Caring for the Members of Your Worship Team

Featuring Tom Kraeuter Posted on February 6, 2010

From my earliest recollections of being a part of our church’s worship team (over twelve years ago) I remember very vividly that we were friends. We spent time together. We enjoyed one another’s company. We even liked each other. To this day, we still are friends.

It was not until I began to travel regularly and minister at other churches that I realized what a different concept this is. In my travels I have seen everything from situations similar to ours, to people who tolerate each other, to others who actually despise one another. I have talked to some worship leaders who feel as though no one on their team really cares about them as a person. They feel as though they cannot communicate their overall goal for worship to the other members of the team. There is strife in the practice sessions, and there is even friction on Sunday mornings. Some have even told me they want to quit.

What a tragedy that too often they have not realized the importance of cultivating good, solid, Biblical relationships. This can effectively alleviate most worship team problems. No, problems will not necessarily completely disappear, but they can be minimized by having proper relationships. It is an amazing fact that cultivating good, solid relationships will enhance everything in your music ministry program.

For example, if I feel that our lead guitarist needs to do a heart check about his motivation for the way he is playing lately, it will be received much better if that person is my friend. If, on the other hand, the only time I ever talk to him is when I feel I need to correct something, he will be far less open to my correction.

If the only way you ever interact with the members of your worship team is on a “professional” level, then you are missing a big part of what the Lord wants to do within your group. Loving, caring, friendly relationships should permeate everything you do as a team. Relationships like this can even help you do better musically. Friends desire to see one another do their very best. They help each other to reach their highest potential in God, even musically.

It is obvious from both Scripture and experience that wrong attitudes toward one another within the congregation can be a hindrance to worship. God is building His people into a temple to offer up spiritual sacrifices, or worship (1 Peter 2:5). If the building is not built with right relationships then the spiritual sacrifices offered in that temple will be lacking. This effect is magnified if the poor relationships are among the members of the worship ministry team, a microcosm of the congregation as a whole. The main responsibility of the team is the area of worship. If there is constant discord within the team, then the praise and worship will suffer greatly.

So how do you cultivate strong, solid relationships on the worship team? First, the team members must decide that they desire and will earnestly pursue such relationships. This
commitment may not be easy, and it may not always be exciting. The final result, however, is well worth the price.

Some practical ideas are actually very simple. Invite the team members (not necessarily everyone at once) over for dinner. In so doing you are with them on a social basis, not just a professional one. This will allow you to get to know one another as people, not only as musicians. We have an annual cook-out for the members of our worship team and their families. We get together and eat, play volleyball, eat, talk, eat, play party ping pong, and eat. It is strictly social and a lot of fun. And it does wonders for our overall relationships.

We also take time to enjoy one another’s company at our rehearsals. This was hard for me to handle at first since I am a time-conscious, administrative type. But as I have realized how vital our relationships with one another are, I have seen the necessity of having fun together. So our practices are not strict regimented times. We take time to enjoy one another.

The following are some other practical ideas. First, keep up on the personal lives of your team members. Find out how they are doing at home and work. Send them birthday cards (preferably on their birthdays). Let them know you care about them as people. Because of the fine home fellowship group system which we have at our church I do not feel a need to offer daily pastoral guidance. However, if one of the members of our music team is hurting, I am quick to find out how I can help.

Also, let the team members know how you are doing. People will be quicker to open up to you when you lead the way by being open and honest with them first. Transparency needs to start with someone. It might as well be you. After all, you are the worship leader.

Understand that you may not see eye-to-eye with all team members on every issue. Absolute agreement is not necessary. What is necessary is that you remember an even more vital principle than the one on which you disagree; and that is Jesus’ command to love one another. It is a much higher motivation to love and care for each other, even when you do not feel like it, than to simply tolerate one another.

Cultivate friendship within your worship team. You will be amazed at what a positive overall effect it can have.



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