The Battle Of Burnout

One thing that nearly ministry leader has in common is the danger of burnout.

Sam Lambert shares some thoughts on preventing and dealing with burnout as a worship leader:

Even though I’ve been involved in ministry for just 11 years, at 23 years old, I understand the battle of burnout. You see, burnout does not care how old you are. Burnout does not care how long you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing. It’s a slow process that you can’t see coming, but when it hits, you know it. All of a sudden, you start questioning if what you’re doing is even what you’re supposed to be doing. You might ask yourself questions like, “Did I get something wrong? Is what I heard from God not what he actually said?” One of the most dangerous and fragile places you can be is a place where you doubt the voice of God.

Sam also mentions some steps we can take to help others in ministry to avoid discouragement. Read the whole thing here. Good stuff.

The Psychology Of Loudness

If I had to guess, I’d say that the top two complaints that most worship leaders hear are song/style choices and volume. “It’s too loud” is something every worship has heard or will hear at some point.

Dusty Wallace writes:

Our dB readings that first acoustic Sunday were the exact same as the dB readings as every other Sunday with the full-band. BUT, those same people who had complained in weeks prior stopped me after the acoustic set and said how much they loved the softer volume.

Now, besides feeling like I wanted to laugh-cry right as they told me this, it illustrates my earlier point: there is no universal standard for loud.

There are several things people may call loud that have nothing to do with your overall volume/dB reading, because loud is the only word they know to describe their discomfort.

Dusty lists three important things to keep in mind when the volume complaints come in. He also explains why some people think the music is louder than it actually is. Check it out here.

What To Do When Your Best Player Leaves

Whether you’re on a worship team or just in a band, you’ll lose your best player someday. Todd Wright explains more:

We’ve all had THE PLAYER.

THE PLAYER is that person who shows up who has astounding God-given talent, can play whatever you ask and instantly gels with you and the rest of the team.

With a player like this, you might sometimes think to yourself, “Wow. I think we’re, like, a GOOD band now.” Songs come faster and the congregation responds. Your whole sound changes with a player like this because you’re able to chase ideas never before attempted.

So, what do you do when a player like that leaves?

It can really demoralize the team to lose a great musician, but it doesn’t mean ministry stops. Todd shares four things to keep in mind when your best musician leaves the team. Very encouraging post. Read the whole thing here.

The Beehive Hack

Gangai Victor shares a great tip to help you introduce new songs to your congregation:

We know that using new songs of worship is good.

However, engaging the congregation is better.

But, what if you could do both and be a superhero worship leader of sorts?!

While the quick and dirty solution suggested all the time is to reduce the number of new worship songs (and btw, that’s not bad advice), I think there’s a way out to make everyone happy.

Here’s how:

It’s called The Beehive Hack.

Click here to read the whole thing. Don’t let the name of this process scare you. The Beehive Hack is a really solid method for getting your church excited about learning music.

Seven Signs You Shouldn’t Be A Worship Leader

Not everybody is cut out to be a worship leader – you have to be wired in a pretty unique way. Just being a musician or a Christian – or both – doesn’t mean that you should be up front leading people in worship.

Here are seven signs that you shouldn’t be a worship leader.

1) You think that worship is mostly about music

Spoiler alert: it’s not about music. Music can certainly be an aspect of worship, but it’s never the whole thing.

2) You don’t like music

Worship isn’t all about music, but music is a pretty major part of being a worship leader. If you don’t like music, don’t bother applying. It’s a big part of the job.

3) You don’t like people

Being a worship leader is a pastoral role. You’re not just leading music – you’re leading people. If you don’t like people – if you don’t LOVE people – you won’t be an effective team leader or worship leader.

4) You can’t take criticism

If you’re leading worship (or any ministry), you will be criticized. Sometimes it will be deserved. Sometimes it will be personal. Sometimes it will be completely unwarranted. But it’s coming. If you can’t take criticism, this is a journey you probably don’t want to take.

5) You are terrified of confrontation

Being a worship leader usually means managing a team of musicians. There will be times when you have to make someone unhappy. Whether it’s letting someone know that they didn’t pass their audition or asking a team member to take a season off to deal with personal issues, you’ll have to have some tough conversations.

6) You’re afraid of change

From new music to new technology, there will be always be change. Your team members will rotate in and out over time. Your elder board will change. You may even have to start working with a new pastor. If you can’t handle change, you won’t last long in worship ministry.

7) You don’t believe in Jesus

You can’t lead people somewhere you haven’t been. If you haven’t experienced the life changing power of Jesus Christ in your own life, you can’t expect to help people encounter Him through worship.

What did I miss? What would you add to the list?

Keeping It Fresh

Chris Horton explains a few ways you can keep your church’s favorite worship songs from growing stale:

As worship leaders, we all have our “go to” songs that we use regularly in our services. These are the songs you probably use once every 4-6 weeks. These songs speak to the season our churches are walking through. These are the anthems where we always see hands raised and hear voices sing out the loudest.

So how do we keep them fresh? Now don’t get me wrong, the Holy Spirit is the one who does the work in the hearts of the people and He is the reason those songs speak so powerfully to our congregations. But as musicians, lets be honest… We can play/sing that song in our sleep, whatever those songs are for you!

Here’s 3 easy ways to keep familiar songs fresh for our teams, our congregations and us!

These aren’t terribly difficult things, like writing a whole new arrangement or changing it to a different genre. They’re just some small, simple things you can do to keep those “worship standards” fresh and new. Check it out here.

From Worship Leader To Worship Pastor

My title at church has always been “worship leader” or occasionally “the music guy,” but never had “pastor” anywhere in it. But regardless of the title, every worship leader plays a pastoral role. Those pastoral duties don’t always come easy to us, but Mike Harland shares five tips to help worship leaders fulfill their pastoral roles:

I went on to explain that ministry on a church staff involves touching the lives of people – and sometimes that means being at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Some might argue, “My church only wants me to plan and lead worship. I don’t have to do that pastoral stuff.”

Well, you can sell that to someone else.

Because, if you serve a church in any capacity, you will need to step into pastoral moments – at least some of the time. Over the years, I learned to highly-value those moments of impact with the people I served.

So, in the that spirit, here are some tips I’ve learned about this aspect of ministry…

Great list. Check it out here.

Five Ways To Fake It

Rich Kirkpatrick shares five things many churches and worship teams do that result in superficial worship:

We have all been there. Everything may sound fantastic, look attractive, and planned with purposeful intent. But, something just doesn’t seem right. You feel fake vibes when hoping for authentic ones. Regardless, what makes a worship service fake might be boiled down to a few things even though there may be many things we can put on a list.

Here are five ideas that promote the “fake factor” in church worship services.

When it’s about us, it’s not about God. Check out Rich’s list here.

The Cool Factor

David Roark takes a look at how Hillsong has changed the landscape of worship music:

And to say that Hillsong has been successful would be an understatement. Commercially, Hillsong has released over 120 albums and sold more than 16 million records across the globe. Practically, the band has influenced the modern evangelical movement so much that it’s hard to find a local church—no matter the denomination—not singing and playing Hillsong music week in and week out. In fact, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, data in 2011 showed that a quarter of all contemporary worship songs in Australian churches were written by Hillsong, which even included a handful of Catholic congregations.

But it’s not just Hillsong’s music that has spread like a wildfire into the pews of congregations across the United States and beyond—it’s the entire ethos of the band that permeates church worship services each weekend.

David points out some of the positive (and potentially negative) effects of Hillsong’s “Cool Factor” on the church as a whole. Interesting read. Check it out here.

The Dangers Of Perfectionism

We want our music ministries to be excellent, but it’s a short fall into the pit of perfectionism.

David Conley writes:

We live within a world that is constantly striving after perfection. Taking a look at cultures around the world, it is amazing to see the extraordinary lengths people will go to have the “perfect” skin, hair, outfit, family, job, and so on. However, I don’t believe perfection within itself is wrong. In fact, we were originally called to perfection.

As a worship leader… Striving for perfection is one of my biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses. I struggle with the idea of every detail, song, rehearsal, and service being flawless, by all means possible. However, I am learning the dangers of perfectionism as I continue to grow in my leadership.

David shares a few challenges to help us overcome perfectionism. Check it out here.