It's not just artists who need inspiration. It isn't only writers who face writer's block. At times, leaders can lose their leadership edge. And that's a problem.
If there's one thing I know, momentum rises and falls on leadership. And leadership is hard. But you knew that. Even if you're a natural leader, it's a lonely place to be.
It's easier for someone else to call the shots, make the decisions, be responsible.
But as a local-church worship pastor, you're going to have to lead, or someone on your team is going to start leading you. That's the reality of any team. If you don't lead and set the tone of your culture, someone else will.
But we resist leadership. I resist leadership. I see so many resist the call to lead. Here's a few reasons why:
- Fear—Maybe someone on your team has been difficult and opinionated. You don't want that confrontation. Maybe you're afraid of making the wrong decision.
- Lack of Preparation—It's difficult to lead when you don't know what you're doing. If you step into a rehearsal, a meeting, a conversation without a plan of what you're going to say or lead, it can be paralyzing.
- Not Caring—If you don't care about what you're doing or have a vision for the end result, everything will suffer.
A true leader trades ease for influence. What is the easy path? The easy path is the path of least resistance because, without resistance, you never grow. Without tension, strength is never developed.
This is precisely the place where many worship departments flounder. Frustrations arise. Momentum is lost. This is the place where leadership dies. What happens when a leader stops leading? You begin to maintain—a ministry maintains what has worked in the past and simply tries to keep the train on the tracks. There's no innovation, no edge, no forward momentum into new kingdom territory.
So consider this a call—a call for worship leaders to lead. Too many worship leaders are leading because of the title on their job description, but they're not actually accomplishing much. Your church deserves more. Your people deserve more. You deserve to be the leader God has equipped you to be.
Now is the time to rise up.
5 Ways to Create Momentum as a Leader
But you may be stuck. You've probably led well in the past but aren't sure where to go, what to do. Here are a few things that may help:
1. Try Something New—Nothing kills creativity more than continuing to do what you've always done. Introduce a new song. Try a new instrument. Experiment with a unique service flow. Shorten worship. Extend worship. Do all upbeat songs. Do no upbeat songs. Wherever you're stuck, get yourself out by doing something different than you've done before.
2. Make A Decision—You may not have it fully researched. It may not be the best decision, but it is a decision. For too long you've sat with a bunch of ideas and let your ministry stagnate. You've let fear get the best of you. Make a decision and follow through. This will give you some momentum to continue growing, morphing and changing.
3. Study a Leader Who Inspires You—One of the most important things a lead can do is get around other leaders. Whether that's in person or from afar, study the leadership of leaders who are further along than you are. As musicians, we always talk about our influences. We mention who we learned our vocal phrasing, guitar tone or playing style from. But if you're a leader in the local church, you need to be able to name some leaders you're influenced by, too.
4. Do Something—There's nothing that feels better than actually making something happen. Set something in motion. Make that phone call. Start writing that song. Draft out that stage design. Don't worry about being impressive, and don't stress about the quality yet. Just do what you've put off doing. Stop only reviewing that checklist. Make it happen. Sometimes it's the small victories that create massive wins. Want to know what a lot of productive people do every day? Make their beds. Don't neglect the power of small victories.
5. Recruit Someone—Pick up the phone and ask someone to help you with a project. Recruit them to join your team. Make a human connection beyond social media and email. Leadership can't be accomplished only behind a desk on a computer. Leadership is more than firing off orders via email or text. Connect with someone and invite them to tackle a mountain with you.
What about you? How do you get out of your leadership funk? How do you gain momentum as a leader?
David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This article originally appeared at davidsantistevan.com.
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