Paint this picture in your mind: You get home after a long day at work. You are exhausted and all you want to do is eat dinner and go to bed. Only problem is, come to find out, there is nothing at home to eat. You instantly reach for the crackers, but you are still hungry so you make a bowl of cereal. 30 minutes later you are still hungry (and feel a little strange) so you pull out some chips and salsa and top it of with an expired granola bar. That's when it hits you: You are not satisfied, and now feel a little sick. On top of this, now you are a little too full to enjoy a solid dinner. I've been there. Chances are, so have you. I was reminded of this yet again this afternoon as my kids ate some crackers for a snack (because they were losing it) and then of course they would not each any lunch.
Today, campus pastor Matt Blackwell used this analogy to show how important it is for teaching pastors and worship leaders to be on the same page. They should both believe in the same things from the Bible and agree on how to teach and sing what we know to be true in scripture. When Matt Blackwell brought up this illustration, I laughed inside and then it hit me how true this really is.
When leaders stereotype each other and operate in their own silos, the result is a snack instead of a full course meal. When leaders embrace what it means to collaborate as the body of Christ is designed to do (1 Corinthians 12:12-31), the result is a rich and savory experience that reflects who Jesus is and what He has done! Here are five additional points Matt taught on this morning that teaching pastors and worship leaders should be aware of.
Be Interested and Open
As a worship leader it is all too easy to keep your head down and just do what you do best. Worship leaders must engage their congregation, they must ask questions about the sermon and invite the teaching pastor into the process of making preparing songs for Sunday. It is of value to remember that people will support what they have a hand in creating! Pastors and worship leaders have the same goal - to make disciples!
Be On The Same Page Theologically and Liturgically
Worship is not just the songs we sing on Sunday - it is the collective effort of the teaching pastor and worship leader to engage God's church with a narrative that creatively and accurately reflects the gospel story.
Be Willing To Trust One Another 1st and Challenge each other 2nd.
It is infinitely valuable that the worship leader and lead pastor build a relationship of trust. Trust creates a platform to give and receive valuable feedback.
Be Willing TO Receive and Pursue Feedback
All of us know we should be growing in some aspect no matter what we do! Both Pastor and worship leader alike should desire feedback that will help shape them as leaders. The people that can give you honest feedback for your good are often your closest friends.
Serve With Excellence
Serving with excellence is an integral part of the calling to vocational ministry that is often overlooked. Excellence for God's glory is not perfection (that would be humanly impossible). Excellence is loving God with our heart soul and mind. Excellence is serving the bride of Christ with everything we are (Dueteronomy 6:5, Exodus 36). Spend enough time preparing during the week so that on Sunday you have the capacity to engage with those in your congregation!
The best worship leaders and pastors are the ones who have relationship with their congregation. These leaders make disciples with a meal in front of them (building relationships with people) and a mic in front of them! The people that engage on Sunday are usually the people that know their leaders most!
I am continually blessed by the opportunity to learn from the teaching pastors and worship leaders at The Austin Stone! I am thankful for their example of humility and excellence. My hope and desire is that this season of development produces wisdom and knowledge that points to the cross.