How to make friends and influence pastors

Posted by Duncan Reid on 6 February 2020

Worship Leaders and pastors need to be able to work well as a team - listening well to each other, mutually encouraging the other, and working to their strengths. Sadly, however, when we're out and about talking to worship leaders they tell us that it isn't always an easy relationship.

I've worked in a lot of different places over the course of my life, and have also lead worship in a few different churches. The challenges faced when trying to communicate are not so different between business and church - it's still people trying to talk to people. I've foind in both these spheres of my life that anticipating conversations, and preparing well for them sets everyone up to win.

Next time you've got a meeting lined up with your church leader maybe consider the following - in this instance I'm imagining a conversation about introducing a new song to our fellowship.

  • Pick your time - set yourself up to succeed by making sure that you bring it up at a time when your church leader is relaxed, and isn't preoccupied by something else.
  • Set up the ecology - in other words pick a place that is conducive to the conversation, i.e. somewhere that your pastor is going to feel comfortable

And then it's the magic 4Mat (this is a system devised by an American school teacher called Bernice McCarthy in 1980 - you can find out more about it here). Follow these steps in this order

  • Why - This is all about tapping into the emotions of a song. Look for the universal question that the song you're talking about answers. If I was looking to introduce Way Maker I might say something like "Have you had times in your life when you've known God leading you on the path ahead in your life?". Find an emotional hook to start the conversation on.
  • What - This is all about engendering trust, and giving some process. It demonstrates that this is a song that answers a question, and has provenance. Again with Way Maker I might say "This is a great song that was written by a female Nigerian worship leader, and over 140million have watched it on YouTube. More recently it's been recorded by Leeland, who wrote The Lion and The Lamb". This demonstrates the background of the song, and that you have researched it a bit. I'd then maybe reference some of the bible references that the song resonates with. Don't worry, we've got you covered here too - just look at the song page and you'll see the references and themes for the song on the left hand column!
  • How - Now that you've set the song up emotionally, and you've given it a bit of context it's time to get them involved. Play them the song, either the original recording, or if you're feeling brave then play it love. Start with the biggest hook of the song, and go from there.
  • So What - this is the bit where you try and get them to see how this could benefit the wider context of the church. If we do this, then this could happen... For this song maybe "if we sing this song, then it would really work with the sermon series you're working on right now. It'll help people to take your message home with them after church through this song".

For more tips in how to introduce new songs to your church hit the button


More like this

The Six P's of Planning a Worship Set

When I was a little boy, and on into my teen years I really struggled in school. I found it hard to keep my attention locked on my teachers, and it was the same out of school, whether I was listening to my parents or pastors teaching. Some days I STILL struggle with keeping my attention fixed for long periods of time!

A Time To Be Reconciled

As North Korea and The United States of America meet, we look at the importance of reconciliation and the power of forgiveness in all our lives | WeAreWorship

The Power of Worship - Tearing Down The Prison Walls

Worship is powerful. We know that, don’t we? Sometimes it does us good to be reminded of the truth. Sometimes it’s good to go back to the old stories and remember what they can teach us | WeAreWorship

Free Songs

with chords, lyrics and MP3