In a couple months I will turn 36 years old. The church I’m honored to serve will turn 58 in February of next year. As a younger worship pastor in an established church, there have been several things I have had to prayerfully keep front and center in my ministry. Maybe some of these can be helpful in your own ministry.
First (and this is one of the biggest temptations for worship pastors, me included): do not make the mistake of trying to keep up with current trends in worship. Our Father has not called us to be cutting-edge, only sing the latest songs, make sure we look a certain way, etc. He has called us to be a faithful. Faithfulness to your church is going to look different than it does at mine. So, find out what faithfulness looks like in your context and pursue it wholeheartedly.
Secondly, listen to everyone, pray for discernment of what has been said, then talk with your senior pastor. Every person in your gathering this Sunday will react differently to your leadership, song selection, instrumentation, presentation, and so on. And a few of those same people will share their reactions with you (whether solicited or not!). Thank them for their input and if you discern that what was said might be helpful, take it to your senior pastor. He is the one, called by God, to lead your church. This also includes the what, how, and why of your musical worship.
Lastly, do not neglect time spent studying God’s word and asking for wisdom. Proverbs 2:3-5 says, “If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God.” Immerse yourself in the Word and watch how the Lord will grow you not only personally, but also as a worship pastor.
I pray these words are an encouragement to you as we seek to magnify the Lord through the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
By William Sadler, Worship Pastor
Mountain Park First Baptist Church, Stone Mountain