I recently was ordained as a minister in my denomination and was interested by how many people seemed totally surprised by the fact that I was being ordained or by others who were confused about what I would be doing after ordination. Many people expected me to become a lead pastor or preacher. Some expected me to get a pay raise or to be transferred into a new assignment. Others simply posed the question, “What is that?” I thought a valid response to this confusion would be to share 3 Reasons I sought ordination as a worship leader.
1. I was called by God into professional ministry.
Growing up, I was never exposed to the kind of ministry that I would eventually be called into. In the small independent churches I grew up in, the only “pastor” was the preacher. There were different volunteers who led music or Sunday school. The pastors of those churches rarely took classes in Theology or Biblical Studies. They basically sought what they believed to be their calling and relied totally on the Holy Spirit to speak through them. I was also exposed to some mainline churches with “ministers” who wore robes and held Divinity degrees and had attended seminary. The kind of ministry God called me to wasn’t a part of my understanding until that calling was being formed in college.
2. Ordination isn’t just for sermon writers.
Being a worship leader is more than just leading music and overseeing other creative arts in the church. The two main roles of a pastor (shepherd and prophet) are very much a part of my calling. First of all, I am a shepherd to those whom I lead. I have a very intimate role with those in my band and media teams, and a wider-reaching role leading those in our church in authentic worship. I am also called to act as a prophet. I’m not talking about future-telling prophecy, but rather truth-speaking prophecy. This is the basis of sermon writing. It is to declare truth about God; to share His character with those who will listen, and to challenge those whom he leads to become more like Christ with each sermon. As we as worship leaders sing truth about God, we challenge people to broaden their perspective of who He is and to respond to what He is calling them to do with trust and obedience.
3. I wanted others to know the value I place on my calling.
There are hundreds of full-time and part-time servants in the church who serve in a capacity unique to their calling. I sense a strong calling to understand theology and to be able to teach and direct those I am in contact with. I want it to be clear that my commitment to my calling is just as deep as those who are called to preach sermons. As a worship leader, I feel that it is just as important for me to understand the nature of God as it is those who preach. My music, my leadership, and my life at home should reflect who He is and wants His people to be.
I am excited for where life is leading me. It has taken me ten years to reach this goal. I’m now considering what kinds of Master’s Degrees may be valuable to my calling as a worship leader or for whatever God may have in store for me. My hope is to continue to write articles and music and to follow His leading in every area of life.
What has He called you to? How might he be expanding that calling to prepare you for your future? Feel free to comment and share!