Hey everyone! Lee McDerment here. Worship director at NewSpring Church. I’ve been serving in this position since I started with the church right after graduating college in May of 2000. I was 22 years old then. Here are five lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) the hard way. I hope they’re helpful to you!
1. Know Your Bible or Shut the Heck Up.
If you’re a young worship leader, this is my first advice to you. Read your Bible. Get all the words under your eyes. The Spirit will then flood your transitional statements, your prayers and your songwriting with the Truth. The Words of Christ are the only ones guaranteed to produce faith in people (Romans 10:17).
No one needs my cool ideas about Jesus. They need faith! And my words won’t produce faith in anything. The Bible is your best equipment for ministry (2 Timothy 3:16)! If you haven’t read the entire Bible yet, consider limiting what you say to, “Welcome! Stand and sing! Please be seated,” until you’ve read it all.
I had been working in ministry for three years before I’d finally read through the Bible. After seeing it all, I was a changed man and a more effective leader. Seriously, it’s the best gift you can give to yourself and your people.
2. Submit to Authority or Satan. Your Choice.
Worship leader, you’ll never be at peace until you get this right. I was the worst at this for a long time, hating every song suggestion and bit of constructive criticism from my pastor. Jesus said, “All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
What I learned from this passage was that my main problem wasn’t with Perry. My problem was with Jesus. I learned that my submission to my leaders was a simple extension of my submission to Jesus. Don’t be a YES man. Learn how to push back in love and loyalty, with the right timing. But be warned … if you aren’t submitting to your leaders, you aren’t submitting to Christ; which essentially equals submission to the Enemy (Matthew 12:30).
3. Replace Yourself or Die.
You have been called to make disciples—to build the church. This means you have to do the slow, hard work of pouring your image into other people. It takes time. It’s exhausting and heartbreaking … but it will INCREASE your value to the organization, not decrease it.