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From Wikipedia article "Worship pastor"

A Worship Pastor usually refers to a person in some Christian churches, largely in North America, who ministers within the church via music performance, as well as counseling and pastoring members of the church's music team.

This is a distinct role within a church, that contains elements of, and overlaps with some of the roles of a church music director and pastor, while being neither. Usually a worship pastor will also be considered a worship leader of the church with the added responsibilities of caring for members of a team, including other worship leaders.

A prominent Worship Pastor that I know is Darlene Zschech, the former worship pastor of Hillsong Church, who composed one of the most well-known modern worship songs, "Shout to the Lord".

  • When did the term "Worship Pastor" originate?
  • Is this use of the term very recent?
  • Which denominations have Worship Pastors?
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Related, but I think not a duplicate: What is the earliest Christian use of a worship leader? That question is about the general role of a chief musician, whereas this is about a hybrid musical-pastoral role (as indicated in the wiki quote) and its nomenclature. –  James T Feb 10 '14 at 15:22

1 Answer 1

Contemporary worship and worship leader or pastor ( formerly choir directors and such ) is inextricably linked to the Charismatic Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Several important aspects of this theology of congregational song are worth highlighting. This influence is largely of John Wimber and the Vineyard movement of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Saying the Church needed to sing songs “to God” and not “about God.” Lyrically, this was manifest in the frequent use of the personal pronoun, “I.” Also the dominant paradigm for congregational song was the “temple” metaphor. Charismatic congregations appropriated their understanding of the temple layout as a “map” for worship. Scripture verses like Psalm 100 served as an anchor point for this framework. This approach to worship is reflected in the way many referred to the music in these services as “Praise and Worship”—“praise” being synonymous with the “gates/outer courts” and “worship” was the term used primarily for songs corresponding to the “holy of holies.” It’s also important to point out that this theology of worship, while undergirded by “praise and worship” songs, understood the entire time of singing (the pauses, instrumental solos, spontaneous prayers, raising of hands, shouting, etc.) to be part of the progression from praise to intimacy.

It seems almost all denominations are moving to either what is called a contemporary service or a "worship pastor" ( also called praise/praise &worship leader or worship leader to use some titles ) to reach out to a new generation that is not attracted by the hymns of old.

( some facts borrowd from the seed bed )

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