I love investing in leaders. It’s one reason I was drawn to the Valley Life Network and what God is doing through Valley Life churches. One of our churches, Valley Life Camelback, is on campus at Grand Canyon University. That school has a fantastic Worship Arts program, and several of the leaders at Camelback are plugged into that program. I meet with the worship leader on a regular basis and last week, he asked a great question.

Students are becoming more and more interested in what Camelback is doing, so they are lining up to join the worship team every week. This includes many students who serve at other churches but want to get involved with Valley Life Camelback. He asked if he should involve people who weren’t in the church in the worship team.

Protecting the Vision of Your Team

Every worship ministry with any measure of success will face this question at some point. Musicians want to play. They are wired to look for opportunities to play with other good musicians and build something that sounds great. When your band is doing well, people want to join. As a leader, that should be something for which you are striving. But, you must also know the dangers of using people who do not buy into the vision. When it comes to music, there is danger in freedom.

I have been given the responsibility to lead my team and our church in responding to the gospel of Jesus every week. Part of that responsibility is to protect the vision of Valley Life Church. The vision is simple: make disciples and plant churches. To protect that vision, we often say no to very good things, including using musicians who serve regularly at other churches.

Who You Want to Join Your Team

The reality is, if someone is not willing to submit to one church, join with one community, all towards the same mission, they are placing money or stage time over service and submission. When I say no to someone, there is a sense in which I am protecting my team, but I am also protecting the person I’m rejecting. The heart is an idol factory, and I do not want to add materials so someone’s heart can build up the idol of stage time.

I view my team as people I’m called to disciple, so I use my team as an opportunity to disciple them. If someone is not willing to go all in on the vision, there is only so far I can lead them. They have to be willing to set aside personal preference or comfort in order to serve the mission. I want people on my team who want to be discipled, people who know they are broken and embrace their brokenness. It is critical to our mission, and it is necessary for our vision.

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson

Jared Johnson is the worship and communications leader at Valley Life | Tramonto.