It doesn’t matter how good of a worship leader you are if you don’t earn the trust of your team. Sure, you might be able to carry things on your talent for awhile but that ultimately cripples a church because it makes everything dependent on you. T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone Achieves More.
Grow in your leadership skills – Being a successful worship leader often requires more skill off-stage than on-stage. Personnel conflicts won’t magically be resolved because you can play a guitar. New worship leaders and teams will not be developed because you sing well. You’ve also got to learn how to lead people that are both older and younger than you, and those that are more talented or different than you. You won’t be able to get by long by simply being the most talented or anointed person on the team.
Honor their time – I’m very aware that many of my team members rush home from work, fight traffic, get the babysitter, put on dinner, change, and rush over to church to make the 6:30 p.m. rehearsal for Tuesday nights or 6:00 p.m. soundcheck for Wednesday nights. It would be unfair to have them frantically run around to make it to rehearsal just to find me unprepared or discover they didn’t need to be there because I mis-scheduled them. As the leader, I make sure as much as possible to follow “leader time” which means I usually arrive 20-30 minutes early to have things set to start at 6:00 or 6:30, not have them sit around and watch me set up at 6:00 or 6:30.
Have realistic expectations – Most people are non-professionals. They have day jobs and make a living in something other than music. I just can’t fairly expect them to be like Nashville’s best. I pull the best I can out of our individual players depending on what I know of their prior training and ability. For example, a decent drummer might be able to play in front of 50 people, but in front of 500 it’s a different story. If I put a lesser drummer in front of 500 people and they can’t cut it musically, they could be really embarrassed and worship for 500 people could be hampered. I challenge my team to continually grow so our needs don’t outgrow their skillsets.
Practice for practice – Have a plan for arranging music and a gameplan for rehearsals. Make it your default plan while also asking for creative input from your team. Collaboration makes a team a team. But also having a default plan will prevent you from complete unproductivity in case the creative process doesn’t result in anything. This demonstrates competency to your team. They will realize you know what you are doing, and this builds their trust in you.
Make your ceiling their floor – Your team will always have a revolving door. If it doesn’t, something isn’t right. Either your ministry isn’t worth being involved in or you are too comfortable with a set group that you aren’t raising anyone else up. Any church must be willing to live with a little risk in order to continually raise up new worship people. Give away your platform. Give it away and you’ll discover God will give you more. Do you really think God isn’t big enough to use you in greater ways if you bless and instruct those who you’ve been entrusted with? Anything less is rooted in insecurity.
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