If you lead worship at a small church, there is a good chance you only have one musician for each instrument (if that).

Then, when someone is sick or on vacation, you experience a bit of anxiety on how to make up for the missing musician. The anxiety then causes you to act out, giving the musician a hard time for not being there.

Eventually, a culture is created where everyone on the worship team is afraid to take time off. They don’t want to suffer your wrath or cause you disappointment.

Although you may feel like this works out to your benefit (because they are not gone as much), it is actually counterintuitive. A team that feels strapped down and controlled is unhealthy.

But, shouldn’t they be committed?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “But, shouldn’t they be committed?” Why yes, yes they should. But, do not confuse commitment with perfect attendance.

When a worship team member is committed, they show up to rehearsal on time and prepared. Although they are there a majority of the time, they communicate with you (in advance) if they are not going to be there.

It is important that your team feels comfortable letting you know when they are unavailable. Otherwise, there is a good chance they promise to be there but then don’t show up. And, as I am sure you would agree, this is much worse than knowing ahead of time.

3 Ways to Let Your Team Know It’s Okay to Take Time Off

  1. Take time off yourself every now and then. The best way to lead is by example. If you never take time off, your team will feel uncomfortable taking time off. Plus, it is important you take time to refresh. Creativity seems to present itself most when you break away from the routine and clear your head.
  2. Let them know it is okay to use the ‘decline’ button. If you use Planning Center Online, every scheduling email contains a ‘decline’ button. My team was once afraid to use it, but I would much rather them communicate their unavailability with me a soon as possible.
  3. Communicate your expectations. Your team needs to know what kind of notice you expect for time off and what you consider excessive time off. If they need to be there a certain amount of Sundays out of the year, let them know. If you need a week advance notice, let them know. They should not be surprised if you have to confront an issue about too much time off or inadequate notice.

The Holy Spirit does not need a full band to make His move. Tweet Quote

Bottom line, going on vacation or taking a week off is not a lack of commitment. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed.

Put your team at ease so they can enjoy being a part of the worship team. And, put yourself at ease by being flexible and not getting worked up if you do not have a full band. The Holy Spirit does not need a full band to make His move.

You might also enjoy: How to Ignite Passion in Worship Team Members

Join the Worship Leader Community

Get our latest and best content delivered right to your inbox!

Join the conversation! 3

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.