I’ve recently transitioned into a new position at a new church, most of the way across the country of Canada. It was a hard move and things are still completely up in the air, but I need to put some of this to writing.
Right now, in Canada, I don’t know of a ton of work being done to train-up strong worship leaders. There were programs a few years back that were developing and graduating students as fast as churches could hire. Currently, after being in charge of hiring my own replacement at my last church, I can’t see much happening right now.
Worship pastors have one of the hardest job descriptions out there. From my experience, at most churches, worship pastors are asked to be an exceptional musician, a leader people will follow (aka. sing along with), must know about stage lighting, sound, how to publish the sermon as a podcast, do set design, help other pastors with their IT problems, do graphic design and provide pastoral care to their volunteers as well as anyone who might walk up to them after the Sunday morning service. And the list goes on…
Ultimately, we can work to re-imagine that job description but it must start here.
A worship pastor/creative arts pastor must be this: a pastor who cares for the people they lead, have a heart for those who don’t yet know God and work to create an experience, by a variety of means (music, visual arts, service planning), where people can encounter God in our corporate worship gatherings. Practically, it means you need to be competent in one or more creative arts, have some theological and spiritual formation training and be a leader.
I’m dreaming up a program or network that can work to provide leadership to those seeking worship arts/creative arts pastor position. It would mean taking some courses through a bible college in theology and spiritual formation, developing your gifts as a creative artist and placing yourself under the mentorship of some of my colleagues and peers. If you’re interested in being a mentor or participating in this dreaming process, please contact me through the ‘Contact’ page.
Blessings on your journey!