I grew up in a denomination that focused heavily on spiritual gifts and signs. The problem was that there often wasn?t balance. I believe in the gifts and the power of Christ and in His healing, but often, what it lacked was deep, sound, Gospel teaching. It missed out on theology that left you chewing on something. It tended to lean more heavily on certain things and probably not enough on the other doctrines of the Christian faith. So what I found when I grew older was that part of me was anemic in certain areas. I found myself craving good theological teaching as I got into my late 20?s and early 30?s.
Now that I am in full-time ministry, I find myself dealing with the same idea?trying to maintain balance. The practical versus the philosophy. The how-to versus the why. The vision versus the systems.
Myself, I?m the practical guy. I love systems. I?m not a gear guy, but I am a guy that loves a well-oiled machine, functioning at its highest capacity. I often find myself spending way too much time focusing on systems rather than philosophy and vision. Making sure our audition process is working well, checking out all the new features in Planning Center, reading the latest blogs and articles on how to run a successful music department and so on. And this is all fine until I start to notice the oil leak in that machine.
Maybe someone on the team is going through a terrible health issue and needs time away. Or maybe someone is dealing with a sin issue they?ve been hiding to protect themselves, but I know they need some time away for the Lord to heal them and grow them.
From the perspective of practicality and systems, this is bad for business. It slows things down. It gets in the way of what I?m trying to accomplish every week. And in many of these cases, these are my best volunteers. I need them! Then maybe I start to sacrifice heart things and philosophy things for the practicalities and systems in order to maintain the clean, shiny machine that I like so much. From the outside looking in, things may look okay (for a season), but I see the unbalance.
For me, I start viewing those I serve alongside as cogs in a wheel rather than people on mission for Christ serving His church. Gratefully, this is where the Spirit convicts me and points to areas of my heart that are in need of repair and examination.
Without the balance of philosophy and vision, coupled with systems and practicalities, we lose balance. Our teams often then become stale and uninspired. Serving becomes obligation, rather than heart for what the Lord is doing within our church. This is not fruitfulness. And this is where your role as a pastor comes in. It?s important that a worship leader also has a heart for pastoring. It?s the best model we?re shown in scripture: Maintaining balance and understanding that leading a creative arts or music ministry isn?t just about the practical things. It?s about caring for those the Lord has given you to shepherd. It?s being in community with people, being open and vulnerable with people. It?s getting your hands dirty, listening well, and counseling with biblical truth. I can?t stress enough how important this is. To learn more about this, read Bob Kauflin?s book, Worship Matters.[quote]Without the balance of philosophy and vision, coupled with systems and practicalities, we lose balance.[/quote]
The best part of any team is its diversity. Different giftings and passions. I doubt that you have a team full of people only focused on systems, especially if they?re mostly creative. Creatives and artists who also love systems and organization are like unicorns. It?s very rare. (I?m not a unicorn.)
One of the healthiest things anyone can do is recognize their weaknesses and then dig into a team in order to help strengthen those weaknesses. For me, it?s relying on those on my team that love community, get-togethers, parties, and socials and understand how to connect with people on a heart level rather than only a systems level. I can?t express how helpful this has been for me. We have another worship pastor at our church and we couldn?t be more different. But also, we couldn?t be better friends. He?s the philosophy guy, he?s insanely creative, and to top it all off, a theology buff. I?m often envious of the gift he has for pastoring and caring for people so deeply. But we balance each other. We understand that we both bring very different, but necessary things to the table.[quote]One of the healthiest things anyone can do is recognize their weaknesses and then dig into a team in order to help strengthen those weaknesses.[/quote]
Having people like this in your life is invaluable. It?s a gift from the Lord and something you can ask the Lord to bring into your life if you don?t have it. But also, you need to ask the Lord to strengthen areas of weakness in your life and heart. In this latest season of my life, the Lord has started to grow me in the area of pastoring and caring for people. I never asked for it, often publicly declared I would never ?wear? that hat. But over time, the Lord started to reveal it and uncover it in my heart. Although still not an overly strong area for me, He?s growing me in it. And I think it?s because I asked Him to reveal my weaknesses and strengthen me in areas that need the most improvement.
If this resonates with you, ask the Lord to reveal those weaknesses in your life. Take stock of where your team is. Ask your team where they see the biggest areas of concern. Are you too focused on systems? Maybe you?re too focused on vision and philosophy and your team is a disorganized mess. Maybe some team members feel as though you treat them more as employees rather than part of a team.[quote]Take stock of where your team is. Ask your team where they see the biggest areas of concern.[/quote]
Leading songs is not the only part of your job. Another part of your job is to consistently take stock from 30,000? and to make sure there is healthy balance. You can?t be all things to all people, but that?s the beauty of a team. Entrust team members to lead different areas where you?re weak. Let them be creative with it. And above all, recognize that it?s Christ in you. This is not and cannot be done by your own strength. You must always rely on Christ and stand on His promises.