My pastor doesn’t give me much freedom in trying new ideas in worship. What can I do?
Three major things are important in this situation: prayer, communication and submission. First, it is essential to pray, both for yourself and for your pastor. Pray for yourself to be certain that you are going in the right direction. (This is so easy to say and yet so hard to learn.) Pray for your pastor that he might see all that God is wanting to do within your congregation. (And not just what you’re wanting to do.)
Second, communicate. Beyond just the subject at hand, become his friend. Show care and concern that stretches past your professional relationship. Ask about his family, his concerns, his life. Be a real friend. With solid foundational communication at this level, discussion of new ideas and concepts will be much easier.
Third, decide in your heart that you will submit to your pastor. He may not agree with everything you suggest or all of your ideas, but if God has placed him in the role of leadership then you should esteem him fully in that role. Obviously, I am assuming that he is not in rebellion toward God and that he is attempting to follow the Lord’s direction, even though you may not agree with all of his methods. The fact is that when your pastor knows that you are submitted to him, four things will happen:
- He will find it easier to do his job as shepherd. (In other words, you will be one less concern in his life.)
- He will not be afraid of you trying to usurp his authority. (Worship leaders starting their own congregations over petty disputes seems to be a rampant problem in the Church.)
- He will find it easier to hear from God. (This means both in his private devotional time as well as through you.)
- He will give you more freedom in your area of ministry. (If he knows you’re not going to try to “pull a fast one”, why wouldn’t he trust you more?)
When our church’s previous pastor left and another man filled the position, I pledged my complete loyalty to the new pastor. I voluntarily submitted to his authority. I did not do this to get something in return. I did it because it was the right thing to do. However, in taking this simple step I found immense freedom in my area of ministry. Because of my submissive attitude the pastor knew he could trust me completely.
The pastor of a church usually sees the congregation from an overall perspective, whereas the worship leader’s vision may be more limited. Because of this, new and/or unusual ideas should not show up in the middle of the service on Sunday morning. Rather, take the time beforehand to talk with your pastor. Discuss the ramifications of your anticipated changes.
Remember: pray, communicate and submit. By doing these three things, you should see a new freedom in your area of ministry.