It’s an epidemic!

Sadly, I must report that this worship leader is not the only one faced with musical challenges in his home church. Turns out many people, even my own friends, are afflicted in myriad ways in the area of worship – more specifically, musical worship. Here’s how it goes… We’d like to generate interest in people to join our teams, and we’d love to have those people be committed, talented, and easy to work with. We’d also like to see a variety of skills present, from instrumentalists to vocalists, dancers to painters, organic to technical… and we’d like it all to begin tomorrow… well, Monday, the day after Easter, so we have most of our headspace back. All too often, we find ourselves not doing as much as we could, or as much as we should and I think it is because we don’t know how. IF we had all the best people, with completely open schedules, passionate about serving on the worship team, we could accomplish anything. But, I think that is the trap – and we’ve all fallen in it – and the pit is deep.

I say we need to find a way out of the pit. I’m not sure exactly how to do that, but I figure someone out there is smart enough to figure this out. I read a book last year in hopes of doing better at this, called ATTRACTING QUALITY MUSICIANS, by Tony Guerrero. It said there is no single answer to all the problems we face and choices must be made in each congregation as appropriate. I liked that – it gave freedom to explore – but I’ve found that with too much freedom, I tend to actually DO nothing. So I am committing to being trying some things. Here’s my list so far… (please feel free to comment on this post and add your own suggestions – or successful trials.)

1) Announce worship team openings during weekly services (and small groups)
2) Call your friends and ask them to join your worship team on a regular basis
3) Ask your current team members to refer/recruit their friends (inside/outside the church)
4) Allow every respondent to participate somewhere (if not appropriate for praise team, introduce them to other ministry leaders -encourage them to find their passion AND OPERATE IN THEIR GIFTEDNESS.)
5) Visit live musicians wherever they play, make connections, and FOLLOW-UP in a timely manner

Our church is planning on starting a choir in the coming months. I also plan to introduce a vocal resource I’ve developed with some worship leader friends, Sean and Sandy Sooter. (Look for Praise Solution.com – coming soon.) This, along with the afore-mentioned ideas should net us some positive response. Oh – remember to ensure the new people feel welcomed, are engaged in each step, appreciated by the group for participating, invited to extra-churchicular activities, and scheduled to “perform” ASAP.

Of course, I know practically nothing. I have a small team (whom I love) and significant stress about “where we are” right now. BUT, I’m desperate to figure this thing out. Maybe, together, we can. (Please comment.)

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4 Responses to “It’s an epidemic!”

  1. Debbie kelly Says:

    Don’t be stressed, Jeff. You are very talented. You are a great worship leader. You have a worship team and church family who loves you. You have great ideas and a way to achieve them. (Where there’s a will there’s a way.) And I, personally, am very pleased with where we are. Just enjoy the freedom of learning and trying new things… as long as the music isn’t too loud. UGH! My concern will be when we get a drummer. That will create sound issues. And we know what sound issues do to me!!!! I am soooo enjoying the simplicity of our praise team and sound system.

  2. jefflittle Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Debbie. It is fairly exciting to see our team grow (vocally) right now. The blend and repertoire expansion has been pretty cool. But our task is not done yet. As I mentioned in the post, I’d like to make you all praise team recruiters of the first degree. Go find your friends and bring them to the music.

    As for the sound, etc., I wouldn’t worry too much. We aren’t much different than any other church (I was just recently told, by a friend of mine at HDC)… we all have our growing times, our trying times. We are all just doing the best we can as we go along. And any concern I may have for our “sound issues” are so trumped by my sheer excitement about bringing new people into the team and into the church. This new season is going to be wonderful!

  3. Julie Says:

    i say the more the merrier! although, the truth is, many times the people who really want to be on your team can’t necessarily sing or play an instrument. yet sometimes they can be the best worshipers! i’ve been saying for years (although no one listens to me) that everyone on the worship team doesn’t need to have a microphone or be on the “stage.” i mean, it isn’t about performing for our church, it is about worshiping our God. so put the “worshipers” on the stage without microphones and put the “vocalists” in front of the stage with their microphones and see what happens to the worship in your church. i don’t know . . . just an idea . . .

  4. jefflittle Says:

    I love this idea. I believe in the merit of it. And if our servants really have a heart to serve the congregation and not their egos, this idea could actually work. I’ve seen these people – and have many times thanked them for helping me worship as I ‘lead’ from the front.

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