Do your worship team members consistently show up unprepared? Do they rely on you to do most of the work while they simply show up, fulfill their part halfheartedly, and leave as soon as church is out?
If this describes your team, you are not alone. In a recent survey, I asked, “What is the hardest thing (for you) about leading worship?”. One of the top responses was “establishing a culture of excellence and passion in my team (showing up on time, prepared, etc)."
First thing to realize is that you have little to no control over someone else. But, you do have control over one thing: you. So, let’s talk about some things that you can do as the worship leader to inspire excellence and passion in your team.
The first thing to check are your expectations. Are you expecting too much from your team or not enough? There is a delicate balance, and if you are too far one way or the other, you will end up with a team that lacks passion and commitment.
How do you know if you are expecting too much?
Recently, a worship leader reached out to me, extremely frustrated. In short, his pastor expects his small worship team (all volunteers, including the leader) to lead worship at 2 services per week and 3 conferences over the next few months. And, the pastor also communicated that to not serve at every single service is considered unfaithfulness.
It is easy to see here that the pastor’s expectations are out of line, but I am sure his intentions are pure. I bet he just wants the church to be the best that it can be. But, what he fails to realize is that overwhelming your volunteers will destroy the church, not build it up.
We must never forget the sacrifice volunteers make to be a part of the church. Most work full time jobs, take care of their family, home and much more. Serving at church is an important part of their lives, but time is a limited resource. As leaders, we must always look out for our volunteers, making sure that we value their time and make the most of the time they give us.
How do you know if you are not expecting enough?
If your worship team members are consistently showing up unprepared, you are not expecting enough. You are called to be a leader, not a baby sitter. Every musician and vocalist should be fully expected to take care of their own part.
Worship team rehearsal is not a time to learn your part, but to blend all parts together. Tweet Quote
As a leader, do your part of providing everything the band needs (chord charts, set list, etc) in advance with a tool like Planning Center Online. Then, it is up to your band members to do their part.
You can learn more about what I expect from my team in this post.
Many worship leaders fail to prepare and then blame the team when things don’t work out. We are responsible for providing the tools needed for the band to learn their part: chord charts, mp3s, the set list at least a week in advance, etc.
Most importantly, we are responsible for communicating with our team. Send out the set list via email. Talk to team members one-on-one if there are things that need to change. Point out the things your team does well as often as possible. Be clear about what needs to change during rehearsal so you don’t waste their time.
Worship leaders are also responsible for the hard stuff, like taking those off the team who don’t belong. I know, these conversations suck, but if you allow someone who isn’t doing their part to remain on the team, it will eventually infect the entire team.
More on that here: How to Handle Difficult Worship Team Members
Bottom line, the best way to ignite passion and excellence in your team is to serve them well. Provide the tools they need, respect their time, find ways to make rehearsal more productive, and communicate clearly both encouragement and correction.
When the leader is all about serving the team, the team will be all about serving the team. And when the team members are there to serve each other, showing up passionate and prepared is automatic.
When the leader is all about serving the team, the team will be all about serving the team. Tweet Quote
Good stuff Kade!
Thanks, Kandi! 🙂
Solid balanced word 🙂
Thanks Kade, good advice. I have recently had to have a few of those hard conversations with folks who were consistently late and unprepared. When I email my weekly set lists out I also incorporate scripture to draw them back to God's word and emphasize why we do what we do.