Part 2 in Claire Musters’ series on leading and pastoring a worship team. Part 1 has had some really interesting comments.
Now your worship team is gathered, what are you going to do with them?
In the last entry we looked at our pastoral responsibility for our teams, and why it is so helpful to gather all the worship musicians together regularly. Here are some ideas that we have found to be really beneficial for our team building sessions.
1. Make space for worship and prayer whenever you can.
I wanted to start with this, as it is so important. We don’t dictate how our worship leaders should run their practises, and those evenings can often be completely taken up learning new songs and working on arrangements – all things that are extremely important. But it means we can often miss out on praying and worshipping as a group – and there is something so edifying about doing that together as a body of people. Interestingly, having started it with the team as a whole, individual worship leaders have actively tried to make space for simply worshipping and praying in their practises too and have noticed what a difference it makes. Whenever we finish early in a practise, we now try and worship then pray for one another – we had a really powerful time recently when our team prayed for me (who was worship leading that week), my husband (who was preaching) and our kids’ protection. It was a powerful, prophetic time which I truly believe kept us safe during the following few days’ attacks of the enemy (who obviously didn’t like the fact that as a couple we were involved in both main parts of the Sunday service)!
2. Make a plan of what you want to do in your worship team evenings.
We found when we weren’t following a ‘programme’ of sorts we didn’t have enough focus – and I had the feeling that sometimes our team wondered why we had wasted their time. That’s why we felt we had to be more proactive, and plan more rigorously (if I’m really honest, my husband is incredibly laid back and I, well I can still struggle with taking authority over the group in such an obvious way – but I’m learning to).
You may want to start (and keep doing this whenever you have an influx of new musicians) communicating your vision and values to your team. If you don’t have these take some time to prayerfully consider then write some that are specific to your team. You could always ask your team members for ideas in one worship team meeting… (If this isn’t something you have done before, and you’d like an example to look at do let us know and I can post up and explain our team’s worship guidelines, which includes our aims and values. It can actually be very productive to get each individual band to write their own vision – something they can work towards then update each year.)
3. Don’t feel that you need to spend hours writing material for a team building evening.
There are some great resources out there – I’ve already mentioned the Must Haves Devotional and the Worship Central course. I’d love to hear from you if you find another resource, or if you have tried something yourself that you think really works. Please post your comments below so that others can benefit from the ideas you’ve found useful (asking the advice of other worship pastors from churches you are in relationship with is another great way of finding ideas. This was something that I intentionally did when we first started out – with the experience behind them they could quickly say if something had worked or not in their setting, and it was great to feel a level of support from them too as they encouraged us to keep going).
4. Get into the Word.
We often emphasise worship and prayer in these kinds of meetings, but getting some biblical input is vital too. Why not start by looking at the way worship is portrayed in the Bible, and think about how we do things today and whether they are truly biblical or simply cultural? Get your team to really connect to, and wrestle with, some portions of scripture.
5. Write a psalm together.
This is something we have done in the welcome section of our life groups, but it is great fun to spend a little longer on it with your worship team. There is a depth of creativity within musicians that doesn’t always come out, so given the encouragement to write something from the heart can often reveal real beauty – and a talent for lyric writing!
6. Have a jam session.
Spend time trying out new songs and/or new ways of arranging things. This can give you the time and space that you don’t have week by week to keep things fresh. It could also be a great forum for trying out new musicians – and also the place where someone could bring a song they have written. (Although the latter may be better in a smaller group, with people who the songwriter respects and trusts, and who will be honest and encouraging with their feedback.)
I know there are many other things you can do in a worship team meeting – these are just the things we have tried out most recently. The next post focuses more on relationship matters…
Claire Musters is a freelance writer and editor. Two of her greatest passions are worship and seeing people reach their full potential. Claire is currently available for work – check out her website clairemusters.com for more information and details of how to contact her.
Photo credit www.bro-ken.net (you can hear the song they were working on in this photo here)
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