What do we mean by Magnification?

Trevor Hodge

“So what do you do?”

It’s usually question number two or three as you meet someone new at a BBQ.  And most of the time, this is a fairly uncomplicated conversation.  

“So what do you do during the week?

“I’m a teacher / accountant / plumber / student / stay-at-home mum / dad...”

“Oh, that’s cool...my second cousin does that…(conversation continues)”


Here’s how it often goes for me...

“So, what do you do during the week?”

“Me...I’m a magnification pastor.”

...insert sound of crickets chirping….

“So...how about this weather….?”

I'll often choose a path of less resistance and stumble through something like “I work at our local church in the music side of things”.  And even that is hard for many people to picture!

And this isn’t just an issue when I’m talking with people from outside of the church.  When church members ask about my role in the church, it’s never a short conversation.

So why talk about Magnification if no one knows what it means?

Why not just go with worship leader / music pastor / director...and bundle any extra roles and expectations around that?  What’s in a name anyway?


Well, if you call something a fruit bowl, the chances are you’re going to fill it with fruit...and not muesli or car keys or lego.

And if you call someone a music / worship / pastor / director / coordinator, then the chances are you’re going to fill their role with expectations connected with that title.

In our experience and research, a lot of the struggles and tensions that face people serving in this area of church life come from misunderstood or mismatched expectations of them, their roles and their actual week by week activities.  People are often raised into leadership because of musical skills and experience….and then are expected to be responsible for raising leaders and discipling people...and then are evaluated solely by how awesome (or not) the music is from Sunday to Sunday.

So we think a term that enables us to encapsulate and give shape and definition to a purpose that is far broader and multi-faceted than ‘music’, and more specific than ‘worship’ (isn’t it all of life?!) can be really helpful.

And you might have noticed that we’ll more often refer to magnification as a purpose rather than a role or title.  This is intentional.  While we think that having someone in the role of a magnification leader - someone championing the values and priorities (which we will discuss further) across church life - is an ideal situation, it is definitely not necessary, or even a viable option for many churches.  But we’re also convinced that this is an area of your church’s life that is constantly being formed and shaped...whether you are intentional about it or not.  Speaking of magnification as a purpose helps important conversations about church life to continue irrespective of whether there is one particular person wearing that hat or not.

So why do we use the term magnification?

More coming soon...