I believe strongly there ought to be quality resources available to worship leaders who aren’t working with a million dollar budget or standing in front of a million people every weekend! This worship ministry blog is designed to deliver highly-practical tips, tools, and resources for leading strong in the local church.
My name is Neil Oldham. I moved from being a guitar player to a worship leader around the year 2000 and learned worship ministry the “hard way.” You probably did, too. Sure, I received some training: I took a few courses in subjects like music, Bible, theology, and even ministry. But the fact is, these courses had little to do with the day-to-day in’s-and-out’s of what I call “blue-collar worship ministry.”
What is “blue collar” worship ministry, anyhow? Well, I’m not referring to the socioeconomic makeup of our churches. I’m actually talking about ministries in churches of less than 500ish people where budgets are small or non-existent, musicians are seldom professional, excellence is not always pre-instilled in the culture, and you probably don’t have much staff help of any kind—much less paid worship staff serving under or alongside you.
I have often felt that much of the guidance available to those of us in worship ministry comes from folks who have no earthly idea what it’s like to lead worship in the simple, blue-collar ministry context. They are the worship pastor at a mega-church, the professor at a university, or even the renowned worship song-writer/recording artist. Truth be told, most of them are out of touch with—if not completely unaware of—what the average worship leader is dealing with in his/her average church.
I’m not out to bash the elites or create an us-against-them mentality. They’ve provided us with so many great worship resources! But consider this: Approximately 94% of American Protestant churches average a weekly attendance under 500. And–for those of us serving these churches–the bulk of our days are spent doing the less glamorous tasks of worship ministry… The kinds of things that seldom make it on the cover of Worship Leader Magazine or in the pages of a Louie Giglio book.
Over the course of the past decade or so, I’ve had opportunities to learn from my own mistakes and even a few that others have made. I’ve led workshops and conferences for my peers and have found that there really are a lot of truths that apply to every kind of blue-collar worship ministry. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them apply well to white-collar worship ministry as well!
So let’s have a discussion that’s relevant to where the average worship leader actually lives and breathes! I’m currently posting once a week and would love for you to subscribe to receive post updates via email so you know when new content comes available. In the meantime here are a few of my early top posts that make for a great starting point:
- Saints & Sinners: Who’s Qualified to Participate in Worship Ministry?
- Part I: Would You Like Your Church to Sing More?
- 6 Blogs Worship Leaders Should Keep on Speed Dial
- Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Why You Need a Process for Incorporating New Talent
- Square Peg in a Round Hole: The Problem with Sermon-Centric Planning
Hope you enjoy! CLICK HERE to contact me directly.
Also, you can check out my church’s website to learn more about where I serve.
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