Worship Arts Pastor
Willingdon Community Church
Burnaby, British Columbia
Willingdon is a community church, international in attendance, biblical in its message, uplifting in its worship, focused in its commitment to prayer, warm-hearted in its touch, and committed in its service to all ages from all walks of life.
Willingdon is a church of 4,000 (pre-covid) and is multi-generation and multi-cultural. “It feels as though we are headed in to a new season,” says Senior Pastor Ray Harms-Wiebe, “and not just because we are now post-covid. This new season is marked with a unity on our team and with our Elders.”
Willingdon Church is passionate about being on mission with Jesus, both locally and globally and is committed to “knowing Jesus Christ personally and carrying on His ministry.” This passion is demonstrated through the translation of their services in to nine different languages because of the diversity that exists in Burnaby. The church reflects this diversity in those that attend and is committed to finding the right worship arts pastor who will embrace this. You can read more about this church in their annual report HERE.
“This is not a mono-cultural expression,” says Executive Director Penny Fuchihara, “our next worship arts pastor will need to embrace all ages, races, and multiple styles of worship as well.” Music has transcended language and culture and has helped this church reach an international community that draws them to God. The church is a part of the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Read more about this movement HERE.
WHY We Exist
To know Jesus Christ personally and to carry on His ministry
WHAT We Do Every Day
Make disciples of Jesus that make disciples
WHO We Are
An intercultural, multi-generational church family in a global city with kingdom impact
To know Jesus Christ personally and to carry on His ministry
Willingdon Church is located in Burnaby, British Columbia and is a multi-generational family of believers. The services are translated into into nine different languages, reflecting the cultural diversity of Greater Vancouver. Willingdon is passionate about being on mission with Jesus, both locally and globally and is committed to “knowing Jesus Christ personally and carrying on His ministry.”
Burnaby is made up of a sophisticated middle class with less than half listing English as their mother tongue. Read more about this dynamic city HERE. It is a suburb of the thriving metropolis of Vancouver which has been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world for a decade.
The Worship Ministry
Diversity of age, race and musical style are on display every weekend at Willingdon. Zoomers, millennials, busters, and boomers join on platform and online to lead this community in worship. “Above all I want to hire one who is in awe of god, who knows how to worship and how to take others there,” says Pastor Ray. It is obvious listening to Ray talk that this is not about excellent music performed by a few for others to observe, but about engagement of all of those in attendance.
The worship arts staff is a group of six in their twenties and early thirties who’ve been on the staff for quite a while. “A team leader who can disciple, shepherd and lead the team is going to be key,” says Penny. The next Worship Arts Pastor – Team Leader may be on platform or in the booth, but they will oversee both, and the resources that go with it. That includes a talented group of diverse young staff, many of whom began as interns and have been working full time for a number of years.
Brett – Music Director, Worship Leader (9 years on staff)
Chantal – Worship Leader (8 years)
Silas – Production Director (7 years)
Nigel – Music Director, strings and orchestra (4 years)
Eric – Creative Videographer (new)
James – Technical Director (new)
This team includes a Berkley grad, art institute grads, and one getting a master’s in counseling. Young in heart, and in zeal, but “veteran team” by today’s standards of tenure. These are not rookies in need of a coach as much as they are highly educated and gifted arts and technical leaders in need of a producer. A producer-minded leader will see the value in serving them well, and helping them do their thing at the highest level. The worship ministry has a history of large seasonal outreach events. “We’d love to see these be part of our future, but we know they will change over time,” says Pastor Ray.
Both previous worship pastors had twenty-five year runs in ministry. The next worship pastor will be building on this heritage and history.
SOME LINKS TO CHECK OUT
Best special presentation pre-pandemic (Christmas 2018)
Best special presentation during Covid (Christmas 2020)
Best special presentation online service (International Language Min day June 2021)
Regular service, pre-pandemic, post-RC (CJ leading, choir singing)
Regular service during Covid
Is this you?
The right candidate for this role will:
// be a producer of people and art
// translate the vision of Willingdon into a worship program
// lead and manage a paid team and volunteers
Some Q and A...
How would you best describe the condition of your current worship ministry?
We would say its in good condition, not in disarray or excellent
The team has exhibited a lot of flexibility, creativity and maintained the worship experience since the last leader left, they transitioned us to online services within two weeks of the pandemic church closure
The core team has remained stable
For the first year and a half since the worship pastor left (May 2019), the ED help support the team and then John took the “interim” worship pastor-team leader role in September 2020, leading and shepherding the young team well.
What is the general consensus of your staff about the worship in your church?
All of our staff would say we are a “worshipping” not performance-driven worship church and our congregation eagerly joins us in worship
On other topics, there is not a consensus, but there are times when everyone loves all aspects of Worship at Willingdon
Brooklyn tab versus Phil Wickam/Chris Tomlin
Although, we do have the opportunity of catering to both styles. This has worked for us over the past ten years by providing different styles in two different venues
What are your hopes and dreams for whomever takes this role?
That they would start tomorrow!
That they would be deeply in love with Jesus, truly be a worshipper and fall in love with our intercultural, multi-generational church
They would take the lead in shaping the next long season of worshipping at Willingdon (both previous worship pastors did 25-year tenures)
They would shepherd our WAM team and lead the WA ministry in discipleship as per our Ministry Philosophy
That they would be humble and sensitive to the Holy Spirit and called to this ministry and location to serve Jesus
That they are able to lead a staff team of creatives (gifted, passionate, emotional and sensitive Millennials and Gen Z’s – who also have a second-generation immigrant world view, this is a unique aspect of our entire staff team)
That they will be able to bridge the generations – find ways to help all generations worship eagerly
Humility is important
Strong musicianship and desire for excellence
That they would have the gifts to build on what exists already including the ability to lead worship every weekend and produce large outreach productions
That they would love what they do, feel welcomed and their whole family would become part of the church family
In six months why will you be thrilled that you have hired this person?
They “fit” – the current worship arts team is eager to work with them – the leadership team (team leaders/elders) enjoys working with them
They are leading the ministry in alignment with our ministry philosophy and unity with our staff and leadership teams
They are thriving and love being part of the entire Willingdon Team!
The church family loves to be led by them and the WAM team!
They have a sense of calling to serve at Willingdon long term, they love what they do, are excited about the future and what God will do through the Worship Arts Ministry at Willingdon.
The ministry is growing, drawing people to Christ, discipling believers and encouraging all into the presence of the Lord while worshipping Jesus
What does it take to “win” on your staff team?
You need to be a mature believer with a healthy relationship with Jesus and a regular devotional and prayer study life – you need to be grounded in the Word and a self-motivated follower of Jesus
As a Team Leader – you need to be a mature believer, a self-starter, humble and confident, a leader, a communicator and team player
Visionary for the ministry, but also need the Strategic skills and ability to execute
Willingness to work hard, an eagerness to try new things, humility to relate to a wide variety of people of different ethnicities and ages
Good sense of humour - don’t take yourself too seriously
Try things – but they are well thought out – creative and willing to be flexible
Willingness to serve – no job too big or small – in all ministry areas –
Think of yourself as a team player with the whole team, not just siloed to the one ministry area of Worship Arts
What are three singular words that would describe what it is like to be on staff at your church?
Fun and energetic
Passionate about the mission
Challenging but in a positive way
How would you describe your church’s musical/worship style?
God honouring and Jesus focused
Well executed and professional
Celebratory (in person)
Sometimes BIG (choir/orchestra)
Are you hoping to see the worship style change?
We are uncertain?
We would like our new Worship Pastor to help us figure out how to do this, while still appreciating the past
We would love to see us become more intercultural (a huge part of our church) and appeal to a younger generation, who are also second-generation Canadians, which is a unique part of our church
We want to continue to be a ‘worshipping’ church with many opportunities for outreach
What is your church’s philosophy regarding reaching people who are de-churched, unchurched, or anti-church?
We want to home for all people – “We are a family, where everyone is on mission with Jesus”
We are always mindful of the nonchristians amongst us and speak in such a way they will understand
We preach Jesus and train our people to share their faith in Jesus
Our approach is to share the gospel with clarity and hope
We preach expositionally and believe that as people hear God’s word and experience musical worship the holy spirit can transform lives
Our mission for 60 years has been “to know Jesus Christ personally and carry on His ministry”
Every weekend we have many visitors who do not know Jesus visit us
Does your church’s website state the mission, vision, values and key distinctives of your church? If so please insert the link here.
How does worship or the arts play a part in reaching people?
Over the years, God has used the musical worship at Willingdon to draw many people to himself.
People have been deeply touched by the spirit in the midst of the music
We have used music very intentionally as an outreach tool – producing musical productions which attract over up to 12,000 people over 5 days
We have a gifted creative arts team of videographers, photographers, graphic designers and set designers communicate the gospel through the arts
What is your annual church budget?
2021 – $5,750,000
2020 - $6,800,000 (precovid)
How many full-time pastors do you currently have?
How many people currently serve in the worship ministry?
Paid – 1 Pastor-Team Leader; 6 full time paid staff
Volunteers - 100 volunteers (up to 200 pre-covid)
What are the different teams that fall within the realm of the worship department?
Video production (cross over with the Communications department)
What is the “squeaky wheel” right now as it pertains to worship ministry? Is there a chronic issue that you are hoping is dealt with through this hire?
We need a leader, we have been without a long-term leader for two years
Who will this person report to?
They will report to the Lead Pastor
Through the Lead Pastor, they are accountable to the elders board
Are there particular assessment tools that you prefer when exploring potential staff people?
Birkman and Disc
How long has senior leadership been serving in your church?
Lead Pastor – 6 years
Executive Director – 14 years
Team Leaders – six of them (20 years, 15 years, 10 years, 7 years, 4 years, 1 year)
Elders model – 40 years
Are you affiliated with a particular denomination or association of churches? If so, what websites could one investigate to gain further understanding?
BCMB – British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches https://bcmb.org/
What are the key doctrinal and theological issues where alignment is essential?
Our statement of faith https://willingdon.org/sites/default/files/page/downloads/Statement_of_Faith_2020.pdf
Elder led church
What is your average weekend attendance (pre-COVID)?
4000 (3400 adults/360 kids/240 students)
In general, what is your church demographic?
80% live in Burnaby/Vancouver – our church reflects the surrounding neighbourhood – it is an “ex-urban” neighbourhood filled with upper-middle-class professionals living in an expensive city.
Intercultural – we translate in 10 languages – our largest language groups are
To find out more about our church demographics and stats, please see this link
Is there more than one site or venue? If so, please describe.
One site – two service venues (pre-covid) on Sunday run simultaneously
Sanctuary (holds 1400 people)
Sunday services 8:30am, 10:00am, 11:45am
Connection (holds 500 people)
Saturday night service 5:00pm and 6:30pm
Sunday 10:00am, 11:45am
What percentage of people in your church have been a Christian for 5 years or less?
What percentage of people are involved in a small group?
How many current staff members have been there 3 years or more?
80% - 40 out of 50 full-time staff. Although the number would be a little lower, as we laid off most of our part-time staff when the pandemic began, we usually have approximately 80 staff, therefore it would probably be closer to 70%
What three ministries of your church will receive the most resources next year?
Admin, Ops and Pastoral Min (which includes payroll)
Global and local outreach
Are there any non-negotiables in your church in regard to worship & art? If so, describe them.
Must focus on Jesus
Must be a worshipper, not a performer – they can not use this position as a platform for self-promotion
A level of excellence in all that we do
They must adhere to our statement of faith – a non-negotiable for elders
They must be able to go through the credentialing process
Able to work well with the leadership team and staff – we have worked hard to eliminate previous silos and be ONE team
What did you try artistically (before COVID) that failed or didn’t happen the way the team had hoped?
From a leadership point of view - we tried group leadership and it failed. We need a strong leader who can bring out the best in the talented and gifted staff that we currently have – they have served well and worked hard over the last two years, but need a leader.
What is your church known for in the community?
We are one of the largest churches in BC and the largest in Burnaby
We are known for excellent preaching, outreach productions, musical talent and high-quality music
We are known as an intercultural church that worships all together, not with separate language services – translating services in 10 languages
We are known for our local community partnerships with schools, food programs, refugee family support and community outreach programs
Does your church lean toward being an intrinsic (internal focused) or extrinsic (outreach focused) church?
We are trying to do both well
We put a lot of resources into internal resources and programming for discipleship and also have significant partnerships for outreach opportunities locally and globally
We are launching a new website this Fall which will be much more user friendly for the seeker, first time visitor and an intercultural crowd both in the lower mainland and around the world
What is the Sr. Pastor/Teaching Pastor’s role in designing services?
Design of the services is determined by the Worship Team, with input from the Lead Pastor
The order of service is determined by the Production Director
Song selection by the Worship Leader based on the sermon series
Over the past two years, we have worked towards being much more collaborative for designing services and special presentations between the Worship Arts Team (led by the Worship Team Leader), Preaching Team (led by the Lead Pastor) and Communications Team (led by the Executive Director).
What is the Sr. Pastor’s leadership style?
Collaborative and has strong convictions
Visionary and analytical
Passionate about saving the lost
Shepherd who loves Jesus and our church family
How much is creativity and art valued?
Creatively in music – as long as it's done well - we have a congregation which looks to excellence in music – however, there has been more openness to try new things online since covid
In terms of art – creativity is embraced, we have a gifted team of designers in graphics, video production, photography, set and event design
What are the expected work hours and what does a typical workweek look like?
For a team leader position – anywhere from 40 to 50 hours per work, depending on the season
It is a fairly fast-paced environment that requires flexibility in the schedule, pre-covid we did 7 weekend services and 220 special events a year
This position will require evenings and weekends – 5 days a week with 2 days off – the schedule is determined based on need. Here is a sample:
Saturdays – rehearsal day and evening services
Sundays – multiple services throughout the day
Wednesdays – regular team, staff and leadership meetings throughout the day/evenings with volunteers or leadership meetings
Days off are determined by the Team Leader – in Worship Arts (pre-covid) it was usually Monday and Tuesday
Ready to take the next step?
If, after prayerfully reviewing this information, you sense this role and church culture could be a good fit for you, please contact Dave Miller at
Dave Miller at DLmiller@slingshotgroup.org