Worship leader jobs - advice for your search

Do This One Thing Before Looking For Worship Leader Jobs

Worship leader job posting just received by Worship Deeper:

FBC McComb is in search of a spirit filled worship pastor. I am collecting resumes for the search committee.  
Michele Hartz
First Baptist Church McComb, Mississippi
1700 Delaware Ave.

Leave a message about your interest for this job. See my contact page.

It sounds like the perfect job. Getting paid for playing music and leading the Church in worship has got to be the best way to make a living.

But are you ready to look for worship leader jobs?

There’s one thing you should be doing before looking for a worship leader position at a church. Keep reading to find out what it is.

What Does a Worship Leader Do?

Did you know that playing music on Sundays is only a tiny fraction of what is involved in a worship leader role?

Worship leaders are a lot like professional athletes. In pro sports, you see the players “perform” a certain number of minutes during a game. What you don’t see are the grueling workouts the week prior. Nor do you see the years of dedication that went into those few minutes on the field.

Leading worship should be no different. For every minute you’re on stage, there should be at least 15 minutes of preparation off stage. That’s eight hours for a half-hour set.

But that’s only the beginning. Many other responsibilities rest squarely on the worship leaders shoulders, such as

  • Team building
  • Finding new music
  • Mentoring young musicians
  • Correcting wrong attitudes on the team
  • Auditioning new members
  • Communicating with team members
  • Meeting with the senior pastor
  • Casting vision
  • And even writing and recording new worship songs

A worship leader’s job can be as big as you can handle, and even bigger. Once you’re in the role, it starts to look decidedly less glamourous. In fact, it looks more like good old fashioned Puritanical work.

So, Here’s The One Thing You Should Do Before Looking for Worship Leader Jobs

Now that I’ve revealed the truth about worship leading, I’ll let you know the one thing you should do before becoming a worship pastor.

Ready? Here it is.

You need to be a volunteer worship pastor.

Becoming a worship leader takes a lot more than getting a music degree at a Christian college. And occasionally leading worship at various events doesn’t cut it either.

You need to experience the year-in, year-out struggles of leading worship in one church before diving into it as a profession.

The best worship leaders volunteer for years and do the job for free before getting paid. Often they are hired by the church in which they volunteer. But the title and paycheck didn’t make them the worship pastor. They already were.

Renowned worship leader and songwriter Paul Baloche first volunteered at the church where he still serves 23 years later. I remember him speaking at a conference. He volunteered to take care of kids in the children’s ministry. The pastor appreciated his willingness to serve, but told him, if he was going to do anything it would be playing the guitar.

I don’t know the exact timeframes, but I understand Mr. Baloche volunteered his time as a worship leader before receiving a title.

One Sunday morning at his home congregation the pastor prayed that God would open the eyes of their hearts. Hence came forth a song we’ll probably be singing fifty years from now.


Find a Place to be Faithful

The point is, you need to find a place to use  your gifts without a title or paycheck. All that stuff will come if it’s God’s plan for you.

It might not be. I’ve been a volunteer worship pastor at my church for more than twelve years. A few other dedicated leaders and I oversee the entire worship program on a volunteer basis. God has called me as a lay minister, probably for life.

Does the Bible condone Paid Worship Leader jobs?

Ephesians 4 says Christ gives a measure of grace, gifts to men, in order that they take up positions to edify the church. One of those positions is “pastor”, a word that means guide and shepherd.

As a worship leader is a sub-category of pastor. He or she leads, shepherds, guides the body of Christ into true worship.

The author of Ephesians, Paul, also wrote 1 Timothy which says that elders of the church that rule well are worthy of double “honor” – a word that means, in the Greek, the price of something that is bought and sold. Some modern Bible translations simply say church leaders should be paid well. It would seem Paul advocates for paid pastor positions.

If you’re an Old Testament type of person, there are a lot more examples of paid ministers there. The Levites had full-time jobs serving in the temple.

Numbers 18:21 says, “As to the descendants of Levi, certainly I’ve given all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for their services that they perform at the Tent of Meeting.” (ISV)

Still Looking for Worship Leader Jobs?

I hope I haven’t discouraged you from looking for a worship pastor position if you are truly ready. As musical worship becomes a bigger part of church services, many congregations need skilled worship leaders.

Just make sure you are doing the congregation a service when you send in your resume.

Tim Lucas has been leading worship for more than 20 years around the Pacific Northwest, USA. Starting as a worship leader at the age of 15, he has been able to minister in youth groups, camps, churches, and as far away as Australia. Tim now leads at his local church and lives in Washington State with his wife, Laura, and two kids.

Featured image: Steven Lewis

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