Show #163 | “Balance in Worship Ministry”


Time: 30m video

Balancing Act

As a Worship Leader, do you struggle finding balance in worship ministry? There are many areas of your ministry that need balance, including your team, song selection and more.

Learn how to incorporate balance in your worship ministry in the areas of expression, song selection and on your team. 


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Balance in Mind and Emotions

James Macdonald: “Worship is mind, emotions, and will engaged in whole person ascription of worth.”

If we miss any of these three aspects of worship, we’re gonna find ourselves in the ditch. Many churches worship with a ton of emotion and passion yet don’t ever get to deeper truths about God beyond our own personal feelings.

Wheras there are many churches that richly engage their minds with hours of stoic liturgy that is packed with truth but not marked with joy and life.

Thus the eminent dichotomy of mind vs emotions leads us to WILL.

Balance of our MIND and EMOTIONS requires our WILL. Our will is what binds the mind and emotions together.

You may naturally be a “mind guy”: an armchair theologian who doesn’t enjoy music and just bides his time til the sermon every week. It is necessary for you to willfully strive to activate your emotions during the worship service.

The same is true if you are an emotive person who loves how good vibes you get from the music but don’t desire to spend much time digging into things like the attributes of God. Your will is going to be necessary to bridge the gap to thinking about the theology of the lyrics as you sing.

The outcome of the church not engaging it’s will to resolve conflict has contributed to the endless denominational splits which has ultimately weakened the Body of Christ as a whole. We have churches and denominations made up entirely of “eyes” or “ears” or “feet”. When we engage our will, we extend grace to those we disagree with and can see past some of the songs we don’t love.

Balance in Song Selection

I get very sad when I see churches with services even labeled TRADITIONAL and CONTEMPORARY.  Balanced Biblical worship means the older people should be energized by new songs of the faith while younger people should be grounded by the stalwart and time tested truth passed down through our history.

We should be taking our congregation by the hand and leading them to engage their wills to worship.


Not every service, and definitely not every song, can be a “watershed” worship “experience”. Sometimes your people need to have their minds engaged and cultivated by a 1,200 year old hymn. Let them sing the rich, time worn theology and realize that not every moment of worship needs to feel like a fist pumping “home run”.

When we get to expect an anthemic watershed response to every song or service, we sell ourselves short and can detach ourselves from part of the simple “teaching and admonishing” responsibility that we have (Collossians 3:16). We have thousands of years of songs and yet many churches are singing only ones released in the last 5 years.

On the flip side, “watershed” songs can be just that: they can stir our emotions, get a hold on our hearts, and prepare us to be moved by the truth. Modern worship songs can also facilitate a physical engagement that had been nearly lost in Western Church culture for centuries.


Balance in Expression

Deuteronomy 6:5 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

I get anxious when I’m in a church and I see singing as the sole expression of worship by the congregation (and that’s not even universally done!) Sometimes the singing is amazing but it may be the only expression of worship by the congregation.

The Psalms command us to express worship in a variety of ways. For centuries in Western Christianity we’d read Psalms about raising hands, clapping, shouting, and even dancing (*gasp*) without ever thinking that we should maybe apply these commands to our worship.

If we are imbalanced in our expression of our worship, how Biblical can it really be?

The musical style of our worship bears mentioning. At my local church we use the people, skills, and instruments we have to praise the Lord.

Musical styles vary widely generationally and regionally so we shouldn’t entirely sell out to one particular sound or genre in our worship. Our musical styles should represent the people that we are currently serving, not the ones we want to attract.

Have a banjo player, saxophone player, harpist, cellist, floutist, ukulele player, harmonica player in your church? Use them! Maybe not all at the same time! Let your church be unique and itself, we don’t need to all look and sound the same.

Balance on Your Worship Team

Balance in the skill, spiritual growth, and demographic on the platform.
What does your worship team look like your church?

The Bible shows us that music should be INTERGENERATIONAL.

Psalm 148:12-13 “12 Young men and maidens together,
    old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
    for his name alone is exalted;
    his majesty is above earth and heaven.”
Psalm 71:17 Since my youth… you have taught me…
18 Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.
In Chronicles we see David invented new instruments for worship and there’s no mention of bad blood from an older generation. Meanwhile he continued to preserve and lead the next generation in singing the already ancient songs/psalms written by Moses and others.

Everybody in the congregation is respected and not marginalized when we lead in this way. We were without a drummer in my church for a few months and the first Sunday we had drums back the first two people to come up and excitedly respond after the service were two of our oldest members – no generational divide or fight here!

Set your team up for success by balancing the skill level on the platform week to week. Have 2 drummers and 2 bass players for example? One strong and one weaker of each.

Don’t place both of these weaker players on the same weekend, instead help them to grow by pairing them with a more consistent musician. Your team will have less variance week to week, more accomplished players will grow through mentoring, and your “green” players will benefit from the others leadership.

Assess and balance the spiritual growth of your team. We need to value this in the same way we value and assess technical skill on our team.

I’ve observed in some churches the worship team can be the spiritually weakest group in the church – may this never be the case! We need to make sure we have mature Christians who can encourage other team members to grow in Godliness, but in the same token avoid becoming a “you must be this holy to ride the coaster”.

Our worship teams ought not become closed clubs where people of varied age, skill level, and personal growth are not welcome. This can mean sacrificing the temptation to sound, or look, just like the album.

Balance In All Areas of Life

Jesus Christ is, according to John 1, full of grace and truth. The language there is that he is 100% grace and 100% truth – two things that would seem to be contradictory. In the same token, I believe that in nearly every area of life there are ditches to be fallen in on both sides of the road. The way of Christ is often found in the balance of two good but seemingly dichotomous things.

@Westonsmusic @BranonDempsey @worshiptt @WorshipTTU

Weston Skaggs is a Cleveland, OH area worship leader and singer/songwriter signed to Old Bear Records out of Batavia, NY.
His musical style is experimental and modern but tinged with folk and gospel stylings.
As a father of two and husband of one, hid family’s story (a near death experience, post traumatic stress, infertility, and adoption) weaves its way into his music.
Weston’s heart for the church is to find balance in worship. Balanced worship is Christ centered worship.

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