How does a pastor or worship leader grow a healthy worship team in a smaller church. It starts with vision. What is the vision that God has given you for the team? “Write the vision and make it plain…that he may run who reads it.” Hab 2:2.
The vision is not just for you but for the benefit of others so when they hear it they will run with it, meaning they will make progress and advance quickly. We cannot make others see what we do not see ourselves. After we have the vision we must make it known in as many ways as possible. Finally write it down and thereby you make it permanent. People will not wholeheartedly join a church or worship team without knowing what they are joining—what is the vision or mission? Where are you going and what are you about?
Here are nine suggestions of how to grow a healthy worship team.
1. Start by creating a team that potential musicians and singers would want to be part of. Excellence - meaning the best you can do from venue, platform, instruments - are well done Determine what your goal or mission is for the team—something excellent and simple that others would want to be a part of. Then cast vision share it one on one to those you would like to see on the team.
2. Take a look at the worship leader. If it is you make a self-evaluation. Perhaps video yourself and/or the team leading and then evaluate what you see. Ask others what they like about the worship leaders style of leading and what they don’t prefer so much. We could be the reason the worship team is not growing or people aren’t as engaged in worship.
3. Ask questions. Have coffee with existing team members and ask about their experience when leading worship or their impressions of worshiping with the congregation before they were part of the team. Don’t react! Just listen and ask more questions. Ask former members why they left. Take the opportunity to learn and grow.
4. Make the changes you need. Don’t procrastinate or stick your head in the sand because then growth will not happen. We must improve and develop to go forward.
5. Make your times together with the team inspiring and relational. Have a devotional or study on worship that shares your vision for the team and engages them in discussion. Keep it short and enjoyable. Then have them fine-tune the songs for next service. Don’t try to do too much in the time you have with them and work hard to make it friendly and fun.
6. Show interest in them as a person. You are not just looking for a drummer you are looking for a worshiper who plays the drums. The emphasis is on the person not the function. Care for the musician. This emphasizes pastoral care over duty. They are not joining a secular band that performs rather a group of worshipers that inspires the congregation to worship. There is a huge difference in the two.
7. Evangelize musicians in the community. Find some of the better musicians in the local high school or college and become their friend. Do activities together and lead them to the Lord when the Holy Spirit prompts you. One church did that with the local high school music teacher and she gave her heart to the Lord and was sold out to that church and was delighted to serve in her gift.
8. Be patient. With time, and attention to fine tuning, the team will grow.
9. Most importantly pray. Lay your heart and desire out before God in consistent and prolonged prayer. Ask and keep on asking. Knock and keep on knocking. God will hear and respond. If you need more quality musicians with talent and character then ask God to send them to you. Ask Him for His vision for the team and take each member to Him in prayer.
I trust that this helps give you direction in growing your team. Do you have any comments, suggestions, or other ideas? If so please add them in the comments below.