In the last post, we set up this conversation we’re having about how to be truly effective Worship Leaders and these 7 Habits we can cultivate in our lives to be that kind of leaders. We introduced the first habit, which is Reading Your Bible.
Today, we’ll continue with the next two habits, which have to do with planning & how we view & treat our teams.
2. Plan Ahead & Stay Ahead
I’m a big fan of the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I feel like a football coach just writing that, but that quote couldn’t be more true.
I’d dare say that 90% of us are in ministry settings where we’re working with teams that are made up of volunteers. These volunteers are wives & husbands, moms & dads, employees, family members… That means that while they may be committed to being a part of our team, it isn’t the ONLY thing that they are doing in their lives.
With that in mind, part of our responsibility as Worship Leaders is to plan ahead and stay ahead. This includes scheduling people, creating set lists, providing content (Charts & Music), and even setting up your physical space.
Not only will this help us to be more effective, but it will help our teams to be more effective. If you give volunteers a few extra weeks to learn a new song or to be aware of a set that is coming up, watch how they flourish as you teach them how to practice at home & rehearse when you’re all together.
Personally, I schedule my volunteers 2 months at a time and then I plan 2 months of gatherings with all the music & content they need for those gatherings. Some of you might have just thrown up, but it’s going to be ok. That might not work for you, but I’ll tell you that it helps my team serve like never before and actually be able to worship when they lead our church.
Find the right balance for your team, and then be consistent. We’ll talk about systems in a little bit, but the better you are at planning ahead and staying ahead, the more effective both you and your team will be.
3. Continue to Get to Know Your Team
Most of us have a plan or a process for how you bring people onto your team that includes some getting to know you stuff. Maybe coffee or lunch after church on Sunday or something, just time for you guys to get to know each other. Why? Because it is important for you to know those that you’re going to be leading and serving.
However, I think if we’re honest, we’re not all really great at keeping that relationship building going after that initial on-boarding. Sure, we talk at rehearsal or when we need something from them, but we don’t always do a great job at keeping that conversation going.
We might really get to know some of the team members, like the ones we really get along with, but part of our responsibility of leading our teams involves us being life-on-life with these people. Who are they? What do they love? What are they going through? How can you be praying for them?
My advice: Be intentional about getting to know them on an ongoing basis. Get together with no ministry agenda or prepared outcome, just get to know them. Ask more questions about them than cool things you talk about yourself. Take the time to invest in your team members and to truly care about them.
One caveat is to do this appropriately. Be wise about setting up one-on-one time with team members of the opposite gender. Maybe get a few people together at once to hang, or hang out with your spouses as well. “They are a woman” is a really bad reason to give up on finding a way to appropriately get to know and care for a team member.
Be wise and be intentional, because the closer our relationships are with our team members, the more effective we’ll be in leading them and leading our churches.