I LOVE THIS. This is why I decided to go to Hillsong for two years for character development rather than just go on staff at some church somewhere. Wow, I can really identify with this, as I know we all can who read this.
This Pastor is looking for someone to join his team and he gives his side quite plainly on what he’s looking for. It’s so good to see the other side as young worship leaders about to go into the field.
That’s what we were called back in the day. Yes, I too got my spurs standing up before congregations with a firm grip on my Shure 58 and a voice that landed somewhere in the middle of Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga.For one year, we have been in search of that position at Colonial. My eyes have crossed reading through resumes… and I only get the top ones that have filtered through the team.It was never this complicated. It was a “given” that when you took a position of full time ministry, you knew that more than one hat would be required. So many today are looking for the “best gig.” I get that. My concern is the long-term effect of the absence of a developmental culture in the local church that would encourage music leaders to stay connected on a longer-term basis as they develop their craft and learn the value of mentoring.Money always complicates things, but that hasn’t always been the case. Churches haven’t always demanded technology like video, smart lighting and multi-campus broadcast. The size of church is almost irrelevant as all feel the pressure to keep up. What used to be done by one song leader now requires a number of skilled and at least part-time paid people. The need for skilled tech and production staff reduces the amount of money available to hire music leaders. Today, the mantra is whatever you use to hire them with is what you keep them with. If your model is to invest, shepherd and develop people, that’s how you keep them. If you take the position of whoever writes the biggest check wins, then you have to keep writing checks. But as soon as somebody can trump your dollars– game over. There is no way to keep up with the never-ending demands of money in an aggressive ministry. Leadership has to trump dollars.We hire very slow, and here’s why the process is arduous.
We are more interested in bringing a leader on the team versus an artist.
I love creatives in general. To some measure, part of my brain operates in that community. You simply can’t eclipse leadership. The perfect model, of course, is a leader with creative skills and gifts, but when push comes to shove it has to be leader first. Leaders will lure creatives and artists, but creatives and artists don’t attract leaders… they attract fans. A creative leader will attract and develop other creative leaders and other musicians. That’s the difference. Musicians and leaders have very different agendas. Neither are bad, but very different. Generally and broadly speaking, a musician is interested in writing an original tune or performing to a high level. Not bad at all. It’s good, but different.A leader focuses on seeking out and developing other leaders. There are creatives who are leaders and leaders who are creatives, but not many.Developing and mentoring leaders in the creative arts is not easy. Developing leaders takes time and laser focus. When it comes to developing leaders in the musician and arts community, it takes a very gifted individual with a ton of passion and commitment.
I am looking for more Drive than I am Dream.
I actually sat in a large church and heard the worship guy say these words from the stage… ”I love working here because my pastor lets me sit in my office and dream.” Needless to say, now that guy is his late forties and his dream has not come true.If you are going to do ministry in any size church that is aggressive, you are going to have to have drive to make it. I’m dissing the "dream" component, you’ve got to have a dream, but sitting around "dreaming and talking" won’t get you there. There is always a price to be paid. Dreams are great, in fact, a must, but without drive to fuel them they amount to little or nothing.
What do you need to tell me that you don’t want me to hear from someone else?
Character over talent. Nothing new but vitally important. If you’ve been in church life very long, we’ve all been tempted to put a talented person on the stage that has not demonstrated a consistently solid character. I believe that the leaders and musicians are responsible to maintain a high level personal integrity character that is worthy of being in the spotlight before the unchurched and new believers.I need someone on team that will represent Christ well in all environments; someone I trust. That comes down to character. I can tolerate lower levels of talent but I can’t accept minimal standards of character.There are no guarantees with any hire and maybe my OCD plays into some of this, but we are trying to stay with a healthy model in forming and keeping a team.
So, no matter what church I’m called too back home, they’re going to have some MyMixes… those things make any rehearsal a breeze without having to worry about having to have production support! What a win across the board for everyone!
City2Surf, a 14k race from the heart of Sydney to Bondi is taking place Sunday August 14th, and I’ll definitely be missing AM service at Hillsong to run it. I’m so excited! Training starts June 6th all the way up until Race Day. I might be using this blog to post my updates, so please bear with me!