What Worship Leaders Need Their Pastors to Know:
A Call to Theological Leadership in Worship
Matthew Ward (PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Thomson GA, and has led music ministries for almost twenty years. He is also a Fellow of the Center for Pastor Theologians.
Abstract: Many pastors today do not understand their role in their church’s worship—they have not received training in the principles of corporate worship and someone else on staff has the title of “worship leader.” That elusive role is to provide theological leadership to the worship ministries of the local church. Theological leadership assumes that pastors have done the work of developing a theology of worship. It then involves two steps: contextualizing that theology to their unique local church and communicating it effectively with that local church. While there are many examples of a theology of worship available to consider, there are few
examples of a contextualized theology; this article offers two that are still general enough to glean benefits and pitfalls. Communication is a two-way process. If pastors are to be effective theological leaders, they must cultivate meaningful relationships—particularly with their worship leaders, listen and learn, and not act out of fear.
Key Words: worship, worship leadership, theology of worship, theological
leadership, Jeremiah Burroughs, John Tombes