So far, we’ve talked about 3 of the 7 Habits we can cultivate in our lives to be more effective Worship Leaders. This includes Reading Your Bible and Planning Ahead & Staying Ahead.
Today, we’ll continue with the next two habits, which have to do with prayer & creating systems.
4. Pray for Your Church & Your Team
Another way we can be an effective Worship Leader is by being a better leader off stage, away from any attention or acknowledgement. There’s nothing wrong with being recognized or for leading from a platform, but I believe that the leaders of the Church are called to do some really important work in the quiet places when we’re hidden away from everyone else through prayer.
This first assumes that you’re praying regularly, like outside of meals and as you’re falling asleep. Again, I’m preaching to myself on this one, and I’ll tell you in a minute how I’m starting to overcome this weakness in my own walk. While there is a lot we should be praying for, I believe we should be intentionally and regularly praying for our church (‘lil “c”) and our team.
Yep, we should be praying for the Big “C” Church, absolutely. However, there are few people that know the needs, struggles, desires, hopes, dreams, & hurts of a church like it’s church staff, including Worship Leaders. We know how we can be praying for this specific group of believers, and we should take this responsibility as a privilege.
We should also be praying for our teams. This kinda ties in with #3, but we should know our team members so well that you know at least one or two things you could be praying about for them. Take it a step further, being aware of these kinds of things in your team’s lives will help you to be an incredibly effective leader. You ever have someone remember to text your right before a big meeting or doctor’s appointment because they were praying for you? Multiply that across your team and watch what happens.
Prayer is a real & practical tool, and prayer takes our faith and produces supernatural results. That’s incredible. Don’t believe me? Give it a shot, like a real, honest shot for like a month. Pray consistently towards the things that are in God’s heart, that a whispered to you by the Holy Spirit, and see what happens.
On the practical side, I would suggest finding a place where you can keep a list of everything you’re praying for when it comes to your church and team. I recently found an app I’m loving called Echo, which is a free prayer app that helps me create lists to keep track of and even helps me work through them all. I pray the same thing for our church every time I pray, using some scripture, and the same thing for my team as well as any specific prayer requests that come up.
Be intentional with how you pray for your church and your team and see how your effectiveness will skyrocket.
5. Learn to Build Sustainable Systems
Systems and effectiveness of any kind go hand-in-hand. To go a step further, I believe that a healthy ministry is a ministry that is supported by great, invisible systems. Honestly, I can’t believe that there isn’t a Systems 101 class in every seminary in America, but that’s for another post.
If we want to be effective Worship Leaders, we need to have some intentional systems built into our ministry to support what we’re doing to do. Also, note that I said SUSTAINABLE systems. If a system is burning you out, it doesn’t matter how effective it makes because you will be useless after a burn out.
A system is essentially a process or method. Lots of small things working together to help produce something or keep a process going. For example, whether you know it or not, you have a system for auditions. How do people sign up to audition? What do they do after that? What happens before they audition? After? All of these steps make up your system for auditions.
Take a breath. This might seem really overwhelming and intimidating, but remember how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The same is true with developing a great system. You start with your desired result, and then work step by step backwards from there.
From there, you can build a simple system that you can repeat (i.e. sustainable) to achieve that desired result every time. Each step should be simple, logical, & understandable. If there are more than one actions in a given step in the process, then break it down even further. The more simple the action or decision, the more likely you’re system will be effective.
For instance, lets look at my system for scheduling our volunteers. What’s the desired result? A full schedule where everyone is involved as their schedule allows. Ok, so how do I know people’s schedule & how it matches up with our needs? I ask them. That’s kinda as basic as it gets, but here’s what the system looks like:
- Send Availability Email to Team With Open Dates for Next Two Months.
- Record Team Member Availability in Excel Spreadsheet.
- Place Team Member in Open Positions in Schedule on Same Spreadsheet.
- Input schedule into Planning Center & send out final Scheduling Request email.
After 5 simple steps, I’ve got our schedule set for 2 months. This maybe takes me less than 45 minutes because there is a simple system in place to help make scheduling as easy as possible. Take a look at your ministry and brainstorm all of the places you have processes and then evaluate them. The time you spend doing this will be worth it. The better we get at creating these simple systems, the more effective we’ll be as Worship Leaders.