Sometimes I lead the worship band and sometimes I play in the band. Both are important roles and have specific responsibilities to do them well. As both a leader and a player/singer, here are my ten most important rules as a team member:
1. I will be available at least twice per month and answer worship department emails within 24 hours
- I find that players need to play a minimum of twice per month to stay in the flow of the worship and maintain good relationships with the leader(s) and team members.
- As someone who has scheduled worship teams for years, prompt replies by the team members is greatly appreciated. Also, it is a good habit to be prompt in all your communication. It is a form of discipline and respect.
2. I will listen to, practice and memorize the songs for Sunday
- Most musicians learn by listening. I always spend the .99 cents to $1.29 to download the songs on iTunes and make a playlist to listen in my house and car. Listening will teach you things that charts never will. I also use the PlanningCenter.com app and media player for my phone
- I will take time to practice the new songs for the team and briefly review the older songs. I want to be excellent in my service to the Lord. Wether I get paid or not, I’m playing for the ‘King of kings’. God rewards faithfulness and excellence.
- I will play according to the style of the music that is driven by the church’s vision/mission instead of simply imposing my personal tastes into the music.
- I will memorize the music. Memorizing songs allows me to get past the music and worship God freely. Most worship songs are not hard to memorize. Here is my post on helping you to memorize.
3. I will show up prepared and on time for rehearsal
- Leaders and other team members really appreciate when all the team has done their homework. When the drummer knows the grooves, tempos and breaks, it makes the rehearsal go so much smoother. When the lead guitar and keyboard players have learned the introductions and lead lines, it saves so much time for the rest of the group.
- I will bring a pencil to highlight problem parts, changes and incorrect charts.
- When team members all show up on time, it shows respect and value for the whole team. It promotes unity and makes the rehearsals go much smoother.
4. I will show respect and love for my fellow team members and leader
- The second greatest commandment is to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. When team members show love and respect for each other, rehearsals, worship and life in general is much better.
- If team members get direction that they don’t like. It’s important that they don’t take it personally, agree to disagree and submit – just like professionals do in the studio.
- Being a leader can be tough. When you give respect and are patient with your leader, God sees and rewards that attitude and heart.
5. I will not noodle on my instrument when the leader is speaking
- Having great rehearsal habits is important. The time to practice your individual part is when you are on your own.
- You show respect for the leader and the rest of the team when you learn to listen at the appropriate times.
6. I will worship as I play my instrument and endeavor to be a great worshipper on and off the stage
- The purpose of a worship band is to worship God and lead the congregation to do the same. If you are just playing or singing then you are not fulfilling your responsibilities. Get past the music and worship God and lead by example.
- A sign that you are an authentic worshipper is that you are the same on and off the stage. People see you on and off the stage. Be authentic!
7. I will attend church and give whether I am playing or not
- Great team worship team members know the importance of regular church attendance. We all need to be great congregational members before we can become great worship team members.
- Supporting your local church means more than playing your instrument. Giving of your time and finances really shows where your heart is.
8. I will practice my singing and/or instrument regularly
- Great worship team members are better this year than they were last year.
- Great team members work on growing by practicing regularly, taking lessons and watching and learning from great worship videos.
9. I will wear the appropriate clothes for the dress code
- I never want my clothes to be a distraction to our worship times.
- My general advice is to develop a dress code that is modest and culturally relevant to your congregation.
10. I will grow in my love for the Lord and live a godly lifestyle
- This is the last commandment but it is the most important. Loving God with your whole heart and life is the core of worship.
- Living a life that is pleasing to God opens up the door for God’s blessing on your life. Don’t allow sin to ruin that. Repent and get back on track!
- Great worship team members are more than volunteers. They are serving in worship ministry because of the calling and gifting of God in their lives.
Question: What points have I missed? Are you a great worship team member? What areas can you improve on?
Article written by Mark Cole. Mark has spent over 30 years as a Worship Pastor in some of the largest churches in Canada and is also the founding musical arranger of PraiseCharts.com, a ministry supplying worship charts and orchestrations for thousands of churches around the world. To find out more about Mark, click here.