Posts Tagged ‘church’

Sometimes, as worship leaders, it is far to easy to neglect the importance of the people you share the stage with. Developing a good, “serving” relationship with your team is important.

Have you ever had band members quit your team, and you’re dumbstruck by their decision to leave without warning? Yep, I thought so. Have you listened to band members’ ideas, nodded your head with a “that sounds good” comment only to forget what they said within a week? Yep, I thought so, too.

A worship team needs to be about much more than simply pulling off the worship set without a hitch. It needs to be a TEAM – even a family. Everyone onstage must embody the communal worship we are trying to lead others in – meaning, if the band is not a community that worships, how can it lead a community into worship?

Here are some things I believe God has been drilling into me lately about the dynamic of a worship team.

1. Empower your worship team. Give them a voice.

I hate to admit it, but I’m a little put off by many popular worship bands that are named after the band leader. That said, I still love the music of many of these guys and am certainly not hung up on the simple naming of a band, but it makes me think about our role as worship leaders: (1) It’s not about an individual. You are not the star; Jesus is. (2) Everyone on the team matters. So be willing to listen to how God is leading them to worship. Be willing to experiment with the kind of creativity in worship that can emerge when more than one mind is involved in planning a worship set. Doing this can build friendships and make your members feel like their actually appreciated more than just the instrument they play. Sure, as the leader of the team, you have the responsibility to “focus” the team so that ideas line up with the vision of the church or even just the specific needs of a given Sunday morning. But let your team know that their ideas – that their input – matters. And, well, that brings me to number two:

2. Your band is not doing you a favor. They are there to serve our Lord and Savior.

If your ego has grown so big that you think the band is rallying behind you – and not Christ – then, when they leave your team, don’t go whining to your lead pastor about how your band members had no “vision” for the ministry. It’s up to us to give them the vision. Obviously, sometimes those in your band might not have the right vision or right heart no matter how hard you try, BUT, make sure that doesn’t happen because you haven’t told them or modeled the vision for them. We must keep Christ out in front. We must follow him, and lead others to him. Because if we just want these guys to “help us out,” well – to be blunt – we’re just not that cool. So make sure that it’s clear to you and your team, that they’re not there to serve you, but Jesus Christ – always. Which brings me to number 3:

3. Squash language that says “I’m just a volunteer.”

First – yes, for most of us, our worship teams are made up of volunteers. They are people that have other jobs and other responsibilities. To serve on your team means that they are giving up time they used to spend doing something else. They can have wacky schedules, they can get sick, they can cringe when you throw a difficult set at them, and so on… But nothing pains me more to hear the phrase, “I’m just a volunteer.” (maybe that’s my fault – see #2).

It’s our job as leaders to be sensitive to the needs of our team members and treat our volunteers well (versus abusing their willingness to serve). But it is ALSO our responsibility to make it clear that serving is a privilege and and honor – NOT to serve with worship leader “x” in church “y” – but as people saved from death and hell by a risen Savior. It’s not, “I’m just a volunteer,” but “I’m a servant of my Savior.” There is no higher calling.

A worship team needs to be more than simply a group of musicians who share a stage together. If you want to lead the larger community of the church in worship, your team needs to be a worshipping community.

I pray that I can improve these things in how I lead my own team (who all ROCK, by the way!).