The primary ministry goals of the Worship Pastor are to connect all people to their Savior, Jesus Christ, through worship and to help them more fully realize their purpose for creation: to glorify God. The Worship Pastor promotes intentional experiences for the body of Christ to engage in heartfelt, meaningful praise and worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). The call of the Worship Pastor is to foster an opportunity for the church to align themselves with God’s presence and plan for their lives through meaningful, personal worship experiences in the congregational setting. Worship provides a powerful and special connection between God and His people, and the Worship Pastor serves as a catalyst for that spiritual connection. A Worship Pastor uses the musical talents and skills endowed by God to minister to the church, but musical ability is not the primary qualifier for the position. The Worship Pastor must lead from a place of humility and servant leadership in modeling a genuine attitude of praise. At the heart of the Worship Pastor should be a desire to foster unity among the congregation so that no foothold of division can distract the church from reaching its full potential as the united, worshiping, local body of Christ.
The primary responsibilities of the Worship Pastor are to 1.) disciple the members of the worship team (vocalists and instrumentalists) and 2.) prepare each of them to be worship leaders in the church both musically and spiritually. To these ends, the Worship Pastor is responsible for the overall planning, coordination, recruiting, leadership, and
discipleship of all music and worship activities and membership. In order to accomplish these responsibilities effectively, the Worship Pastor needs to excel as both a good communicator and an efficient organizer. In addition to weekly worship service planning and rehearsals, and depending on the church setting, seasonal worship productions or other congregational worship experiences outside regular worship services may be expected for which the Worship Pastor will be responsible. The Worship Pastor will also share in ministry responsibilities alongside the rest of the pastoral staff of the church such as prospect follow-ups, hospital visits, and other pastoral needs. The Worship Pastor works closely with the Senior Pastor in shaping the worship experiences of the church.
Most churches require that a Worship Pastor hold at least a Bachelor of Music or Worship Studies degree or even a graduate degree in music or worship studies. While such degrees are not a requirement for ministry calling, they do equip worship pastors to be more complete and effective in their ministry calling. At the least, the Worship Pastor should have a working knowledge of musical concepts and theories in order to lead and prepare worship ministry teams. These can include: 1.) being able to sing correctly and being able to demonstrate that to others, 2.) developing a musical ear—hearing and reproducing melodic and rhythmic sounds, identifying tonal center, and so forth, 3.) being proficient as a music reader, 4.) knowing basic song leading/conducting skills, 5.) being aware that knowledge in other areas such as keyboard skills, hymnology, music history, and audio/visual technology will greatly enhance hiring consideration.
A Worship Pastor should have a wealth of practical experience as part of such groups as choirs, bands, and praise teams, as well as in leading worship in various ministry settings. A background of well-rounded musical involvement and participation is desirable.
Competent, well-trained, and effective Worship Pastors are in high demand in today’s churches. Beyond the local church setting, experienced and effective Worship Pastors can often go on to other careers such as: 1.) state convention Music Director; 2.) state convention music associate/contract worker; 3.) consultant, editor, or music marketing specialist; 4.) college/university adjunct professor or full-time professor.
The process of calling a Worship Pastor to a local church can occur through several processes: 1.) a church-appointed search committee, 2.) a Senior Pastor-led search, or 3.) a ministry search firm. Education, experience, personal attributes, and recommendations all play a part in the hiring process.