Secrets to a Thriving Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship

Jason Hatley

Last week I began this series on how to create a thriving Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship by talking about the importance of this relationship specifically in planning life-transforming worship services.

This relationship between Pastor and Worship Pastor is vitally important to the health of your church. In fact, I believe that it is the most important relationship in the church.

Think about it . . . it’s the most visible relationship in the church (you both lead publicly from the platform). It’s also the relationship that has the most to do with the week-to-week public direction of the church (the worship service).

This relationship matters! What I’ve found in my ministry and in the coaching and training of worship leaders around the country, is that there is an interesting paradox in this relationship.

Here’s the idea…

* The most important relationship in the worship planning process is the Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship.

* The greatest tension in the worship planning process tends to be in the Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship.
I think this is fascinating! And it stands to reason then that one of the major reasons why many churches struggle in designing relevant, creative, God-honoring, life-transforming worship services every week is the relationship (or lack there of) between the pastor and the worship pastor.

It’s not that you aren’t friends or courteous with one another. You may like each other and hang out all the time, or you may have little in common. But chances are there is a level of frustration on one or both sides if you aren’t consciously working together to plan the service (not just your part, but speaking into the entire thing).

By the way, the Devil loves this because he knows that as long as you and your pastor or worship pastor aren’t working together to plan life-transforming worship services that your church will never reach it’s full redemptive potential.

Most of the time, the problem is in the area or communication, though it may be any number of things. Whatever the problem, an ineffective Pastor/ Worship Pastor relationship eventually leads to:

* Frustration – “If he would only get the sermon done sooner, then I could do plan further ahead.”

* Poor worship services – If you aren’t working together, you might as well be working against each other.

* Misplaced expectations – “That’s not my job.”

* Lack of clarity about the vision for your service – “That’s not the way we do things around here.”

* Damaged trust

* Loss of friendship – Walk down this path too long you may find it hard to even work together.

Just to name a few.

So what are a Pastor and Worship Pastor to do?

That’s what next week’s post will focus on. But before then, I have some homework for you.

Take 10 minutes and write down on a sheet of paper the number of interactions that you have with your pastor or worship pastor every week.


  • What is the general point of your interactions?
  • Are there scheduled meetings to discuss worship planning?
  • If so, what do you bring to those meetings, and what does the other person bring?
  • What is working and what is not working in your worship planning process right now?

Answering and discussing these questions will help you understand your role in the process, and most importantly, how the other person sees their role as well.
Your partner in ministry,


PS – You can create life transforamtional worship services EVERY Sunday with the Planning Worship Services for Life Transformation Workshop.

In this powerful, six hour workshop, my Lead Pastor Nelson Searcy and I will teach you the proven principles and practices that have made the Journey Church in NYC one of the most innovative and effective churches in America.

In this resource you will learn:

  • How to maximize the worship time you have each weekend
  • How the pastor and worship leader can effectively work together
  • How to plan dynamic and effective worship orders
  • How to use media, drama and testimony that captures the heart of your people
  • How to create a healthy and focused team environment
  • How to use feedback that ”builds up” and makes every service better
  • How to plan ahead so you can break the Sunday to Sunday tyranny
  • How to build all the elements of the service around the message
  • And much more!

This 6-hour workshop will teach you proven principles and practices to increase your worship planning effectiveness.

Recorded LIVE, Planning Worship Services for Life Transformation Workshop also includes more than 15 additional resource files, including:

  • Fill in the blank workshop notesimg
  • Sample worship orders
  • Sample band notes
  • Sample message transcript
  • Sample planning notes, calendars and assignments
  • Sample ideas and resources
  • And much more!

This is a nuts and bolts resource that will teach you to make the most of your weekly worship times through effective, God honoring planning.

And if you aren’t absolutely satisfied with this resource (or any of my resources for that matter) simply return your product within 365 days for a prompt and courteous refund.
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TUESDAY MORNING INSIGHTS is Jason Hatley’s free weekly training resource specifically designed to provide you as a worship leader with proven principles, tips and practices to help you lead a healthy and thriving Worship Arts Team.

About Jason Hatley and Worship Leader Insights

Jason HatleyIn 2002, Jason Hatley helped launch The Journey Church in New York City, directing the programming of their worship services. He serves as the Pastor of Worship Arts and built from scratch The Journey’s worship arts team, a group of over 200 artists and technicians who develop and implement the creative and technical elements at weekly Sunday services. The Journey has been recognized as one of Outreach Magazines fastest growing and most creative churches.

Jason has been a worship leader since 1996. He invests in Worship Pastors around the country through interactive coaching networks and worship planning resources. He has been a featured break-out speaker at the Willow Creek Arts Conference, The Purpose Drive Worship Conference, as well as seminars around the country. He has a B.M. in Sacred Music Performance from Appalachian State University.

Jason and his family currently live in Boca Raton, FL where he serves as the Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey’s newest campus in South Florida.

1 reply
  1. Simone Williams
    Simone Williams says:

    This is good to always keep in mind. I attended your workshop on Tuesday and learned so much. You had several resources available but I was unable to get them at the time. If you can’t get them all at one time, is there an order that you can suggest?

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