A message for worship leaders, and all church / spiritual leaders, during COVID:
This is an opportunity for a change in mindset... to let what we do be determined by who we are.
Don’t start with slots; start with “who are we?” If “who we are” is one singer and a bass player, then that’s not something to settle for — it’s absolutely perfect, and anything else would be a sacrifice.
Your job as a worship leader is not to manufacture an end result; it is to cultivate “who we are.” The pressure to fill slots doesn’t need to be on your shoulders.
This shift doesn’t just help you and your musicians (although it will completely change the atmosphere of a worship ministry)... it goes much deeper than that. It changes the entire culture of your church community:
When you carry the pressure to fill slots, you are carrying the pressure to look a certain way. You’re starting with the end in mind. This not only creates an atmosphere of pressure and guilt for the musicians, but it teaches the entire community to treat themselves the same way.
When a community member sees you lead from the stage in a way that lets you be only where you are — only who you are — they begin to give the same freedom to themselves.
You have the power, and responsibility, to lead your community in the fight against self-abuse. The same self-abuse which plagues our culture — which causes us to worry constantly about how we look... to never be able to just be. And just being is a better definition of “worship” than “filling slots.”
How you treat this season of Covid and all the difficulty it brings to leading a church community — how you treat your Self during this time — is “worship leading.” The songs, the band make-up, the video and sound quality.... that’s all an extremely far second.
How do you treat yourself when you want to have a drummer, but you don’t have a drummer? Do you force yourself to fit that predefined picture? Or do you appreciate yourself as you are, where you are? Whatever you do for yourself here is exactly where you will lead your church community when you step on stage (or go live). This is what worship leading is. And right now is SUCH a great opportunity to begin to lead our community is “just being.”