Pastoral Oversight of Worship, Relating to the Worship Leader

Good communication beteween Pastor and Worship Leader is Key to Calling Down the Presence

Praising Woman in Orange Silhouette
Good communication between pastors and worship pastor/leaders is essential to the task of overseeing worship. An open and mutually submitted attitude will go a long way to facilitate unity. The simple question, “what is the Spirit emphasizing, or what is He saying to you right now”? is a great way to facilitate ownership of a pastoral vision for worship for the next gathering or for the particular season of the church's growth and life. It is a way of honoring the Holy Spirit resident within one's worship leader. The worship pastor/leader needs to also be submitted to the prayerful vision of the shepherd of the flock. The two ought to meet weekly for prayer and mentoring.

When planning worship, pastor leaders should examine carefully the theological content of songs so they reflect a Biblical understanding of who God has revealed Himself to be. Just because a song flows well musically does not mean it reflects accurately the person and nature of God. There was a time when songs were written by pastor/theologians such as Martin Luther or Charles Wesley. Currently, songs mostly are being written by skillful musicians who may need some mentoring so their songs accurately reflect Biblical revelation. Songs should not be chosen simply for musical flow without regard for content. It is important to choose choruses on the basis of both considerations.

Dr. Jack Hayford shared some time ago at one of his annual pastor's conferences, that an inadequate understanding of a theology of worship runs the risk of being far too narrow in reflecting the fullness of God's person and character. For example, one could approach worship primarily as comfort and healing for battered and wounded souls--a therapeutic emphasis in worship, and completely neglect the exaltation, majesty and glory of declarative worship. One could emphasize celebration to the neglect of intimacy, or spiritual warfare and intercession, neglecting simple adoration. Therefore, a limited understanding of the breadth of Biblical worship which has been exhibited in the Psalms and New Testament, would lead to a narrow, limited expression of worship. That is not to say all of the above can be emphasized in one worship service, but there should be a balance of these various expressions so God can be worshipped in all His fullness.

Written by: Larry Kennedy