How To Succeed As A Volunteer Worship Leader, Part 1 (Podcast Ep. 19)

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In this episode, I talk a little about my story as a volunteer worship leader, and what that life has looked like. This is part 1 of a 2-part episode. In part 2, I cover strategies to help you be successful at your paid and unpaid careers simultaneously.

Notes:

  • If you plan to listen to this episode, you’re probably a volunteer/unpaid worship leader
  • I don’t know the stats, but I would guess that most worship leaders are in non-paid volunteer positions at their churches
  • Most churches are small and can’t afford a full or even part-time worship director, so they rely on volunteers to lead the ministry
  • The good news is that it doesn’t mean the quality has to be worse than if they hire a full- or part-time worship leader
  • My church is living proof
  • We have no paid staff
  • We have 3 volunteer worship leaders who lead part of the ministry and rotate Sundays.
  • And I can say that our professionalism rivals churches with paid staff and with bigger worship teams
  • That’s because, even though this isn’t our full-time job or even part-time paid position, we are serious about providing great worship experiences
  • So today I’m going to, first of all, let you know that it’s perfectly ok to be a volunteer worship leader forever. You don’t need to seek to be in a paid position or make this your career to be effective.
  • Second, I’m going to provide strategies on how to manage this position as a volunteer

 

About me

  • First of all, a little about my background
  • In over 2 decades of leading worship, I’ve never had a paid position
  • I’ve been leading worship in some capacity for over 15 years at my current church, but never in an official paid role
  • There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting paid as a worship leader, but God has never steered me in that direction
  • Instead, he’s always given me jobs where I’m free at night and on weekends for worship rehearsals and Sundays
  • And there’s a biblical precedent for this. Remember that Paul had a tentmaking business while he was preaching at local churches
    • So evidently he would run this business during some part of the day then minister to the church and community the other portion of his time.
  • In 1st Thessalonians 2 he said he did this as to not be a burden to the local church
  • He also said that even though he deserved to be paid, he chose not to, to further spread the gospel.
  • So here we have this biblical example of the most powerful preacher and advocate of the gospel to ever walk the earth, and he wasn’t in a full-time paid position
  • Guys, that should be an encouragement if you feel like a “lesser” worship leader because it’s not a paid or official position within your church
  • I would argue that you have even greater impact on your community by being in the workplace and serving in the church.
  • Plus, you can identify with your worship team better, because they are all probably volunteering to play or sing in addition to their full time job.
  • But I will tell you that this road is hard.
  • You’re constantly juggling your paid job and your non-paid job. So how do you do this?

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  • So how do you effectively do 2 jobs at the same time and do them well?
    • You don’t want to let one or the other suffer
    • You don’t want your paid job to become unimportant. God has called us to our “secular” job to make money, provide for our family, and be a witness. Part of being a witness is being a great employee if you work for a company, or a great provider of service if you have your own business
  • So I’ll paint a picture of how I do things since I’ve had 2 different careers simultaneously for more than 20 years
  • So first of all, you have to accept that this life is a sacrifice.
    • You have to give up a lot of free time.
      • So at night after you’ve worked all day, spent time with the kids, put them to bed, then you start putting together your worship list
      • There have been times where I start on my worship job at 9pm and finish after 11.
      • Then you’re learning new songs, organizing rehearsal, and rehearsing at night, in the morning before work, on your lunch breaks, and whenever you have a chance
    • But I think this kind of work ethic is biblical
    • God’s getting the most out of your talents and abilities. By learning and growing in your paid and volunteer careers, you’re building skills simultaneously that you wouldn’t be if you were a worship leader only
    • And the skills you build in your paid career help you in worship leading, and vice versa
    • So getting back to the idea that you have to accept the sacrifice
      • You won’t watch TV very much, you won’t know any movies that are out, and you will miss camping trips because you’re working all week and leading worship on Sundays
      • You probably won’t have time for hobbies because leading worship will essentially be your hobby too.
    • So all that being said, the sacrifice is worth it
      • Eventually, you won’t miss things that don’t matter like popular TV shows
      • You’ll see a huge value in what you’re doing and this extreme work ethic will seem normal to you
    • So once you’ve accepted that this life will be tough, here are some strategies to make this work in part 2

Learn To Lead Worship Better

Are you looking for a resource that will help you get started leading worship or improving your skills?

Check out the book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days.” It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day handbook that can launch your worship leading journey in as little as two weeks.

>>  Get this valuable resource by clicking here.

Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days Thumbnail

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