In Part 1, I warned worship leaders about becoming too focused on their own artistic vision. Worship leading involves the arts, but it is not solely an artistic endeavor. It's pastoral. Or, to use the phrase from the previous post, it's about connection.

If you struggle with this, here are some questions to ask yourself. Questions like this help us to balance our artistic drive with our pastoral calling.

  1. Can I answer "why" in one sentence? Worship leaders should be able to easily and concisely identify the goal of artistic endeavors. If you can't come up with a reason for your latest creative project, it may mean you need to reevaluate what you're doing. Art-for-art's-sake doesn't necessarily need an easy explanation. Leading a few hundred people (of varying races, economic backgrounds and faith journeys) does. If you're new thing does move people toward something, maybe it's not the right thing...
  2. Who gets the payoff? Or, in other words, am I doing this for me? If I'm devoting my time and creativity to something just so it will make ME feel a certain way, I'm doing this job all wrong. Of course, we should be invested in what we're doing, but I'm not the audience. I'm not saying every creative effort is going to be loved by everyone in your church, but I do think we have to remove our egos from our work.
  3. Is this the best thing, for the most people? I have a worship leader friend who says this about choosing songs - "Can rich people sing this? Can poor people? Does everybody get this or only smart people?" If my creative projects are designed with only one select group of people in mind, I don't need to be doing that in the corporate worship gathering. I want to reach the most people possible for God's glory, so I have to be careful about becoming too much of niche artist.

Essentially, this: you can't be your own demographic.