Worship Leadership and Leadership Styles


6L4A9761 copyToday’s blog post is written by Jeremy Smith. Jeremy has been with us in the School of Ministry training under our Worship Ministry staff. He is from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and recently graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University. 

Since arriving in Northwest Arkansas back in August, this adventure that I have been a part of has been focused on obtaining an understanding of what authentic leadership looks like. I am currently in the worship leadership track while here in the Cross Church School of Ministry. So you would think that I would naturally be a leader, but that definitely has not been the case. In fact since arriving here, I have learned how to lead alongside people that have completely different leadership styles. These are a few of the lessons I have learned about leadership:

1. Leadership is best learned from the second chair

Seems contradictory, doesn’t it? However, I have learned that leading alongside and underneath someone has forced me to ask the question, “How do I make this partnership work?” I currently serve at our College Avenue campus which has allowed me to both lead ahead and alongside some wonderful people, since I was placed at this specific campus to build a worship ministry. But I have also been placed under many great leaders within the global worship ministry here at Cross Church, where I have been able to learn and lead under them as well.

2. Leadership is relational

I have yet to come across a respected, beloved leader that is not relational. People are naturally relational creatures, and to genuinely lead people, you have to show them that you care about them. I have been in situations where even though I am not a titled leader in a specific organization, the people I work with view me as such because of how I have connected with them. Relational leaders are not only critical in organizations; they are rare nowadays. Developing this component of leadership will take anyone farther than they thought possible.

3. Leadership is intentional

To feed off of the quality of relational leadership, a leader who goes out of his/her way to connect with someone speaks volumes more than if they were to be highly skilled in their area. People are more likely to follow and respect someone that has invested in them over someone that is extremely knowledgeable and skilled in their particular field.

4. Leadership looks different to everyone

It does not take long to realize that there is no cookie-cutter leader. Not everyone thrives at the front of the pack; not everyone is comfortable taking charge of a large group or a significant project. But just because someone does not have the stereotypical qualities of a leader does not mean that they cannot become an influential leader. Prior to coming to Northwest Arkansas, I thought Worship Leadership was all about leading a band on stage. After all, that’s what I saw and knew at my previous church. However, after my first couple of months here I quickly learned that my previous understanding of Worship Leadership was just the tip of the iceberg. I was thrown into a ministry, which forced me to learn how to take my personality type (an alongside, relational person) and use it to lead others. Currently, I am working with a guy which some would classify as a stereotypical or natural born leader. However, I have discovered that our leadership styles compliment each other very well. I am someone that works better leading people relationally, while he is the one that takes charge and pushes us along. Learning the leadership types on your team will help you discover your own strengths and weaknesses as well as how you can work with others on you team.

You may not view yourself as a leader. When I started out doing worship ministry, I did not consider myself to be a leader. But as I began to foster these qualities and shape my decisions around these few lessons, I started to see people begin to follow me. I did not go out saying, “I want people to follow me,” I just started to care about people, investing in them as we went along, and they began to respect and follow me. There is no secret formula to leading people, there’s just intentional relationship building.



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