For the past 18 months, my husband and I have been serving and attending a young church that gathers in a warehouse in the West Loop of Chicago. About the same time we started going there, a new young worship leader arrived. His name is Patrick, and he moved his young family to the brutal Chicago winters from rural Tennessee. Along with the two Lead Pastors, I have had the privilege and joy of giving Patrick some coaching along the way. Last Sunday morning as I participated in worship, I found myself celebrating the incredible growth in Patrick. Here’s what I most appreciate and love about him:
He is humble and coachable – Never once have I felt Patrick get defensive about feedback. He is wide open to learning and sincerely wants to grow and get better every week. Patrick is extremely gifted musically, and knows far more about music than I do. He is crazy good on guitar and has a rich singing voice. Yet Patrick knows there is room for him to improve, and he welcomes and is actually grateful for the input.
Patrick is intentional with his words – This was not always the case. Early on, we all gave Patrick gentle coaching to think through more carefully what he planned to say as he welcomed people or guided us further into God’s presence. These days, Patrick doesn’t “wing it” or lean into worn out clichés when he chooses to speak. Prior to Sunday morning, he gives careful thought to the lyrics of the songs and what God might lead him to say that would propel us further.
Patrick is super prepared and has rehearsed his team well - The band and tech team all appreciate that Patrick shows up on time with a band that knows what they are doing and are ready to go. He runs the rehearsal before we open the doors with efficiency and yet with joy and warmth.
Patrick smiles a lot. – This may not seem like a big deal, but for those of us engaging in worship, we love to see the leader reflect joy when we are celebrating. I have experienced more than my share of melancholy, sad looking worship leaders who lack energy and presence.
Patrick is becoming a pastor – Over many months I have witnessed Patrick evolving from a really good song leader/musician into a true worship pastor. He LEADS our people week to week. He is gaining the trust of the community to facilitate our gathering. He establishes eye contact with us and shepherds us. He has come so far!
My hope is that you will be inspired by Patrick, whether you are a worship leader or a friend/coach of one. Now don’t try to hire Patrick away!