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.
Worship ministry is no stranger to last minute changes – that’s why flexibility is a critical part of being on the team. Craig Stott says that worship team members can take some lessons from yoga:
I think we as worship team members can learn a lot from people who do yoga. Primarily, the main thing I think we can learn is becoming “flexible”. When I think about some of the times I’ve led worship, music directed, or simply played my instrument, there were moments I wish I were more “flexible”, meaning I was ready to bend a different direction than I had planned. On the other hand, there have been plenty of moments where I have felt I was ready to bend and move wherever the Spirit of God was ready to take us as a team. Turning to scripture, one of my most favorite men in the entire Bible is King David. Let’s look at how God used David’s flexibility for His purposes.
Craig shares three keys to becoming a flexible worship team member. Check it out here.
Jed Smith on making the jump from worship team to community to family:
You probably already know it’s important for a worship team to feel like family. Church is a big extended family. A worship team is like an immediate family.
The rewards of a team that feels like family is both extraordinary and immeasurable. In many ways, that feeling of family is why people go to church.
I stumbled upon the benefits on a family-like worship team accidentally.
Great story about the unexpected ways that worship team can bond together. I experienced something similar at one of the church plants where I led worship.
Jed also shares four ways to make your worship team more like a family. Check it out here. Good stuff.
Rob Still on discipling and ministering to our worship volunteers:
For those of us who serve and lead in the worship music ministry, the process of being a disciple and of “making disciples” is very important. However we often struggle to practically and effectively “disciple” – that is to “train, teach and equip” our worship ministry volunteers in the biblical foundations of worship. We’re all pressed for time and every minute of music rehearsal is valuable.
Nonetheless, understanding God’s word as it relates to worship and our role in leading it is mandatory if our volunteers are going to be equipped to do God’s work, God’s way. This can be done by being intentional to study some key Scriptures together.
Rob shares twelve short scripture passages to encourage and equip your worship team. These would make excellent starting points for more in-depth team devotionals. Read the list here.
Rich Kirkpatrick shares a huge list of practical tips for building a strong and healthy worship team:
It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare to lead a worship. Here is a list to help you think through things that can help you build strong worship teams and meaningful weekend worship services.
This is a fantastic list of ideas and tips for a healthy worship team and excellent services. I especially liked number 9, number 16, and number 38. But they’re all good. Check out the whole list here.
Whether you’re on a worship team or just in a band, you’ll lose your best player someday. Todd Wright explains more:
We’ve all had THE PLAYER.
THE PLAYER is that person who shows up who has astounding God-given talent, can play whatever you ask and instantly gels with you and the rest of the team.
With a player like this, you might sometimes think to yourself, “Wow. I think we’re, like, a GOOD band now.” Songs come faster and the congregation responds. Your whole sound changes with a player like this because you’re able to chase ideas never before attempted.
So, what do you do when a player like that leaves?
It can really demoralize the team to lose a great musician, but it doesn’t mean ministry stops. Todd shares four things to keep in mind when your best musician leaves the team. Very encouraging post. Read the whole thing here.
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?
The worship team needs to be more than just a band – it should be a community, a family.
I really enjoyed Mark Altrogge’s reflections on why the worship team’s interpersonal relationships matter so much:
As a worship team, our relationships matter. They matter more than our gifts, talent or musical ability. If we can lead the most incredible set of worship, with amazing music, fantastic vocals, outward expressiveness, smiles on our faces, yet allow strife and disunity, we grieve God. We don’t please him. The congregation may not know it but God does.
On the other hand, unity brings joy to God…
Click here for the whole thing. Good thoughts on team unity.
As a worship leader, you should be spending as much time developing your team as you do practicing your instrument. Elizabeth Rhyno explains why every worship team should always be developing new players and leaders:
The Christian life is intrinsically a call to others. It has in its essence a life-on-life trajectory. But the focus of the musician can often turn inwards, goals of perfection driving the artist to hone and hone (and hone!) the craft. The lens of becoming as skilled as possible can sometimes obscure the value of developing others. Further, the drive for excellent production can sway some worship teams to exclude novice players altogether, rather than enveloping-to-develop them. I’d like to propose how worship teams can create an environment that nurtures and integrates newer players.
She goes on to list four ways that our worship teams can become safe places for new players to learn and develop. Check it out here. Good stuff.
I learned something important by getting the flu just in time for Easter. My voice was shot. I was barely able to stand up to play guitar, but I managed somehow. Two members of my team graciously stepped up to handle the vocals. And you know what? The service went pretty well. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t what I’d planned, but we pulled it off.
Later that day I got an email from someone on the team telling me that had it not been for my leadership, the service would have been a disaster. In the end, it’s not my talent that my team or my congregation needs.
Tiffany Stotts asks what you’d do if you woke up tomorrow and you couldn’t sing or play an instrument:
If you woke up tomorrow and your gift of music was gone, who would you be? Don’t you want to know what else God has layered into who you are? Beyond just your outer skills and gifts? And why He decided to put them there in the first place? You can’t even begin to imagine it.
If we are going to be truly effective in our music and worship as individuals and as a team, we can’t afford to leave these layers unearthed. The people around us need us to be the full versions of who we were made to be…
It’s an uncomfortable question for those of us in music ministry, isn’t it? Read Tiffany’s full post here.