This past week I wrote the Sr. Pastor of the Church I used to work for (May Valley Alliance Church) an e-mail. It was a thank you. Why would I thank him? Because he is a great worship leader. I have been reading a lot of books on worship lately. Most of them talk about how as a Worship Leader it’s important to submit to the Sr. Pastor. That makes sense he has been called to lead the church in which he serves. However, many of the books I am currently reading take it another step. Dr. Vernon M. Whaley, who is the Director of the Center for Worship at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA said in a lecture “The [Sr.] Pastor is the Cheif Worship Leader.” Think about it, he really sets the tone. Sure the band sets the tone on Sundays, but who gives them the tone? The Sr. Pastor.
Now the Sr. Pastor could do many things. First, he could sit in the front row with the Bible on his lap, and notes ready to go in hand. Just sitting there waiting his turn. This would communicate that he doesn’t care for worship through music and that the sermon is the most important thing of the service. He could sit in a similar fashion, but with arms folded, this could communicate that he hates worship through music, or the style in which it is done at his church and he begrudgingly allows it. Third, he could be running around the auditorium, making sure that everything looks just right, and going back to the powerpoint guy to give him some last minute changes, to the sound board guys to tell them to turn something up or down. This could communicate that he isn’t prepared for worship, or feels that he doesn’t trust his worship team, and that worship through music is not a priority to him, but that having the perfect appearance is better than a true heart of worship. There are a myriad of other things the Sr. Pastor could do. For the sake of time and sanity I will jump to the last example. Lastly, the pastor could come in early, and set his Bible and notes down on a chair, or on the pulpit, then when the service starts he stands with the congregation and sings. Perhaps he claps, or raises his hands, closes his eyes, kneels, cries, jumps for joy, sings loudly, meditates quietly, dare I say dances? or kneels in reverence? A Sr. Pastor that does these things, in the appropriate time and place, and authentically shows that worship is important, that worship is important to him as a person, to him as a child of God.
The e-mail I sent to this Sr. Pastor was a thank you for being this kind of Sr. Pastor. Because he has been a great “Chief Worship Leader” So a heart-felt thank you, from this Worship Leader to all the Sr. Pastors who engage in worship every service truly and authentically. Thank you for being real and worshipping authentically in corporate worship times!!