This is part one of a three-part series on “How to build a committed worship team.” One of the most difficult challenges worship leaders face is building and developing a team of volunteers who are willing to put in the time and effort to achieve excellence in worship ministry. That's why I've created this series. I want to give you actionable tips for building a committed team.
You have probably heard the saying “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” For this context, I would change it to “People do not care about your worship ministry until they know how much you care about them.” I’ll be honest with you, as a younger worship leader, this was the most challenging aspect of leading for me. I’m more of a task-oriented rather than a relational type of person. That’s why I needed to make a plan for how to love my team not based on how I feel or what came naturally to me but based on the fact that if I was going to be an effective leader, these relational connections needed to happen. Here are four ways you can help foster meaningful relationships with your band members to encourage their commitment to worship ministry.
1. Pray for your team
First, you should be praying for your team. Regularly pray for your band members to grow in their faith, for the well-being of their families, that they find meaning in their work, and for any other requests they have made known to you. You should be aware of what’s going on in their lives so that you know how to pray specifically for them. Whether it is in person or via email, let them know they can always send requests your way. When you do pray for them, let them know! Maybe not every time, but enough for them to feel loved, appreciated, and cared for.
2. Say "Thank You"
Next, make it a regular practice to say thank you to your worship team members. They are sacrificing a lot of time and energy to help you. Try to make it a point to say some brief word of thanks or appreciation every Sunday after the service. You can even write them a handwritten thank you card and send it in the mail. In our digitized society, that type of "thank you" will stand out.
3. Schedule One-on-One Meetings
My favorite way to develop relationships with my worship team is by scheduling one-on-ones with them. Usually, I will treat them to coffee or lunch. If the person is of the opposite sex, I do not recommend hanging out one-on-one for the sake of everyone’s emotional safety. Be smart about how you spend time with people outside of church. During these one-on-ones, ask them a lot of questions about their story, their interests, their work, their family, etc. Make it a priority to get to know them more. When people are known, they feel loved and cared for, and they will trust you more as a leader. The moment you feel tension with someone in your band, I recommend spending quality time with that person as soon as possible and I think you’ll be amazed at how restorative that time can be as you better understand one another.
4. Develop team relationships
Finally, you will want your team members to develop relationships with one another. That is why I recommend coordinating social events for them to get to know one another and have fun outside of church. If possible, invite them over to your house, so they feel like they know both you and the rest of the team. You do not want your team to feel like they play in a band with strangers. Make sure there is the opportunity for them to develop friendships with one another.
As you pray for your team, thank them, spend one-on-one time with them, and host social events for them, I promise you this relational investment is going to pay huge dividends for your ministry. Of course, you do not have to be everyone’s best friend. What you do need to do is try your best to have at least some meaningful interaction with your team members on a regular basis. It will be the number one way to gain their trust and commitment to the ministry. When people know their leaders and their community care about them, they are way more likely to put in the time and effort to prepare for worship. Your band members will know if they fail to do so, they are not letting down a stranger but they are letting down a family, and no one wants to do that.
What else have you found to be an effective way to fostering stronger relationships on your worship team? Share your thoughts in the comments.