Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Worship Leaders Need Community, Part II

Yesterday, we talked about three reasons why worship leaders don't participate in community. I appreciate the feedback I've received about the post and I'm glad you came back for Part II!

Talking, thinking, discussing worship is one of my favorite things to do and it's a valuable thing for worship leaders to care about! If you're one of those who has trouble building or maintaining good, God-glorifying community, I hope the ideas below are helpful.

Here are just a few ways to invest in community.

This can mean a lot of things, but I'm going to suggest two different ways to "go close" when it comes to committing yourself to a group that will keep you accountable.

The first way to "go close" is to dive headlong into close, authentic community with the pastoral staff at your church. If you're a worship leader and you're not making every effort to hang out with, debate, learn from and have fun with the pastoral team at your church, then you're already at a disadvantage. That's easier some places than others, but even in difficult staff situations, all the hard work will pay off in your relationship with the other pastors in your church.

The second way to "go close" is to find community with folks who do what you do - musicians, artists, technical pros, etc. The pastors you hang out with may not wanna' talk about drum mixes, but a group of your musician friends will. Having two different "close" groups will bless you with all its variety. You'll feel more comfortable here than anywhere else. (As long as you're not TOO insecure!)

This one should be pretty easy. Invest in community with people who have nothing to do with ministry staff. Go to a Sunday school, show up at a Wednesday night small group, do an early morning Bible study with folks who don't do what you do. Engaging in relationship with folks unrelated to your specific ministry will help to broaden your community and will force you to invest in a relationship that has nothing to do with your job. You are more than what you do on stage and going "far away" in relationship will help you find just what you're looking for - friendship and accountability!

This is the hardest aspect of connecting to community because it's tricky. Naturally, when you attend a small group or Sunday school or Bible study, you're still a pastor to your people. You can't shirk that responsibility, but you also don't have to be "on" all the time. A lot of us show up to community group and feel like we have to have all the best stories, know all the right people and essentially "lead" the group even though that's not our function. Don't feel obligated to talk the most or quiet some and let those relationships shape YOU, not the other way around.

Some of you out there have walked this road - what are some good ways that we can connect and be made better by others?