Friday, August 05, 2011

I Am A Worship Pastor

The following is an article from Rob Rash on a topic I have thought a lot about the past few years. I have come to the conclusion that I'm a Worship Pastor as a passion of mine is investing in the lives of volunteers I serve with and the people we impact through leading worship. Take a look at what Rob has to say on the subject:

Worship Pastor vs. Worship Leader vs. Song Leader

Do playing a guitar and singing worship songs make you a worship pastor? Should the title of worship pastor actually refer to anyone with musical ability or who can lead songs? I’ve wrestled with these questions from time to time and I thought it would be good to start this conversation. I consider myself a worship pastor. Not because it’s a part of my title. Not because I’ve been ordained into the ministry. And not because I lead worship in the local church. I’m a worship pastor because I shepherd (or lead if you prefer) a group of people on a daily basis. I spend time with them, I cast vision to them, and I challenge them to live authentic, faith-filled lives.

I’ve heard of a handful of churches that have been re-defining the names of various staff members. They are actually taking away the title of ‘pastor’ and ‘minister’ and using more professional terms like ‘director’ and ‘leader’. This doesn’t really bother me. First of all, it’s just a title… right? How can someone call themselves a ‘pastor’ if in fact they are not pastoring anyone? Have we coined the phrase ‘worship pastor’ to only refer to the song leader? And secondly, to have a title of ‘pastor’ requires that you actually pastor people.

Leading Songs Does Not Equal Pastoring

Here’s how defines it:
pas·tor - [pas-ter, pah-ster]
a person having spiritual care of a number of persons.
Are you taking on the responsibility of the spiritual care of other people? The word ‘pastor’ is actually derived from the word ‘shepherd.’ And we ultimately draw this from the scriptures and numerous expressions and parallels that go along with being a shepherd. Jesus was referred to as a shepherd. In fact, he was the shepherd.

In light of this, it begs the question… which one are you?

There are basically three types of worship leaders: The Song Leader, The Worship Leader, & The Worship Pastor. All three are necessary but have varying levels of responsibility. And we should consider them.

Let’s break these down just a bit…

The Song Leader - The song leader does just what the title implies, leads the church in songs. There is no real leadership or vision. There is no shepherding going on, it’s the simplest form of leading worship as there can be. The song leader sings worship songs.

The Worship Leader - Once again, going off the title, the worship leader knows how to lead the church in worship. This is a step above a song leader and they know how to speak, cast vision, and lead the church beyond just singing songs.

The Worship Pastor - The worship pastor goes beyond just singing songs, casting vision, and speaking into people’s lives from the stage. The worship pastor is shepherding the church. Moving past the stage and Sunday mornings, the worship pastor gets involved in people’s lives and has a sense of responsibility mixed with a calling to move people in their faith.

There is a major difference in all three, as each one assumes a slightly different role. I believe it’s important for those of us that are leading the church, whether in worship, preaching, teaching, or in leadership, to have a real clear understanding of our calling. We need to be doing everything we can to fulfill the calling God has placed on our lives.

If you are a worship pastor, are you shepherding your church? Or are you just leading the songs? Maybe your the song leader but have a deeper desire to pastor? Being a worship pastor is more than being a song leader or a worship leader. It’s a calling to more than just music. It’s a calling into the lives of our people.

So which one are you? Are you doing everything you can in being faithful to your position?

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