10 Things I’d Want from the Pastor if I Were a Worship Leader

This post may seem odd, as I’m not a worship leader (a term I’m using to refer to the person leading worship through music). I like to sing, but only when there are at least dozens of people around me singing with me. I can’t read music, except to make my voice go up and down when the notes move on the page.

I’ve worked enough with worship leaders, though, that I think I know what I’d want from the pastor if I were the worship leader. So, pastor, here are my thoughts:

  1. I’d want to know your sermon topic long before the Saturday night preceding the worship service. It’s tough to connect the music worship with the sermon when you don’t know until hours before what the sermon topic is.
  2. I’d want to have weekly, honest conversations about the worship service. I believe in evaluation, and I’d want the input of all the pastors. Ideally, we could do that in a context that evaluates everything in the worship service (including the preaching, the offering, the announcements, etc.).
  3. I’d want you to talk to me about any concerns you have before talking with others. If I’m not doing the job you want me to do, tell me and help me to improve. I should not have to hear your concerns through the grapevine.
  4. I’d appreciate your public affirmation once in a while. I don’t need that affirmation, but it makes my job easier if the congregation hears that you appreciate my work. Your words carry a lot of weight.
  5. I’d want you to have my back if the congregation complains. You may even agree with the congregation on some matters, but I’d still prefer that you watch my back – and then talk to me privately about the concerns. I will commit to do the same for you.
  6. I’d want to know your expectations of me on the platform. Do you expect the worship leader to read scripture? To pray? To talk between songs? To never talk? I can’t read your mind, and I don’t want to inadvertently do anything that displeases you.
  7. I’d want you to know the names of my wife and children. If I’m working with you week after week, it would mean a lot to me if you took the time to know my family.
  8. I’d appreciate your going to bat for me with the budget committee. I’m not asking for anything I haven’t earned, but I am asking that you support my getting what I hope I have earned. If you can help me get ministry and personal development funds, too, that would be great.
  9. I’d want you to stop by my office occasionally just to shepherd me and pray with me. You’re my pastor, too, and I’m also a church member. It would make my day for you to check on me.
  10. I’d want you to help me improve. Whether or not I serve with you the rest of my ministry, I hope you want me to improve and prepare for the future. Help me grow, even if that means hard conversations at times. 

Pastors and worship leaders, let me know your thoughts.


  • Derrick says:

    Great Thoughts here Chuck! I think one of the greatest weaknesses of pastors is taking the time to shepherd and disciple their staff. It is easy just to assume that the staff is doing well simply because they are staff.

  • Kenny says:

    I thing I want from my pastoral ministry blog posts is accuracy in their titles… The title clearly advertises 9 things but upon further inspection there are actually ten. Fake News

  • Jim Watson says:

    I wonder if we should force the music to match the message. It seems to me that God may have a larger message (or more messages) for the congregation that the sermon alone. It does not seem that we try to make any other parts of the worship service necessarily match. And, aside from the delivery system, I wonder if we are actually saying that one or the other is unnecessary and redundant.

    Just wondering….

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