Teaching Worship - ch. 3

By Stephen M. Newman
Founder, ExperiencingWorship.com and Author of Experiencing Worship
April 02, 2007

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The Role of the Senior Pastor As Worship Leader

This section is not lengthy for one reason alone. If your senior pastor is not a visible worshiper, it will be much harder for you to lead worship and for your people to follow your lead. I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but it seems that wherever I have served, how far we went in worship was always dependent on the senior pastor. We could only go as far as he went personally and philosophically, and rightly so. Because the senior pastor usually sets the vision for the church, it is up to him to help communicate that to the people. If he wanted to build a new auditorium, he would probably be the one heading the process and promoting it with his voice and pocket book. If he never mentions it from the pulpit, or supports it financially, more than likely it will never get off the ground. The same holds true for the staff. We all have to be for the building project and support it 100%. If we don't, it may never become what it can be for the kingdom of God.

This same principle holds true in worship. If the senior pastor is not a visible worshiper, it will hinder the spirit and attitude of worship. Sure, the song service may not be hindered, but true worship will. It is vitally important that each member of the staff be active visible worshipers, as well. A staff that is divided will not accomplish all that God has for that church. Are your pastors and staff worshipers? If they aren't, you will have a difficult time teaching worship to your people.

If you have a worshiping staff, then I would venture to say that you have a worshiping church. If you pray for the services as much as you spend time planning the music, I venture to say that you are a worshiping church. What do you do when your pastors, and specifically your senior pastor, are not visible worshipers or supporters of worship? Find a new church……… I'm kidding, of course! But, to a degree, there is a measure of truth in that thought. I have found that the only way to know where he stands, and what he feels about worship, is to sit down with him and ask. Let him share his heart with you on worship and his vision for worship in the church. Then, let him hear yours. Share with him your desire to teach your people true worship, and speak to him from your heart about what worship means to you. It's the first question I ask a pastor when I candidate for a position in a new church. If he doesn't have a heart for true worship in his church, then you will have a rough road a head of you. If worship is your calling, then you may want to consider another position. I am so blessed to be in a church where the senior pastor and staff place a high value on worship, it's place in their lives, and in our church as a body. It has been the greatest experience of my life to see this church grow as a worshiping body, as well as individuals push the boundaries to understand what God wants from their worship.

If you are in a situation where things are less than ideal concerning what we have talking about, be patient and pray. Pray for God to move in your church and your pastor, or pray that God lead you to a position where you can teach worship and have the support you need. Be absolutely sure that it is His will that you move, and not your desire to get out. God may have called you to be the one to help transition your church to be a worshiping church for Him. The church needs men and women who will be in for the long haul and be patient teachers. Are you one?
Teaching Worship - Chapter Menu

1. Things They Didn't Teach In College or Seminary
2. Why Won't Your People Express Themselves In Worship
3. The Role of the Senior Pastor As Worship Leader
4. How are the people perceiving you
5. What tools do you have to help teach?
6. Where are you and where are they?
7. What Are You Doing Outside The Worship Times?
8. Worship Team - Leaders or Performers?
9. Is Your Team On The Same Page As You?
10. It's Not the Art, But the Heart!
11. There Is Hope for Every Church

Stephen M. Newman
Founder, ExperiencingWorship.com and Author of Experiencing Worship
Read more from Stephen M. Newman

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