This article is for Senior Pastors and Executive Pastors that are involved in the hiring process. For some of you, you’ve been there, done that and have some great insights to share with us. For others, you’re going through this now, so this should be of help to you. For the rest of you, you will eventually go through this and can then refer back to this article.

What are some questions to ask when hiring a Worship Pastor? Some of these questions are good to ask any potential staff member; some are specific to the role of worship. Where am I coming from and what leads me to attempt to put together questions like this? I’ve been involved in worship ministry in some capacity for the last seventeen years. Whether as a Worship Pastor, Tech Arts Pastor, Creative Arts Pastor, the Director of WorshipHouse Media, writer, conference speaker or as a consultant to some of the largest and fastest-growing churches in the country—I’ve had my hand on the pulse of worship for quite some time.

Currently, I’m a Campus Pastor at a multisite church. We are beginning the process of searching for a Worship Pastor. This reality, coupled with my own experiences as a Worship Pastor and my experiences of being interviewed several times, has led me to these questions that I will be asking as we search for a Worship Pastor. Please understand: this list is not complete or exhaustive—it’s just a start. I’m sure you have other questions that you think are important and I’d like to hear them. You can go to my blog and share your additional questions in the blog comment section on this subject.

For now, here are the questions I came up with:

  1. What is your definition of worship?
  2. Describe what worship looks like and why it’s more that music.
  3. What does it mean to live a lifestyle of worship?
  4. Do you have a theology of worship?
  5. Do you have a personal mission statement?
  6. Explain your call to ministry.
  7. Explain your specific call to be a lead worshiper.
  8. Have you studied at a Bible college or seminary? (this can be both good and bad—as far as seminary).
  9. Do you have a good grasp of the Bible, theology and consider yourself to be of sound doctrine?
  10. We are a Southern Baptist church with a non-denominational feel (we don’t use “Baptist” in our name and brand ourselves as Forest Park)—however, are you baptistic in your beliefs and in agreement with Baptist doctrine? (This is important to both me and our Senior Pastor).
  11. Do you play an instrument? Do you lead from an instrument?
  12. The Bible instructs us to “play skillfully.” Do you work at your craft? Do you exercise your voice and practice your instrument daily?
  13. How often do you introduce a new song?
  14. Do you write any of your own songs?
  15. Do you arrange songs? Do you arrange old hymns and breathe new life into them occasionally? (we don’t do a lot of hymns)
  16. What are some of your musical influences?
  17. What are you listening to in your car, office and iPod?
  18. Can you coach a band and get the most out of them?
  19. Do you know how to give professional musicians direction?
  20. Do you know how to give weak or poor musicians direction?
  21. What are some of your core or favorite songs these days?
  22. Who are some of your favorite Christian songwriters?
  23. Who are some of your favorite non-Christian songwriters?
  24. How familiar are you with media, tech (sound, video and lights)?
  25. Are you comfortable and competent recruiting and building a team of musicians?
  26. Are you comfortable and competent recruiting and building a tech team? (we have a Multisite Tech Director that will train people you recruit. You just need to find them.)
  27. Flat out: Are you a team builder?
  28. Are you an equipper or a doer?
  29. Can you work hard and play hard?
  30. What are your hobbies?
  31. Do you have a sense of humor?
  32. Can you handle pranks?
  33. Are you engaging in worship and do you connect well with people from the stage?
  34. Do you engage and connect well with people off the stage?
  35. Can you administrate and schedule musicians and tech team members weekly?
  36. How far out do you plan?
  37. How would you describe your abilities when it comes to creative worship planning and brainstorming?
  38. Do you plan worship in solo or are you a part of a creative planning team?
  39. Are you more creative or administrative?
  40. Are you a people person?
  41. Are you in a small group?
  42. Could you lead a small group?
  43. Would you disciple your worship team and volunteers?
  44. Are you comfortable in a multisite environment (most of our teaching is done via video)?
  45. Have you taken the StrengthsFinder2.0 test? If so, what are your top five strengths?
  46. What are your top three Spiritual Gifts?
  47. Are you looking to settle down and invest in a community for a long time? (this is important as we’ve had some turnover in the past and our church needs some consistent leadership)
  48. Have you read the book Simple Church? Are you familiar and comfortable with the “Simple Church” philosophy? At Forest Park, we worship, grow and serve—that’s it. No musicals, no Passion Plays, no choirs, no orchestras. SIMPLE.
  49. Are you passionate about reaching the lost?
  50. Are you comfortable with an externally-focused church?
  51. Read through the three Lost Parables in Luke 15 and share with me what you think God was trying to get across about His heart for the lost.
  52. Will you do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ?
  53. Are you a team player?
  54. Do you have a strong work ethic?
  55. Are you driven? What drives you?
  56. Are you an intentional and strategic leader? Explain.
  57. Do you have a mentor?
  58. Do you mentor anyone else?
  59. How long have you been leading worship?
  60. Do you get pure joy in leading people into the presence of God?
  61. Are you a Mac or PC person?
  62. Do you use tracks?
  63. Are you comfortable playing with a click?
  64. Explain your struggle with pride. I ask because I’ve yet to meet a pastor (Worship Pastor or Senior Pastor) that doesn’t struggle at least a little at some point with pride.
  65. Do you struggle with porn?
  66. What are your greatest strengths?
  67. What are your weaknesses?
  68. What would your wife say is a weakness for you?
  69. What are the last three books you have read?
  70. Who are some of your favorite authors?
  71. Do you know who A.W. Tozer is? Have you read any of his works?
  72. Who are some of your favorite preachers?
  73. What’s your favorite movie?
  74. What’s your favorite sport?
  75. What makes you laugh?
  76. Who is the greatest boss you’ve ever had and why?
  77. What conferences do you go to?
  78. Who do you think are the leaders in design today? (name companies that have a strong brand)
  79. Who is your personal favorite worship leader?
  80. Why are you looking for a new church?