10 Ways to Lead Your Worship Team Better: Leading Worship, 025

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I am passionate about investing into worship teams.
I am passionate about learning, growing, and leading.
I trust you are, as well.

The paramount worship of our God is simply worth us leaders constantly and consistently developing ourselves into the most effective leaders (re: servants) we can be. I know my thoughts are at best a drop in the bucket when it comes to the many resources worship leaders can pull from, but here are 10 ways I think we could all lead our teams better.

  1. Pastor your team.
    Not too long ago, I blogged from my heart on being a worship pastor and not just a worship leader. I believe if you are in a position of leading worship, whether you have the title “pastor” or not, God is asking you to pastor your team. Any songsmith can throw together a couple songs and teach tunes to the band – we, friends, are called to shepherd. Pray for your team. Open rehearsals with a devotion from your heart. Give your team really good reasons to trust you. And make disciples! I can’t stress this enough. Be about mentorship!
  2. Hold your team accountable.
    Follow up with requests you ask of your team, and hold your team to the standard God and your lead pastor have set for your church. And accountability is quite a wonderful thing! For instance, Josiah and I get up early (before the sun, oof!) to exercise and work out – and though we sometimes treat ourselves and skip, it’s so much easier to commit to working out when you have someone to be accountable to.
  3. Come to rehearsals prepared.
    Think of this as stewarding over your team’s time well. Know which songs you want to run, have an idea for transitions, bring along chord charts, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted. An expression part of my regular vocabulary is, “Rehearse the rehearsal.” Think through what’s going to happen… is it as smooth & effective as absolutely possible? You’re the leader – have the game plan!
  4. Ask for input.
    Synergy – my favorite “S” word – comes into play here! Synergize, synergize, synergize. Your ideas may be good, but collaborating with others may cause those ideas to be great! Unless something is absolutely non-negotiable, ask, “What do you think?” and leave room for creativity.
  5. Spend time building memories outside ministry.
    I am a firm believer that people open up around food, so invite over your team for a fun lasagna night! Or maybe set up a spontaneous board game bonanza! I even read a long time ago in An Hour on Sunday by Nancy Beach that she (with the financial help from her church Willow Creek) surprised her creative team by flying them all to Disney World for the day! Whatever it is, spend meaningful time outside “ministry.”
  6. Say “I’m sorry” more.
    When you flub, acknowledge it. And give apologies of quality – no fluff. Apologies are wonderful peace-makers, and they create a culture where people are released from perfectionism and brought into humility.
  7. Say “Thank you” more.
    This one is about honor. Practice saying “thank you” in a variety of ways: publicly, privately, in front of their peers, by sending a handwritten card through snail mail, by bringing in jelly beans for rehearsal, by taking your guitarist out to dinner, by giving a hug, by bragging on your drummer in front of his wife and kids. Err on the side of showing too much appreciation, and try to be specific; e.g., “Let me take you out to ice cream – my treat – as a thank-you for staying late last week to help us really nail that song. You are such a leader in your own right and an inspiration to many.”
  8. Be kind & uncomplicated.
    Are you the sort of person you’d enjoy serving under? Are you an absolute joy to work with? Think about it! Why don’t we all commit to bringing smiles, energy, and passion to the people on our teams?
  9. Give glory away.
    As the worship leader, it’s sometimes natural for the compliments and praise to land on you instead of your team as a whole, but always try to “give the glory away.” Obviously we must do what we can to give the glory to Jesus, but what I mean is to recognize our teams and generously honor them. Think of it this way: it’s not a solo mission – you win as a team. Brag on your team as often as you can!
  10. Champion others.
    Remember, God has not necessarily called us to manage people, but rather to develop people. Celebrate your team – and celebrate the individuals that make up your team! Also learn to release… be your bass’s biggest cheerleader when he feels called to pursue ministry in a different capacity. If your key alto gets called upon to join a traveling tour for the summer, be thankful and release! After all, this is part of what we do, friends: invest and send out.

All from my heart… I pray this inspires you and that we can all grow a little together. To God be the glory!

Josh

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