Four Steps to an Actively Engaged Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship

Jason Hatley

For the last 3 weeks we have been talking about the importance of a thriving Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship in the area of worship planning. From laying the foundation in Part 1 when we defined worship planning, to Part 2 and identifying the 6 roadblocks to a healthy relationship, to last week’s leadership lesson on how to get on the same page . . . it’s been a great series so far!

Hopefully by now you have started the conversation with your pastor and are beginning to work together more closely to plan your worship services. Now it’s time to dive into how to create an Actively Engaged Pastor/Worship Pastor planning relationship.

There are 4 Steps to Active Engagement. We will cover the first two today.

Step #1 – Commitment: the first step to Active Engagement is commitment. Commitment (when it comes to the Pastor/Worship Pastor planning relationship) is the sum of Trust and Flexibility. (C = T+F)

Do I trust this person enough to receive their ideas? Am I flexible enough to lay my ideas aside and go with their idea?

In an Actively Engaged relationship, there is give and take on both sides. If the message needs more time, I am willing to cut a song. If there is a creative element that will really highlight the theme of the day, the Pastor is willing to make room for it in his message, and even teach in a way that sets it up.

This is just one aspect of the Trust+Flexibility equation, but this can be applied to almost any decision making process in the church.

Step #2 – Clarify Roles: In his book The Performance Factor, Pat MacMillan writes, “You must have role clarity, or you will have role confusion.”

Understanding the role that each of you play in the relationship is paramount, because the understanding of each others roles shapes your expectations of one another.

In The Journey’s worship planning process, Nelson’s role is leading the teaching team which sets the direction for the day. My role is leading our creative team to work hand in hand with our teaching team to produce creative elements that will enhance the main theme. I also lead the worship planning meetings (more on that next week!).

Because I know what to expect from Nelson, and he knows what to expect from me, there is rarely any tension over misplaced expectations or lack of clarity.

So here are three questions to help you move toward Active Engagement:

* How committed are you to your Pastor / Worship Pastor?

* Are you perfectly clear on your responsibility in the worship planning process?

* What can you do this week to clarify (in writing) your role and the role of your Pastor / Worship Pastor?
Remember – Clarity on the front end prevents disagreements on the back end.

In next week’s post, I will discuss the final two steps to an Actively Engaged Pastor/Worship Pastor relationship.
Your partner in ministry,


PS – I hope you’re enjoying this series on how to Maximize the Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship and plan your worship services together.

I receive questions about these two things constantly from worship pastors all over . . . thus the 5 part post on the topic 🙂

But the truth is, there is WAY too much to talk about in these two areas for 50 blog posts, much less 50.

Things like:

  • How do we start?
  • What are our values of advance worship planning?
  • How can we maximize the worship time we have each weekend
  • What meetings do we need to have to make this happen?
  • How can we make our worship services more dynamic and create more effective worship order?
  • What are the best ways to use media, drama and testimony to capture the heart of our people?
  • What role does weekly feedback play in making our worship services better and just how do we do it?
  • How can we break the Sunday to Sunday tyranny and start planning ahead?
  • And much more!

If you are serious about working together, making your services more creative and impactful, reducing your weekly stress and getting your entire team on the “same page”, then thePlanning Worship Services for Life Transformation Workshop can help you get ahead and stay ahead!

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.