How to inspire excellence from your worship team

Here at Churchfront we hear from hundreds of worship leaders. A common struggle that many worship leaders have is the challenge of inspiring excellence from their worship team. Here are 4 actionable tips that you can implement now in order to lead your team toward excellence.

Tip #1 Walk the talk

As the worship leader, you set the standard of excellence for your team. If you show up to rehearsal unprepared, you have no right to expect your band to show up prepared. You can talk all day about how you want your band to be committed to excellence, but the old adage is true that actions speak louder than words. For example, if you want your band to start memorizing their music and lyrics, then you are going to have to be the first one to do it in order to show them it’s possible. It is going to require a lot more preparation and work on your end, but when your team sees that you’re no longer reliant on a music stand, that sort of thing is going to inspire them to push themselves as musicians and worship leaders. The pursuit of excellence is a great “idea” but people do not follow and are not inspired by “ideas.” They follow and are inspired by “leaders.” That’s why as a leader you need to walk the talk.

Tip #2 Communicate expectations

This is another simple, yet often missed aspect of leading a team toward excellence. Make your expectations abundantly clear. For example, if you expect your team to be putting 2hrs or preparation a week before rehearsal, make that abundantly clear from the moment they join the band and constantly remind them of this expectation. In your planning center account, setup a rehearsal reminder email a couple days before that says something along the lines of “Hey Bob the bass player, I trust your preparation for this week’s worship practice is going well! Don’t forget to put in at least a couple hours of personal practice time in before Thursday night!” Or whenever your rehearsal is. You don’t want to be legalistic about your expectations because people just won’t like you for that. But do not hesitate to clearly communicate and remind them of expectations. Don’t assume they can read your mind.

Tip #3 Listen to their needs

Great leaders always ask their team what they need in order to achieve excellence. Ask your team how you can better help them prepare for rehearsals and find specific solutions to their problems. Maybe from these conversations you’ll discover things like you could be sending them your song list further in advance, or maybe you could be charting your music in a clearer way. Your job is to remove every barrier that hinders your team members from success preparation and performance. Without being asked, most people will just deal with the problems that hinder them from achieving excellence rather than finding a solution.

Tip #4 Recognize excellence

When you see excellence in your team, celebrate it. During rehearsal when you hear your electric guitarist nail that solo on the first time you play the song as a band, take a mental note and at the end of the song tell him or her “Dude, you freakin nailed that solo. Great job preparing for that.” Or when your drummer nails the break right between the bridge and last chorus, give them an affirmative head nod and smile. Whether you celebrate excellence in big or little ways, just make sure you are consistently doing it. Rewarding people for their hard work will only encourage them to keep it up.

What are your thoughts?

Have you found effective ways to inspire excellence from your worship team? Let me know in the comments.