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“2 to 5 and I’m out!” Says Many Worship Pastors

October 2, 2019

Because of the “business of church” is at high demand, there are a lot of job sites out there that either cater to church jobs, or was created to help fill open positions in the local church. I subscribe to a few of them. With my desire to help the local church, and help strengthen music and arts ministries, I find myself reading through the descriptions of the open positions. I am entertained by the well written job descriptions that lures me to click on the church’s website and see if the church is as attractive as the job described. I am tickled by the 3 paragraph job descriptions that starts with a lot of “must haves” that ends with “volunteer salary”. But what gets my heart the most is when I see a church name I recognize. Not because I really know the church, but I’ve noticed that after a year or two, the church is again in need of a Worship Pastor. 



The stress of building a music and arts team is real. While at the same time, finding and keeping good leadership can be a challenge no matter what your church’s situation is.  As a matter of fact, statistics show that the average tenure for a Worship Pastor is 2 to 5 years. Why is that average so low? I have 3 possible reasons why. 


  1. A Worship Pastor’s role is a roll of Service. Serving people may be a characteristic of a Pastor, but it is not seen as a characteristic of a musician.  When you’re called to serve, you’re called to do what’s not on your resume. Serving God means serving people. Serving means “…presenting your bodies as living sacrifice…” So the Worship Pastor was probably a musician first but was never called to be a Pastor. 


2. The role of a Worship Pastor in many churches constrains creativity. There are Senior Pastors that say, “ I don’t care what you sing, I don’t care what you say, I just need you to sing, and lead us into worship til it's time for me to preach.“ But there are other ministries, where the pastor, staff, clock and program dictates what you sing. For some people, this form of ministering week to week serving tends to restrict your creativity. Therefore if this Worship Pastor does not aggressively seek other means of artistic expression, he will transition elsewhere seeking more “freedom” in ministry. He finds that “greener pasture” and eventually the frustration returns and the cycle continues. 


3. And Lastly, Worship Pastors are within 2 to 5 years because the Worship Pastor never considered the church they work for as their own church. Every time you are seen on the church campus you are serving. Your presence is connected to your gift alone. Unfortunately in many cases, leadership treats the WP like an employee. While at the same time, the Worship Pastor treats the staff like his employer only. The WP is not involved unless their job requires it. Their relationships are only connected to the volunteers within the music ministry. As a matter of fact, when there is a crisis, he/she may not even turn to the church that they serve, but the Godly relationships that they are connected to outside of the church.




1. WORSHIP PASTORS !!! Know that your role is to be a Pastor. Being a Pastor means you must serve. If you’re not ready to serve, (doing the things that you find beneath you, or is not your job description) then you should not take the position. 


PASTORS!! Quit hiring talent, and start hiring a heart. Humbly ask the Lord to help you identify the heart vs the talent. 


2. WORSHIP PASTORS !! Fight to release your creativity elsewhere. This is not just good for your creative sanity, but the world also needs the creativity that is inside of you to come out. For example, as program is cutting your worship set shorter and shorter, you must create opportunities where there is space for a more freedom in worship. The new program is not just constraining you, but it is limiting the body’s opportunities to experience and practice the presence of God in His many facets. Therefore write, put on concerts, facilitate worship nights. 





3. WORSHIP PASTORS!!! Stop accepting positions at churches that you wouldn’t join if you weren’t employed there. 

PASTORS (CHURCH LEADERS)- Go get your Worship Pastors (and musicians) Don’t wait til they decide to join a small group, go into their environment, and make a small group right there. I know they're not tax collectors, but treat them like Jesus treated tax collectors. They didn’t invite people to church. He said, “Yo, I’m coming to your house.” 

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