Why Peter Doesn’t Lead Every Sunday At Bayside

Q: Peter, I’ve noticed that you miss Sundays from time to time and we have guest worship leaders at Bayside.  Why is that? Where are you anyway?

A: Great question, you are voicing what others have likely wondered about. Check out the very first responsibility in my job description.  I am to…

•Lead music worship at Bayside Woodland 70% of Sunday services annually.

Hmm…why would it say that?  What about the other 30% of Sundays?  When I started at Bayside, Pastor John and I talked through this extensively and decided there are some strong benefits to this approach.  While I aim to not miss more than 2 Sundays in a row, and it is extremely rare that both the Senior Pastor and I would be gone on the same Sunday, here’s why we at Bayside actually would not want it any other way:

Bayside Worship Team Growth

I have the privilege of taking our fantastic worship teams to lead at other events- retreats, mission trips, conferences, other churches, etc. all over North America.  These trips/events are a key way we build community on the worship team, challenge musicians to improve their skills, and resource other ministries.  Our musicians/techs return better at what they do, closer to the Lord and one another, and with an expanded understanding of God at work in other places.  No question, these opportunities strengthen our worship team and church.

Healthy Leadership Model

Platform staff at Bayside follow a “3 on, 1 off” approach: being up front 3 Sundays and not being up front for 1.  This models the kind of loose grip on one’s role in God’s kingdom that is healthy; giving others a chance to lead or speak reinforces that.  It also helps prevent burnout.  We seek to build this principle into all our teams (same reason you see different faces on the worship team from week to week).  While there are stretches where other pastoral staff or I may be around a bit more, the general idea is 3 Sundays on, 1 Sunday off.

Developing Worship Leaders

I mentor other worship leaders and the Sundays I’m on the road give those leaders in training the opportunity to lead and learn and grow.

Increased Quality Level

At Bayside we value excellence in our music because it honors God and inspires people.  The highest quality musicians tend to be in demand for touring and recording; our church understands and supports that so that high caliber musicians will feel at home here. Also, part of God's call on my life is to write and introduce new worship songs to our church; time away gives me space and inspiration for songwriting.


If I led 48 Sundays a year at Bayside, you’d get sick of me. I’d get sick of me.  Variety is good, different faces once in awhile to mix things up is good.  Even your favorite TV show isn’t making new episodes for 3 months of the year (or more).  Think about it.

Resourcing Other Ministries

Partnering with other churches, mission organizations, camps, schools, and other groups around the world blesses and resources their organizations (along with increasing our understanding of how God is working everywhere).  Many, many groups benefit from having our teams lead worship, train musicians, and invest in lives.  It’s a tremendous privilege to partner with these groups and a good way for our church to have an extended ministry outside our region.  It’s also a good reminder for our church that we’re one tiny part of God’s big kingdom.

Happy Worship Pastor

This is just a personal thing, but I would go nuts leading at the same place 48 Sundays a year.  I never have and never would work at a church that required that, mostly because I’m passionately convinced that they would be missing out (for all those reasons listed above), but partly because it’s just not me.  God has wired me to love travel, taking people on trips, and the variety of seeing Him work in different places. For long term effectiveness and joy in ministry, it’s really important that I live out who the Lord has made me to be, pursue what He has made me passionate about, and stay faithful to His unique calling on my life.

If you’re still reading, thanks for taking the time to dig into this with me.  I hope this is helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to email me. For more detailed information about where I go and what I do when I'm not here, check out www.NeumannMusic.com.


Peter Neumann

Celebration Arts Pastor

Bayside Church of Woodland