Here's a quote from someone named Patrick Mead:
If you are going to hire a second minister, make it a worship minister, NOT a youth minister. Youth ministers are wonderful and useful, but they should be your fourth hire, not your second. The first can be either a great preacher/pastor or a great worship leader. Whichever one you hire first, hire the other one second. Your third hire should be a children’s minister. THEN you hire a youth minister. It is amazing to me how few congregations know that. By hiring in the wrong order, you strangle your growth potential and increase the odds that some will leave by the back door. A lot of the glue of a church centers around the worship experience. It is one area that should never be economized, placed on the back burner, or ignored. That said, the best worship in the world won’t help anyone if you don’t move it out of the building and into the lives of the people. A good worship minister will find creative ways to do that.
I could not agree more. There's an old line heard frequently in church buildings that "you only get out of church what you put into it." That's one of those platitudes that seems like everyone would accept, but inherently has flaws. I think our Sunday worship is an oasis where thirsty Christians come to be filled. If the worship leader is gifted and enthusiastic, he can almost single-handedly empower the masses to take on the devil for another 7 days. Such is the power of Christian music handled correctly.
Of course, the converse is true. If Chad Higgins of Highland Oaks is out sick and they ask me to take his place, everyone will leave the church totally defeated and probably 45 minutes early.
Terry Rush, the brilliant minister from Tulsa, responded to the above quote by saying he felt the children's minister was the most important hire, followed by the worship leader, the youth minister, and then the preaching minister. He said his reason for making the preacher #4 was because there are so many good ones.
Makes for interesting conversation, eh?