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Posted on Dec 13, 2013 in Leadership, Worship Ministry | 0 comments

How to Lead with Both Love & Strength

One of my goals–really the main one–in starting this blog was to challenge worship leaders in ordinary churches to lead strong! To not accept mediocrity as something that comes with the territory of blue collar, non-mega-church ministry. Early on, I wrote about topics that really pointed to this passion of mine; topics like prioritizing excellence over involvement and creating a process for incorporating new talent onto your team.

But the natural question that arises from these challenges is “How?” In fact, the question came up quickly in a worship leader Facebook group where I shared those articles: How do we lead with both love and strength?

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Some image rights reserved by

It’s an apt question because ours is one of the most vulnerable of ministries. Individuals who volunteer or offer us their talents are putting themselves at the mercy of other people’s critiques in a way that few people outside the music world can know. So we must lead with love. Yet we must also lead with great strength so what we lead will actually serve it’s purpose well. Excellent ministries don’t happen by accident but by great purpose and determination!

So how do we lead with both love and strength? I believe the key is Consistency.

  • Consistently encourage. Find ways to publicly and privately share how much you genuinely value each team member individually. Do that consistently and they’ll know you are leading in love.  One way I’ve done this is through my weekly  correspondence with my team. Check out the post to learn more or steal my template!
  • Consistently stand your ground. Stick to your values and what you believe is best for the church and the ministry.  Don’t be afraid to gently but firmly say no or have tough conversations. Do that consistently and they’ll respect your leadership. But this doesn’t mean you have to stand alone. In most situations, I think it’s healthiest to have a small group of leaders from within the ministry who can give you insight and support on the tough calls.
  • Consistently communicate. Share your vision, values, and ideas about worship ministry. Do that consistently and you’ll have a team full of “insiders” who understand the method behind your madness.  I’ve already written the leadership post about communication so let it suffice here to say it’s so key to leadership, it’s not even funny!

That’s a lot of consistency! So here’s something to NOT be consistent with: Don’t get caught up trying to be “consistently fair.” I’m convinced that good leaders are not fair leaders. It’s not like they set out to treat people unfairly. But they understand that every situation and every person is unique. So they pray a lot and do the best they can to make the right calls, even when it looks unfair.

Oh, one more thing: Consistency–by its very nature–takes time. So don’t be surprised if you’re not seeing quick results. And, if you never stay in one place for long, you may never truly experience this kind of leadership in your own ministry.

Do you have a story about leading with both love and strength? What’s the hardest part of all this for you? 



  1. Leadership Roundup - Worship Links - […] Neil Oldham shared some thoughts on leading with both strength and love: […]

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