Two Secrets to Finishing 2011 Strong

It turned Fall this week . . . not here in South Florida where it’s still blazing hot, but nonetheless Fall began on September 23 for almost everyone else in the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s hard to believe, but the changing of the season from summer to Fall reminds us that this year is 75% done.

Seems like just yesterday I was ringing in the New Year and asking God to do more in me and through me this year than ever before. Now here we are with just a few months left in 2011.

This is the time of year when you and I need to do TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS:

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Are you making a BIG mistake in your Worship Planning?

It’s Jason Hatley, Pastor of Worship Arts @ The Journey and I want to shoot straight with you . . . I don’t like it when someone tells me that I’m making a mistake.

Call it foolish pride I suppose. Can you relate?

After all, no one’s perfect and I know I make mistakes (just ask my wife and she’ll tell you all about it :-).

But, usually after I get over my bruised ego and damaged pride and I realize that the person telling me about a mistake I’m making really has my best interest at heart, my grumblings are replaced with gratitude. After all, I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that I don’t know it all and I need people to help along the way.

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“Man, this is Organized!”

“Man, this is organized!”

Those are the words of a guest worship leader that I recently asked to lead at The Journey.

After joining us for load-in, set-up, our timed sound checks, focus time, and cue-to-cue he told me backstage that it was one of the most organized and efficient Sunday morning run-throughs he had experienced. And because the level of stress was low, everyone on the team was able to focus on their role as lead worshippers that morning.

I’ll be honest . . . it made me proud of our church. We have incredible volunteers who work hard and our system for staying on track and reducing the stress of Sunday had struck him as something out of the ordinary.

I tell you that to tell you this . . . recently I had the opportunity to be a guest worship leader at a friend’s church. Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away with the same feeling. All the volunteers were great, the church was great. But that Sunday morning was stressful and you could see it on everyone’s face. The service went fine, but it took a lot of energy to pull all the last minute details together in the minutes before the service.

It got me thinking . . . why the distinct difference in experiences? It wasn’t the hearts of the volunteers. They both had hearts of gold. It wasn’t the equipment. Both churches had the equipment needed for excellent services.

As I dug deeper into it the answer finally emerged. The difference wasn’t in what was happening on Sunday, but in what had happened long before we got to Sunday.

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3 Spiritual Growth Check-points Your Worship Team Needs

For this week’s Tuesday Morning Insight, I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit and invite you to experience one of my favorite parts of the Worship Leader Tele-Coaching Networks that I lead – the Q&A Call-in.

Throughout the course of the Coaching Network there are scheduled times to call in to ask questions and get direct feedback on things that are going on in your church.

Last week on one of my Coaching phone calls one of the worship leaders in the network asked a great question . . . “How do you ensure that your team members are growing spiritually?”

I bet you’ve asked the same question before in your ministry. While I don’t have all the answers to this question – there are probably as many ideas for how to do this as there are worship leaders – there are 3 important things that I do regularly. Read more

What is Your Emergency Plan?

Jason Hatley With the passing of Hurricane Irene the last few days it seems that everywhere I turn I hear people saying, “You need to have a plan.”

I agree . . . after 10 years of living in NYC and now living in South Florida, my family and I are big believers in having an emergency plan. 🙂

And that started me thinking . . . The best way to ride out the storms of life (and ministry) is to have a plan for how to deal with them BEFORE they come.

Chances are you are in a storm right now. I dare say that many worship leaders are in the midst of a hurricane of their own.

You may feel stuck, overwhelmed, under-equipped, outpaced, uninspired, or just plain dead on your feet.

  • If you’re in a season of starting something new chances are your passion is higher than your ability right now as you are learning how to build a healthy team and healthy systems.
  • If you’re in a season of growth you may be riding the wave as you watch God do great things in your church while at the same time trying not to drown beneath it all.
  • If you’re in a season of stagnation you may be wondering how to regain some of the passion you once had for ministry and kick-start your team once again.
  • If you’re in a season of decline you are probably asking “How did we get here and how can we turn it around . . . and fast?”

Wherever you are in the ministry cycle the key to thriving in the midst of the storm is to develop your plan.
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Take the 7-Point Worship Team Check-up

Jason HatleyWhen is the last time you went to the doctor for a check-up?I went to the doctor for a physical not too long ago. It had been almost 2 years since I had a gone for a check-up. Well overdue I’d say.And it got me thinking . . . Going to the doctor for a check-up is a unique experience. Every other time you go to the doctor it’s for one specific thing that’s wrong.Maybe it’s a broken bone or a cold, but when you go to the doctor for one of these reasons the only area they look at is … well the area that’s sick.However, when you go for a check-up, the doctor examines all the areas of your body. Height, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, echocardiogram . . . the works.And here is what the doctor is looking for:
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Overcoming Your Pressure Points

Jason HatleyWhat are your Pressure Points?

“Pressure Points” is a phrase I use in my Worship Pastor Tele-Coaching Networks to describe any area of your ministry that is putting extra pressure on you right now.

It could be the pressure of adding a new service, dealing with a difficult team member, needing to add new volunteers to your team, implementing a new system in your team, or a rift in your relationship with your pastor.

(If you have all five of the above I would say you have more than a Pressure Point . . . you have a Pressure Cooker in the works).

Pressure Points can be new initiatives, current challenges, or old problems that won’t go away.

We will always have Pressure Points in ministry. And some are better than others. Let me explain.

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4 Steps to an Actively Engaged Pastor / Worship Pastor Relationship, Part 2

Jason Hatley

Last week we talked about the first two steps in how to create an Actively Engaged Pastor/Worship Pastor relationship, and today I will give you the final two (and possibly most important) steps.

Step #3 – Over-communicate: I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m absolutely positive that it is a principle for radically improving the Pastor/ Worship Pastor relationship.

The biggest obstacle to an Actively Engaged Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship is the absence of solid communication. Not meeting regularly, not communicating details, withholding valuable information, too few “hallway” conversations, and sometimes even fear keep the best intentioned pastors and worship pastors from making the leap to the next level.

Communication is key. Let me re-state that . . . Over-Communication is key!

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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.

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Are you on the “Same Page”?

Jason Hatley

“We’re just not on the same page.”

Ever said that about your relationship with your Pastor or Worship Pastor?

I hear Pastors and Worship Pastors say that oftentimes when it comes to Worship Planning. “We want to work together, but we’re just not on the same page.”

You know the problem with this statement right? You guessed it:

The problem is the page doesn’t exist!

Most Pastors and Worship Pastors who struggle to “get on the same page” do so because they have never had a conversation about two important things:

#1 – How they view worship planning.

#2 – How the other person views worship planning.

They aren’t clear on what they think the process should look like. They aren’t clear on their responsibility. And most of all, they aren’t clear about how the other person’s responsibility looks like.

Let me give you a quick exercise to try and explain:

Of the four choices below, which set of words best describes your current Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship when it comes to worship planning?

1. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I’ll see you on Sunday morning.

2. We’re not against planning life-transforming worship services together, we just don’t have the structure, system, time and/or resources to do it.

3. We are working together to implement some creative elements, but it’s not always consistent and it’s not as smooth as we want.

4. We are working together in a structured way to plan in advance, and create relevant, God-honoring, life-transforming worship services every week.

Ok – so what number did you choose?

I’ve found that most pastors and worship pastors THINK they are doing better in the area of worship planning than they really are. But when asked to answer the question above they gain some new clarity about both where they are and where they want to go.

Believe it or not, getting honest on the answer to that question is the starting point for maximizing the Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship.

As you might imagine, #4 is the goal, and what I refer to as an Actively Engaged Pastor / Worship Pastor relationship.

In this scenario the pastor and worship pastor are hands on in creating the worship service from start to finish (not just their respective parts). They are both giving and receiving ideas and feedback on the service. There is a true synergy to the worship planning process.

So, if the Actively Engaged Relationship is the goal, how do you get there. That is the question I will answer in the next two posts.

For now, here are two questions for you to answer:

1. Which of those four scenarios represents my outlook on planning worship services?

2. Which of those four scenarios represents my pastors/worship pastors outlook on planning services?

The key is getting on the same page. Next week, we’ll talk about exactly what page that is!
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.
Immediately download the complete mp3 audio files and full resources and SAVE $100.00!


Secure your 6-CD set here
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.