Thoughts after the National Worship Leader Conference

by vernsanders on July 23, 2010

I had the pleasure and privilege to have been a speaker at the just concluded National Worship Leader Conference. What a great energy there was throughout the conference, and it was cool to be able to meet and hear artists like Keith Getty, Chris Tomlin, Starfield, Laura Story, Lenny LeBlanc, and Israel Houghton.

Besides teaching my scheduled classes, I was able to share a meal with a group of pastors and worship leaders who participated in a continuing education track lead by Ed Willmington of the Fred Bock Institute at the Brehm Center at Fuller Seminary. I also shared some extended time with DJ Chuang, talking about how technology can and will affect worship and “church.” DJ also had some great insight into what’s happening with multi-site churches, which helped clear up some misconceptions I had about how that model works.

Most of all, though, it was great to meet with so many people who are working in the trenches of church music and worship ministry. There are some great people out there who are giving their all to their ministries.

Because of a scheduling issue, I also stood in for Stan Endicott and taught his classes yesterday. The first thing I told everybody was that I wasn’t Stan, but he was kind enough to leave me his notes, so I tried to cover all the material.

In both Stan’s and my classes, the questions were pointed, and, in many ways, heartbreaking. Even though the topic we were adressing was about choirs in worship, the questions, in each class, turned quickly to relational issues between leaders and volunteers, and leaders and pastors. I encouraged the class(es) participants to “talk back” to each other, and there was a huge amount of ministry that happened in the context of that dialogue.

What conclusions do I draw from this? As long as ministry involves people, people-centered issues will be a large part of what that ministry is about, no matter what your role is in that ministry. I encourage everyone who is involved in ministry to work on their relational skills, and, if that is an area in your ministry that needs attention,  to really consider taking a class or participating in any other continuing education opportunity that will develop those skills.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Are your relational skills good, poor, or indifferent? Do you think that relational skills are important in the ministry? What kinds of relational issues have you encountered in your ministry?

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