Is your church raising up worship leaders?
Is your church raising up worship leaders? (Creation Swap)

Almost every week, I hear from pastors asking if I can recommend someone to lead worship for their congregation. Most of these are smaller churches or new church plants with limited resources.

Most of the time I do not have anyone to recommend, and it saddens my heart knowing there are people who need a leader but have no options. I feel strongly that we must take seriously this opportunity to invest in the future of worship ministry for the sake of building the Kingdom.

About 18 years ago, I had a meeting with my worship team that changed the DNA of the worship ministry at Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas. We decided that we had two purposes as a ministry. First, we wanted to provide an environment in our worship experiences where people could encounter a Holy God. Second, we wanted to invest in our young people and train up the next generation of worshipers. Since that day, we have made the training of worshipers a priority.

We created a system of training that has produced many worship leaders and worship musicians that are serving at our church and in many other churches across the country. This did not happen overnight and everything we do in our church will not necessarily work in your church. My deepest hope is that something you read here will stir you to begin to disciple people in your church to become leaders of worship instead of mere musicians.

Children are the best place to start, and we did that with our Kids Choir. I know that many churches have abandoned this concept, but we changed the thought process from training performers to sing to training children to worship. We have more than 600 children in our choirs now because we have formed a tradition of excellence and parents want their kids involved in our program.

We use these children on a regular basis to lead our church in worship in multi-generational services with adults or students and our older children (3rd-5th grade) even lead by themselves. We use children that serve as leaders to sing with live bands for our Kids Church services and to help lead worship for VBS and camps during the summer. We have produced several CDs, and as of 2014, our curriculum will be the official children’s choir curriculum for LifeWay.

Middle school & high school students in our church have opportunities to serve in choirs, worship bands and in an instrumental training program called Amplify. Like our Kids Choirs, these groups lead worship in multiple venues at our church and for the main services in both a multi-generational format or by themselves with student bands playing for student choirs.

The Amplify team trains players by using adults that are professional or highly experienced to prepare students to play in a worship band setting. We then give each trainee the opportunity to play with a live band in several venues like Kids Church, youth services and outreach events. This experience gives them both confidence in the band setting and the excitement of seeing God use their talent at a young age.

These students are not only playing and leading vocals for our church, but they are now being invited to sub for area other churches when there is a need. Several of our students who graduated out of our programs and are in college are playing or leading in congregations where they worship in their university settings. Some students have chosen worship or ministry as their area of study in college.

We also created a School of Fine Arts that teaches private lessons in both instrumental and vocal music. Instructors are CBC members that participate in our worship ministry and they are required to include current worship music in their curriculum. Many of our Fine Arts students have actually become worship leaders and staff members in our church and several have even returned to teach in our school. Additionally, we have a training class for sound engineering that has trained many sound techs for churches in our area.

A local worship leader roundtable was created to meet several times a year to encourage, train and network resources with churches all over the area. This began with three local worship leaders and has as many as 28 churches involved.

For part 1 of this series, click here. For part 2, click here.

About This Series

The articles in this Building Strong Worship Leaders series are written by church leaders committed to intentionally training people about worship. Their churches are reaping the benefits–and they gladly pass on ideas and suggestions of how your church can too! This series is presented by Pastors.com, in partnership with Next Level Worship, a ministry providing quality worship discipleship resources to churches. Go to NextLevelWorship.com to register for free and exclusive coaching webinars for the Pastors.com community.

For more than 42 years, Ray Jones has lead worship in local churches. He has served churches in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. He has led worship for many conferences, revivals and he is a frequent speaker at worship events. He currently serves as the Pastor of Worship Ministries at the Community Bible Church in San Antonio TX. He has served there for over 20 years and it has become one of the fastest growing evangelical churches in the nation.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Praying for leaders

    Failing to Do This Can Spell Disaster for the Church

    And it has the potential to destroy many lives.

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Peace is indeed attainable in this selfish world. Just look for it in the right place.

    Finding Peace in a Fallen and Selfish World

    You can have peace in this world. Just stop looking in the wrong places.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

  • Many of these issues are self-inflicted.

    10 Poisons That Will Kill Any Church

    Here is why the churches that die from them do so by their own hand.

  • Prestonwood Church in Dallas

    What Leaders Can Learn From Prestonwood's Jack Graham

    Leaders don't have to know everything, but they need to give their staff what Graham gives his.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders