(It’s guest post Friday! Here is a new one from Lindsey Dobruck. If you want to write a guest post, here’s how!)
I got married last month. I asked my dad to officiate. So a few weeks before the wedding, he paid a small fee to an online organization and became an ordained pastor.
Technically, that makes me a PK (preacher’s kid).
And that’s a lot of responsibility. I’m not entirely sure I can handle it. You see, before joining the ranks as a PK, I was a merely worship leader’s kid. A WLK. The grungier, less holy Breakfast Club of church-leader offspring.
The church requires very little of WLKs because, frankly, they’re so focused on picking on PKs. On the expected-holiness chart, we’re well below the PKs but a few notches above UKs (Ushers’ Kids).
In fact, WLKs are so under-the-radar you might have interacted with one without even realizing. So, on behalf of my fellow WLKs, I’ve created this handy guide so you’ll know how to spot who will be taking over your church’s music ministry—long before we don our first V-neck shirt.
How to Recognize a WLK
1. We Play an Instrument.
As soon as I knew the alphabet, I was seated in front of a piano and taught the chords to David Ruis’s “Sweet Wind.” I filled in for the keyboardist the following week. When my parents needed backup vocals, my siblings and I were at the mic, like a modern von Trapp family.
Because while other kids are learning “You’re A Grand Old Flag” on trombone, WLKs are trained as worship-band understudies. We play guitar, bass, drums, or keyboards, and we rarely, if ever, actually audition to be in the band. We’re built-in “spares.”
Of course, not every WLK is as musically inclined as their parents. I wonder if that’s where sound guys come from.
2. We’re the Worship Band’s Roadies.
We arrive at church at least an hour before the service and leave an hour after, helping our parents lug guitar cases, coil microphone cords, and organize sheet music. Sundays can be grueling for WLKs whose parents lead multiple services, so you’ll usually find us hanging backstage, in the sound booth, or at Starbucks during the second service, instead of attending children’s church. But it’s not necessarily “all work and no play”—we get first dibs on donuts in the morning, and we’re the only kids allowed to mess with the drum set.
3. We’re Slightly Less Polished than PKs.
When a PK gets a tattoo, it’s rebellion. But a WLK? Expected. When we’re ditching Sunday school to grab McFlurries during the second service, it’s OK—our florescent-colored hair is distracting anyway. When we confess to our parents that we’ve quit school to pursue a career in music, they sigh with relief and the optimism that their child might become the next Chris Tomlin.
4. We Judge Other Worship Teams.
I don’t mean we actually judge the band, but—well, OK, we do. We’re the worst. When a WLK is visiting another church or looking to join a new congregation, we’re like a little Simon Cowell in the back pew. We notice if the rhythm guitarist is playing a Gibson versus a Martin versus a Taylor. (It should be noted that, in many cases, our parents have graced us with one of these names.) We wonder why the female lead didn’t echo in the second verse, and why she chose the lower harmony during the chorus. We hear a new song and feverishly scribble the lyrics into our Moleskin notebooks, intending to YouTube it for our parents, who will play it the following Sunday. And, more often than not, we’ll recognize someone in the band who has played with our parents or loaned them their studio.
WLKs enjoy and embrace our musical elitism, backstage access, and “underground” status in the church. But ultimately, we do place a high priority on worship. We consider it an amazing privilege to create music for our God. Not to mention we’re usually our parents’ number-one fans.
So sing it back. Can you spot your church’s WLK?
Did I leave anything out?