Encouragement Is Free Using Words to Build Your Team

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.

Psalm 50:10-12

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:

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I love to pray for my worship and tech teams the day before our worship service. It helps me get out of production mode and into a disciple-making mode. I recognize that there is a battle at hand and often the enemy will attack people physically or emotionally leading into that big day. I love to remind people why they are valuable to Jesus and the Church. I try to affirm who they are and what they do.

“Happy Saturday, Becca! Praying for our team and service tomorrow. You are a gift to the team and I’m so stoked to have your harmonies in the mix. You bring a ton of joy to the team. Thankful for you.” +++

The Post-Service Text

The downward spiral that happens in the hours after church can be crushing. Even if everything went well, there is often a little depression that hits us all. It can be so comforting to get a specific word of encouragement in this fragile time.

“John, I love it when you run sound! We feel so supported when you’re at the helm. You spoke so kindly to Jennifer about the cable issue. I trust and appreciate you.”

Physical Letter

Back in the dark ages, people used to communicate via written word on paper. By some miracle, this convenience still exists and, for some (like my wife), a physical letter means more than just about anything else. Consider a quick note of thanks, appreciation, and encouragement to a team member via snail mail!

Social/Public Praise

Not everyone likes being publically praised without notice, but for some, it’s their favorite! Bragging on your team via social media can be very honoring and encouraging.

In-The-Moment Edification (cue soft, emotional strings)

Perhaps the most universally powerful use of words is the one-on-one, look-you-in-the-eye encouragement. Shame is the main obstacle to this very powerful, life-changing tool of unity in the Church. If you can approach with honesty and grace, this rare gift will absolutely shake the gates of discouragement and depression off of those who receive it.

“Steve, you are a great bass player. I absolutely love being alongside you on stage. Thanks for your kindness and smile. I appreciate you.”

+++ A word of discretion: Some of these intimate interactions require relational equity, without which we can actually cause harm unknowingly. Proceed with wisdom and discernment when communicating privately (one-on-one) with team members.


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.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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