Mentoring in the worship leader role is something I kind of missed out on. While still in the beginning stages of singing and playing, my pastor took me under his wing and basically mentored as a pastor to worship leader. He did great, and we evaluated what was effective and what was a total disaster. The worship leader is not a very familiar term from where I’m from. We have worship leaders, but not paid worship leaders. Well, like I said my pastor took me and helped me, and the Lord has been good to me. Last year I finally agreed to give guitar lessons to some youth that were anxious, and that has been my beginning to mentoring others.
I really love the idea of mentoring, but like I said I haven’t had much mentoring experience. I am always looking for opportunities to study and learn from other worship leaders that are more seasoned than I am. Dan talks about the stairs analogy as a good foundation of mentoring. In this idea, it pictures us on stairs with one hand reaching upward to another as well as keeping the other hand back to help another keep climbing. He also touches on having and nurturing face to face relationships. This face to face time, is way outside of my natural comfortable boundaries, but I have learned that if there is anything between us it is always best to deal with it face to face. Dan moves on to a detail process of nurturing suitable candidate’s. He encourages us to co-lead with them first before giving them the lead. I really like and completely agree with investing and working with people individually, and Dan states that this may take an extended period of time. Over time you can evaluate and give more or less slack as needed.
Moving on, Dan takes mentoring to a deeper personal level in spending time with people. Spending time may include watching movies, or planning activities that are outside of the normal music business, but this in turn provides a personal relationship off the stage. This particular field is one thing that I could improve on. I have several music relationships based solely on music and music alone, but what I lack with these relationships is deep intimate connections “when the music fades.”
I couldn’t help but reflect as Dan stated “It is easier to appoint people, than to disappoint people.” How true it is. It is easy to see potential, but without investing you sometime get into situations that turn out to be awkward. I especially find it difficult when musician’s volunteer to play and they seem to be what you need, but if you do not invest time into them you may be getting yourself into trouble. I found this to be true with a drummer, that I thought was really good. He had a great imagination for awesome drum lines, but I threw him into the mix way too early. This led to disappointment on my end and a heavy load on his end.
Dan also encourages us to share input with them, give them room to experience, and give them hope. I have learned that sharing input has been one of the most helpful things that I can do with my team. I have also carved out time to intentionally work with team members outside of normal rehearsal time. This gives them a laid back environment to experiment with different ideas they have. When it’s all said and done, I always give them hope. I encourage and try my best to cultivate a love for Christ as well as a love for the worship that they play.