Dr. David W. Manner is the Director of Worship and Administration at the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. He blogs at http://kncsb.org/blogs/dmanner. You can follow him on Twitter: @dwmanner. Thank you for sharing this with us, Dr. Manner.
Most worship pastors crave the leadership investment from and healthy ministry communication with their senior pastor but don’t often realize the freedom or job security to initiate that relationship. Consequently, a trial and error process of determining ministry direction often discourages the worship pastor and causes frustration for the senior pastor.
Implementing a culture of healthy communication requires a level of sacrifice and trust that cannot be guarded, territorial, defensive, or competitive. It publicly and privately acknowledges the calling and competence of others and is not afraid of transparent dialogue. It also embraces and shares unified goals. But healthy ministry communication will probably never occur unless and until the senior pastor initiates it.
What Your Worship Pastor Needs From You
- A collaborative spirit that supports worship and preaching as complementary, not competitive.
- For you to accept the role as primary worship leader in order to encourage the deeper biblical and theological credibility of worship beyond just music.
- An open line of communication that gives permission to disagree in private without fear of retribution.
- Mutual approachability, availability, and accountability.
- For you to acknowledge, value, and leverage his/her calling, gifts, and leadership style even when they are radically different from your own.
- Affirmation in public; correction, instruction, coaching, and mentoring in private; and pastoring at all times.
- For you to believe that a partnership of shared ministry will not threaten but instead strengthen your leadership.
- For you to initiate intentional significant conversations that include vision, hopes, dreams, goals, expectations, plans, concerns, and evaluations.
- For you to invest in his/her personal spiritual development with no ulterior motive.
- Loyalty, trust, respect, and friendship.
- For you to have enough self-confidence to acknowledge that the sermon may not always be the most important element in the service.
- A resolve to work toward a common philosophy of worship and ministry.
- The willingness to pray together, share personal and ministry goals together, and read books together.
- For you to agree that the implementation of musical changes alone will not heal internal ministry and relational deficiencies in your church.
- Your help communicating to the congregation that the word of God can be proclaimed not only through the sermon but also through singing, Scripture, testimonies, prayer, drama, dance, video, and the ordinances.
- Authentic transparency.