3 Worship Ministry Fundamentals You Can’t Afford to Ignore

It’s the first night of practice for my daughter’s basketball team.

Among the nonstop bouncing of basketballs and the laughs of 3rd and 4th grade girls I’m reminded of one of the most important principles for any worship leader, Pastor or musician heading into the start of the New Year.

Do you remember when you first learned your instrument?

My guitar teacher spent time those first weeks teaching me how to hold a pick, how to count, how to take care of my instrument and more.

Like me, you probably learned scales. You practiced and practiced and practiced. It was exciting because it was new.

But the longer we play, sing, Pastor, and lead worship the more we tend to think, “I got this.” And the more we think that we don’t need to keep returning to the fundamentals of ministry that we learned so long ago.

The key to becoming a better worship leader tomorrow is working on the fundamentals today.

As we approach Christmas and the start of a New Year, here are three fundamentals worth reviewing in your ministry:

FUNDAMENTAL #1 – You are a child of God before you are a worship leader.
The ultimate key to your long-term health and success in ministry is your personal walk with God. We sometimes forget that ministry does NOT equal relationship with God. So, in order to have a joyful, healthy ministry in the New Year make sure that you’re spiritual habits are strong.  

Remember: the greatest gift you can give to your team is who you are becoming in Christ.

FUNDAMENTAL #2 – You are a pastor first and a musician second.
Your first responsibility is to the lives of the people on your team, then to the music that you lead.

In 1 Timothy 2:1 Paul reminds Timothy, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks.”

Pray for your team. Share a Christmas devotional or send Christmas cards. What could you do this week to pastor your team?


Remember: Care more for your team members lives than what they can do for you.

FUNDAMENTAL #3 – You are the mark of excellence for your worship team.
You are the primary example of what excellence looks like on your team. If there are specific areas where your team needs to grow in the New Year, then look at yourself and ask, “Am I setting a good example in this area?”

If you want to see your team be better prepared for rehearsal, make sure you are prepared. If you want your team to arrive on time for set-up and sound check, then arrive early yourself. If your team needs to get better vocally, then work on that in your own life as well.


Remember… no one will pray or prepare for Sunday more than you!

As worship leaders, we are the lids for our worship ministries and in order for our teams to get better, we have to get better first!

Just like a basketball team works on dribbling, passing, stamina and shooting at every practice, you and I must continually return to these fundamentals of personal and pastoral leadership each week.

Go team!

Your partner in ministry,