Stewardship is something we see regularly exercised throughout the Bible. There are countless stories of ordinary people recognizing the extraordinary importance of being found trustworthy with the gifts God has given them. Though we most often associate stewardship with finances – being good stewards of the money God has entrusted us – it goes far beyond that. Stewardship is a posture from which we approach the care and growth of all the gifts we have been given by God, and as a worship leader, these gifts include our leadership on and off stage, our voice, and our musicianship.
One of our team values, having a high level of skill in every area, speaks directly into the discipline of stewardship. I work closely with our vocalists and worship leaders, so I’ll specifically touch on a couple ways we flesh out that value as a vocal and leadership team.
Leaders never stop learning. We encourage our vocalists to invest in vocal lessons once or twice a year. This allows them to study under a skilled professional who will help sharpen their voice and give them helpful direction on areas to improve. When you know you’re called to be a good steward of the voice God has gifted you, investing in vocal lessons is a no-brainer. It’s worthwhile to learn from someone who is further ahead of you, and who will listen to you and tell you where you can grow.
We believe in investment so much that we offer special events for our vocalists to receive training and refine their skills. One of my favorite training events was a one-day vocal intensive. We invited a friend of ours, a well known and respected vocal coach and session singer in Nashville, to spend the day pouring into our vocal team. We had an incredible turn out with all of our regional Southern California campus vocal teams and worship leaders represented. We learned everything from the daily keeping and care of our voice to breathing and technique to what is coming out of the overflow of our hearts when we are leading worship. We all left feeling equipped, encouraged, and empowered to lead well in the days ahead of us.
Developing our leadership is just as important as developing our vocal skills. We call our vocalists “worship leaders” and charge them to carry a sense of ownership whenever they are rostered. We believe leadership isn’t left solely to our staff team or the ones leading songs during service. We encourage our worship leaders to do this by watching and observing how others lead. Whether it’s by sitting in service at a local church or watching our friends at Hillsong or Bethel lead online, we want our vocal team to ask themselves “What do I like about their leadership?” or “What don’t I like?” as they continue to shape who they are as a worship leader. The on stage leadership aspect of being a worship leader is so important to continue to sharpen and develop just as much as our voice.
Wherever we are on our journey as a worship leader, it is our responsibility to look for ways to steward that gift well. And as leaders of worship leaders, it is our job to encourage that stewardship—that investment and development—in ways that promote longevity in ministry and joy along the way!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TEMREE ABAJIANWorship Leader
Temree counts it an honor to lead worship at Saddleback Church. In addition to leading worship, she looks after the vocal team, mentors worship leaders, writes songs for the church and sits at the table of teammates who speak into shaping the overall culture of the team in alignment with the greater mission of Saddleback Church. She loves spending time with Jesus, leading people in worship to Him and mentoring others to do the same.
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