Three Ways to Overcome the Hard Days of Ministry

“On it’s best day, ministry is hard.”

That is the advice my Pastor shared with me when I first started in ministry, and it’s true.

God has called us to no easy task. It’s hard work on it’s best day. And I don’t even want to talk about it’s worst day!

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about ministry. That since it’s God’s work it’s always fulfilling, fascinating, and fun. But a year into ministry and you realize that while it is all of those things sometimes, it’s not all of those things all the time.

When you’re short on budget, short on volunteers, short on time, and short on enthusiasm, ministry can be anything but fun. Read more

How to Resolve Conflict on Your Worship Team… Fast!

Conflict happens!

(I know… tell me something I don’t know). And worship teams are not immune.

The truth is you can’t prevent conflict on your team (sorry – we’re all human and we all make mistakes).  But just because it can’t be avoided, doesn’t mean that we can’t minimize it’s effects on our team by dealing with it quickly.

There’s a ministry rule that I learned a long time ago, and that has saved me countless hours of heartache as a Worship Pastor.  The rule is simply this:  Run to conflict!

Whenever conflict arises we have two choices: Read more

3 Powerful (and Easy) Summer Reading Goals

I admit it. I have not always had a love of reading. But it didn’t take long as a young Worship Pastor at The Journey for me to recognize my need to read in order to survive in ministry, much less lead a thriving worship team.

I first started in ministry at age 23. I was fresh out of college. I had been a worship leader, but I had never been a Worship Pastor in the church before. I could stand onstage and lead worship, but I couldn’t write a task list, build teams, lead people . . . you get the picture.

It was at that point – aware of my personal and ministry shortcomings, and certain that I needed to make a change – that I developed a love for reading.

How about you? Have you been there?

This Summer you and I have a unique opportunity. While most of the world looks at summer and says, “I’m going to take it easy and just GLIDE through the summer,” you and I can choose a better course. We can choose to GROW this summer. Read more

3 Ways to Step-up Your Sunday Focus Time, Part 3

A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a 3-Day story-writing seminar taught by legendary Hollywood screenwriter and professor Robert McKee.

During the 14-hour a day, 3-day seminar McKee said something that resonated with me then and still does today, especially when it comes to leading our Worship Teams. Read more

3 Ways to Step-up Your Sunday Focus Time, Part 2

Every worship leader has them. But not every worship leader knows how to use them wisely.

I’m talking about the precious moments you have as the “leader” of your team each Sunday.  After all of the set-up and sound checks are finished your Team pulls together for a time of prayer.

These moments are important not only because we will ask God to bless our services, but because for a few minutes you have the opportunity to invest in the leadership and growth of your team members.  These moments are a vital part of your Leadership, and that’s why recently I started this 3-part series about how you can make the most of them every week!

Last time, I talked about the importance of taking time to Celebrate in your Focus Time each week (Focus Time is what we call this time of prayer and investment @ The Journey).  And today, we look at the second way to step up your Focus Time me each week: Read more

3 Ways to Step-up Your Sunday Focus Time

You know the moment on Sunday that I’m talking about. 

After all of the set-up, sound checks, ramp-ups and run-thru’s are finished, your Team pulls together each Sunday to catch their breath and commit the upcoming service to God in a time of prayer. 

It’s some of the most important time that you and your team have on Sunday morning.  Not only because it’s the time where we admit our total dependence on God to work in the service (we only teach and play the music; God is the one who changes lives), but because for a few minutes we have our key team members together.  They look to us not only to lead them in prayer, but to lead them.  To inspire, encourage, challenge and “fire-up” for the service ahead. Read more

3 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Disney (Part 2)

Last week we started a 3-part series on Leadership Lessons that I think every Pastor and Worship Leader can learn from one of the world’s most unique leadership laboratories — Disney.

After being invited to take part in a special “behind-the-scenes” tour of Walt Disney World and seeing the inner-workings of Disney in a way that few people do, I couldn’t help but share with you these THREE BIG leadership lessons that I learned along the way.

We covered the first one last week – Over-manage the Details.  And today, I’ll cover Lesson #2: Read more

3 Lessons Your Church Can Learn from Disney

Recently, I was asked to speak to a group of pastors in Orlando and while I was there, I was invited to go on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of Walt Disney World.

Needless to say… I was excited!  Sure it was going to be fun, but the real reason I love experiences like this is because I believe that God has ministry lessons for you wherever you are, if you’re looking for them.

My ears were open and my eyes were peeled.  But even I was surprised by how applicable these THREE BIG leadership lessons are to what you and I do every week in leading our churches and Worship Ministries.  (I’ll cover the first one today).

Here it is: Read more

3 Ways Your Team (and You) Should Grow Through the Summer

Summer is just around the corner and you and I (and our worship teams) have an important choice to make in the weeks ahead.

We can choose how we approach the summer months — Will we “Glide” through the summer, or will we “Grow”?

Let me explain….

Most people view summer as a time to kick back, take it easy, and enjoy the weather. Don’t get me wrong. I think you should go on vacation during the summer, go to the beach, and kick back a little.

Just not in every area of your life — and especially not in your spiritual walk.

You see – we have a choice to make. When it comes to our relationship with God we can “glide through the summer — sleep late, forget our spiritual disciplines, go on vacation from our walk with God and say “I’ll pick back up in the Fall.”

That is a choice, but it’s not a good one. If you choose to glide, you will reach the end of the summer and find out you’re more or less the same person you were before the summer. About the same spiritual maturity, wrestling with the same spiritual struggles, and honestly feeling further from God.

As Pastors and Worship Leaders we can’t afford to take the summer off spiritually speaking. We have to choose to Grow. To make investments in our spiritual lives, to read new books, start new spiritual habits.

And we must challenge our Worship Teams to do the same.

I learned a long time ago in ministry that our Worship Arts Team is only going to be as healthy as the guy leading it (me) and the people serving on it.

That’s why one of my core values of ministry has always been to care more about what God is doing in the hearts of our team members than I care about what they can do for me or our church.

Because I know if they are healthy and growing, our team will be as well.

And that the best thing that I and my team have to give to our church is who we are becoming in Christ.

So how do I keep myself and my team growing this summer?

Here are 3 choices we need to challenge ourselves and our teams (Caution: simple is oftentimes most powerful):

#1 – Choose to give God the first part of your day. Psalm 63:1 says, “… Early will I seek you…” Challenge yourself and your team to give the first part of your day to Bible study and prayer. Doing so is like practicing scales for a musician. Practicing scales every day allows us encounter a difficult piece of music and make our way through it. Same in life… spending time in prayer and Bible study every day allows us to meet the challenges of life and get through them.

#2 – Choose to join a Bible Study group. At The Journey we call these Growth Groups. And the reason why you (yes you Pastor and Worship Leader) should be in a group is the same reason you want your Worship Team to be in a group. Because the two primary ways that God speaks to us are 1) through His word and 2) through His people. The Christian life wasn’t meant to live in isolation. We need people to speak into our lives, challenge us and help us become what God has created us to be.

#3 – Choose to attend the worship service each week. OK – I know what you’re thinking… “How can I NOT attend the service each week?” But hear me out. First let’s talk about your Worship Team.

Challenge your worship team to attend every Sunday they are in town this summer. Sure there’s plenty to do on a beautiful summer Sunday morning, but let them know the most significant spiritual decisions in your church happen on Sundays and that God has spiritual steps for them to take this summer as well. Challenge them (whether they are serving or not on a Sunday) to engage the service, take notes, take next steps, sing, give their tithe… in short to fully participate. It will help them grow this summer.

And then for you and I as pastors and worship leaders, make sure you take part as well. If you’re teaching on a Sunday, then be sure to listen to a service online sometime over the weekend and engage that service. If you’re leading worship, then lead your team to sit together during the service and while you’re there, clear out your busy mind enough to listen and let God speak to you. Some of the most important decisions I’ve made in life have been a result of me creating time on my busy Sunday to listen to the message and allow God to work in me.

This summer we all have a choice to make… will we Glide or Grow? As church leaders, let‘s challenge ourselves and our teams become more like Christ and GROW this Summer.

Your partner in ministry,


PS:One of the best ways to ensure your growth, not only this summer but for the next 12 months is to join with a great group of like-minded worship leaders as a part of my NEW Worship Leader Coaching Network.

But you have to hurry… it begins in just TWO WEEKS on Friday, May 10.

As a member of the Worship Leader Coaching network you will:

* Join me for a monthly 90-minute coaching call where I will teach you practical, “will work tomorrow” strategies for leading a thriving worship ministry

* Be able to have your specific questions answered about your team and the challenges you’re facing. This isn’t a network about information, it’s about implementation. I’m committed to help you implement the ideas and processes I’ll teach you.

* Learn how to get more done in ministry, to get further planned in advance, and to maximize your leadership skills to lead a growing worship ministry.

* Receive over $1,419.00 in free resources from Worship Leader Insights, PLUS free membership in the Renegade Pastors Coaching Network (with a monthly value of $2,667.00 — keep reading for details). You get two networks for the price of one!

* Plus a lot more!

Here is what other worship leaders have had to say about how they’ve grown in my coaching network:

“We have been implementing many changes in our Sunday Service System. The result has been less stress on Sunday mornings and throughout the week, an increase in attendance and retention of new attendees, better communication between myself and the other staff and volunteers, and an easier rehearsal time.”

– Josiah Herried, CenterPoint Christian Fellowship, Tacoma, WA

“I would not be exaggerating to say that in my case this network has been life/ministry transforming. In this past year the Worship arts Department has grown more than in the last 7 years combined. This network really helped to de-stress my life and increase my effectiveness as the Worship Pastor.”
– Bode Abodunde, World Harvest Christian Center, Pennsauken, NJ

“Don’t miss this opportunity to steward the next year of your life, purposing to learn how to grow yourself, your team and your church into the healthy, growing and thriving ministry God wants for you. Pastor Jason is a comforting, thorough, trustworthy and practical teacher of Biblical truths that will propel your worship and leadership to the next level – and you’ll have fun through the process.”
– Jeff Little, Ridgecrest Church of the Nazarene, Ridgecrest, CA

“This network blew my mind! I wish I could have attended this network before our church exploded in growth. I would have implemented everything I learned right from the beginning. There is such much I have learned from this network. I never knew how much potential my worship ministry could have before attending this network.”
– Jeff Craig, CrossPointe Church, Yorba Linda, CA

Visit for additional video testimonies from worship leaders just like you!

P.P.S. Since you may need even more details about the coaching network, check out this Q and A… but don’t procrastinate – the network begins in just two weeks on Friday, May 10:

Here’s a powerful question for you: What could you do over the next year that would dramatically impact the development of your worship ministry and your personal growth as a leader more than this network?

Imagine for a moment, what if …

  • Your worship team could double over the next year and so could your personal effectiveness?
  • You could consistently get everything done at the office, manage your staff and volunteers well, see consistent growth in excellence and still get home on time for dinner and family fun each night?
  • You could develop personal leadership growth habits that help you lead yourself and your team at an optimum level?
  • You could achieve greater clarity and a stronger working relationship with your pastor?
  • You were able to work with your pastor to plan your services months in advance, and create more impactful services than ever before, while reducing the stress of Sunday?

What would your life and church look like one year from now if your worship team and effectiveness grew by 50%? I can’t promise these results but I can say that they are typical of results I’ve seen in the nearly 200 worship pastors who have completed my coaching process over the last 5 years.

I’m not teaching you theory or stuff that I’ve only read about. I’m coaching you as a fellow worship pastor and practitioner who is in the trenches day after day leading a growing worship ministry. In addition, the coaching process that I will lead you through is a proven process that has been effective with nearly 200 churches who have been through this coaching process, and hundreds more who have taken part in my one-day seminars.

** If you are ready to apply now, click here to read more and apply online:

Instead of you flying to our office in New York City for an ‘in person’ coaching network, you will participate in this coaching network via your telephone and your computer.

Think about it, you will experience the same network experience that others have experienced while SAVING THOUSANDS of dollars in travel costs and SAVING DOZENS OF HOURS on cross-country flights.

The short answer . . . I will share every worship ministry and personal development principle I know and give you every resource I’ve developed to help you implement each principle.

Don’t worry, it will not be overwhelming . . . everything will be delivered in a manageable bits over the course of the year.

All that said, here’s the ‘official list’ of all that you receive:

  • Monthly hands-on coaching from me.
  • A proven coaching process that leads to growth and health.
  • Over $1419.00 in FREE resources from Worship Leader Insights.
  • Unlimited email access to me and the WLI team.
  • A monthly coaching environment where everyone is focused on a Kingdom agenda.
  • MP3s of each session for your review. NOTE: Even if you miss the exact date, you can listen to the network at your leisure.
  • Free attendance at all WLI training events during your network.
  • Private “call-in” times with me to have your specific questions answered in more detail.
  • A private weekend training event (in sunny South Florida) exclusively for Tele-Coaching members, complete with a behind-the-scenes look at The Journey on a Sunday morning ($1500 value)
  • The opportunity to grow and take your church to the next level.

NEW! As a member of the Worship Leader Tele-Coaching network you will also receive a FREE membership in the Renegade Pastor Network ($2,667.00 monthly value)!

In addition to all the free resources and training you will receive from Jason, you will also receive over $2,667.00 in resources and training from the Renegade Pastors Network every month, including:

  • LIVE MONTHLY UPDATE AND LEADERSHIP BRIEFING – This monthly “pastor to pastor” call (which will be recorded on MP3 for your library) will be personal, practical, and packed with content ($199.00 per month value)
  • Monthly Ministry Equipping interview with noted author or ministry leader ($195.00 per month value)
  • RESTRICTED ACCESS Online Membership Site ($99.00 per month value)
  • Member Only 30% DISCOUNT on all WLI and CLI resources ($245.00 value)
  • RESOURCE DOCUMENTS AND DIRECTORY ($399.00 per month value). If there’s a document that we use at The Journey or that is shared by someone else in the network (and I think its helpful) I’ll share it with you.
  • Over$813.00 in FREE Resources,
  • Plus much more!

Plus much, much more . . .

As you can see, just the tangible benefits you will receive as part of this network will far out-weigh your monthly financial investment.

** If you are ready to apply now, click here to read more and apply online:

Each phone call is 90-minutes long and we will meet monthly for one year. This is a big commitment but I want to make sure that we fully cover all 7 of the Worship Leader Challenges and I’ve outlined in my resources.

You will complete the network with a personal library worth of worship ministry leadership materials and personal development insights.

I have a degree in Sacred Music, and I can guarantee you that what you will learn in this network is the ‘practical, will work tomorrow’ stuff they don’t teach in college or seminary!

We will cover each of my Seven Challenges of a Worship Pastor plus issues related to personal development, time management and more. As a reminder, the seven challenges are:

* The Personal Challenge – How to develop personal leadership growth habits that help you lead yourself and your team at an optimum level
* The Pastor Challenge – How to achieve clarity and a develop a strong working relationship with your pastor
* The Planning Challenge – How to plan your services months in advance, and create more impactful services than ever before.
* The People Challenge – How to double your Worship Team volunteers and strengthen their commitment to the church through a proven audition system that leads to growth and health.
* The Provision Challenge – How to invest wisely the resources spent on the Sunday service for now and the future, especially in a troubled economy
* The Professionalism Challenge – How to create a culture of excellence that brings the very best out of you and your volunteers
* The Production Challenge – How to ensure that every Sunday service is successfully planned for and executed, with nothing left to chance

Each tele-coaching call will be from 11:00am – 12:30pm Eastern Time. Literally, you could call in to the network from anywhere in the world. Cool, huh?

All the calls are on Fridays, which I’ve found to be the best day for most worship pastors, but I also understand that you may have to adjust your schedule..

Remember, each call is only 90-minutes so even if you have to step out of a meeting or call in from home, it will not consume your entire day. Here are the dates:

  • May 10, 2013
  • June 14, 2013
  • July 12, 2013
  • August 9, 2013
  • September 13, 2013
  • October 11, 2013
  • November 8, 2013
  • December 13, 2013
  • January 10, 2014
  • February 7, 2014
  • March 7, 2014
  • April 11, 2014

I strongly encourage you to make every date a priority but I also know that ministry is messy and uncertain so I will record every session and you will receive the complete MP3’s of each session within a day or two of meeting. If you attend, the MP3 is for your library and for your review. If you are unable to attend, you will still be able to gain the full experience.

As I mentioned earlier, this network is not for everyone but if you choose to apply and you are accepted, I would like to offer you a no-hassle, no questions asked guarantee.

Here it is: I’m so confident that you will find this Network beneficial that any time prior to the fourth monthly meeting you can call my office and tell me that this network isn’t benefiting your church or your leadership ability and I will refund everything you have invested, including any long distance costs you might have incurred.

Plus, you can keep any of the resources, MP3s or seminar materials that you have received to date.

In other words, I want to remove any fear you might have in joining this network. You can try it for four months with absolutely NO RISK!

I have tried to keep the monthly investment in this network as low as possible. But remember, you are receiving thousands of dollars of resources, free passes to my seminars, email support and private consulting. At the same time, you are saving thousands of dollars in hotel, flight costs, rental car expenses, gas, etc.

That said, the monthly investment is $247 per month. Once you are accepted, your credit card will be charged for the first two months.

You’ll find that is about the same as taking 3-4 key team members to one of the major worship conferences this year (registration, travel, hotel, meals).

HOWEVER, with the Tele-Coaching network…

  • You get 12-months of hands on personal training with systems that ACTUALLY work in churches of all shapes and sizes
  • You walk away with $1419.00 of FREE Resources (try doing that at the resource table for your next Worshp Conference)
  • The training doesn’t end after 3 days… in addtion to the 12-monthly session, you get audio MP3’s of each session, meaning you walk away with a library of over 24 hours of nuts-and-bolts practical systems to build a health and growing worship ministry and share with the key leaders in your church.
  • Personalized Q&A call-in sessions to have all of your questions answered about what we disucss in each session
  • Plus much more!

** If you are ready to apply now, click here to read more and apply online:

In addition to the monthly call, you will be assigned to read or listen to one of my resources plus another book (generally, a ministry leadership or business book with clear application to ministry). While the network will stretch you to grow, study and read, it will not be overwhelming. I’ll help you prioritize so you can get the most from the network.

At the same time, there will be opportunities for you to share your ideas and learnings from the network plus you’ll be able to submit prayer requests and ask questions to me and everyone else in the network.

God has given me a unique opportunity to serve in a church that is not only passionate about reaching and discipling people, but also returning what we have learned back to the kingdom so that other churches can do the same in their cities and towns.

In the last 10 years of my ministry here, I have been able to build systems for developing a thriving worship ministry that have worked not only here, but in churches all over the country. The reason I am doing this network is because I want to see you succeed in fulfilling your mission in the local church, and I believe with all my heart that this network can give you tools, insights, and systems to do exactly that.

In 2002, Jason Hatley helped launch The Journey Church in New York City, directing the programming of their worship services. He served as the Pastor of Worship Arts and has 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.

Currently, Jason and his family live in Boca Raton, FL to serve as the Pastor of Worship Arts at The Journey’s newest location in South Florida.

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 written for Worship Leader Magazine, and has been a featured break-out speaker at the Willow Creek Arts Conference (2007-2009), The Purpose Drive Worship Conference (2003-2004), as well as seminars around the country. He has a B.M. in Sacred Music Performance from Appalachian State University.

Jason is the founder of, the author of nearly a dozen resources on Worship Leadership, including the books Engage: A Guide to Creating Life-Transforming Worship Services and Revolve: A New Way to See Worship.

Please complete the application and return it to my office ASAP. I am reviewing applications right now and will try to review your application and let you know within two weeks of your acceptance.

** If you are ready to apply now, click here to read more and apply online:

Let me know if you have any questions . . . just email

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.

Five Steps to Develop Your Music Plan – Part 3

“Don’t just sing songs . . . create moments!” That’s the advice that I received several years ago while attending a Tom Jackson’s Expressive Worship Conference.

I couldn’t agree more. In fact one of our core values here at The Journey has always been to not just ‘execute the service’, but to create moments of life-transformation in our worship services. It’s not enough to just play good music or teach a good message. We need to plan our services so that there are intentional moments where people can connect with God and experience life transformation.

This idea — creating moments — is central to the third question that you want to ask in preparing your music plan each week.

Here’s the question:

How can we create a moment of life-transformation in the time that we have?  Read more