5 Reasons Worship Leaders Are Losing Their Jobs


reasonsChristianity Today recently published an article indicating that nearly one-fourth of all active ministers have been forced out at some point in their ministry. It is true that staying in a current ministry position may not always be within our control. But what if we are or aren’t doing some things that are contributing to our positional demise? Aren’t we called to do everything we can here instead of just hoping it will be different when we move there?

Relational instead of musical deficiencies seem to be at the root of many forced worship leader terminations. And yet, most worship leaders continue to spend the majority of their time just trying to get better musically. We’ll never be able to learn and teach enough new songs to make up for relationship and leadership failures.

5 Reasons Worship Leaders Are Losing Their Jobs

They equate leading music with leading people

Meaningful relationships develop as we place more focus on people than projects. What will our congregants remember most…how we led them musically on the platform or how we treated them to and from the platform?


They aren’t learning anything new

Ageism often gets the blame for this one. Even though ministry ageism is theologically suspect so is not learning anything new. A lifelong learner is one who understands it is never too soon or too late to learn. What we once learned is not enough to sustain our entire ministry.


They’ve confused calling and convenience

What is compelling us? Convenience responds with, “This is what I like to do.” Calling responds with, “This is what I was created to do.” If we lead worship just because we love to play and sing, because we need to supplement our income, because we enjoy being up-front or because we aren’t trained to do anything else, then our compulsion might be out of convenience instead of calling.


They can’t get along with their pastor

Even when we win a relationship conflict with our pastor, we lose. The relationships exemplified by the Acts 2 church as they spent time together, had everything in common, broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts is often foreign to pastors and worship leaders. What could occur relationally if we resolved to buy-in to our pastor’s leadership as long as it wasn’t immoral, illegal or unethical?


Their family isn’t their ministry

Scripture reminds us to love God first, then our neighbors as ourselves. Our closest neighbor is our family. We must never sacrifice family for ministry since they are our ministry. Instead, we should first ask how something might impact our family before ever asking how it might impact our job.


6 Responses to “5 Reasons Worship Leaders Are Losing Their Jobs”

  • Crisbaj Says:

    I think the OPPOSITE is also terribly true… especially in ethnic churches… a really weak or problematic ‘pastor’ in worship arts MAINTAINS their job because they are close friends OR family of the Senior Pastor… it then develops into a ‘favoritism’ and and ‘oligarchy’ in leadership… that’s when people just drift away, family by family…

  • Greg Fiala Says:

    I am pleased to say the worship leader I serve under is not guilty of any of these offenses. He is a pastor in every sense of the word and has probably forgotten more about leading God’s people in worship than I will ever know. I thank you for sharing these guiding principles because it reminds to pray and thank the Lord for providing us with such a great role model. The Lord is good! Let us praise and thank Him for His mercy and grace!

  • Adrian Zvarych Says:

    Many of the points mentioned in the original article are also germane to Corporate America. As a Body of Christ, we are to be in the world but not of it. That’s not a call for elitism, it’s a call for confident humility and servant-hood at all levels. Having served on worship teams as both volunteer leader and instrumentalist as a team member in many cities as a volunteer (work-related moves as an engineer), I’ve often been treated better in secular ‘work’ environments than in church environments. Sense of ‘family’ and ‘community’ generally isn’t fostered in a church ministry team as frequently as we would like to think, although there have been precious few exceptions. So maybe the problem runs deeper. Again, generally speaking.

    So as the article alludes, is the person in leadership because they enjoy the ‘power and control’ of ‘leading’, they like singing and-or playing, or they were in fact created for such a time and season to usher people into God’s presence, declare His glory, and worship the King of Kings in spirit and truth…

  • william kilbourne Says:

    One problem I see is that many churches are focused on entertainment rather than worship. So they will select worship leaders who are excellent musicians, but not gifted leaders.
    The focus must be worship first.

    If we are not the spiritual leader of our house, making our family our first ministry, how can we expect to lead a congregation in meaningful worship?

  • Faster Pastor Says:

    I thought I was responding to Jason Bubba, sorry for any confusion

  • Faster Pastor Says:

    This is a good word. I am one pastor who believes worship is so essential. To me music pulls the shade down below the heart so I can have something to aim at. The part about the family is true. I have said God first, ministry second but my family is my first ministry. I think also the something new should be learning something new in God’s word as well as new songs. Just a few opinions from an almost washed out pastor who is still bragging on Jesus. It was good to meet you at PGBC. Keep up the good work. My worship leader Wayne Brown who is also my associate thinks a lot of you.
    The faster pastor
    Ron Lasley

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