compared to most 54 year-old men, i’m a pretty flexible guy.  i’m challenged by innovation and new ideas.  i love change.  i’m way more post-modern in my orientation than a lot of 20 and 30-somethings i know.  i think if the church (our church) continues to do the same things in the same ways, we’re going to continue to lose young people in the same way.  like i said, i’m all for change.

so when i read about this new idea, well…i’m still kind of steamed when i think about it.

tim stevens is a church-leader-blogger that i like to read.  he had an interesting post about outsourcing worship leaders the other this morning at his website.  i’m curious what you might think about it…

(thanks to for the synopsis)

tim met with a church leader from mississippi that temporarily hired worship leaders to come in to help them out after their worship leader left for another job.  it worked out so well, that the church decided to permanently hire temporary worship leaders.  they have settled on four or five leaders that they bring in on a weekly basis.  according to tim stevens, here are some of the advantages this church leader told him about this approach:

  • many worship leaders don’t enjoy building teams, managing budgets or organizing departments. they just love to lead worship. this strategy let’s them stay in their sweet spot.
  • this decision saves money for the church.  they are able to pay them really well for a weekend and still save enough money in the church budget to use toward another staff position.
  • they love the variety that this brings to their church.   keeping things unpredictable is a plus to keeping people’s attention.
  • they have learned so much from these worship leaders that they wouldn’t have learned from one person.

in spite of my sometimes reckless love for change and my willingness to go out to the edge for the sake of reaching people for christ, i gotta tell you that i hate this idea.  i appreciate the outside-the-box thinking, but this church has got some messed up thinking.

the premise is all wrong.  the justifications are all wrong.   the expectations are all wrong.  sorry for being so wishy-washy about my opinion on this one.  the definition of worship leader is wrong.  the motive for doing this is wrong.  what about relationship?  what about family?  i’ll stop now.

agree or disagree?

for the record, you people at north point better not get any wacky ideas about outsourcing the preaching around here…


12 thoughts on “IMHO…

  1. Well…you’re way more modern then me, because I have no idea what IMHO means.
    I don’t like this way of thinking. I mean, shouldn’t a church be about investing in lives, building relationships, digging into people, and creating friendships? Shouldn’t the leadership want this, plead for it, create it, and be an example of it? Can there really be such a thing as “part-time” relationships and investing? I don’t think there should be or can be…not in a healthy church. Just my little opinion 😉

  2. Don’t we already “out source” to some degree? The difference in what we do, if I am understanding all of this correctly, is that we VOLUNTEER our time and learning at NPCC. Our worship leaders, teachers etc…have a great deal of life experience and a great investment in the people they work with, not JUST on Sundays….I can’t say enought about those people at NPCC that have worked so hard with my kids over the years, on any given day, at any time…this is one thing that should NEVER change.

  3. Something just isn’t right to me about the concept of some stranger coming in and leading worship and it somehow making your church stronger. Just kinda rubs me the wrong way.

    Where is the meat in that relationship? If you want to hear a great speaker that makes you feel good. Turn on your tv.

    Just seems to me like a spiritual one night stand. No substance. No investment.

    I appreciate the message I get at NP not because Mike and the others are great speakers that make me want to jump up and build a new building. I appreciate it because they are invested in my life and the lives of my family. They know my shortcomings, sins and failures and they still accept me. They are willing to walk my walk with me. The message is very important to hear. But the accountability to that message that comes from relationships with others is equally as important. You don’t get that from one Sunday morning.

  4. I know that I am completely biased and have absolutely no objectivity on this subject since my husband is our worship leader. So, oblige me this and be gracious please. Out sourcing a worship leader may be good for the budget and offer variety but I will trade all that for what we have because I know the hearts of our leaders and because we’re family and friends. I’m not saying I cannot worship with a “stranger” leading, I’d just rather not in the context of our family gathering. I’ve had incredible worship experiences at conferences and other churches. Even if we replaced everyone who touches our Sunday morning gathering, I’d want it to be with people who make a commitment to the family of North Point, not just with people who fill a spot. Mostly, because I want the family to extend beyond Sunday mornings. I want to know that we’re all in this together.

  5. Musically speaking only, I do like the idea of having different styles of Worship. IF that is what each temporary worship leader brings to the table. It would be cool to have a Reggae style first song and somehow transition into a old cranked-up power-chorded Hymn. Then the next week fall back into a nice gospel shuffle set. Then the next week power up new Tomlin and Crowder.

    Think about how boring listening the to the piano and Sister Tarbucket sing at the church up the street. Week after week. Our ears hear music differently than 40,30 even just 20 years ago.

    I am going to look, but I bet the worship the temporary leaders create is all in the same vein.

    I bet also that NONE of those worshipleaders would have helped me move. Thanks Buzzy.

    Oh, and Buzzy, check out the Second Bullet point the Mike disagrees with. 🙂

  6. Brandon,
    So these styles you mention. What’s keeping the band from cranking those out. You guys are definitely talented enough to pull this off. Bring on the Reggae!

  7. How about some bluegrass?? Sister Tarbucket could play the banjo instead of the piano..

    I don’t agree with outsourcing. You want to allow your church family to get to know the leaders of the church… If you see someone different every Sunday, in my opinion, it would send the wrong message to new comers… I wonder what the percentage of newcomers at that church stay longer than a month at that church…

  8. I don’t like that one of the points is about “keeping people’s attention.” If you’re having to change out leaders every week so people aren’t rolling their eyes and getting bored then you’ve probably got some other issues to address. Like the definition of worship.

  9. Ok so with all the being said, we don’t like outsiders?
    I know when Raeshel and I were looking for a church, several of the ones we visited were the days that Missionaries or guest pastors were speaking. I’ll be honest, they all bit. I know we have to give those guys some talk time. But very, very boring. I would rather have a 50/50 them and us speaking time.

    I hate the saying “What until next week, we will be back to normal” If we do go out of the norm, we need to embrace all who haven’t seen us in our Jeans and Tshirts.

    I have not been able to play the videos of that church’s worship. I could see the image of their junk. But with out even listening, They look all the same. I wanted to see bones-through-the-nose and all tatted up worship leaders…I wanted to see BUZZY MARLEY!!!

  10. Ok, I’ll poke the skunk. I’m posting this as conceptual, not as a recommendation or as something I would like to see. So please, don’t anyone try to read something between the lines.

    When I read Mike’s post, my mind went a different direction. I was thinking more of out tasking, rather than out sourcing. You could still have the same band, same worship leader (that’s what I see Buzz Marley as), same senior pastor, just hire out the task of preaching the sermon several times a month. Look at it as staff augmentation. How much time would that free up for other things (Like outreach, small groups, etc.) if the senior guy only had to prepare two sermons a month rather than four or five? You’d want to be real careful about whom you brought in and you’d want it to be a consistent group of people so they aren‘t strangers.

    As much As I like to hear Mike preach, I’ve enjoyed the times Mike has been gone and Logan has preached. It’s always good to hear someone like Dusty, or Mark Worley, or Gary Riker on occasion too.

    This idea would be much more advantageous to a church that needed to add experienced staff, but couldn’t afford another full time person. Instead of taking on a $40,000 a year salary pay each guest speaker $200 a sermon. You should be able to get some mighty fine speakers for that and it would still only cost you $4400 a year. Give ‘em $500 a week and it would still only cost you $12,000 a year.

    Remember, just a concept!!

  11. Hmmm, I guess I should weigh in on this, but where to start…

    This whole exchange has been thought provoking, and just down right funny all at the same time.

    I can’t imagine doing what we do with a different group of people every week. One of the many joys of leading worship for me is the connection with my friends (and family) in the band, and the connection with our church family that takes place EVERY Sunday.

    At the end of the day (literally), I wouldn’t take for the relationships, the experience, even helping Brandon move, and the joy of serving in this way.

    I’m going to get on ebay now and shop for steel drums…

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