What is your ultimate priority within your ministry? What do you care about the most? Sometimes these questions seem super simple to answer when we are asked because, frankly, throughout the years we have learned the right answers. Often I find myself answering those particular questions with the answer that I have trained myself to answer with…
Did you catch that?
I know what the answer should be, and I give that answer without truly evaluating if my actions prove it to be true. We poke fun at the Sunday School answer mentality that children often develop. You know what I am talking about… Jesus. Jesus is always right, it is the answer to everything. But the reality is, we are just more advanced and mature children in Sunday School. We have trained ourselves with safe answers, but sooner or later we are going to have to truly discover the real answers to the hard questions we are asked or have to ask ourselves.
Our ministries depend on it.
What do I really care about most within my ministry and when leading my teams? Expansion? Preparation? Musical quality? The experience or atmosphere? Or do I care first and foremost about the people I am serving and working beside?
We should strive to bring excellence to our services, and we do that by intentionally placing priority on things that develop an atmosphere and expectancy of preparation and excellence, but what good is excellence without connection and growth? I would argue that it is meaningless.
I say that because the world does many things with excellence. Go watch Coldplay and leave breathless after a stunning performance, take a stroll down the Las Vegas strip and look at the lights and signs, or go marvel at the Eiffel Tower and it’s unbelievable architecture. From an artistic standpoint all of these things are magnificent. They are excellent. But without personal and spiritual growth they are nothing more than monuments to mankind. Monuments to ourselves and our worldly value, worth, and excellence.
You see, things aren’t always as they appear. In Matthew 23:27 Jesus said this to the religious leaders of His day,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.”
Are we white-washing our tombs? Are we working extremely hard to appear beautiful while under the surface we are dead or dying? Are our people growing spiritually or has a spirit of complacency or death crept in? What is our ultimate purpose? What are our priorities?
What would we say is the most important thing within our ministries? Do our actions back that up?
In this post I will challenge the way we think and approach our ministries and our pursuits of excellence. Do we care more about the task, or do we care more about the individuals on our team? I would argue that our people should be our focus and are our most valuable resource. How do we cherish this resource? We focus on them, we care about them. Here are a few of my thoughts about caring and growing our teams spiritually.
We should strive to develop excellent believers before excellent musicians or volunteers.
Just because someone is an excellent guitarist or addition to your team doesn’t mean you have done your job. Whether or not they mesh with the rest of your people holds little to no significance if they are at a spiritual standstill as far as growth goes. Now obviously I am aware that believers go through seasons where at times we feel as if we are growing more than others, that is beside the point. What fruit does your life show? What fruit does their life show? As worship pastors we should be encouraging our team members to be more than great team members and musicians. Our first focus should be on developing spiritual warriors… men, women, and children who live lives of worship and personally pursue after Christ first. In other words, disciple and develop your people in more areas than just music!
See your team members as more than tools to help accomplish a task.
Take the time get to know your team members and to show them that you care about them and what is happening in their lives. Our team members are more than just the roles that they play within our ministries. We must work to see beyond the tasks and to the lives that they live. Let’s truly value them for who they are, and not just their contribution to our team. In the end, all the musical excellence in the world means nothing if our stages are nothing more than an alter to spiritual apathy, complacency, or death. We need to be looking at the long-term goals instead of just short-term fixes.
Sharing is caring.
I mean that in exactly the corny way that it sounds. Share your life with the people around you. Disciple through the way you live and you’d be surprised who takes notice. There’s a difference between managing people and developing or discipling people and when we grasp that difference our ministries will radically change. Developing and discipling people takes an investment of ourselves, but it is SO worth it. Let’s help our team members reach their goals and potential in all areas, not just in the specific areas of our ministries.
Well… that wraps us up for now! Please feel free to comment with other thoughts and feedback!