Pastor – Worship Pastor Trust

This week’s question for response was:  What do you appreciate about your senior pastor?

The following responses are representative of the responses received from those of you who responded.  There are some prevalent themes in these replies.  I want to underscore those that are primary in the paragraphs that follow the bulleted list.


·         My senior pastor is an extremely supportive and Godly man.  His

relationship with the youth pastor and myself is truly unique.  He not

only regards us as colleagues, but friends as well.  I am so thankful to

have a good relationship with the other pastors and staff!

·         He is a man of God who preaches the Bible.  I appreciate his devotion to scripture and to his calling as pastor.  Our pastor can show kindness and compassion.  I am always happy when he invites me to join him on a hospital call or other ministry visit.  In those minutes of shared ministry I see a different side of him and he shares more of his heart with me as a minister and friend.  Those things are very important to our relationship and confidence in one another.

·         My pastor is not afraid to try something new.  He sometimes looks to me to come up with a new idea or theme to add creativity to our services.  When I do he is affirming of that.

·         My pastor is my friend and confidant.  I trust him as a pastor who has personal integrity and cares about his people including my family and me.  I know from talking to other music leaders that this is often not the case in other situations and I know I am blessed in this relationship.

·         I appreciate the confidence my pastor shows in me publicly and privately.

Next to the Lord and my family I am grateful for our relationship most of

all my friends.  He is not afraid to tell me if he does not like something, but appreciates the corrections I make and is not afraid for me to let him know if I see something he is doing that may not be quite right.  He says he appreciates it when I do.  We trust each other.

These responses reflect the many others that contained similar expressions just in different words or addressed to more specific circumstances.  Perhaps the major theme is captured in that very last short sentence when the worship leader stated of his relationship with his senior pastor, “we trust each other.”  As simple and straightforward as it might sound I believe trust is central to any good relationship, especially one in which we are handling holy things.  That is certainly the case where pastor and worship leader are involved as it pertains to planning and leading the public worship of the church in which they serve.  Though planning from different perspectives, using different tools, the unwavering attention to allow for God-centered, Gospel-driven, Spirit-welcoming worship is central to the shared work of preparation for corporate worship.

Three words that I see over and again when reviewing articles and definitions of trust are: competence, benevolence, and honesty.  Those are three powerful words associated with the meaning of trust.  In the case of pastor and worship leader they are certainly applicable.  It also occurs to me that faith is involved in allowing such a trust relationship to develop.  Think with me about each of these in the pastor – worship leader relationship.

·         Competence – I remember in psychology classes studying competency as something that is developed in stages, such as when learning a new skill.  In the pastor – worship leader relationship, trust includes a degree of faith that each is competent at their ministry.  The trust factor is elevated when either expresses faith in that competency.  Faith in competency can be expressed in relation to the stage of development attained.  For example, a pastor who is older or has more experience at ministry might declare to a younger worship leader, “John, you are becoming a fine worship leader.”  A worship leader whose pastor is learning to sing some of the newer songs might say, “Pastor, I notice you are singing our new songs with confidence.”  Over time faith in competency grows to more mature expressions.  For instance, when a worship leader brings a new song text to the pastor to inquire as to its theological accuracy or compatibility to the congregation in context, the worship leader is expressing faith in the pastor’s competency in theological understanding.  If the pastor invites the worship pastor to find or compose music to fit a deep or difficult theological truth to help the congregation comprehend its meaning, he is expressing faith in the worship leader’s competency as a musician and minister.  When either pastor or music minister “runs an idea or thought” by the other, it is an indication of faith in the other’s competency.  Repeating this practice with some frequency builds the trust factor between the pastor and worship leader.

·         Benevolence – trusting human relationships do not exist without a modicum of benevolence.  Since we know that no one is perfect – we are a fallen people in a fallen world – we can know that mistakes will be made.  As trust strengthens in a relationship, unintended mistakes are met with a spirit of benevolence.  Trust grows as the discoverer of the mistake demonstrates their faith that the one making the mistake did not mean harm or deceit in their actions or attitude.  When a charitable attitude is the first intuitive response toward another, the trust relationship is strengthened.  A pastor and worship minister can engage in “safe” communication when a benevolent spirit prevails.  While each one recognizes they have a certain power in relation to the other – pastor holds the place of seniority in the staff and worship minister has numerous people under his influence, often primary leaders in the church – they trust that the power will be used for one another’s good.  What’s more, they have faith whatever power they are given and the trust upon which their relationship is built will be used for the glory of God in His church.

·         Honesty – an assumption of honesty is crucial to a relationship built on trust. Honesty is an aspect of moral character.  It implies integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness.  The Oxford Dictionary says it is absent of “lying, cheating, or theft.”  Blessed are the pastor and worship leader whose relationship is completely characterized by honesty with one another.  Furthermore, blessed is the church whose pastor and worship leader have such a trusting relationship.  What the worship leader or pastor say to one another is consistent with what each says when elsewhere.   Neither pastor nor worship leader will use their position to dismiss the other’s idea or thoughts behind the back of the other.  Neither worship leader nor pastor will take credit for himself when shared process has brought about a winning result, or point blame following a disappointing one.

Our opportunity as worship pastors in our relationships with senior pastors is to always be working toward a trusting relationship with our pastors.  Those for whom that journey is shared by mutual intention on the part of the senior pastor are richly blessed as are the churches they serve.  I know there is more to gratifying ministry than a trusting bond with your pastor, but it sure is a marvelous grace gift when it consistently characterizes that relationship, and it makes positive attitude easier on a daily basis.  I pray for all of you to serve in places where that kind of trusting connection exists.  Where it is not the case that your pastor shares such a desire, I pray you will have the spiritual courage to continue in faith to work toward trust from “your side of the equation,” and meanwhile to rest in the Lord’s calling upon your life.



Explore posts in the same categories: Church Music, Leading Worship, Music Ministry, Shared Ministry, Worship Leader Relationships, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors

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