I’ve written many times that being a worship leader is a pastoral role, regardless of your exact title or pay scale. I love how Zac Hicks explains it:
I’ve seen, time and again, that thoughtful, passionate, and intentional worship leadership yields pastoral care for the people of God. People can tell when you’re caring for them. People can feel that you love them. And people can sense when a worship service creates a context of care.
We often think of pastoral care as an individualized enterprise outside worship: counseling sessions, hospital calls, in-home visits, praying for individuals’ needs, and presiding over funerals. These are all vital, indispensible care practices of any pastor. But the Church’s history offers a different paradigm for the center, the starting place, of all pastoral care. It tells a story of pastors who see the core of their ministry to sick, hurting, wounded sheep happening in the context of leading worship. Worship is the ground zero of pastoral care.
When you craft the service around the congregation’s needs, that’s an act of pastoral care. When you choose songs that unite your church even though they may not be your personal favorites, that’s an act of pastoral care.
Read the whole thing here. Really good stuff.