worship team

Prime vs. Playback | Which app is best for your worship ministry?

Prime vs. Playback | Which app is best for your worship ministry?

In this article, I'm going to give you a side by side comparison with Prime by Loop Community and Playback by Multitracks.com. I'm going to walk you through the pros and cons of each of these powerful and easy to use iOS apps. Soon you'll have a much clearer understanding of which one is the best fit for your worship ministry.

What to do when you worship band shows up unprepared for rehearsal

What to do when you worship band shows up unprepared for rehearsal

If your team members are showing up to rehearsal unprepared, here are five key questions to help you discover the root cause of the issue and inspire them to practice at home.

How to make a small worship band sound big

How to make a small worship band sound big

On most Sundays, my worship band consists of only four members. I sing and play acoustic. My assistant worship leader is on vocals, and we have a keyboardist and drummer. No bassist. No electric guitars. No background vocals. Even with a small ensemble, we manage to achieve a big sound in worship. In this article, I’ll tell you all about how we do it and watch to the end because I tell you about my #1 software recommendation for achieving a full sound in worship.

10 benefits of using pads in worship

Utilizing pads in worship is an inexpensive and easy way to achieve a full sound whether you’re a solo worship leader or leading with a band. In this article, you’ll learn about the ten benefits of using pads in worship.

Pads have risen in popularity over the past few years for worship ministries. For years I’ve run backing tracks using Ableton Live but little did I realize the benefits of using pads in my worship sets. It wasn’t until I started using pads regularly over the past few months that I experienced the many benefits of implementing them in worship.

Do you use pads in your worship services? Let me know in the comments below. Whether you do or not, make sure you read this article to the end because I have a gift to help you get up and running with pads today.

Here are the seven benefits of implementing pads in your worship ministry.

1. Achieve a full sound

Pads are probably the least expensive and simplest way to fill out the sound of your worship band. We all want our worship bands to have a full sound. But as I worship leader, I know how tough it is to achieve a full sound with your traditional instruments like an acoustic guitar, drums, piano, and bass guitar. Pads fill in the cracks and make your band sound so much more full.

2. Achieve a modern sound

Have you noticed the sound of worship music is becoming increasingly reliant on computer-generated synthesizers? Ambient pad sounds are a distinctive feature of what makes modern worship modern. Pads are a great way to modernize the sound of older worship songs and hymns without turning your worship service into an EDM concert.

3. Smooth transitions

Pads make it easy to eliminate those awkward moments of silence between worship songs. When your band hits the last note of the song, the pads can continue to sustain. Transitions are incredibly smooth using this technique when adjacent songs are in the same key. Even if songs are not in the same key, you can quickly crossfade pads in Ableton or other software you use to run them.

4. Freedom to speak or pray

I’m a strong believer that worship leading should consist of more than just leading songs. It’s important to share pastoral thoughts and prayers between songs, during songs, or a the end of a setlist. I love how pads give me the freedom to not worry about playing my guitar during these moments while at the same time maintaining soft music in the background. While I could noodle on my guitar, it’s much easier for me to focus on what I want to say or pray when pads support me in the background. The last thing I want to do is mess up a chord progression during prayer or have no music at all and create an awkward silence.

5. Compliment the end of sermons

Pads can add a powerful element to the closing exhortations and prayer of a sermon. There’s something about ambient pad sounds that help congregants focus in on what the pastor is preaching or praying. When the sermon is finished, pads create a seamless transition to the closing song.

6. Flexibility for use with a solo worship leader or full band

Pad can benefit any worship leader whether you are leading solo or with a full band. Your band can never be too large or too small to benefit from pads.

7. Minimal gear and software required

To use pads, you only need gear and software to playback simple MP3 or WAV files. You don’t need a click track or metronome. You don’t need in-ears monitoring. You can even play pads on your smartphone. Pads provide full sound to your band without requiring you to buy expensive software or equipment to run them.

8. Easy to prepare and operate

You can prepare and operate pads in a variety of ways. You can use an app on your phone, or you can use them in advanced software like Ableton Live. Either way, you are only working with a single audio file that plays back like any other song you would play on your computer or smartphone. If you know how to create a playlist of favorite songs in iTunes, you know how to prepare pads for worship.

9. No expensive keyboard rig required

A lot of worship ministries waste hundreds or thousands of dollars purchasing expensive keyboard rigs and software plugins to create pad sounds for worship. With pre-recorded pads, you can utilize the power of high-end synthesizer software like Omnisphere without purchasing it yourself.

10. Any key or chord progression will work

Worship songs come in a variety of keys and chord progressions. A single bundle of pads can work for all of them. One bundle includes 12 keys of music. Since the pads were created to drone over any chord in a given key, it does not matter what chord progression you play. Pads will always sound great.

Now you know the ten benefits of using pads in worship. If you want to get started with using pads today, you should download our free bundle of Churchfront Pads. The bundle contains our Warm pad sound designed by my music producer friend, Boomer Bate. You can select between MP3 or WAV audio files. Each track is 10 minutes in length to ensure they are long enough to play with any song without the need to loop.

Click the button, complete the form, and I’ll send you instant access to the free pads. I look forward to hearing how they enhance the sound of your worship leading.

Thanks for reading! Share this article with your worship leader friends who need to know about the benefits of implementing pads in their ministry.

10 Tips for Leading an Effective Worship Band Rehearsal

Whether your band rehearses on a weekday evening, or on a Sunday morning a few hours before the church service, rehearsal time must be stewarded well so that your band is confident with their music and prepared to lead worship. Here are ten tips for leading an effective band rehearsal.

1. Prepare yourself.

As the worship leader, you must be the most prepared member of the band. Memorize the chords and lyrics of the songs. Spend extra time practicing the parts of songs that are most difficult for you. Know what everyone else should be playing at any given time. You are the musical director of the band. Be prepared so you can hear mistakes and give them specific direction on song style and dynamics.

2. Prepare your band.

Before your band arrives at rehearsal, makes sure you have resourced them with everything they need to practice at home on their own. Use Planning Center to share with them the service order, chord charts, and MP3 files. Transpose chord charts and MP3 files to the proper key. Send them reminder emails throughout the week, so they know they are scheduled to play, and they should be practicing at home on their own. Rehearsal for them should happen long before Thursday night or Sunday morning.

3. Arrive at rehearsal early and set the stage.

Arrive at church 45 to 60 minutes to complete the following tasks. Turn on the sound, lighting, and video systems to ensure everything is running properly. If not, you’ll have some time to troubleshoot. Next, inspect each member of the band’s spot on the stage. Make sure they have all of the necessary gear like DI boxes and cables to plug into the system upon arrival. If your band uses music, make sure they have accurate copies of music arranged in order on their music stands. It also helps to include a copy of the service plan. Treat your band members like rock stars. Make sure their environment is 100% functional and reduce the amount of time it takes for them to get ready to play.

4. Begin rehearsal with a prayer.

At the beginning of rehearsal, I like to remind myself and the band why we are there by starting with a prayer. Sometimes the beginning of rehearsal can be stressful as you troubleshoot tech issues and other unforeseen problems. I like taking a moment to pray before we start the rehearsing the first song. I’ll pray something like this. “God we thank you for the opportunity to lead your people in worship this morning. We pray that your hand will be upon this rehearsal time. We pray that we recall all we have practiced, and we are unified musically and spiritually as a band and tech team. We pray against any glitches in technology or service flow so there are no distractions and people can focus on you. We pray for transformed lives this morning. Amen.” Simple prayers like this can help your team focus on why they are there, and they invite God to be a part of the rehearsal process as well as the service.

5. Give your band a quick game plan.

After I pray, I like to give the band a game plan for the rehearsal time. I’ll tell them we will play all the songs once, allowing us to warm up and find trouble spots. If I hear a minor mistake, I’ll assume they hear it as well and will fix it. Then we will play through a second time, and I’ll be much pickier about spots that need attention. If there is a new song, we will play through it at least 3 or 4 times. Every rehearsal looks a bit different depending on the familiarity of the music. I like to give them a quick game plan, so they know what to expect.

6. Warm up and sound check with the first song.

The first song we rehearse I treat as a warm up and a sound check. Therefore I’m not expecting it to sound perfect. I want my band to dial in their monitors and warm up playing together. If there are any major tech issues, we address them immediately. After playing the first song once through, everyone should be set to go for the remainder of rehearsal, and they should start to cohere as a band.

7. Rehearse all songs at least two times.

Try to rehearse each song at least two times. If the song is familiar, one time may suffice. New songs may require three or four times. As I already mentioned, during the first run through I give my band members a chance to self-correct their mistakes, unless if it sounds like they are completely unaware of missed chord changes or sloppy tempo. In that case, I will correct them. The second run through allows them to nail their part with confidence.

8. Practice transitions at least two times.

Transitions between songs can make or break a smooth flow to a worship set. Practice your transitions between songs at least two times. Often I will have the band start at the last chorus of a song to practice transitioning into the next song. If I say a prayer in between songs or lead the congregation in a liturgical reading, I practice those prayers and readings and the keyboard player practices playing underneath me.

9. Be picky, but not too picky.

As the worship leader and music director, you want to help your team pursue excellence without being an overbearing dictator. Hopefully, you have set the expectation for your band members to show up prepared to rehearsal. Your guidance during rehearsal should consist of minor corrections and creative suggestions. Allow your band to have musical freedom within the appropriate style of the song. You want them to enjoy the rehearsal process.

10. Encourage your team.

When a band member nails his or her part, encourage them. Smile at them during rehearsal. If you look like you are having fun, they will have a good time as well. The last thing they want at band practice is to feel like their leader is a grumpy middle school music teacher. Always show gratitude for your team’s hard work and be their biggest cheerleader.

I hope these ten tips give you ideas and inspiration for how to increase the effectiveness of your worship band rehearsals and help you grow as a leader. Well-run rehearsals set your team up for leading powerful worship experiences. They worry less about nailing their parts and can focus more on worshipping God with their instrument or voice. What else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.

7 Ways to Pastor Your Worship Band

One of the essential ingredients for vibrant and engaging worship is having a band that is spiritually healthy. The last thing we want as worship leaders is to lead a group of musicians who have no passion or excitement for what God is doing in their lives. One of the roles as worship leaders is to pastor our team. We want to be a guiding spiritual influence to help them draw closer to Christ and live their life to the full. While many variables that influence someone’s spiritual health are out of our control, there are some practical pastoral things we as worship leaders can do to inspire them to a deeper devotion to God. My hunch is that as they become more spiritually healthy, they will have a greater desire to pursue excellence in worship ministry because their heart is in the right place. They will also be more committed and reliable. Here are a few pastoral things I do to help foster a spiritually healthy environment for my band.

1. Get to know them.

It is of utmost importance to spend time with your band members outside of rehearsal and Sundays. You do not need to be best friends, but you do need to make time to hang out with them outside of church, so they feel known by their leader. Ask them about their life story, faith journey, and what they are passionate about besides worship ministry. You can get to know them better in a one-on-one setting as well as during a group social event. Having people over to your house for a barbecue or dinner is an effective way for them to feel connected to you.

2. Pray with them and for them.

Make time during rehearsal or in between services to pray for and with your band members. Who knows? One of them could be going through a crisis and would be significantly moved if their team gathered around and laid hands on them in prayer. Ask your band members in one-on-one conversations how you can be praying for them. Leaders pray. Pray with and for your band.

3. Read through a book on worship together.

There are some fantastic books available on the topic of worship leading. Many of them are written to function as a weekly devotional for worship bands. Walking through a thoughtful book on worship can help your band mature in their understanding of the meaning and purpose of worship.

4. Be there for them in times of celebration and times of sorrow.

Keep track of your band member’s birthdays and other life events. A simple happy birthday phone call or even a little gift can go a long way in showing them how much you care. Hopefully, you know your band well enough that you can also be there for them when they experience trials, suffering, and pain. Do not feel like you have to say something deeply profound and spiritual. They simply need to know you are there and you are praying for them.

5. Show interest in their vocation.

It’s easy for ministry leaders to get so caught up in their ministry that they forget their volunteers have day jobs outside of the church. Often you will discover they are involved in some pretty fascinating stuff. The church I am the interim worship leader at has a lot of congregants who are aerospace engineers. I love asking them what they worked on during the week. Most of it’s classified so they can’t say much, but it’s cool knowing they are working on building satellites and figuring out how to get to Mars. In most cases, showing interest in your band member’s vocation will make them feel appreciated beyond volunteering at church.

6. Encourage them to join a small group.

Your church probably has a program for discipleship like small groups, life groups, or even classes. Encourage your volunteers to participate. You will need to lead by example, so make sure you are a part of a small group before telling them they need to be in one. Some volunteers want to treat worship band like a small group. I think this is unrealistic, especially if you intend to grow your band and worship ministry. A small group requires that everyone in the group meets on a weekly basis. Hopefully, you have enough worship band volunteers that not everyone plays every week. Tell your band that the best avenue for them to find close community in the church is in the small group program.

7. Encourage them to attend church when they are not playing in the band.

It’s tempting for some volunteers not to attend church at all when they are not singing, playing, or running tech. Remind them of the importance of participating in worship even when they are not in the band. Not only will it help them grow spiritually, but it will give them insight into how they can improve after hearing and seeing the band from the congregation’s perspective. Maybe they will notice things from this perspective that sound bad or are distracting. It will help them improve the way they rehearse and play on the weekend.

As the worship pastor, it’s important not to forget to pastor your band. They want your guidance and leadership, not just in music but also in their spirituality. A healthy band will help foster an engaging and vibrant worship experience.

Three ways to develop your worship team's musicianship

When you stop to think about the concept of the modern church worship band, it’s crazy. For hundreds of years, the church “worship band” consisted of a cantor, a choir, and maybe an organ. Then a few decades ago came the rise of the modern worship band. Now every Sunday, your church is expected to have a full rock band consisting of volunteers who are competent at their instruments and can pull off a five song set after just an hour or two of rehearsal.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the modern worship band. But the idea of pulling off this feat on a weekly basis is a bit insane, especially for smaller churches with little resources and few musicians. It’s up to you and your church leadership how large your worship ministry is going to be. Maybe it’s just yourself and a couple of others playing an acoustic setup. Maybe you want to have a huge band like Hillsong and have killer backing tracks that rival an EDM concert. Either way, I have a firm conviction that worship leaders have the responsibility for fostering and developing musicianship in the church. If you have existing band members who need to work on specific areas of musicianship, or you are building a new team from scratch, you should intentionally develop your team’s musical capability. Here are three ways to do it.

Spend one-on-one time working through songs with individual band members

Hands down, this is the most efficient way to develop the musicianship of your band members. It also requires the most time and effort on the part of the worship leader. You need to coordinate a time on your calendar to meet and prepare an agenda for what you are going to work on with them. It is sort of like offering them private lessons, but you are hyper focused on worship songs that your band will be playing on Sundays.

One time I had a drummer who could keep a steady beat and play technical fills, but he had a difficult time with the dynamics and style of modern worship music. It was a significant issue whenever I introduced the band new songs. He needed specific direction on the feel of the beat and the dynamics within the song. I always encourage my musicians to practice on their own at home, but in this case, I realized it would be better for me to spend one-on-one time with this drummer to more thoroughly explain the sound I wanted. I rather not do this during rehearsal and waste the rest of the band’s time.

We met for about an hour. I setup my computer with a click and backing tracks, we wore our in-ear monitors and played through the new song. At first, I would keep the original MP3 of the songs in the backing tracks. Then I would mute that track and just play with the click and other instruments. If there were a spot we needed to work on, we would repeat it a few times and even solo the drum track to hear what the studio drummer played. We were able to get down into the nitty gritty of the drum parts for this one song. Eventually, this drummer grew in his ability to play worship drums in the proper style I wanted. By learning the stylistic details of one worship song, he was able to apply the same concepts to other songs.

Spending one-on-one practice time with your musicians can give them the insight and attention they need to bring their musicianship to the next level. Over time they will grow in their confidence and ability so that you can meet less frequently or not at all.

Encourage or require your band to take private lessons

Sometimes you will have worship volunteers who have loads of musical potential, but they need the right music teacher to help them tap into it. Encourage them to take private lessons. Lessons will most likely cost them money, but I think being financially invested will motivate them and keep them accountable to develop their skills. If they are a vocalist, help them find a voice teacher to help them refine their tone, pitch, range, and ability to pick up harmonies on the fly. If they are a guitarist, help them find a teacher who will teach them scales, chords, and improvisation.

There are a few online platforms that can help you find music teachers in your area. Check out thumbtack.com or takelessons.com. They can even take private lessons online. Google “online music lessons” and you find dozens of options.

Resource your worship band with online worship band training

The third best way to grow your team's musicianship is to resource them with online worship tutorial videos. WorshipOnline.com, WorshipArtistry.com, and WorshipTutorials.com are the three largest resources in this area. Most of their content requires a subscription, but you get what you pay for. I am most impressed with Worship Online’s platform because they have the best videos for showing you exactly what and how to play different instruments. They even have videos that break down the vocal parts.

There has never been a time in the history of Church music when it is so easy to train and develop musicians in the church. Theoretically, you could find someone with zero music experience, set them up with private lessons, give them access to online tutorials, meet with them on a regular basis to sing or play through songs, and within a year or two they could be ready to play in the weekend services. Some folks will catch on quicker than others, and while you train them, it is going to be a somewhat grueling process. But if you stick with it and have the patience to develop them, they could end up being one of you best band members, and maybe someday a worship leader. I believe the church should be a wellspring of musicianship because we have the greatest reason to sing and play our instruments. But that won’t happen unless if worship leaders like you take the time to develop the musicianship of those on your team or those yet to join your team.

How to create a worship band audition process

Regardless of the size of your worship ministry, I recommend having a process for auditioning new members of the team. You do not want people in your band who lack the competence, character, and chemistry you desire. Here is a 4 step process for vetting potential band members and making sure they will be the right fit.

Step one - Create a clear vision and expectations for your ministry

Document your vision for the worship band and expectations for its members. You may need to consult with other leaders at your church. Maybe you want to have strict standards about who can play on the team, but your senior pastor expects that Mary-Lou, the long time member with organ experience should be allowed to play piano or keys in the band despite the fact she has no clue how to play with a contemporary band. Write down your expectations for how much band members should devote to practicing every week, or if they are expected to memorize music. Document your expectations for yourself as the leader. Over the years I have learned that a lack of clear expectations leads to a lot of awkward conversations and conflict in the future. Have a crystal clear vision of who your band is and the priorities in your ministry. It will help you give clear judgment on who will be a good fit.

Step two - The online audition

Have a web page on your church website dedicated to receiving inquiries from people interested in joining the band. Ask for basic information such as their name, phone, email address, and their instrument. Ask them to send you a link to a Youtube video of them singing or playing their instrument to a worship song you select. This video recording is “round one” of your audition process. It should give you an idea if they are a good fit. If they are not skilled enough, send them an email or give them a phone call and thank them for their interest but tell them their skill level does not reach what is necessary for joining the band. It is not easy to do, but learn from my mistakes. I hate telling people no. Instead of biting the bullet and enduring temporary short term awkwardness, I said yes and eventually regretted it. In one case, I let someone sing on Sunday once but then had to tell them they no longer could be in the band because they were not able to perform up to par. I wish I would have been honest with them earlier.

Step three - The in-person audition and interview

Once someone has completed the online form and has made it through the online audition, it is time to schedule an in-person audition and interview. Provide a list of three or four songs to prepare to play and let them know what gear they will need to bring to the audition. Have them play a song or two and analyze their musicianship. If you want, record them so you can refer to it later when you make your final decision. Hopefully, if they made it this far they at least have an 80% chance of making in the band. During this meeting make time to ask them questions to ensure they will align with your expectations of character and chemistry. This is different for everyone, so you will need to come up with your unique questions.  Explain to them the expectations you have for worship band members and tell them you want them to take a few days to consider whether or not they can meet those expectations. During those few days, you will also think and pray about their audition. Delaying the decision and notifying them by email will allow you time to make sure they are a good fit and say no if necessary. Do not feel like you need to give them an answer on the spot.

Step four - Assimilate them into the team

When someone makes it onto the team, do your best to make them feel a part of the family. It starts with making time to meet with them one-on-one so that they feel like they know you as their leader. When he or she arrives at rehearsal, introduce them to the rest of the band. Invite them to any social events you host for your team. Consistently develop relationships with all of your band members and remind them of the expectations for being in the band.

This audition process might sound a bit overboard to some. You might think it is unreasonable at your small church. I disagree. Putting a system like this in place will allow you to properly vet potential band members and save you a lot of headache down the road. At first, it might be a slow road building your team. You might say no to more people than you like. Over time you will gain momentum and attract the right volunteers to your ministry. Those who make it on the team will be committed to excellence, and they will be your most valuable asset as a worship leader.

What does your worship team audition process look like? How do you feel about the one I described? Share your thoughts, love, and opinions in the comments below.

How to find new worship team members

Finding people to fill all the required positions in your band or production team can be difficult. It is especially tough when you lead worship at a small to mid-sized church. Here are four strategies to find potential new members for your worship team. I say “potential” because in these early phases of recruitment you do not know if they are going to be a good fit. That will require getting to know them and having them go through your audition process. Here we will focus only on how to start having more conversations with potential band members.

Be proactive and ask around.

New worship team members do not magically appear out of thin air. You must be proactive in the process of finding them. Before and after the worship service on Sunday, you should be interacting with the congregation. As you have casual conversations with people, ask them if they have any musical experience or interest in joining the worship band. If they do not, ask if they have any friends or family members who do. You are bound to find people interested in serving if you consistently ask.

Partner with the assimilation team.

Most churches have an assimilation process. Hopefully, your church has a system for helping attendees or members get involved by serving. Make sure that “worship team” and “production team” are on the list of options for people to serve. You will want the assimilation pastor or person overseeing that process to tell people that some or all positions for worship volunteers will require an audition process. Being able to lead songs in front of the congregation requires a certain level of musical competence that serving at the coffee bar does not.

Identify and train young musicians.

My favorite way to find new worship team members is to identify and train young musicians with little experience but high potential. Some high school students are dying to learn how to play guitar and sing. You have that knowledge and can easily share it with them. It is going to require a fair amount of work on your part, but it is worth it when you see them grow as musicians. Who knows? You could be the catalyst to help them discover a calling to worship ministry. Encourage these students to take lessons to develop their voice or instrument. Give them lessons yourself if you have the time. You could get paid to build your worship band.

Contract musicians.

Finally, you may want to network with musicians who you can pay modest stipends to play in your band. Ideally, they would be Christians and have an understanding of the purpose of worship music. Maybe they are stellar worship volunteers at another church, but they would not mind playing at your church once a month or every other week. I have had a lot of great experience working with these types of musicians. Sometimes contracting musicians is tough, especially if your church has no budget for it. Explain to your leadership how helpful it would be for the quality of worship to have a hundred or two hundred dollars a month budgeted for contract musicians. I would expect to pay anywhere from $25-$75 per service depending on their experience and skill level.

If you consistently network with other musicians and get to know the people in your church, you will have a steady stream of people who are either interested in serving in the band or available for hire for a modest stipend. Are there any other techniques or strategies you have used to find new team members? Let me know in the comments.

How to build a committed worship team Part 1 - Relationships

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.