While serving full-time on local church staff teams, I intuitively knew that the people who we put on the platform/stage would be perceived as leaders in our ministry. But I did not realize the magnitude of that perception until Kaye and I started visiting churches as a non-staff attender. Those on the stage (musicians, singers, hosts, announcement makers, etc) were the people who we mentally associated as the leaders of the church.
It was odd because we know better. We know that other elders or pastors who are not teaching are often not on stage, but the people on the stage appeared to represent the whole church. They were the ones who led us in worship, who encouraged us to action, who–in our minds–embodied the DNA of the church. We found ourselves noticing them off the stage too.
So church leaders, be wise about those you put on the stage/platform. You may not realize that you are setting them up as the perceived leaders of your ministry. Because of that, choose men and women who fear the Lord, are filled with His Spirit, are deeply committed to your church’s mission and values, and love people off the stage–not merely from it.