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Tech Versus Creative: Discern the Roles

Tech Versus Creative: Discern the Roles

As your church grows, it can be challenging to discern the roles between the creative arts programming and technical teams. Many of the responsibilities seem to overlap and the skill sets and competencies can be very similar. So how do you discover which creative or worship team roles are needed for your church and what type of person best meets your church’s needs? It’s important to first define the roles and responsibilities in order to discover where you should start.

Consider the following six positions below as a launching pad for your church staffing process as you determine what your next creative team hire needs to be.

1. Worship Leader/Pastor

The best Worship Leaders and Worship Pastors not only lead the music programming over the weekend but also develop and train others to do the same. They should be skilled at recruiting new musicians and vocalists and able to promote healthy and engaging team dynamics. A healthy mix of administrative gifts and creativity is required in order to be successful as a Worship Leader or Worship Pastor. The best and most highly sought after leaders are able to build rapport with the congregation through their excellent communication skills, being both authentic and pastoral in nature.

The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Worship Leader/Pastor:

  • Lead all band and vocal rehearsals
  • Recruit and develop musicians (both technically and spiritually)
  • Schedule all weekend teams including all volunteer or paid musicians and vocalists (some churches include technical team scheduling in this role as well)
  • Lead worship at all weekend gatherings and special events
  • Plan all elements of the weekend services and series (for example song selection, video selection, scripture readings, etc.)
  • Create music charts and tracks as needed
  • Write or arrange songs for corporate worship

For many young people choosing a church, worship leaders have become a more important factor than preachers. Mediocre preaching may be tolerated, but an inept worship leader can sink things fast.” (Gordon MacDonald, To Find A Worship Leader, Leadership Journal, Spring 2002)

2. Creative Arts Director/Pastor

The successful Creative Arts Director or Creative Arts Pastor knows how to manage the ever-dynamic creative planning process. He or she is administratively and strategically minded, yet can function comfortably in the “right brain” or creative space. Unlike their counterparts, Creative Arts Pastors often are not the person on the platform leading worship regularly. They have the capacity to devote their full attention to the weekend experience in order to maintain smooth and excellent execution as well as healthy team environments.

The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Creative Arts Pastor or Creative Director:

  • Manage creative team staff (including but not limited to Worship Leaders/Pastors, technical staff, video content creators, and possible communications staff)
  • Responsible for the programming and content of all services, series, and events (including song selection, video selection, video creation, scripture readings, all graphics and backgrounds on the video screens, and other creative elements such as dance, drama, etc.)
  • Coordinate with global staff such as Communications Director, Graphics Designer, Teaching Pastors, and/or First Impressions (greeters, ushers, etc), for weekend service execution and continuity
  • Act as the point person for all events such as Easter, Christmas, baptisms, and other special church-wide celebrations

3. Music Director

The Music Director role requires an expert musician who can work together with a Worship Leader/Pastor to accomplish the weekend music experience. The most skilled Music Directors are highly professional, well-networked, and able to create music arrangements for a variety of instruments in a variety of settings. This unique role is often seen in larger church environments as a compliment to the Worship Leader. The Music Director typically does not lead worship in most organizations unless they are a skilled vocalist as well as a professional musician.

The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Music Director:

  • Lead band rehearsals
  • Create music charts and tracks to equip the band and vocal teams
  • Create all chord charts and arrangements as needed
  • Recruit and develop instrumentalists (technically and spiritually)
  • Schedule all paid and contract musicians