Pastor vs Worship Leader

Pastor vs Worship Leader 

In my circles, the term “worship leader” is still a relatively new thing, and actually not even used in the majority of our churches unless you are referring to the Pastor. But there are a growing number of churches in our Synod that are starting to use some blended styles of music which is very exciting, and as a result, a league of young musicians are finding themselves in leadership roles. Here’s my take on the role of the worship leader compared to the Pastor in our Synodical setting. 

Pastor Worship Leader
Is trained and educated in theology Is trained in music
Is responsible for the flock Is a member of the flockResponsible for the band (musically)
Prepares and preaches the sermons Listens intently to the sermon
Chooses the hymns Sings the hymns with gusto
Approves the contemporary song choices and sings the contemporary music with gusto Chooses the contemporary music
Prays for his worship leader Prays for their Pastor
Is the worship leader’s friend Is the Pastor’s friend
Respects and trusts the worship leader Respects and trusts the Pastor
Brings people into membership by teaching God’s word (Holy Spirit brings them to faith) Auditions members for the band
Practices his sermon for hours on end Practices their music for hours on end
Reads the bible and musty old theology books Reads the bible, devotional books, song lyrics and instrumental instructional books
Uses Logos or BibleWorks software Uses Pro Tools, Sibelius, Noteflight, GarageBand, ForScore, and other musically related software
Can actually use these terms in a sentence: sacristy, narthex, unction, adiaophron, flagon, pericope and exegesis Can actually use these terms in a sentence: trill, modulate, gliss, timbre, resonance, palm-muting and capo
Teaches bible class Attends bible class
Knows Isaac Watt’s music pretty well Knows Chris Tomlin’s music pretty well
Knows his scripture Knows their scripture
Teaches God’s word to the flock Teaches young musicians the tools of the trade, tips, tricks and secrets
Administers the sacraments Is a grateful recipient of the sacraments
Writes papers Writes lyrics
Is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted after worship on Sunday Ditto
Would like to meet Jesus, Paul the Apostle, and/or Martin Luther Would like to meet Jesus, King David and/or their favorite contemporary artist
Is the worship leader’s Facebook friend Is the Pastor’s Facebook friend
Know’s the original languages (Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic) Know’s all the key signatures
Packer’s fan (because most of our Pastors come from WI) Local sports fan to wherever the church is located

 

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2 thoughts on “Pastor vs Worship Leader”

  1. Steve,
    I’m amused by your whimsical look at these terms. As a Lutheran of a slightly different synod I’ve also encountered these terms and wondered how Lutherans should approach them. One concern I have is that in some Lutheran circles the pastor is increasingly detached from the selection of contemporary music. And the worship leader may not be attending Bible class. Looking at your list, I would ask why the pastor should not know Chris Tomlin songs and why the music director does not know the Isaac Watts hymns. Of course all these folks are individuals with their own varying skills and inclinations. Still, the selection of music and texts must not be taken lightly.

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    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the comment. I agree with you in the ideal world. Unfortunately, not many Pastors in my Synod know who Chris Tomlin is, I may be wrong, but this is my perception. For the record, I know Issac Watt’s music real well, but I might also be an exception. Also agree that music selection is serious business.

      Steve

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