I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. Mike Harland, the best baller who is over 50 I have ever played with and our Director of LifeWay worship, wrote this blog post.
Often, we think of the corporate worship gathering as two things happening in the same service—singing and preaching. Typically, musicians take half the time and the pastor takes the other half—two leaders doing two things.
I think of the worship gathering in a different way.
The great Christian apologist John Lennox said, “Worship is a response to the revelation of God.” We often think of Proverbs 29:18 as a verse about visionary leadership as it is often quoted this way: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
The recently released Christian Standard Bible (CSB) gives a wonderful rendering of this verse, ultimately bringing more clarity to the meaning:
“Without revelation, people run wild, but one who follows divine instruction will be happy.” Proverbs 29:18, CSB
In other words, in places where the Word of God is absent, people will live aimlessly. Living is our everyday worship. So, revelation—the proclamation of the Word of God—is an essential part of worship.
But, so is our response. The Bible addresses singing over 100 times and praising many more times than that. Whenever God is revealed through his Word in the Person of Jesus Christ, people who understand who He is will respond in worship.
Our gatherings should be all about revelation and response.
The pastor and singer are two leaders doing one thing—leading worship. Both are involved in revelation and response. Worship leadership is a shared ministry.
If this is true, the way these leaders engage with each other will affect their connection in leading worship. I want to suggest three ways these two leaders should share this ministry.
1. Shared ministry requires shared vision.
What should our worship services be like? How will we measure impact? What opportunities should we give our people for response? These are just a few of the questions these leaders should explore continually.
2. Shared ministry requires shared preparation.
Years ago, I began studying what my pastor was studying. If he was preparing a series on Ephesians, I was doing my own study of the book. In our meetings, I would ask him questions about his approach and emphasis. I read and discussed the books influencing him. I listened to the preachers I knew he loved to hear.
I gave him recordings of songs I felt would be strategic for our ministry and asked for his thoughts. I wanted to be in his headspace and he in mine. When we met, we had a shared preparation for our planning together.
3. Shared ministry requires shared execution.
Sure, these two leaders can execute their individual plans without the input of the other. But, if the two executed their vision together, how much stronger would this shared ministry be each week?
A reviewing of previous worship services and planning for future ones—with an emphasis on execution—will benefit both leaders. There should be a rhythm of planning and evaluating all the time. Great trust can grow in these meetings.
I am confident of this: churches will greatly benefit from the synergy of a pastor and music leader sharing the worship ministry. Many church members may not be able to articulate this, but they will know their worship leaders are on the same page leading a shared ministry.
And, it will bring joy to the Body of Christ.
This week’s giveaway includes TWO FREE REGISTRATIONS for LifeWay Worship’s WorshipLife Event 2017. Enter here or in the form below by 11:59pm tonight, Wednesday, April 5 for the opportunity to win one of two free registrations to LifeWay Worship’s Worship Life Event 2017.