Being a church planter brings about many challenges but one of the great things about being on the front end of a ministry is the opportunity to set pace, tone, environment and values.
Our values as worship leaders are the nonnegotiable, uncompromising directives that shape the ministry we’ve been entrusted with. Locking these things down on the starting line is essential as they will frame a philosophy of ministry while providing clarity and focus for the days ahead. They’re also the visionary blueprint for future goals and help realign us when we get off track.
Here’s five worship ministry values I’m committed to. It just so happens (when arranged accordingly) they make up the first five letters in the alphabet:
Autonomously Driven. We’re trying to be us. Not Hillsong, not Vertical Worship, not Paul Baloche, but us. Identity is key to any ministry and if you are always trying to be something you aren’t then you’ll fail at being who God’s called you to be. We want to add value to those God has entrusted to us, their gifts, their calling, their style (and here’s the kicker), even when it’s different from our personal preferences. When we celebrate and affirm our collective identity we embrace the unique personality God gives to each church.
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” – 1 Peter 5:2-3
Biblically Based. We worship by the book and our corporate worship times are driven by Scripture. We are committed to this because we understand that there is no note or anecdote that changes lives. The power rests in the Holy Spirit and the primary instrument he most often uses is His Word. We want the Word to dwell richly in our services and our expressions of worship to be informed by the way God has instructed.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16
Christ Directed. Our worship is vertical. That’s the end goal of every service: eyes off us and eyes on Christ. Every action from the platform we serve from ought to be an arrow pointing to Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. As worship leaders, we strive to be mirrors that reflect the greatness and glory of the Almighty. Our sole purpose is to make much of Jesus while leading and facilitating a place for others to do the same.
“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might forever and ever!” – Revelation 5:13
Demonstratively Passionate. We don’t hold back. We burn white hot for the Saviour King. Using our entire being we seek to pour out our praise in a costly expression as our sacrifice of worship. Foregoing anything casual or reserved, our worship is our unashamed and extravagant efforts to lift high the name of Jesus.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37
Exceedingly Excellent. We give our best for Christ. We do this not just because of who He is, but because our worship is our witness. We strive to be excellent in every area of our lives including our personal holiness, musicianship, social and leadership skills knowing that God is honoured and the people we serve are blessed in the fine details that are honed and practiced behind the scenes.
“Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” – Psalm 33:3
What are your worship ministry values? Do we share any common ones? Have you given any thought to your values? If not, why not?