Staying Grounded As A Worship Leader

Featuring PraiseCharts Posted on March 17, 2009

It seems evident that worship leaders (as well as staff members) are inundated with multiple tasks inside and outside the church. Leaders constantly have to stay “on” as they are always investing into people, schedules and their families. When all is said and done, where is the staff member: spent, tired, burned out? Some worship leaders are at this stage, others may be nearly approaching. How do you stay grounded as a worship leader to prevent the abyss of burnout?

List your top 5 key points:

Derek Williams
Author, Composer and Producer
1. Serving
2. Legacy
3. People Over Ministry
4. Define what true success will be in your life
5. Ask yourself "why" before "how"

John Wasson
Composer and Producer
1. Passionate, regular, intense devotional life, including Spiritual Practices/Disciplines (and lots of prayer!)
2. Be constantly growing and learning--reading, listening to other leaders, sermons, practicing your craft, etc.
3. Honest, authentic feedback and accountability from close friends to keep you humble and realistic
4. stay in close community with those you lead (singers, band members, tech, etc.) and your pastor

John Chisum
Worship Leader and Author

1) Community - staying honest with brothers and sisters who love me and will tell me the truth.
2) Honesty in prayer to God - pouring my heart out about everything
3) Listening in prayer and listening to music, sermons, and podcasts from various sources
4) Humility - realizing that I am vulnerable to sin and falling like anyone else

Branon Dempsey
Worship Team Training, Author and Producer

1. Balance of Exercise, Rest and Diet.
2. Intentional Daily Time in the Word and Worship
3. Dedicated Time with Spouse and Family
Close Fellowship with Those You Consider as Traveling Companion
5. Connected to Your Mission Field of People In and Outside Your Ministry

Sandy Hoffman
Worship Leader and Author
1. Meditating on, and enjoying scriptures related to worship
2. Spending time in individual/devotional worship
3. Keeping short accounts with the Lord and others
    (Psalm 24:3-5, "maintaining clean hands and a pure heart")
4. Following the lead of other worship leaders
    (walking in humility as a follower)

Ryan Dahl
Worship Leader and PraiseCharts CEO
For me there are two ways that I know I am staying grounded as a worship leader.  One is to look at whether I am motivated to lead worship in contexts that are outside of the spotlight.  I recently found myself leading worship for a street ministry on a cold Saturday night.  Only three people showed up, because of the rest of the street folks were scrambling to find a warm place to sleep that night.  I can't say the experience wasn't a little frustrating, but it did cause me to reflect on my motivations as a worship leader.  One of the other guys that leads worship for this street ministry is Andy Park.  Last week, I discovered that he has been out there leading worship with only 1 or 2 showing up.  It is hit and miss, but his heart is in the right place, and knowing who he is in the "worship music industry" served as a check to my own attitude.  If he can do it for the least of these, certainly I can.

The other is to look at whether I am motivated to share the spotlight with other aspiring leaders.  I know that when I'm put in a position of leadership, there is nothing more satisfying to me than stepping aside and making room for someone else to lead while I support.  I'm encouraged by more and more churches who take a multi-leader approach, even on a Sunday morning.  There may be two or three song leaders in any given set on a Sunday morning.  I saw this modeled a few weeks ago at Hillsong church, as different people led different songs.  It was clearly evident that there was one main leader.  However, I could see that they were sharing the spotlight, allowing other aspiring leaders to take the microphone.  How else do you build up leadership.  The test is, does this motivate and inspire you as a leader.  Are you threatened by the thought of sharing the spotlight?

You can't escape the spotlight as a worship leader.  But the spotlight offers a great point of reference for how grounded we are.  Do we step up to the plate as a worship leader, whether the spotlight is on or off?  Do we share the spotlight, and encourage other aspiring leaders to develop their gifts - even if they are not as polished as we are?

Worship leaders, what's your response - how do you stay grounded?

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