn 50 and not play guitar, but lead a choir instead. That’s where your trend started. It is not new. This is just the next logical step in the progression. And, yes, it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. I am not defending anyone other than stating the state of things with hope for a conversation that edifies and prophetically offers solutions. It is NOT a sad thing that things change. What is sad is our reaction and expectation to not reproduce values over form. What transcends our tastes that we need to pass on and value?

  80. As you have sown, so shall you reap. How did some of the people whom you are "defending" get their jobs? By replacing Godly men who had taken the time to get a music degree or even a seminary education, then had the audacity to turn 50 and not play guitar, but lead a choir instead. That’s where your trend started. It is not new. This is just the next logical step in the progression. And, yes, it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. I am not defending anyone other than stating the state of things with hope for a conversation that edifies and prophetically offers solutions. It is NOT a sad thing that things change. What is sad is our reaction and expectation to not reproduce values over form. What transcends our tastes that we need to pass on and value?

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