Why doesn't my pastor understand me?

Pastors and worship teams often have a disconnect.

Some pastors are not musicians and do not understand the amount of creativity needed to fully develop song arrangements, musical productions, and great flow in a set list. Then you add the time required for rehearsals, communication, mentoring/lessons, research of new songs, and more. As a worship leader, you’re tired by the end of Sunday services, and you’re mentally exhausted.

I’ve worked with pastors who like to critique worship sets following the service. That’s not a good time to speak to a creative person. Also, creatives don’t always handle criticism, or at times direction, well.

So pastors complain that they feel like they’re walking on eggshells around their worship leader or around team members, unable to refine the direction they feel is appropriate or needed or wanted for a worship time in a service. And, worship leaders often have their own vision instead of embracing God’s vision for the church and determining how the worship ministry fits into that vision.

What can we do to better communicate with our pastor?

First, ask the pastor what is God’s vision for the church and how does the pastor see that vision enacted in the service, particularly during times of praise/worship/music.

Second, ask the pastor if there are specific musical styles that they like or do not like.

Third, ask the pastor how much time you have in leading worship during a service, and does that apply to all services or are there different parameters for the different types of services held at the church or sponsored by the church in the community.

Fourth, ask the pastor what they expect in team member’s musical skill.

Fifth, ask the pastor what they expect in team member’s personal lives, for example, does the pastor disprove of drinking or smoking, etc. Ask the pastor to clearly communicate those expectations.

Sixth, tell the pastor what is on your heart regarding worship ministry in the church. Ask the pastor whether that meshes with what they’ve determined is the direction of the church.

Seventh, ask the pastor to communicate any frustration they have had with the team in general or with individual team members, or with areas of the worship ministry.

Then pray together and ask God to show you areas where you can tighten your relationship and communication.

Great communication helps relationships flourish.