Worship Leaders: Do You Care?

Do you care?

Think about that question for a moment. Do you care? Seems rather open-ended to me. It certainly needs some expounding. Let’s narrow it down a little and start from there. Do you care… about music?

Do you care about music enough to know it? To really know it? Do you know it?

Do you really know music or is it that you know a lot of music? Or is it that you play/sing a lot of music? And by “play”… Do you touch an app on your phone or do you sing/play an instrument? When you sing or play an instrument, do you know all of the parts or do you just know your own part? Or are you strictly reading what is on the page with no context whatsoever? Do you understand how your part interacts with everyone else’s?

Do you care?

Do you know how music is put together? Can you identify the different sections? Can you look at a piece of music or a chord chart and know instantly if it’s the wrong arrangement or in the wrong key? Do you know where the music builds and where it eases? Do you know how the music builds and eases? Are you building by getting louder, adding more instruments/voices, playing more notes every measure, harmonizing, or moving higher/lower in your range? Do you know your instrument well enough to build/release on your own? Or are you relying solely on the drummer/accompanist to do it for you? Or does everyone sing/play everything from the top of the song doing the same thing throughout, thus giving the music no shape whatsoever?

Do you care?

Can you take a hymn and change it from its original form into a blues? Or Latin Salsa? Or contemporary style? Can you reharmonize it with new chords? Can you reharmonize the vocals to match it? Can you revoice vocals or horn parts when you change keys? Do you write horn parts or just leave them to their own devices? Can you change the language and display it in a way everyone else is able to follow along?

Do you care?


Seriously. Do you care?

How well do you know the people on your team? Do you actually know them or are they just hired guns to get through the weekend? Do you know their day jobs? Their families? Their strengths/weaknesses? Other instruments they play? Other bands/ensembles they are in? Other genres they play? Other musical gifts they have? Other nonmusical gifts they have?

Do you even care? Do you care about their schedules? Do you care about their preparation time?

Do you appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of the instrumentals/vocals making music with you? Or are they just peons there to do their part and otherwise stay out of the way of your greatness? Do you respect them as collaborators in the music you do together or are they just there as “support”? Are you training others to step in your place? Is it about the integrity of the music or the worship or is it about you being seen?

Do you care?

And what about anything beyond the immediate weekend? Are you looking to the future? Are you looking at the liturgical calendar? Do cultural holidays factor into your plans? Are you shoring up weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your team? Are you reaching out to people who can bring additional elements? Are you recruiting and following up with people? Are you finding and developing ways to engage people in the seats? Are you actively seeking ways to differentiate what you do from all the other people doing the exact same thing?

Do you care?

Are you taking risks? Or are you keeping up with the Joneses? Are you taking hits so your team doesn’t have to? Are you ensuring your team has everything they need? Will you stand up for the integrity of what you’re building? Are you willing to suffer through the learning/building curve? Are you willing to analyze the situation or do you just shift directions when the slightest breeze pushes things awry? Is it about the team or the music or is it about you?

Do you care?

Do you actually care? Do you care enough to do the work and take the lumps? Do you care enough to stand by your work? Do you care enough to respect the people who make your work happen? Do you care enough not to burn others out or use them into the ground? Do you care about creative, technical, and spiritual growth – theirs and yours? Are you willing to invest? Do you care enough to prioritize integrity, authenticity, and transparency? Do you care enough to own your decisions? To own your mistakes? Do you care enough to hold yourself and others accountable for their actions?

Do you care? Do you actually care? Or is it just about your image? Or your status?

Are you willing to get in the trenches? Have you sat down with the broken and let them cry onto your shoulder? Have you kept one of your people company while their loved one is dying in the hospice? Have you quietly slipped $50 to someone on your worship team so she could buy groceries? Have you picked up a choir member on the way to practice so he wouldn’t have to spend two hours on the bus? Have you driven a total stranger in withdrawal to the Emergency Room, prayed with them, and begged them to see this through?

Or is all of that beneath you? Do you care? Do you even think any of that is important? Does your pastor?

Peace out,


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