By Dwayne Moore
In the past two articles, we’ve looked at how worship leaders need a pastor’s inspection. That was part one. In part two we considered that a worship leader needs their pastor’s involvement. In this article we will look at the third and final thing that every worship leader needs from their pastor, and that is investment.
When I say investment, I mean from several standpoints. First of all, they need your investment of time. Make time for your worship leader. Make time to talk to them, to him or her. Of course, if you’re a guy and your worship leader is a girl, you’ll have to guard how you meet with them. So you meet with them with their spouse, or you meet with them with the staff, but in some way you still make time for them.
They need your investment not only of time, they need your investment of friendship. They need to know that you care for them, not just for what they do for you and your church, but you care for them as a person.
As I’ve said in the other articles, keep in mind that worship leaders tend to be more on the feelings side. They are creative by nature. They have an artsy side to them, which usually means they are also sensitive, more than you would want them to be, perhaps. And that their feelings are important. This is not something that they should grow up and get over. This is how God made them. Now granted, they need to learn to not be controlled by their feelings. But they’ll always have feelings, and that’s what you need to keep in mind.
So, whereas it may not be that important to you, I promise you it’s important to them that they feel you are their friend. They see you as their friend, not just their employer. And in that relationship, don’t be concerned by the idea that they may not be as accountable to you. They will be. Most worship leaders respond really well to an environment where they’re cared for and appreciated. In fact, often if they know that they are appreciated, they will actually respond to want to do even more. They like to please people. That’s how they are by nature. And if they feel like they are pleasing you, they tend to work even harder. So they need your investment of friendship.
Third, they need your investment of mentorship. In other words, they need you to pour into them. And if you don’t have time to do it directly, then invest in them to have someone else that mentors them. But your personal investment as a mentor is also vitally important. Even if it’s limited to just occasionally. They want to see you as someone who cares enough about them to want to cause them to improve. But even more than that, they need to see that it’s important to you that they improve. And that you are willing to make a personal investment into them to help them be better at their skill, with their craft, and as leaders and servants. It’s also important for you to invest in them personally, to let them see your values. Values are not taught as much as they’re caught.
You can tell them what you value, but if you give them the opportunity to watch you, they’ll see those values in action. And that is much more powerful than just being told what values are. When they see you act those values out and live those values out, they tend to embrace them more quickly and more deeply themselves. These are all strong reasons to invest in them with your time, your friendship, and your mentorship.
I was in Zambia, Africa having a conversation with several pastors, teaching them, and sharing this about these three important things that every worship leader needs from their pastor. When I got to the word investment, the wife of the pastor that led a large church in Zambia spoke up and said, “They don’t only need our investment of time, and friendship, and mentorship. They also need our investment of money.”
I thought that was especially interesting coming from someone in Africa. The perception, at least from us as Americans, is that they don’t have much money. They often have to volunteer and rarely get supported and paid. Many worship leaders do not get any financial reimbursement.
Yet, this lady was speaking up to say this is important. If you want to keep them long-term, then invest in them some financially she was saying. What she and her husband explained is that you don’t have to put your worship leaders on a salary to appreciate them. Maybe you can’t afford a salary. Maybe your church is small, and you can’t afford to pay a regular salary. At the very least you can give them some fuel money from time to time. Or you can buy them a meal–something to support them financially a little.
Think about it: the worship leaders often get there earlier than anyone. They arrive early to have everything ready so the service to begin on time. Worship leaders often invest more than many of the other members. And yet, they receive nothing in return.
Here’s my rule of thumb over the years. In fact, I wrote an article about it. If you ask your worship leader to give more than 10% of his or her time during the week, then that person needs to be financially supported in some way. If you want quality musicians on your team, first of all check to make sure they love God. But don’t expect that just because they love God they should do everything for free. You don’t do everything for free, do you pastor? No. A workman is worthy of his hire. And if you’re asking them to do more than tie their time to your church, more than 10%, then they need to be financially reimbursed for that.
Please contact us if you have any questions, any way we can help you. We love to coach. We coach worship leaders and pastors from around the world. We love to encourage and advise pastors! Please feel free to call us, contact our office, and we’ll help you in any way we can. Thanks.