How Worship Leaders Can Leave a Legacy

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

The dictionary defines the word legacy: “anything handed down from the past.” 

I think if you ask most people if they want to leave a great legacy, they will probably say a resounding “yes.” When it’s all said and done, most everyone wants to be remembered in a great and positive light. We want people to say nice things about us at our funeral. After we die, and our name comes up in conversations, we want people to describe us in a beautiful and positive way. We want to leave a great LEGACY.

As I started to write this, I decided to Google the word “Legacy” to see what would come up. The first image that came up was a Subaru Legacy. I found this to be very symbolic, because when we look at our current society, it’s all about that kind of STUFF.

When we make our legacy about stuff, it’s a legacy that eventually fades. When we make our legacy about people, it’s a legacy that lasts, or what I like to call, a LIVING LEGACY.

In a big-picture sense, the ultimate way to establish a living legacy is what Jesus did: DISCIPLESHIP.

In a leadership sense, MENTORSHIP is vital to establishing a living legacy.

When you look at the Old Testament, Asaph is an excellent example of someone who left a living legacy as a worship leader. He was a Levite and was appointed by David to be the chief musician and lead in giving God praise (I Chronicles 16:7). Later on, you see David using the “sons of Asaph,” who were either family members of Asaph or those mentored by him. Asaph’s descendants continued to be used by Solomon, King Jehoshaphat and King Josiah. Even hundreds of years later, after the people came out of Babylonian captivity, the “sons of Asaph” led worship when they started to rebuild the temple. It’s a legacy of worship leaders that just kept on living, because Asaph intentionally mentored and realized that what he was doing was bigger than himself.

For worship leaders, I think there are some practical steps we need to put into place in order to see this happen. I believe and have seen that when we focus on the concept of mentoring, we have the potential to leave a legacy that lives on and on.

DROP YOUR EGO—Being on a stage every week is an interesting responsibility. Everyone knows you, but you probably do not know everyone in your church, especially if it’s a large one. People admire you and look to you for leadership, and if you gain their respect, they follow you. It’s fantastic, but it’s also dangerous if your heart does not stay in check. If you’re not careful, the stage can feed your pride and ego instead of being an opportunity for you to feed the flock. That is why it is so important to mentor and empower someone. It forces you to drop your ego and say “NO” to the lie that all of your value is found in what you do on the stage. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” When leaders fail to drop their own ego, their ego tends to drop them. Depending on how high your arrogance is, the ride down could be a pretty painful one. Mentorship is nearly impossible when the teacher is consumed by ego because self-centeredness impedes the ability to care about anyone else’s success except their own.

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Gary Durbin
Gary is the Worship Arts Director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, Ohio. He is also a blogger and a songwriter with a passion to serve the church. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children and have been married since 1999. You can follow him on Twitter & Instagram @garydurbin or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garydurbin.