This week’s post is inspired by more Vineyard worship leader conversations.
The following question was posted today:
“Wondering if you all see a trend in “up and coming” worship leaders the notion that they will end up being paid full-time in a worship leader position. I see some cases where younger musicians set this as a goal (and become frustrated when it doesn’t pan out) and wonder if this is a misguided agenda that has been set by YouTube and the culture of big production churches. Any opinions?”
Along with my comments, serious and otherwise, I did want to share a few thoughts about sticking with the calling, even if it doesn’t end up how you thought it would.
Don’t forget why you started
I’ve loved music my whole life, even for the period of time I didn’t play any instruments – I’ve always been a voracious consumer of new music. I’ve also been in love with worship music since age 11, when I first set foot in Vineyard Christian Fellowship St. Louis. This is what got me the road to leading worship years later, and it’s why, even if I never can make a living from it I will continue to do it. It’s in my blood.
Remember there’s more than one way to make a living in your calling
I have to give credit to Dan Miller (affiliate link) for helping me understand this. It’s taken me a while to figure out how to live this out in practice, but to be transparent, this site is part of that effort, and I’m looking for others methods too. Get really really good as a musician or a songwriter or learn how to share your wisdom and experience in a way that helps others.
Be thankful for what you have
This is a reminder for me as much as anyone. I have a church I love that also loves me back. I have the perfect place to test new songs and to learn how to lead others well. I also have a job that pays the bills right now, and if God wants me there for many years, I will still be thankful.
Keep being brave
This has been a pretty big year for me in terms of owning my role on the worship team. It really started with a trip to the Vineyard Worship Leader’s Retreat Northwest this past February. I honestly contemplated quitting the team. I think I had convinced myself that I wasn’t really going to see any of my dreams for better musicianship, songwriting, etc. fulfilled on that team and thought maybe I would be sticking around for the wrong reasons if I did. Then Andy Park, who was part of my small prayer break-out group gave a public word of knowledge about someone who was thinking of quitting worship leading. I had said something only to my wife that afternoon, so I was floored when I heard it. Even better, he told me he thought maybe the word was for me when he gave it. This past weekend was yet another step in that process, as our church just hosted a conference for worship leaders. We all got to spend some time with Mike O’Brien from the Vineyard in Marietta, Georgia, and I got to feel again where things could go and it’s been helping me dream even more since. I can only hope and dream for even more.
I’m sure there’s much more to say on the topic, but I suppose that’s a good start. I hope if you’re getting started in your worship leading journey, or you’re wondering whether to continue, you’ll take some of these words to heart and at least think and pray about them. Also, please feel free to add more that I missed!