Thinking Out Loud

August 31, 2017

Could Your Worship Leader(s) Pass a Basic Theology Test?

What just happened? I was trying to make the connection between two elements of a single spoken section between two worship songs, but I figured I had just missed something. Someone came to me after the service and asked what I thought. I said I didn’t think it made any sense. They said they thought it was heretical.

Last night my wife and I continued the discussion.

A pastor was once expected to spend an hour in study for every minute in the pulpit. 30 hours preparing the sermon. I don’t know what the expectation was if they also had to do a different sermon in the evening service (back when churches had them) but I’ve known pastors who if they don’t hit 30 hours come respectably close. One I know these days always has books and commentaries spread out on his desk throughout the week; and the payoff is evident with each new message.

So if a worship leader is going to have five minutes worth of patter between songs, should they not spend five hours preparing that? I know worship leaders that have spent a long time, in addition to selecting the songs, in preparation for what they’re going to say at the beginning and little comments interspersed throughout the worship set.


Could your worship team leader(s) pass an elementary test of basic theology?

Could your worship team leader(s) provide helpful counsel to someone who seeks them out after the service?

Could your worship team leader(s) deliver a homily; a message; a sermon if asked to speak in a format longer than the short song introductions they give at weekend services?

I wonder how much thought is given to this when interviewing prospects for paid positions in the modern Evangelical church?

Have you ever experienced really bad theology during a worship set?

Does your church let the worship leader say much or is their mandate to simply play music?

If the modern Evangelical expectation is that pastors have a Masters level education, should there be a lesser but similar educational requirement for worship team leaders?


  1. When I was pastoring, I did spend a good 30 hours of preparation every week on a single sermon. I did that because I considered it a very heavy task to stand before the congregation and teach them about God.

    My Greek teacher in seminary said something the very first class of the semester: “Your challenge is NOT that the people you lead won’t believe what you teach. The challenge is that they WILL believe everything you teach. So you better study and know that what your teaching is right.” That has stuck with my entire life.

    You would think that our church leadership would care enough about the people they lead that they wouldn’t turn 1/3 to 1/2 of the service time over to someone who doesn’t have much theological depth or knowledge. But you would be wrong for thinking that, obviously.

    Comment by Jim — August 31, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

    • Thanks. When I was doing this our service would start at 10:30 and I would be responsible for everything up to 11:05. It was something I never took lightly.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — August 31, 2017 @ 1:38 pm

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