The Search for Worship Leaders, Why We Outsource
had a great post about Outsourcing Worship Leaders. It struck a chord with me because that is what we have done at Seven San Diego for the last year and it has benefited us and the worship leaders tremendously.
I don't think it's the best plan overall. I would like someone that has the mix gift of pastor-leader and musical abilities but WHOA! is that rare. Most of these guys and gals want to be Crowder or Tomlin or Darlene Zschech and don't want to commit to a local church.
Here's what I'm finding, some (many) worship leaders want the local church to support them when they don't have outside gigs. The local church has become a "fall back" option for many worship leaders. Here's what I mean:
Many worship leaders are not good enough(or don't have the connections, etc.) to do the Lincoln Brewster, Crowder, Tomlin, Zschech thing. That is if they wanted to...they could full time travel and lead worship concerts.
Many worship leaders are good enough to lead on a Sunday at a local church and at a Christian camp here or there. So, they try to build their "career" by having a local church outlet to support them financially while trying to build their "brand" by getting "six weeks to travel" or "10 weeks" or whatever they ask on their laundry list of requirements so they can fulfill their "global" calling. I have had many conversations with good men and women who have said the same thing, "I believe God has a global call on my life and am not sure the local church is where I'm supposed to commit." Huh?
This can start to sound a bit pessimistic about local church worship leadership (and I'm not a pessimist by any stretch of the imagination) but it is the reality I have found in interviewing, talking on the phone, emailing what seems like hundreds of potential candidates at this point. It's become irritating. I'm looking for the guy or gal who loves Jesus, loves the local church and wants to be part of a team. That takes humility...I dare say it, that is what is lacking in many worship leaders today.
Many worship leaders don't have the skills/gifts to lead music and be personable. They don't have the mix of pastor-leader-musician. Not an easy combo, but when you see it you know it. I'm looking for it.
So, the way I see it is the local church has been put in this posture (to outsource worship leadership) because so many worship leaders just want to play music. In that sense it's a win win. The local church gets a variety of worship music by a variety of people God is using. It is a bridge until we find the right person who loves Jesus, loves the local church, and wants to be part of the team.