Pastoring your Small Group
As leaders, we can think of our worship team as a small group that we have the opportunity to pastor. This isn’t a new idea. Band and songsters are examples of groups that have provided faith and support for its members. It is important that we assume a pastoral role for the members of our team by bringing them into the presence of God and shepherding them toward Jesus.
1 Peter 5:2-3 says,
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”
Be An Example
The argument could be made that our team members are the flock under our care even more so than the congregation that we serve. As a leader, ask yourself if you are setting the example. Are you on time and prepared? Are you open with your team and communicate to the best of your ability? Are you willing to listen and be available when you are needed? Can you lead in difficult times? Are you doing the best that you can in your role, and can you accept criticism? The list could go on and on. Being a good example to your team gives you credibility and integrity as a leader.
A pastoral relationship requires personal knowledge and interaction. Time is the most precious resource that anyone has, yet it is also limited. Take the time to share together as a group. As a leader, invest in people on an individual level. This shows that the priority is placed on the group as individuals as well as the collective ministry. Sharing your time on a personal level speaks volumes about how important everyone is to you.
Be A Real Leader
Lording your leadership over your team is a way to lose people very quickly. There will be times that a leader has to make a decision that not everyone on the team will agree with, but this is a part of being in leadership. Your leadership style should empower people. If you are a positive example and are willing to serve your team eagerly, you avoid the trap of being above others or seeing yourself as superior. Sharing your vision and goals for the group as well as asking for feedback are a couple of ways to empower your team. It helps people feel included and gives them ownership of their ministry. Communicate with your team regularly so they know what you expect of them. This shows respect for each team member as a person and shows that you value their time. Allow your team to ask questions and provide feedback to your requests and ideas.
Be Eager To Serve
There may be people on your team who you find difficult. The way you interact with them will be noticed. It is easy to serve those who we get along with or do things the way they should be done. But eagerness to serve those who perhaps resist or present a difficult personality can be a challenge. The way you handle difficult people and situations will set the precedent for everyone who is part of the team. Pastoral care for all is the least we should expect from a group that exists to facilitate worship. Sometimes, we serve because we must, and we find ourselves doing it begrudgingly. The challenge for authentic pastoral leadership is to be eager to serve everyone.
Here are some practical ideas that can help you become a better pastoral leader.
Pray together. Pray for each other and for the congregation you serve.
Work on a project that has nothing to do with worship music.
Communicate regularly with your team about schedules and repertoire.
Get together outside of rehearsal or Sunday worship.
Contact your team members individually to see how they are doing.
Work through a book together on worship leading. Discuss openly what is working well or what needs improvement.
Celebrate together by honouring achievements, birthdays, and significant events.
Share information from leadership openly and promptly.
Involve the team in decision-making and vision for your ministry.