How concerned are you with what people call you?
Worship Leader. Worship Pastor. Worship Director. Music Coordinator. Worship and Music Director. Director of Worship and Music and Arts. Lead Worshipper. Assistant Worship Director. Associate Director of Worship and Music. Executive Director of Worship and Associate Director of Music and Assistant Director of Arts.
The list could go on.
I used to be really concerned with my title. It mattered to me – a lot – what it said on the bottom of my email signature. I felt more important when I was promoted from a part time worship leader to a “coordinator of contemporary music”. Then a couple years later I felt slighted when the title “associate” was given to someone else who I didn’t think deserved it.
What a stupid thing to be concerned about.
One day I was brushing my teeth and God spoke these words to me (by the way, God often speaks to me when I’m brushing my teeth. Don’t ask me why): “Would you be just as faithful in your ministry if your title was ‘custodian’?” I was convicted. I had to honestly answer him, no. But I wanted to be. I wanted to be just as passionate about my job regardless of whether or not my title is grandiose. Then God spoke these words of assurance to me: “Jamie, my name for you never changes”.
Wow. Here I was, a just-out-of-college part-time worship leader, and the sovereign God of all creation is calling me out on my petty and prideful obsession over what title goes on my business card.
If the Apostle Paul had an email signature, his title might read “Paul. Chief of Sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15). Or maybe “Paul. Servant of Christ.” (Romans 1:1). His identity was completely wrapped up in his position in Christ. Sadly, too often our identity as worship leaders is more wrapped up in our position on a staff chart.
To help keep me from getting too carried away about my title, I’ve purposely started referring to myself as “one of the music guys”. Sometimes I’ll say “I lead some of the music at my church”. I don’t have my title on my email signature. I don’t have business cards. I try to do everything I can not to get wrapped up in whatever title is given to me by the church.
Sure, titles matter. They signify what role your church has designated and authorized you to fill. They back you up. They help on a resume’. They tell people what you do and what you don’t do.
But they just don’t matter that much. First, they certainly don’t matter to God. Secondly, they don’t matter to your congregation. I bet 99% of the people in your congregation don’t know and don’t care what your title is. Third, they don’t matter to you. God calls and equips you, then he sovereignty places you in the exact place he wants to you serve for his glory. That’s what matters.
Don’t concern yourself with what people call you. Concern yourself with who has called you. The High King of Heaven has called you. Serve him, work for his glory, and let your titles come and go as they may.