10 Things I Know Now That I Wish I Knew When I Started

  1. Being right isn’t as important as being someone who cares and can be trusted.

  2. You won’t be doing this forever, so enjoy every moment IN the moment while ALWAYS giving your all.  Don’t live in the past or some preferred future that may or may not exist.

  3. People need and want to be led, so lead them well. Don’t assume they always get who God is, what He’s up to, or why worship matters so much to our lives. In our deep desire to not cheerlead on stage, don’t forsake leading and guiding them which means way more than just facilitating the song well.

  4. People matter to God WAY more than the function they may perform. Don’t EVER forget that.  Pastor your family, your volunteers, and your church community with that ALWAYS at the forefront.

  5. You are not the authority on all things musical or creative.  You can learn a great deal about worship and leading people from ‘non-creatives’ such as your senior leaders who may not be able to sing, play an instrument, or lead anyone in song.

  6. Your community will change you long before you are able to change your community. Equity with your people, and being seen as a part of the community, will lead them to trust you and follow your leadership in worship more than anything else.

  7. God, and your communities for that matter, care far more about what they see you DO than what they hear you say. Seek to embody and live out your worship values off the stage; this will help people - maybe more than anything else - engage in the worship times that you are entrusted to lead.   

  8. God cares more about you honoring the relationships of those that you serve under and alongside far more than whether or not you are right on a given issue. In my drive and desire to prove that I was right, I have hurt people along the way that, truth be told, stuck around far longer than the issue I was so passionate about did.

  9. Take a long-term approach to leading worship rather than just a momentary approach. Our communities need a healthy diet of corporate worship that may look different from what is possible on a weekend. Ensure that people have as many opportunities to worship together as you can facilitate (small groups, worship nights, extended nights of worship and ministry, weekend services, etc.). This will help you handle some of the constraints or limitations you might feel from week to week, knowing there are other opportunities and expressions of corporate worship alive and well within your given community.

  10. Learn from everything and everyone you can. Don’t limit your learning opportunities or growth to just one theological position, stream, or aspect of God’s Church. Seek to be a life-long learner and then do the hard work of articulating what you are learning to fit your local church expression. 


Matt Turrigiano is a husband and father of four. In addition to his role as Worship & Arts Pastor at the Vineyard Church North Phoenix, Matt also serves as a professor in the Worship Arts program at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.


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