Committing Murder

I’ve heard it said that the average tenure of a worship leader is two years.

I own several subscription websites, and sometimes I’ll personally call the church when their subscription is up for renewal. I’m shocked at how often I hear “the worship leader no longer works here” – it seems like every other call!

It makes sense – the music director job is one of the worst jobs in Christendom, right next to youth pastor and being a missionary to African cannibals. With long hours, little to no pay, and constant complaints from finicky congregations, it’s no wonder worship leaders don’t last.

Like any ministry job, you really shouldn’t be a worship leader/music director unless you’re called [see next post]. In the midst of worship wars in churches where I’ve worked, I learned the only way to survive is to remind myself that I’m doing this to serve the Lord.

The bright side to all of this is job security. Churches are in desperate need for good worship leaders and music directors, and some are willing to actually pay a decent salary. If a church is ready to fire you because you don’t do enough hymns, they’d better think twice – just where do they think they’re going to find a replacement? Worship leaders do not grow on trees.

Churches are, in fact, so desperate they’ll hire seemingly anyone.

I know of a guy who’s been fired from three church music director jobs, has had two extra-marital affairs and has had two divorces. He’s now leading worship at a church, and they know his history.

I know of a guy who was the music director of a major denominational church and made big bucks, but spent most of his day locked in his office looking at porn. And he had an affair with a married woman on his praise team. He’s now leading worship at an even bigger denominational church and making more money.

And these aren’t liberal, Reader’s-Digest-preaching churches, either, but what you would consider hard-core, Bible believing evangelical churches. I scratch my head in amazement. Oh, I know we’re supposed to forgive, but really. Are churches that desperate that they’ll hire a guy who’s been fired from his three previous ministry positions?

Is there no one else?

I guess you can almost commit murder and still find a worship leader job these days.


Essential reading for worship leaders since 2002.


Get the latest worship news, ideas and a list

of the top CCLI songs delivered every Tuesday... for FREE!