I read an interesting post earlier this week by Tim Stevens about the way one church in Mississippi is organizing their weekend worship and music. Essentially they hire a different worship leader each weekend instead of paying one or two people to be the worship pastor (s). Here is how Tim explains their strategy:
A little over a year ago their church had an open position for a worship leader and couldn’t find the right person to fill the role. So they began to hire worship leaders to come in, a weekend at a time, to lead their band and congregation in worship. It worked so well that they decided to continue doing this–not as a stop-gap measure–but as their intentional strategy. At this time, they have no plans of ever hiring a worship leader. They will continue to outsource.
I’ll be quite honest, I think this church has missed the point of church.
Even if they only hire the same 4 or 5 people (like they say they do) it still makes the worship leader out to be a once a week position.
To me there are 3 key problems with this philosophy:
- Church isn’t just about Sunday. Placing this much focus on Sunday morning and hiring someone to help pull off Sunday every week is unhealthy. It subtly says to the congregation that Sunday morning is more important in their relationship to God than Friday night.
- Music isn’t worship. If you are hiring someone to be the worship leader on a Sunday morning you are hiring a qualified musician who is able to lead people. If you are hiring a worship pastor you are looking for something far beyond just music.
- It places a value on production instead of relationship. The person is hired for Sunday morning to be a home run, not to be with the people of the church throughout the week. It isn’t about shepherding the flock, it is about quality music. Last time I checked the Bible only speaks about leaders of music as also being leaders of a group of people on a day to day basis.