What You DON’T Need to Be a Great Worship Pastor

What You DON'T Need to be a Great Worship Pastor

Sometimes I feel the pressure to prove myself.

I feel I need to be impressive or I need to stand out in order to be a success. Worship Pastor, do you ever feel this? Like you’re just run of the mill? You’re not talented enough, popular enough or trendy enough?

Let me tell you something. You don’t need to write songs, be insanely talented or stand in front of large crowds to be a world class worship pastor. You don’t.

Because success is defined in a different way.

Before we go any further, let me tell you what this post is not. I’m not here to bash the professional songwriters who make their living writing worship songs. I love that.

I’m not here to disqualify the uber talented singer because they distract people from Jesus with their eons of musical brilliance. That’s ridiculous.

I’m not here to trash those who tour and sell out arenas for worship concerts. If I was invited to lead such an event, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

So the problem isn’t all these things.

But it’s also true that being a great worship pastor isn’t songwriting, albums, talent and artistry. If you’ve ever felt the pressure to write hit worship songs but can’t, relax. If you’ve ever been saddened that your talent doesn’t stack up against others, calm down.

If you’ve never been invited to speak at a conference, it’s OK. If you’ve felt the discouragement of leading worship for 15 people on Sunday, please allow me to encourage you.

What Do Worship Pastors Do?

Do you know what great worship pastors do? They pastor people. They love them. They lead them in worship because they love Jesus and want others to see the glory they’ve seen—find the hope they’ve found. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to be on stage to be a great worship pastor.

When I interviewed John Cassetto from Saddleback Worship, I was surprised to hear he wasn’t on stage all that often. But from what I’ve observed, he appears to be one of the best worship pastors out there. He’s leading other leaders, guiding their hearts into truth and setting the tone for the Saddleback Worship culture.

Great worship pastors don’t need to be world class artists. They just need to be great at loving and leading people. It’s easy to blur those lines—we have artists who are expected to be worship pastors. And we have worship pastors who feel they need to be an impressive artist. Sometimes a worship leader will have both, but it’s not essential to fulfill the role in a local church.

If you can write songs, please do. If you’d like to write songs, please do. If you possess enough talent to go on a big tour and play for thousands of people, that’s great.

But if you can’t, stop disqualifying yourself. You just might be positioned to make the biggest difference right where you are, loving people, releasing others and creating a culture that echoes throughout generations to come.

 

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.