Worship Team Relationships (3) – The Pastor

The final two chapters in the book Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin deal with the relationship between the music team (its leader in particular) and the pastor.  The first chapter, Your Pastor, is speaking to the worship team and the second chapter, Some Thoughts for Pastors, is directed towards pastors.

What I liked about these chapters, the first one in particular, is that it dealt with issues that pastors (and those who lead the church in a pastoral role) can often be hesitant to talk about too much.  It’s not because we disagree with the passages but because if not handled with care they can come across self-serving.  So having someone who is not in the role of the lead pastor, yet is in a leadership position, state and strongly affirm the Bible’s stance on proper leadership and authority makes for a very enjoyable read.  The author does a great job of showing a heart that loves, supports, and cares for his pastor and God’s church.

The advice given to the pastors was both insightful, encouraging, and convicting.  Bob encouraged the interaction of the pastor and the worship team.  He gave tips on how to help them grow, constructively critique, encourage, and give direction to the team.

Below is a general outline of the chapters as well as some quotes that I appreciated and found insightful.

Chapter 31 – Your Pastor

  • Serve Your Pastor (Hebrews 13:17)
  • Listen to Your Pastor (Proverbs 18:2)
  • Initiate (Proverbs 3:27)
  • Grow
  • When You Disagree
  • You, Too, Need Support

“Whatever kind of pastor you serve with, God says he’s a gift to you.  In Ephesians 4:11-12 pastors and teachers are mentioned as gifts from the ascended Christ to equip the church for ministry.  Worship leaders don’t even receive a nod.  That doesn’t mean we have no place in God’s plan.  It just means that it’s our responsibility to support our pastor and not set our own agenda” (p 241).

“Worship leaders serve as those under authority…Our meetings aren’t made up of “my” time and “his” time.  It’s all God’s time, and the pastor and I are on the same team.  But my pastor has the final say about how that time gets used” (p 243).

“There’s probably no more effective way I can serve my pastor than simply by praying for him.  He carries the weight of the church on his shoulders.  He’s the one God will hold accountable” (p 243).

“Listening takes time and self-control…Don’t get defensive when your pastor asks you to do something different.  Find out exactly what he’s saying…listen carefully when he tells you what you’re doing well and what you’re not…Serving your pastor doesn’t rule out taking initiative or being creative.  It just gives purpose and definition to your creativity” (p 244-245).

“Initiate encouragement as well.  God wants us to notice how he’s working in and through our pastors…Sometimes we think that too much encouragement will tempt someone to be proud or to take advantage of us.  Maybe.  But our trust is in God’s Word, not in the percentages.  God tells us to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  he know how much we’d need it” (p 245).

Chapter 32 – Some Thoughts for Pastors

  • Recognize Your Role in Leading Worship
  • Know What to Look for in a Worship Leader (Humility, Godly Character, Love for Good Theology, Leadership Gifting, Musical Skill)
  • Equip and Encourage Your Worship Leader
  • Be Faithful to Evaluate
  • Resolve Conflict Biblically
  • A Final Word

“You may not own an instrument or know how to play one.  But your congregation looks to you to know what it means to be a worshiper.  You are the primary worship leader in your church…Your congregation is watching and listening to you on Sunday, and not just when you preach.  What are they learning?  What kind of example do you provide for them?

If you fiddle with your sermon notes while everyone else is praising God, they may infer that singing is optional.  If you look around anxiously to make sure the technical details are being taken care of, they might conclude that the priority of Sunday morning is the performance, not their participation.  If you sing halfheartedly, they may assume that passion for God isn’t that important.  But know this: your church is watching you” (pp 250-251).

“As a pastor, you feed the church by making sure your worship leader chooses songs for their theologically balanced lyrics, not for their popularity” (p 251).

“Encouragement has the greatest impact when it’s a way of life.  Look for every opportunity to point out what your worship leader is doing right.  Express your encouragement publicly as well as privately…You want people to respect your worship leader because of his godly character, not simply because he has musical ability and can sing well” (p 256).

“God intends your relationship with your worship leader to be one of joy, mutual respect, and fruitfulness.  And with confidence in his Word, dependence on his Spirit, and reliance on the gospel, that’s exactly what it will be” (p 258).


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