Finding a Worship Leader

If you are looking to hire a new worship leader or have a need for an interim worship leader, this page gives you some options: Hiring Program, Self-Service Hiring Program, and Interim Worship Leader Program. We believe that the most expensive hire is the one you repeat in 12 months. We also believe that it’s not good stewardship to spend several thousand dollars to find and hire a worship leader and then fail to invest in supporting them with coaching. That’s why every time we help a church hire a worship leader, we insist that we do some level of coaching for their first year.

First, why do we offer this service? The unique challenges of hiring a worship leader. We bring:

Knowledge: Assess the musical skills of candidates, assess the leadership skills, personal philosophy, and core aptitudes of candidates to help determine that it is a great fit for this specific church and role.

Connections: Network with potential candidates, schools, and denominations from our existing network.

Perspective: Clearly and accurately describe the church, the win, and the role needed – from an outside perspective. We also serve as an objective, yet empathetic third party who has no skin in the game except to care for worship leaders and help churches.

Focus and consistent energy: Typically, hiring isn’t anyone’s “job” at the church – rather they’re being asked to add it to their plates, which often comes at the expense of the core mission. And because they’re asking staff and volunteers to invest time in this program, we have a time-saving, yet thorough process to efficiently do the maximum amount of work BEFORE getting the team together for an interview. We bring customizable templates, a proven track record, and seasoned worship leader perspective. 

Hiring Program

Goal: To support the church through a Christ-centered process in hiring a worship leader who is a great fit. We are not headhunters, nor do we have dozens of great leaders waiting to be paraded in front of your church’s hiring team. Rather, we join your team as a seasoned worship leader and expert in the area of worship, with a tested system for hiring. The strength of what we bring is in being intelligent discernment partners, avoiding costly pitfalls in qualifying or disqualifying candidates. We bring outside perspective and help you make the best decision.

[fee: $4,500* for the goal, independent of the time it takes to accomplish it. *plus travel costs if no Coach is available within 45 minutes of the church]

Strategy: Serve as a coach, a seasoned leader and stabilizing presence through the whole process, meeting as necessary with Pastors, Leaders, and Hiring Team. Implement a successful hiring process using the Ad Lib Hiring Playbook.

  1. Lead the pre-launch process. We will clarify the actual needs for this position on three levels: discernment from God, budget, and defining the One Thing (core) of the job; Craft the job description with teeth, clarity, and heart; Give direction for where to advertise, including copywriting; Network with Ad Lib Music’s existing connections of candidates
  2. Lead an in-depth pre-screening process as candidates apply
  3. Lead the interviewing process, schedule and orient candidates to guest worship lead
  4. Coach the church on making the decision. The onus for hiring is on the church, and Ad Lib Music’s role is to coach the church through the entire process, giving the church a playbook that can be used in future hiring endeavors. Related expenses (advertising, candidate travel, etc.) are covered by the church.

Self-Service Hiring Program

If the position is only quarter-time and/or the church only needs initial help, the Self-Service Hiring Program is a good choice.

Goal: Coach the initial process for a successful staffing transition [$1,200]

Strategy: Help the church get all the "pre-launch documents" ready. This is a process of discernment and information gathering to articulate with clarity the exact and unique kind of leader that the church needs.

  1. Modify (or create) the job description
  2. Provide the church with Ad Lib Music’s 78-page Hiring Playbook that includes a step by step hiring process as well as templates for everything
  3. Give direction on marketing
  4. Give direction on what technology tools to use and what timetable to expect
  5. Give direction on what questions to ask and how to structure the interview process
  6. Suggest any potential candidate from our database

Goal: Help evaluate the top candidates that the church has found.

Strategy: Help evaluate the top candidates that the church has found. Coach through the discernment at a rehearsal, a service, or in a meeting [up to 2 are included and more are available at $175 each]

Interim Worship Leader Program

The Interim Worship Leader Program buys the church the time it needs to find a good fit, because not being rushed in the hiring process is vital!

Goal: To continue growing during the time of leadership transition by providing guest worship leaders to maintain a quality, worshipful experience until a new staff is hired. [$2,150 per month]

Strategy: Assist the staff in connecting with and scheduling appropriate worship leaders for each week until staff is hired.

  1. Arrange for another high-quality leader to lead the other weeks of the month
  2. Coordinate with the guest leaders with details for song choices, chord charts, recordings, etc., orient each leader with the worship culture, band makeup, service flow, etc.

OPTION: We can also handle all the worship team scheduling in Planning Center, including being the point of contact for last minute changes. [$600 per month]

What Some of Our Churches Have Said

 “Now that our search for a worship leader with Ad Lib Music has come to a successful conclusion, I wanted to let you know what a pleasure it was working with Theresa. She communicated with us quickly and clearly, attended many meetings and led them well, screened candidates with thought and wisdom, and so much more. Our use of Ad Lib was worth every penny spent! I will recommend you guys to everyone.”

– Allen Dise, Senior Pastor, Newport Dove in Elm, Pennsylvania 


"As a solo pastor in a small church with limited resources, the best aspect of the Ad Lib experience was the fellowship and camaraderie of like-minded co-laborers in the gospel. Ad Lib wasn’t your typical consultant, in for a weekend and out again. They were invested in the process, committed to the success of the ministry, and willing to go the extra mile."

– Dr. Chris DiVietro, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Reading, Pennsylvania

“Dave was a great asset to CBC in the midst of our transition to find a worship leader. He was a servant leader who provided coaching to our worship leaders. He took a young and inexperienced guitarist and developed him into an effective worship leader.”

– Jeff Burkholder, Senior Pastor, Community Bible Church in Marietta, Pennsylvania

“Ad Lib Music helped our church through a very difficult time of transition in the loss of our Worship Pastor. His calm presence, servant heart, and passion to serve the local church brought healing to our church and our worship team at a time when we needed it the most. Our coach’s wisdom, experience and insight also helped our leadership team as we crafted a new job description and went through the interview process. I would highly recommend Ad Lib’s expertise in coaching and leading worship to any church that is facing transition or simply wants to help their worship director grow and be encouraged. I think that the cost was very reasonable for the amount of time that they spent in helping us in the process. If you would have told me a year ago that we would be spending this much, I would have probably been thinking ‘wow, that is a lot of money for a church to spend for those services’ but in hindsight…seeing all that they did in the process and the load that this took off of me and our leadership team and the experience and wealth of knowledge that he brought to the process…it was money well spent!”

– Daleen Charles, former Executive Pastor, Pequea Church in Willow Street, Pennsylvania

“WABC and I benefited so much from Ad Lib Music. Our coach brought much to the table and assisted me and WABC in so many ways. His experience in the field of music and knowledge of church life enabled us to go through the music pastor search process in a relatively smooth fashion. Our coach’s participation as well as his colleagues for leading Sunday services (and weekly rehearsals) were wonderful! In the future, I won't hesitate to tell others about Ad Lib Music and how needed this ministry is!”

– Jay Quirk, Lead Pastor, Washington Avenue Bible Church in Ephrata, Pennsylvania

“Ad Lib Music was contracted to coach our worship team to bring them to a higher level musically and in leading the congregation into worship. The sense that Dave’s love for God and genuine desire to see the church deepen in its worship was ever present in the coaching. Little did we know at the time that we would soon experience a dramatic change in the worship leader position. Dave responded well to the events as they unfolded. He was able to help the team move forward through the experience. Dave also helped us in the search for a new worship leader and provided some valuable insight and information that helped us in that process. I really felt like he went above and beyond what was expected in the contract. I would highly recommend Ad Lib Music and Dave Helmuth to any pastor or church that has the desire to improve their worship experience.”

– the late Dennis Loose, former Senior Pastor, LifeSpring Fellowship in Lititz, Pennsylvania

“I have found in Ad Lib Music a rich resource for providing short-term coverage for Sunday mornings, as well as helping us through seasons when we were searching for a ‘permanent’ worship leader.  They have connected us with worship leaders and musicians and helped us think through what is needed for our worship service at any given time. Our coach is not only a tremendously talented musician; he has a deep grasp of the nature of worship, shows extreme sensitivity to our particular way of worshipping, and interacts with others in a pastoral manner, nurturing younger musicians by teaching and example.”

– Mike Alleman & Andrea Brown, Pastors, Grandview United Methodist Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Find more here.