Worship Ministry-What Do They Do, And What’s The Pay Scale!

Mike Kim At Rocking Gods HouseThis article is provided courtesy of Mike Kim. Mike Kim is a consultant, speaker, CMO, and pastor. Mike blogs on leadership, marketing, and personal development at http://mikekim.tv. You can also follow him on Twitter @mikekimtv.

This article was written with the intent to assist Churches and Ministry Music Committees in the selection and costs associated with choosing a worship leader, worship director or worship pastor. However, it is very informative for anyone seeking a position within worship ministry.


First, it’s important to know what a worship leader position entails:

  • Hours In Service & Sound Check
    Song Selection
    Secretarial Work (Copies, Chord Charts, Etc.)
    Maintain Equipment
    Recruit Musicians
    Develop Worship Leaders & Musicians
    Build Team Dynamics (Fellowship Etc.)
    Pastoral Meetings
    Special Services
    Be Anointed, Creative, Relevant, Spiritual, And Bring The Glory!

Differentiate by checking off which responsibilities your worship leader would have. I wrote these with the assumptions that…

  1. 1.       Worship Ministry Is Vital To Your Church
  2. 2.       Where You Live Has A Very High Cost Of Living
  3. 3.       You Have Several Hundred People In Your Church
  4. 4.       You Don’t Already Have A System That Works

Worship Leader
10-12 Hours Of Expected Service –  $300.00 Per Week

  • Hours In Service (Including Sound Check)
    Song Selection
    Secretarial Work (Copies, Chord Charts, Etc.)

If you have a smaller church and want some solidarity in your services. This person is a solid worship leader that contributes to your service, but is just that–a worship leader. Don’t expect from this person what you would from the others mentioned later in this article. Many churches have arrangements with an “artist-in-residence” that will lead once a month or so. In those situations, I’d work directly with the artist (who is usually pretty prominent) to work out a suitable arrangement.

Worship Director
20+ Hours – $500.00 Per Week

  • Hours In Service (Including Sound Check)
  • Rehearsal
  • Song Selection
  • Administration
  • Secretarial Work (Copies, Chord Charts, Etc.)
  • Recruit Musicians
  • Develop New Worship Leaders, And Foster Team Growth.

Don’t underestimate how much work this entails. A church will get more than what they pay this person… This is ministry development. If you are a lead pastor, imagine not having to ever think of these issues. How much is that worth to you?

The difference here is

Oversight and development, which is what a worship director should bring to the table.

Below are costs required to support a Praise Team. Please do not complain about paying the person who oversees all this?

  • $25,000 Mixer & PA System
  • $10,000 In-Ear System
  • $2,000 Drum Kit
  • $2,000 Keyboard
  • Tons Of $300.00 Wireless Mics

You can pay this person hourly, but if they show competence, you might consider benefits as they devote more time to the job with the potential of going full-time.

Worship Pastor
40+ Hours – $55,000+ Annually Based On Church Size

Worship pastors give you all the above, and the benefits of full-time access to their anointing and creativity. They’re also involved with the leadership of the entire church, often serving on the executive staff.

The best worship pastors are essentially pastors in a worship leader’s disguise. Some great former and current worship pastors I’ve met:  Mike Smith, Benji Cowart, Ross Parsley, Eunice Wong, Denis Johnson Jr. You may have never heard of them. Many of their worship leaders are more well-known than they are, but they’re okay with that.

Final Thoughts…

As of now, Simply Hired states the median worship leader/pastor salary as $43,000 per year. If your church is in the thousands, pay more. There’s a big jump in talent and ability between someone who can sing in front of tens vs. hundreds vs. thousands. My philosophy is pay a person enough, so money is never an excuse.

When I was hired as a worship pastor, the big risk was whether I could handle church staff life or not. I could lead worship, write songs, and was a good candidate for stability and tenure because of my age. All that would have been moot if I couldn’t handle church staff life. It’s the same with whoever you might be considering for a position, so weigh that carefully