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3 Ways to Help Your Worship Team Grow Spiritually

Kade Young
Kade Young
Chief Audio Guru

How are we, as worship leaders, helping our team grow spiritually?

This question really makes me examine my own self as a leader, and I realize that I have some growing to do in this area.

It is easy to get caught up in improving musicianship and forget about the other aspects of a healthy worship team.

The truth is, if the members of a worship team do not have a healthy relationship with God, they will not be able to effectively lead worship - even if they are the best musician on the planet.

Even the best musician cannot effectively lead worship when lacking a healthy relationship with God. Tweet Quote

Although I believe that spiritual growth is a personal, one-on-one journey with God, I do believe there is a responsibility on worship leaders to lead their team towards spiritual growth.

At first, this can seem like a daunting task. You may feel like it is now your responsibility to make sure each team member spends regular time in the Word of God. But, this is taking it too far.

Develop a simple strategy to help your team grow spiritually.

Resist the urge to swing from one extreme to the other.

When developing a plan to help your team grow spiritually, the most important thing is that it is realistic, simple and easy to maintain.

The goal here is not to develop a plan that will take you hours each week to complete. You simply want to intentionally do something on a consistent basis that will help your team grow spiritually.

3 Ways to Help Your Worship Team Grow Spiritually

1. Point the songs you are playing back to scripture.

The Bible is the source of all spiritual growth. Pointing your team back to scripture is probably the best way you can help them grow spiritually.

Every song we do in worship was inspired by the Word of God. As a matter of fact, if you cannot find anything in the Bible that relates to the song you are singing, you probably shouldn’t sing it.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to sing a song but not even pay attention to the lyrics you are singing? This is one thing we have to look out for as musicians.

Finding the scripture that relates to the song gives it a deeper meaning and connection. Then, you know that the song was inspired by God himself!

2. Share the songwriter’s story.

Some of the best worship songs ever written came out of the songwriter’s very deep and personal struggle.

For example, have you ever heard of the story behind ‘How He Loves’? Song writer John Mark McMillan was in a prayer meeting one morning with his best friend Steven and heard him pray, "Lord, I’d give my life today if it would shake the youth of a nation.”

Later that night, Steven died in a car accident.

The next day, John Mark wrote ‘How He Loves’ in honor of his friend and out of a heart of deep grief. He did not intend for this to become a worship song. Little did he know that this song was the answer to his friend’s prayer.

It has now impacted the lives of countless youth and adults around the world.

Watch the full story →

As you can see, sharing these stories with your worship team will keep things in perspective. No longer is it ‘just a song’. It becomes a powerful message that the worship team has the opportunity of delivering to their congregation.

3. Pray together and for each other.

In Matthew 18:20, Jesus says, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” There is no doubt that prayer draws us closer to God. But, did you realize that praying together brings a whole new dimension of power and connection?

When we pray and agree together, Jesus is in our midst making His power and strength available.

James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."

There is an amazing amount of power that is released when we come together as a team, confess our struggles, and lift each other up through prayer. This is when our emotional and physical pain is healed. Not only do we grow spiritually in these times, but we also grow closer together as a team.

Lead by example.

Remember, it is not your responsibility to make sure your team members complete their ‘quiet time’ every morning.

The best thing you can do as a leader is lead by example.

Dedicate yourself to spending time with God and in His Word on a daily basis. Funny thing is, you will not have to tell people you are doing this - they will know by the way you act and carry yourself.

Those around you will be inspired by your overwhelming amount of peace and joy. Then, they will ask where this comes from - and this is your chance to share the importance of spending time with God on a daily basis.

It is not about rules and schedules, but about a heart that is continually seeking after God’s heart.

Your Turn

What have you found that is effective in helping your worship team grow spiritually? Answer in the comments below.


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10 comments on “3 Ways to Help Your Worship Team Grow Spiritually”

  1. Kade, thanks man for your ministry. It's helped me personally and has contributed to the growth of our team.

    One thing I think I could add to this post would be just simple honesty with your team. We're built for authentic relationships. With God and with people. The people we spend time with consistently, like our worship team, even if it is a total of just 4-5 hours a week (been there), are people we have opportunity to risk the kind of relationship with that God intended us to have.

    Sometimes, the people on our team have a certain view of us as worship leaders, like we have it all together or have made it through certain seasons of life with no ill effect, or haven't come from places of brokenness like them. And though we know nothing is further from the truth, I think as worship leaders, we can help eliminate that perception with honesty about our failings and history of brokenness.

    I remember talking with my bass player, who's like 20 years older than me, one day and through our conversation I had the opportunity to share with him about a gambling addiction God rescued me out of years ago when I was in my first years of college. He responded eventually by saying something like, "You mean, you're just as messed up as me?" He was half kidding, but the comment struck me significantly and I realized that here's a Christian who's navigating following Jesus just like me and when I shared that story with him it allowed for our Christian bond to be strengthened. Our relationship has grown since that time in exponential ways, even to the point where I'm the one he calls at 3am when he's just in a dark place with everything going on in his life right now.

    If we're talking responsibility of Christian ministry as worship leaders, I can't think of anything more important than doing life together in authentic ways, and you're right, when that type of relationship is built, ministry just happens and we get to follow Jesus in tangible ways instead of just talking about it through the music we play.

    Blessings on your continued ministry...

  2. Great advice! We have a couple different ways that we encourage growth. For example, every Thursday is our prayer and fast day. First thing in Thursday mornings we send out group communications asking what needs does the team have, then we all pray, regardless of where we are, at noon. Since introducing this to the team a year ago, the spiritual growth, team bond, trust and transparency has been unprecedented!

  3. Great post, Kade. This is a huge need that frequently gets overlooked due to the urgency of just getting the weekly ministry done.

    After 20 years in music/worship ministry, I started digging in the Bible to find out all that God had to say about worship, and was shocked at how much I didn't know. (Many pastors don't teach about worship either.) What I learned was so life-changing, I had to share it. So I published a worship study, Worship and the Word, that many worship pastors are now using with their teams as well as their congregations. I was also blessed and humbled to have Worship Leader Magazine choose it as a Best of 2014 book.

    It's so vitally important that those involved in helping to lead people to the throne understand God's purpose and plan for it - way beyond sounding good musically - for His greater glory. I'm always excited to find people like you who share the same passion and purpose as me. Thanks for this post!

    Here's information about my book:

  4. That's why I like the term Worship Pastor instead. We do so much more than just lead songs. To me, the Holy Spirit is the worship leader. I try to follow His lead as I pastor the team and the church through, and around the concept of worship.

  5. Hey Kade! Thanks for another great article, you have a gift for sharing your wisdom and insights in a practical way to WL's.

    In addition to all of the above points, here are two easy practical things I do at my church to encourage spiritual growth and community.

    - Each week at the end of our mid-week rehearsal, we have a team meeting where we share "highs" and "lows" from the past week or so. I picked this idea up from when I worked in residential care with teenagers. The "house rules" of the meeting are you have one to two minutes to share, and you have to share at least one high. This has been a great way for the team members to get to know one another, remember we are all humans living life, and a chance to be vulnerable. We pray with each other to cap off the rehearsal.

    - On Sunday mornings during our first service (we have two services), we have a team devo during the sermon. I rotate through myself or others to lead the devo, it is never more then 20 minutes.

  6. This is great! U know something we’ve been doing that seems to help a lot is that every time we do a rehearsal we always hard stop 30 min before it’s suppose to end and do a bible study we focus are content on what it really means to life a life of worship and then spend time praying for each other. It’s quick and simple but it starts the discussion with my team all week and even in the green room on the weekend

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