Transforming Church Team Blog
resourcing leaders…reenvisioning the future

Worship Leadership: 5 Stages – stage 2

Putting together a band is not as easy as it sounds, but we tackle the task with vigor.  Actually, we get excited about the possibilities.  We can envision a full band just like we see at some of the larger churches and conferences we attend.  We have no illusions of finding the level of talent on those stages, but we will not settle either.  Where do we find the players?  What do we require of them?  How do we convince them to volunteer their time each week?

Let me answer these questions as an aside.  First, the one thing I know about really good players is that they are dying to play with other good players.  If you will coordinate getting them together and make it a meaningful experience worthy of their investment, they will gladly play.  Second, you need to decide up front whether you are looking for worshipers or players.  This is not an easy question.  Consider whether your ministry will be part of the outreach and evangelism of the church or the best collection of believer musicians you can find.  The question has a profound impact on your recruiting as well as the nature of your time together and your expectations of them.  Me?  I personally lean to the outreach side.  I think of the little drummer boy who knew nothing of the King he would play for, only that he was compelled to play his best.  I have experienced the miraculous transformation God can bring with such a simple and innocent offering…I have witnessed it in others as well.  Either way, you’re a pastor so shepherd the team.  

O.K., back to the topic.  So, you have your team, you schedule rehearsals and you are satisfied with the new energies and focus this brings to the worship experience.  Then, Billy can’t come out to play one week.  No drummer?!?!?!?  Can we worship without a drummer?  The energy will be non-existent.  How can the people possibly be moved?  It won’t sound like the recording!  I have actually heard pastors demand a drummer.  There is more here than we can cover in this post.  I promise we will get to it in later posts.  

For now, let’s stick to “now what?”  You realize you need depth on the team.  “I get by with a little help from my friends” didn’t address how many friends we may need.  The mistake we often make in this stage is that we strive to build one team… one band that we can rehearse well and learns to play together.  This is not a bad thought, but let me give you another scenario I’m sure many of you have experienced.

You put the band together and have become a tight, well rehearsed group.  You have been playing in worship for months with the same team.  They are not the best musicians in the world, but they have worked hard and sound really good, especially together.  You learn that Adam, a former studio guitarist, has moved to your town and has been attending your church.  He is anxious to get involved……………………………………………………..long pause.  Now what?  I have a guitar player.  Much like your middle school dilemma, I have a girlfriend – but she’s hot, you’re stuck.  You can’t say no, so you don’t.  You feel a little guilty, you’ll have to explain – but she’s hot.  What will the team think, what will the current guitar player think? – but she’s hot.  You need a new paradigm…a new model.  You’ll now rotate players.

You don’t realize it at the time, but this is a significant step with sweeping implications for your ministry.  You will soon be at a leadership crossroad.  The question will be whether you will continue to maintain your ministry or lead it.  If you choose to manage or maintain, you can stop reading now.  There is no need to go further.  If you have the courage and inclination to lead, you do not want to miss the next couple of posts.  Congratulations… you have now moved to stage 3.

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