Home Worship & Creative Leaders Articles for Worship & Creative Why Rock Star Worship Leaders Are Getting Fired

Why Rock Star Worship Leaders Are Getting Fired

One RSWL candidly told me he approaches ministry much like a CEO runs a company—you never fraternize with your employees (i.e., hang out with your praise band members after rehearsal when they all go out for pizza).

I could go on and on with RSWL horror stories (I know a lot of churches), so it was no surprise that over the past few months I’ve started noticing a rash of RSWL firings in the megachurch world. (In polite company, this is referred to as, “We’ve decided to part ways due to philosophical differences.”)

In most cases, it looks like the RSWL’s shenanigans have come to a head and the church has said “enough.”

My suspicions of this firing trend were recently confirmed.

A friend of mine is using a church job-placement agency to find a worship leader position for himself. The representative mentioned they’ve never had so many worship leader job openings. When asked why, the representative explained that churches are finding the performance worship leader thing isn’t working out so well. It seems congregations are tired of being performed to instead of led in worship.

The job my friend found is with a megachurch who just fired their own RSWL. This guy hopped around stage during worship, trying to drum up enthusiasm like any good rock star would in concert.

As my friend looked at the RSWL’s set list from the past six weeks, he noticed not a single song was repeated. Typical RSWL behavior—they’re performing worship songs, not leading them.

One big reason my friend’s church fired their RSWL was that they were concerned their congregation wasn’t worshipping during the music. Of course they weren’t—they didn’t know any of the songs!

Bottom Line: If you’re interested in a full-time worship leading job at a megachurch, now may be a great time to start looking. If a church was willing to pay 100K a year for someone who simply smiled, sang and strummed on Sundays, just think of what they’d pay a down-to-earth and skilled worship leader who knows how to work for a living.

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Arranger/composer Don Chapman is the creative energy behind several websites devoted to contemporary worship: HymnCharts, WorshipFlow, and WorshipIdeas.com. He's the editor of the weekly WorshipIdeas newsletter that is read by over 50,000 worship leaders across the world.