I’ve never had to search for a worship leader. Because I am a worship leader. :)
But, hypothetically, if I was looking for a worship leader, how would I phrase a job description for him or her?
There are a lot of bad/vague/overly ambitious job descriptions out there. I’ve seen some that are as vague as “lead music at our church”. And that’s it. I’ve seen others that are so detailed, down to how the worship leader should spend every day of his/her week, that all creativity seems to have been intentionally choked out.
If I were to write a simple, meat-and-potatoes job description for a worship leader, with the basic bare-bones responsibilities, here’s how I would phrase it:
The worship leader (or whatever title you want to insert here) will work closely with our pastor in cultivating worship services and worship teams that help lead our congregation to see and savor the greatness of God in Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit. Fostering dynamic congregational worship, singing the best of the old and the best of the new, is a key priority for our church and we are seeking an individual who’s called and gifted by God in the following areas:
1. Planning our weekly Sunday 10:00am worship service. Choosing congregational hymns and songs that engage the congregation and support the reading and preaching of God’s Word.
2. Modeling and leading heartfelt worship in an invitational style – that draws people in, encourages participation, and points people to Jesus.
3. Recruiting, auditioning, teaching, and training musicians in the church to serve the congregation as a team with musical skill and humility.
4. Leading weekly rehearsals that serve a dual purpose: (A) preparation for Sunday and (B) cultivation of Christ-centered community.
5. Building on our traditions and having a vision for where God might be calling our congregation and our musicians to grow in new expressions of worship.
6. Serving as a member of the ministry team at (insert church name here), demonstrating a commitment to this congregation and its mission.
This individual is expected to: (A) be gifted in leading congregational worship (B) possess leadership and organizational skills, and (C) be a team player.
At this point, if this is a part-time position, the description should stop.
But if it’s full time, then 3 or 4 more bullet points could be added. For example, the worship leader could be expected to:
– Oversee the AV/Production team and volunteers.
– Lead additional services (mid-week, evening, etc.)
– Oversee other groups within your church (acolytes, readers, ushers, choirs, etc.)
– Do something in that individual’s particular area of strength, like media, communications, video, training, preaching, youth, etc.
– Move beyond a mainly musical role with the team to a more pastoral role with the team, cultivating a worship community of singers and instrumentalists within your church.
– Oversee staff
– You get the idea
Over four years ago I posted a very similar article, which went into more specifics than this, and even gave my ballpark attempts at what a worship leader should be paid, according to a slew of different variables. It’s been one of the most-viewed articles in this blog’s history, which makes me think that a lot of churches and pastors are wondering how to break down appropriate expectations for a worship leader’s responsibilities.
What I offer above is my best attempt at articulating the essentials, while leaving room to add in specifics that will help the person meet the needs for a particular church with its own particular needs.