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As worship leaders, we have all encountered those people who want to be on the worship team but don’t have what it takes to fulfill the commitment. They may not realize that you have to practice every week, or they may not even be able to sing.

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The challenge is how to handle this situation in a professional, yet compassionate manner, and I have a few keys that will help you with this endeavor.

Even a small church can achieve excellence. Tweet Quote

It may seem impossible at times, with such a small group of people to pull from, but a small church still has the potential to offer excellent sound quality in their worship services. I am not just talking about what type of equipment you have, because an excellent sound starts with the people on stage.

I was brand new at leading worship full-time when I had a guy, who had not been coming to the church for very long, approach me about playing guitar with the worship team. At the time, it seemed like such a god-send because I was in desperate need of an electric guitarist, so I enthusiastically brought him onto the team!

As you can guess where this story is going, it ended up that the skills were not quite there.

His heart was pure, and he was a really nice guy, but the whole band struggled with this one member that was out-of-sync. Then I was stuck trying to resolve the situation without hurting his feelings.

Yuck – I am sure you have found yourself there as well.

A 3-Step Process for Adding New Worship Team Members

I let many years go by before I finally developed a process for introducing new members to the worship team. Without a refined process, you are in for a bumpy ride!

I will now outline the process I use, and you will also be able to download the application I use. Feel free to use whatever will fit your needs, but don’t be afraid to add your own touch.

Step 1 – Complete an Application

It may seem silly, especially in a small church, but an application is the first step in weeding out those who are just looking for a ‘platform’.

An application should be used to answer two main questions: ‘can they accept the commitment’ and ‘do they have a heart for worship’.

Download the Application I Use

Step 2 – Worship Team Audition

Now that you have evaluated their heart and commitment level, its time to see if the skill is there.

I am very strict with audition times, because it is a chance for them to prove their commitment. If they are unable to make the audition date, or if they miss their time, they will not get another chance until the next audition is scheduled (which could be up to a year later).

Be honest with your audition evaluations, and bring people in to grade the audition that are able to recognize musical skills.

Step 3 – Fulfill 90 Day Probational Period

Believe it or not, some people are able to get past the application and audition process until you find out that they don’t have what it takes.

You may discover a commitment problem, or it may even be a moral problem. Nevertheless, an understood probational period makes it easier to let these people go, if necessary. Following are some of my guidelines for the probational period.

  • Tardiness and absence are not permitted for scheduled rehearsals or services.
  • You must show up to rehearsals prepared. Rehearsal is not a time to learn your part, but put all the parts together.
  • You must maintain an attitude that is easy to work with.
  • You must be able to take constructive criticism and make necessary changes.
  • You must be able to adjust your musical preferences in a way that works with the rest of the team and the overall ‘sound’ we are working towards.

Am I strict? Yep. I care way to much about my team to bring on someone who is not willing to make the commitment or does not have the skills needed to succeed.

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About the Author

Kade Young

Kade Young brought Collaborate Worship into existence with a dream of helping worship leaders around the world fulfill their calling with excellence. He has been leading worship since 2005, is a graduate of Rhema Bible Training College, and currently the worship leader at NoLimits Church in Owasso, Oklahoma.