Recently a friend asked me what I would do with a blank check for the church. I love that question. I rattled off a list of wonderful band gear, design projects, and potential hires for needed areas. Reflecting the following day, the Lord revealed some areas of my heart that were needlessly operating under a burden of scarcity. He led me once again to the Psalmist’s proclamation:
For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine.
Money is usually the grid by which I’ve seen this text, but when it comes to resources, the reality is that there is so much more to consider. At that moment the clearest resource the Lord was pointing to was my words.
Here are a few ways that we, as worship leaders, can use our words as resources to edify our teams:
My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring worship leaders and teams. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more about how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.
Adding a click track (metronome) to your worship team setup is easy and the video below shows you how to do it. Despite what some believe, adding a click will not automatically void the Holy Spirit from your church or kill the “feel” of your musicianship. Here are some reasons why I love having a permanent click ready to go at the church:
It is a helpful tool to have for younger drummers, as timing is usually the #1 issue.
You can easily reference the tempo of a song before you rehearse or lead.
It’s a great tool for drummers in training if they use the church drumset during the week to practice.
Your musicians can learn the art and joy of pushing and dragging against the click.
Familiarizing your church culture with a click will give musicians a tool that will aid them if they enter a recording studio.
If you are recording your services you can sync other musical elements later with more ease.
Metronomes are standard tools for most world-class musicians.
You don’t have to use it on every song, but the tool is there if you want it.
This video shows my process for setting up a permanent click (metronome) next to the drum set.
Here is a little chart showing you how the audio will be run for the click:
The finished project will look something like THIS
My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring worship leaders and teams. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:10-13
Band rehearsals are not usually super fun. Many times they are in the early hour or after a long day. Musicians and tech teams are all arriving with a variety of emotions, experiences and energy levels. Yes, your job as a worship leader is to get the band on track musically, but there is actually something more important that should PRECEDE music making.
Before your next rehearsal do this one thing and it will transform the culture of your volunteer worship ministry.
As the leader, arrive earlier than everyone else. Do everything administratively and technically possible to make the stage ready (print charts, check audio lines, etc..). Musicians will arrive and get set up. Once you and your bandmates have monitors solid and are ready to rehearse….
Over the past 18 months, I have served fifty-plus churches as a worship team trainer and guest worship leader. I’ve noticed some interesting trends in worship ministries that are healthy, growing, and happy. This post has little to do with the quality of liturgy or congregational worship experience, but it’s more a peek under the administrative hood. It is not exhaustive, it’s just a list of markers I have noticed.
FOUR behaviors of thriving worship ministries:
1. THEY CONSISTENTLY (and uniformly) SCHEDULE THEIR VOLUNTEERS
Most churches have multiple worship leaders. If you have three worship leaders and three different ways of administering bands, you will drive your volunteers crazy. There should be one system that everyone adheres to. If possible, try to implement the SAME system across the board for all volunteers so families can serve in multiple areas of the church without confusion.
Pick a System – There are several ways to let people know when they are serving at church. Planning Center Online is the king, however, you can also look at worshipteam.com and others. You might use a mix of online tools and simple PDF attachments to email. Your system should have a way to communicate seasonally (1-4 months at a time), weekly (hey, you’re on this week), and the day of service (hey, you’re on today). Provide schedules at least 1 month before the start of the schedule. (i.e. the January schedule is emailed November 30th etc…).
Do not avoid creating a system because one volunteer doesn’t use email or Facebook. Those people either need to yield to the agreed method or you can build a secondary system for them. Either way, there should be a system to reach everyone.
Once a healthy method for communication is in place, don’t constantly change your methodology. You will build trust with consistency, which is measured in years, not months.
Raise heck when your system is ignored or amended by well-meaning, creative people. Consistency breeds faithfulness (and more drummers).
God is very kind to build seasons into our lives. Every new season is an excellent time to recalibrate and make new what has become tattered and worn.
For many, our worship ministries and personal leadership have plateaued. Sure, we get the weekly worship set out and go through the motions, but there is something deep inside that says there could be more. The non-stop voice in our head says, “I wish….”. For years I wanted a better voice but I was too embarrassed, broke or distracted to take a voice lesson. I also wanted a real Hammond B3 Organ. I wanted to get high quality counseling… and the list went on and on. All these dreams (and more) connected with my calling went nowhere year after year. In 2002 I started making a list and a plan of action for everything I could dream in the area of worship leadership and our team. That year, by March – EVERYTHING had already been accomplished! Needless to say every year since I have continued to pray, dream and designing goals for that next year.
We so easily discount these goal making sessions as RESOLUTION PLANS that will only fail. But let me say this: You will inevitably begin and restart cycles of sin this year without a list or a plan. I promise.Knowing that the one who comes to steal and destroy is always working, we need to take the time to listen to what God has for us. There are more tools today to help us succeed than ever before.