5 Steps To Get More Worship Musicians Or Vocalists (Part 1)

More Worship Musicians

More Worship Musicians

It’s stressful…It’s a struggle…it’s time consuming…

These are all words that accurately describe what it’s like to spend half of your week trying to find a drummer for Sunday. …Or to call every one of your contacts, trying to desperately find a bass player …THE NIGHT BEFORE SERVICE! If words like “cancel,” “decline,” or “out of town,” make you nervous, then this post is for you.

If you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you are part of the 99% of worship leaders/musicians in the world that want…no…NEED to grow their teams. If you are part of the other 1%, congratulations, but why are you here? Shouldn’t you be out sipping lattes in your golden hottub? I’m kidding…kind of.

As for the rest of us, you are not alone. The truth is, I’ve been a part of mega churches who struggle with this. I will go out on a limb and say that this may be one of the most commonly faced issues in worship teams today.

Even if you already have a fairly well stacked worship team, we all still desire to grow. So in these next 2 posts, I’m going to share with you some practical steps on just how to do that.

I hope you are prepared, because this isn’t some “get rich quick” scheme. It is going to take real dedication and action.

I’m going to be honest and tell you that these things don’t just happen over night. They are principles and actionable steps, that if done repeatedly over time, have the potential to create a magnet effect in your worship team that attracts musicians and vocalists from all around.

It’s not about what you do every once in a while, it’s about what you do consistently every day. You are going to be stretched, grown, and maybe even have your pride hit a little; but if you stick it through, you will have begun building something far bigger and better than you could have ever imagined.

Congratulations on taking this step towards growing your team! And we want to say thank you from the entire Worship Online team! Now let’s take a look at what it takes to get more worship musicians!

Create a culture where people are free to leave!

Yes, you read that right. And I’ll say it again, create a culture where people are free to leave if they want. AND THEY KNOW IT! You may be thinking, but that goes against everything we know and have learned. I’ll just start with this statement and hopefully it hits home. The direct alternative to this culture, is literally Slavery.

While researching this post, a friend told me a story about a church pastor that honestly scared me a little. He told me that one time a renown speaker/pastor/author came and gave a leadership meeting to the staff of their church. This speaker wasn’t just a nobody. He was on the board of many of the largest and fastest growing churches in America.

One of the books the speaker mentioned was one he wrote about God calling you to new places, and planning to make a move. After the meeting, the staff was invited to the book store to purchase any of the author’s books they wanted. All seemed fine, except that something was missing…

The book about making a move was nowhere to be found! Soon, some of the staff began to realize it wasn’t there. Word soon leaked out that upon hearing the authors description of the book, the pastor of the church quietly had every copy of that book removed from the book store!

After the pastor realized that the staff was catching on to what he did, he had the books secretly brought back in. He didn’t want people leaving, or even getting the idea that they could leave! That day, because of this “scandal,” more copies of that particular book were sold to the staff than any other.

In talking about churches and worship teams, it CRAZY that we even have to mention this. However, the truth is, there are very few churches that I know of, that actually live and breathe the “people are free to leave” culture. And they are some of the most thriving churches that exist!

A few of my friends work for some of these churches, and you know, I never hear complaints from them. As opposed to my friends who work in the opposing church culture, who do nothing but complain and dream of leaving.

A huge mistake that I see in churches and worship teams is encouraging people to live and bleed “insert church name here.” It’s all about the church …post on social media about us, wear our shirts, be at all of our events. Now there is nothing wrong with these things, but when we emphasize them so much that we leave Jesus on the back burner, our culture takes a stride in the wrong direction. In order to create the culture that we want, we need to encourage people to live and bleed Jesus first and ONLY.

As a side note, this kind of culture and attitude is the anti-spirit of competition that many of us have with other churches or worship teams. Which may be exactly what some of us need. I don’t care how great you think your church is, there are STILL other great churches out there. And God STILL calls people to new places.

Now with that said, I’m not saying to encourage people to leave. It is very important for people to stay planted somewhere. In fact, I think there is way too much church hopping going on these days. Ok, side note over, back on track.

Lets get psychological for a second. There are 2 main types of motivation. Extrinsic and Intrinsic. With extrinsic motivation, people are motivated by external forces. For instance, to gain a reward or avoid punishment. Intrinsic motivation is just the opposite. With intrinsic motivation, people are motivated from within themselves.

Studies show that intrinsic motivation is far more effective than extrinsic; from the efficiency of the work done, to the satisfaction a person gets from the work they do. Now let me ask you this. Do you want your team to be motivated intrinsically or extrinsically?

I see extrinsic motivation from musicians in too many churches. Do people in your church feel like “I would be shunned if I left the church.” Or more specifically, musicians feel like, “I have to play on Sunday because no one else will.” Finally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this one, “‘so and so’ will be mad if I don’t play or come to rehearsal.” These are all extrinsic motivations.

Now you are probably saying to yourself, “no one feels that way in my church.” But honestly, the chances are, you have no idea what people think. You think you do, but you don’t. Unless you are directly asking people how they feel (with a very open line of communication where they aren’t afraid to tell you how they feel), you don’t know.

So step 1, find out how people feel within your team, with honest and direct communication. Don’t email or text, and don’t even call unless you just have to. People are more likely to give you great honest feedback if you take the time to talk with them one on one.

Great leaders know how to establish intrinsic motivation within their followers. What are you doing to make people excited about your worship team, or excited about being a part of something great? This varies from team to team, but there are a few things that you can start doing immediately that have the potential to motivate, and even inspire your worship team. In part 2 next week, I’m going to talk about exactly those things!

Another huge thing you can do is to “pray out” those who leave. In other words, so they aren’t just leaving, you are sending them off. You can do this in front of the congregation, or with other volunteers and staff members. It’s important for others to see that you support this person’s decision. No matter how much you may hate it inside! This can also protect your church from rumors starting up about how or why a person left.

The bottom line is that you can’t be afraid of people leaving. When good people leave, you should be happy and do everything you can to help them in their next venture. When people are supported as they leave, you’re going to find that you now have people out there advocating for you. People that are going to promote you to their circle of influence.

I want to finish with this. I say a CULTURE where people know they are free to leave, because there is so much more to this than simply stating something like “we support you if you decide to leave.” In fact, I don’t see a reason to ever actually say this unless someone is considering leaving.

Then it is actually very important that you say it. And as the leader, you should be the first to say it! By creating a culture where people know they are free to leave, you are creating an atmosphere of freedom, love, and equality. Those are the kinds of things that keep people wanting to come back.

Even the most successful businesses in America live and breathe this type of culture. There is no reason that our churches can’t either.

Jesus was all about people. I challenge you to read how Jesus loved his bride (the people). And as you fall deeper in love with Jesus, your focus will shift from your ministry, to the people that your ministry is serving.

If you have a culture where people know they are free to leave, why would they want to?

Read Part 2: Why musicians are leaking out of your team, and what you can do about it!

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My question this week: As I try to create this type of culture here at Worship Online, there are a few things I’ve found that seem to work for our specific setting. What types of things have you found that encourages this type of culture in your church or business?

While you’re here, get instant access to our FREE 5 part video series on How Today’s Top Worship Guitarist Are Using Effects Pedals!

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