How important is it to have a worship leader with at least a basic knowledge of music theory?

I have been frustrated with our worship leader in many areas because he doesn't have any musical training whatsoever.  He plays guitar and has a good voice, but he cannot change keys or read any music and gets angry with me when I try to suggest another key.  He chooses keys that are easier to play, but may not be the best key to sing them in for the congregation. He also does not want me to introduce any new songs because it's easier to play the songs that are familiar to him. I believe we need to keep the music relevent and fresh.  If we are always playing the same songs it"s not different than pulling out the old hymn book every sunday. He is always mentioning that I have more skills than him and it seems to me that he is a little insecure about his ability and envious of mine.  I am aware of this and I am very careful to suggest ideas without acting like I am more skilled or better than him.  He does get angry with me quite often.

I feel that we should be doing our best in serving the Lord.  I know that it is a privilege to serve Jesus in the music ministry and I thoroughly enjoy it, but I am losing that joy because of the leader we have right now.  I feel that he is on a quest for mediocrity instead of doing his best.  He doesn't put much effort into the music ministry.

Because of all of this I am looking for another church where I can participate and regain the joy that I have lost.  I want to do my best, but I can't do that under his leadership  :(

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Thanks for commenting on my post from almost a year ago.  I appreciate your comments.  And yes, the most important thing is keeping God in it and listening for His direction. 

I have been on a journey for the last year that has been very good for me.  The new church that I am attending needed a sound person and they asked me to do it.  I already knew a little about running a sound board, but not enough, so I started reading everything I could and asking a lot of questions, so that I could do a good job in my new position.  I have learned a lot and I have really enjoyed it.  I was working in a position where the church needed help and I was glad to do it.  Meanwhile, I kept praying about playing on the worship team again.  It seemed like it took forever, but I decided to just wait for God's timing and work in the sound booth while I was waiting.  Recently, they found someone else to help with the sound, so I was asked to play in the band.  That was just about a month ago and I have been playing ever since.  I'm glad that I waited for God's leading.  I love my new church and I am glad that God led us there.  I am also glad that I have spent most of this last year learning how to run the sound.  It is another skill that God has given me that I can use for His glory.  Sound people aren't up on stage and are usually not appreciated very much, so it has been good to be on the other side. 

Be sure and thank your sound crew next Sunday!

I wouldn't say this is a lack of music theory problem but a lazy musician who takes the easy way. You don't have to know theory to have good music "instinct" if you are gifted. But sounds to me he lacks knowledge through experience. He should be thankful for a more seasoned musician who can help him grow. I long for those kinds of people around me. I want to grow but alas, not everyone does unfortunately. He needs to be teachable and humbly receive your input, although he doesn't have to act on it necessarily. But it's the attitude that matters. Maybe have a gentle talk with him and see where he's coming from. I would see what area he might be willing to grow in and come along side of this man and help him.. Surely you can show him how to transpose keys right? Without knowing theory. I say this by experience. I would think he would like to be more flexible and learn how to make things easier on himself in the long run? There are also articles on worship leading blogs that have good articles about growing in your craft and being disciplined. Here's one:


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