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Worship Leader or Leader of Leaders?

Worship Leader or Leader of Leaders?

By Julie Terwilliger on July 09, 2012

“Be fruitful and multiply.”  I’ve always agonized over this and thought that I had to bear at least 10 children to fulfill this command.  As I can barely keep my sanity parenting 1 child who is the equivalent of 4 (says my sister, an actual parent of 4) thankfully, I’ve realized this verse is not just about childbearing.

Being fruitful (increase and to bring forth) and multiplying (become great, grow, give, enlarge) is really the only hope the future has. What does this have to do with worship leading?  Everything.  That is, if you care about who will lead your children’s children to worship the Lord!

Let's start with a trip down memory lane: Who sowed into you?  Who encouraged you?  Who gave you opportunities?  Who believed in you?  Who guided you?

Next, change the questions to: Who am I sowing into? Who am I encouraging and believing in?  Who am I helping and guiding?

“What if Jesus never made the time or commitment to disciple the disciples?  They would’ve never changed the world.” says my WL friend Kevin Melton of Southlake, TX.

And before you let that little voice plant doubts in your ear, let’s address some misconceptions about being fruitful and multiplying:

I am too young.

You don’t have to be an old wrinkly person to start considering the next generation!

I was 24 when I started helping sow what little I had into others.  I also had the privilege to watch a young WL at 23 raise up a 15 year old who can now lead an adult service all by himself and is leading the youth band as well.

They are too young.

Subjects do not have to be ‘of age’.  Kevin recognized the ability in his children when they were just months old, and all 3 grew to help lead worship at a very young age.

I am too new and/or inexperienced.

You don’t have to be a seasoned geaser to begin, nor do you have to ‘have it all together’ to sow into someone.  A formal or extensive education is not required to pour your heart into another. 

I don’t know any ‘good’ candidates.

Maybe you are looking for people who are just like you, what about that eager beaver who always hangs around after service just to get a chance to say hi?  As annoying as they may be, they are hungry and ready, and may be a future WL.  Also on the subject of cloning, my friend Dustin Peckinpaugh of Three Rivers, MI says “It is important to not reproduce yourself in them, but rather draw out who they are as a leader.”   Yes, it would be boring if every single WL was a Chris Tomlin.

I don’t have money for a curriculum.

Jesus didn’t have an official intern program, He merely did life with His disciples.

I let ‘_______’ lead a song last week and helped them learn the right chord progression, I’ve made a disciple!

Throwing them a bone or helping them with their craft is not discipleship.  Help them with their heart, motives and how they see things, this is real mentoring!

I’m afraid they might be better than me and eventually take my job. 

It takes a humble, unselfish person to raise up another rather than raise themselves up.

“If we reject the gifts of others because of our insecurity then the world will suck them up and the church will never benefit from them because of our inferiority complexes and insecurities.” ~ Kevin Melton (I almost didn’t quote you on that one Kevin, because of my inferiority complex, I wanted everyone to think I made that one up!).

I love how Jesus said in John 14:12 that we could go on to do even greater things...that is true leadership straight from the King of the universe!

A few things:

If you were removed from your team what would it look like?  Would it suffer so badly because the star of the show was missing?  Or did you raise up other ‘stars’ who could step up in an instant?  Fail to plan then plan to fail.  God’s plan is eternal, so we should plan eternal.  Leave a legacy.  Train your disciples to train disciples!  Are you happier knowing you just got the job done today or knowing you’ve planted seeds for tomorrow?

These 3 things will guarantee the future generation of worship leaders:

  1. Learn to RECOGNIZE gifts and natural ability in others.
  2. COMMIT to come alongside at least one person and help guide them in heart, skill, and leadership.
  3. WALK with them for a season as Jesus did, learning happens best organically.  More is caught than taught.

I will close with this. The joy of watching someone you’ve poured into, and them leading others is far greater than leading worship yourself.

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Julie Terwilliger

Julie Terwilliger

Julie is a business owner, designer, worship leader, and iPhoneographer. She loves Jesus, elevating others, laughing & living life to the fullest with her husband & son in Michigan.