We’re excited to have our friend Andrea Olson from Overflow Resource share on the blog with us this week. You can check out all the incredible things Overflow is doing to resource the local church here! Now, let’s dive into her 5 impactful tips for leading a healthy worship team.
Over the last several years of training worship teams and leading worship around the country, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a worship leader and the make-up of a healthy team. I am often asked… “how do we grow together as a team and maintain a healthy team culture?”
There are so many important pieces to this discussion, but the conversation must begin with one word: surrender.
Tip #1 – A healthy team is surrendered
Surrender is a word we have all had to embrace during this season. We all had to surrender, whether willingly or not, our schedules, plans, hopes and desires as we navigated through the uncertain waters of a global pandemic.
But just like we had to learn to hold our plans loosely this last year, so we must hold our leadership and serving positions in the Church with open hands, fully surrendered to what God is doing in His Church.
It starts with letting go of what we want.
Because it isn’t about what we want. It’s about what God wants to do through us.
That mental shift changes everything.
Worship leading is a gift and it’s a high calling. Our main job is to surrender to where God is leading. For leaders, that may mean surrendering your desires or plans in order to come alongside of the vision and needs of the ministry. For team members, maybe it means stepping back from worship team for a season because God is going to move in a new way or through someone else. Or maybe it means stepping up to the mic to lead even though you’re terrified.
Wherever God is leading, our job starts with complete surrender.
Tip #2 – A healthy team is prepared spiritually
Private worship comes before public worship.
Our priorities need to be in that order. If we are not investing in our own personal, private time with the Lord in worship and in the Word, we cannot lead from a place of overflow in public places.
Without this intentionality, we can quickly become exhausted and unable to lead to our fullest capacity. (This applies to everyone, not just the “leader”).
Your choice to make (or not make) this a priority will have a profound impact not only on your leadership, your team and the Church, but on your entire life. It’s that big of a deal. It’s preparation for the spiritual battle you face every weekend in worship ministry…and even in everyday life. You may have to fight for the time, but you will never regret it.
Tip #3 – A healthy team knows one another
You’ve probably heard this. But, it’s so important, that it’s worth repeating. Investing in relationships within your team is crucial. Sharing artistic gifts in public can be a vulnerable thing, and it’s so important that we trust one another as we serve together. I encourage you to schedule times throughout the year to get together, just because. No meetings or agendas.
Just relationship investment. It doesn’t have to be formal. Just get to know one another.
These investments will only make you stronger as a team.
I understand that you don’t need “one more thing to do”. But, with a shifted perspective, you might find that you’re happy you took the time! You may be blessed with a new friendship. And your church will be blessed because you are a healthier, stronger team that trusts one another and leads the church into the presence of God with strength and unity.
Tip #4 – A healthy team is prepared musically
Worship Leaders – I encourage you to spend enough time preparing for rehearsal.
I believe that rehearsal is not for learning music or figuring out song flow. It is simply for putting the pieces together.
Learning music and prepping song flows, tracks, etc., is for you to prepare beforehand (and communicate to your team in advanced as well, so they can prepare). The best thing you can do is over resource your team. Give them every tool you possibly can to set them up for success (and make it easier for them to come prepared to the rehearsal).
Team members – whatever your role is – be intentional in your preparation.
Learn your music before rehearsal. Know it inside and out. Study that sound board. Dig into that lyrics program. Wherever you serve, your leader (and your church) will be incredibly blessed by your time and care. You will also bless your other team members as you respect one another’s time by arriving at rehearsal prepared and ready to go!
Tip #5 – A healthy team understands their role
We are all in this position to serve, so let’s remember that as we continue. But, going further, we need to have a deeper understanding of our individual role on the team.
Leaders, your role is to lead with kindness, while still being clear about expectations and what is needed.
Bring your team along with you in the journey, communicating with clarity. Further, it’s important to be on the same page as your Senior or Lead Pastor. Work together, instead of against or independent of one another. When leadership is unified, it’s a powerful thing.
For other team members, respecting the leadership that God has put in place for that time is key.
Remember, they have spent time before the Lord, seeking His will for that weekend (set list, team, etc.). So, it’s a blessing when we respect their time, care and hard work by coming to rehearsal prepared and ready to support the vision God has placed on their heart.
Whatever your role in worship ministry, I pray that these tips are helpful and encouraging.
When it comes down to it…this verse from Colossians 3:17 sums it up beautifully:
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
That is my prayer. That every time I lead worship, every team I train…whatever I do…that it would be in the name of Jesus and for His glory and fame.
May all we do point people to Him.
You may also be interested in these related posts!
- Why Should Worship Leaders Even Care About Theology?
- 5 Things Volunteers Do that Annoy their Worship Pastors More than Anything
- Over 150 Ways to Improve as a Worship Musician, Worship Vocalist, & Worship Pastor!
- Grow Your Worship Team with these 6 Proven Recruitment Strategies (Post-Quarantine)
- Toxic Leadership Principles You Probably Didn’t Know You’ve Learned, And How To Unlearn Them
- The One Thing Guaranteed to Disrupt Any Healthy Worship Team