I am asked from time to time to recommend worship leaders to churches in search of part-time worship leaders. In most cases I find myself struggling to come up with names to recommend. This often leaves me ashamed that I don’t know more part-time folks and hurting for the churches that are in need of solid leaders. Have we reached a point where there are more churches seeking part-time worship leaders than are available? Here are a few observations that I have made. (These are in no way exhaustive or scientific)
Why demand for part-time worship leaders may be increasing…
- I believe the economy has had a huge impact on smaller churches and their ability to hire staff. Traditionally, churches in the 150-250 range fluctuate between hiring part-time roles and full-time combo roles (music / youth, music / education, etc). A bad economy can decrease potential giving capacity and leads more small churches to consider opting for part-time ministers. *BTW, God is bigger than the economy! Just stating a possible reason.
- Many small churches hire staff members without considering how the hire impacts their weekly Sunday gatherings. I know a lot of churches with a pastor and a youth pastor and no one to lead worship. This can be problematic for weekly gatherings and may call for either a restructuring of responsibilities or hiring a part-time worship leader.
- Church planting is on the rise. Small churches meeting in school gymnasiums and store fronts do not have the means to hire full-time specialty staff. If they hire, it will more than likely be part-time (at least at first).
Why supply of part-time worship leaders may be plateaued or declining…
- Supply may not decrease at all but qualified part-time / bi-vocational individuals may have more options. This is a positive for part-time leaders but not so much for churches in need.
- Young worship leaders may opt for internships or associate roles in larger churches rather than learning the ropes in a smaller church. I personally hope this is not the case. I can’t stress enough the valuable life lessons, ministry experience, and blessings I received by serving in a a rural country church.
- If full-time worship pastors (like me) fail to invest in those with the potential to serve as worship leaders in our churches and community. If all we do is our week to week ministry obligations and fail to disciple others – we fail future generations. Lord, give us eyes to see outside of ourselves and invest in the lives of others!
I love the church and I am so thankful for those that serve the church in the role of part-time worship leader. May God continue raising up leaders to serve His church for His glory!!!
What are your thoughts? Do you think more churches will be looking for part-time positions in 2014?