Three Ways To Be A Bad Communicator

Communicating well with your worship team is essential. Laura Blankenship explains that poor communication can kill your worship team’s culture:

I’ve come to realize that part of my job description should read, “Defender of Culture”. Because in all reality, creating and keeping a positive culture on our teams only happens with intention. It’s when we get a bit lazy that culture killers can sneak in and start to poke holes in the fabric of our God-centered, positive, encouraging, and honest culture.

Let’s talk about a culture killer that runs rampant through the church world: Poor Communication.

It’s really tough as a leader to hear a volunteer say, “No one told me” or, “It seems like you don’t really need me right now so I’m taking next month off”. And sometimes, we even find ourselves disappointed in the performance of a volunteer, wondering how it went so wrong.

How does this happen?

Laura lists three ways that worship leaders (and other ministry leaders) often fail at communicating with their teams. Read the whole thing here.

The Artist And The Shepherd

Mike Harland on the church’s need for those who create and those who lead:

Recently, in one of my classes, a discussion broke out about the differences between Artists and Shepherds. The context of the discussion was around church ministry and which role best described the Worship Pastor. Here are a few of the thoughts from the dialogue that day…

Mike shares the differences between artists and shepherds – and how the church needs both. Read the whole thing here.

Volunteer Recruitment

If not for volunteers, most churches wouldn’t have much of a worship team. How do you find players?

Travis Stephens on volunteer recruitment:

You don’t have to be a pastor to realize that a church needs volunteers. Whether it’s to play music, watch kids, or mow the lawn, you have to have volunteers. Most of the time you need a lot of them, but how do you go about finding them?

Chances are they’re not going to be lined up outside your office door, so you’re going to need to recruit them. There are several ways to do this. We’ve tried just about everything, and in my experience here are some of the best and worst ways to go about it.

Travis lists six methods for getting volunteers and how effective each one is. The winner probably won’t surprise you. Check it out here.

What’s been your most successful method for recruiting volunteers?

From Worship Leader To Worship Pastor

My title at church has always been “worship leader” or occasionally “the music guy,” but never had “pastor” anywhere in it. But regardless of the title, every worship leader plays a pastoral role. Those pastoral duties don’t always come easy to us, but Mike Harland shares five tips to help worship leaders fulfill their pastoral roles:

I went on to explain that ministry on a church staff involves touching the lives of people – and sometimes that means being at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. Some might argue, “My church only wants me to plan and lead worship. I don’t have to do that pastoral stuff.”

Well, you can sell that to someone else.

Because, if you serve a church in any capacity, you will need to step into pastoral moments – at least some of the time. Over the years, I learned to highly-value those moments of impact with the people I served.

So, in the that spirit, here are some tips I’ve learned about this aspect of ministry…

Great list. Check it out here.

Choose To Love Your Church

Jennifer Williams explains one crucial choice that every ministry leader needs to make:

In my very first year of ministry I remember sitting in a small group of pastors and one of them made the statement, “I’ve never served a church where I would want to worship.” Wow, years later I still remember this comment and am still blown away by the impact and power of it. Yes, I say power regarding what I consider a very negative comment because our thoughts have power over our lives. I am reminded of the scripture, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23 NLT) As leaders in the church, our personal views and what comes from our heart not only impacts our lives, but also the lives of our congregations. We are leaders and the scriptures also remind us that we will be judged by a higher standard because we are called to serve way beyond ourselves. This one statement and my pondering it over the last two decades have led me to watch several ideas that can so easily flow out of my heart.

How we feel about our churches is a choice we make. What will you choose?

Check out Jennifer’s full post here.

Leading Up

Being the worship leader doesn’t mean you’re the best musician of the bunch… and that can cause tensions. Especially if your team is also older than you.

Rob Still on leading a team that’s older and more musically experienced than you are:

There are unique challenges for the worship leader in their 20s or early 30s to engage and impact people who are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and older. Every generation is unique in their spiritual journey, musical predilection, and expression of worship.

I would encourage you to have an open mind and not assume automatically that “older people = hymns” and “younger people = contemporary.” It’s more complex and nuanced than that. Today’s grandparents are not your grandparent’s grandparents.

So, here are suggestions in three areas that I think will be helpful to you. First is mindset, second is relationship dynamics, and finally some common-sense practical musical suggestions.

There’s some great advice here for young worship leaders who are “leading upward.” Check out Rob’s full post here.

Dress Keys (Not Codes)

Adam Dolhanyk provides some wisdom on what to wear for church, especially if you’re up front:

The Bible has things to say about how Christians should present themselves. The Church Culture has things to say about how Christians should present themselves (not necessarily the same as the Bible). Even the Secular Culture has ideas about how Christians dress, or how everyone else should dress too.

So why should I add my thoughts to the mix? That’s actually not my goal. Of course I have opinions on this subject, but my goal isn’t to give you a list of things I think you should do. My goal is to break down some general keys to follow as you try to figure out what’s right in regards to you, your church, your cultural context and your convictions. As always, while our basis for these things must be found in God’s Word, working these things out can feel at times like a moving target so I’m going to try and focus on Dress Keys than Dress Codes.

I love the balanced, reasonable approach that Adam takes. Check it out here. Definitely worth a read.

What To Do When You’re Not Playing

The way you conduct yourself offstage is just as important as how you conduct yourself onstage. Shalon Palmer explains why and how:

We always talk about what to do when we’re playing in a band, but what about those moments when we’re not? And why are these so important?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been listening to someone speak at church and just over that person’s shoulder, I see some guitar player in their own little world just shredding away on their guitar. For this reason, today I’ve decided to talk to musicians about every moment on Sunday, when you’re NOT playing.

Shalon discusses three key times on Sunday when you’re not playing music, and how you should conduct yourself. Read the whole thing here. Good advice that many worship musicians need to learn from.

Hindering Worship

Josh Martin shares some of the ways that our leadership (or lack thereof) can take away from our church’s worship experience:

Last week, right before church started, our band gathered to say the traditional, “God we pray you’re with us, we pray for no distractions, for your presence to fall, for us to remember our parts, and for the computer not to crash like it did last week, etc.”

We do this every week. So do you.

In our setting, if we’re not careful, we hustle to get ready, we rehearse until the last minute, then throw up a Hail Mary prayer of sorts.

This got me thinking about the larger “preparations” we do for worship and how often we are living in bad habits that are hindering our experience.

He lists five things worship leaders all too often do that hinder our worship. Check it out here.

The Unchained Worship Leader

Rich Kirkpatrick explains how your church can set your worship leader free to lead:

Each week, worship leaders will be in front of believers gathering all over the United States with the goal of serving their congregations in inspiring and powerful ministry of music. In order to serve well as a leader of worship and music, work has to be done to gain a better understanding of the culture of the church, vision of the pastor, and strategies to leverage the talents of the worship team in place. Multitasking as a communicator, manager, musical director, and pastor require both a solid structure as well as freedom to execute the worship leader role—or in reality, there are many roles or hats to be worn.

The following are 10 ways you as the manager or leader of the worship pastor can free them up to be successful. You can have both competence in delivery as well as have spiritually impacting experiences for your congregation.

Rich shares ten things that pastors and church leaders can do to set up the worship pastor to lead well. Check out the whole list here.