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How to Make Sure You're Cultivating Leaders

If I showed up at your church and asked, “I feel called to lead worship. Can you help me?” 

What would you say? Would you have a process in place to help me?

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know we are all about discipleship.

But discipleship can be difficult if you don’t know how to disciple. What are the specific areas a young worship leader needs to work on?

Here’s the exciting part: There may be called, gifted potential waiting to happen in your congregation. Without a process—a system of leading people—tremendous possibility could be overlooked.

People don’t grow unless they’re given specific feedback on their performance. You must communicate your values and expectations.

In this post, I want to outline my “Worship Leader Checklist”—the specific habits and leadership qualities I’m looking to develop in my worship leaders. Feel free to use this or use it to help you customize your own.

My Worship Leader Development Checklist

Early Preparation/Planning

  • Praying for the congregation
  • Seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance
  • Choosing songs/Crafting a setlist
  • Writing an outline for speaking moments

Communication During the Week

  • Random text message encouragements
  • Two random phone calls per week
  • Email scheduled team at the beginning of the week
  • Group email with upcoming events
  • Phone blitz a week prior to team events

Band Leadership During Rehearsal

  • Create a rehearsal plan
  • Be encouraging
  • Create a fun, engaging atmosphere
  • Check in with people/Ask about their lives
  • Be prepared on musical decisions
  • Prepare devo/prayer time

Leadership of the Band “Live” During Each Service

  • Vocal cues
  • Giving firm direction to endings
  • Modeling expressive worship

Leadership of the Congregation During Worship

  • Planned speaking moment
  • Vocal cues during songs
  • The worship experience—are people engaged?
  • The overall band sound quality—is the band together?
  • Altar response time and flow

There you have it. This is a template I use for developing leaders.

How to Give Them Experience

What’s needed now is a process for them to try it. For me, that looks like this:

  1. I Lead, They Watch
  2. I Lead, They Help
  3. They Lead, I Help
  4. They Lead, I Watch

This system gives me the opportunity to coach them and help them grow. I’m not just throwing them out there. If you think about it, this is exactly how Jesus led His disciples.

Understand that some of these points could take months, depending on who you’re coaching. Don’t rush the discipleship process or place someone in leadership prematurely.

Enough from me. It’s time to hear from you (my favorite part, to be honest).

I’d love to know—what have you tried? If you have a system, what does it look like?  

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