I believe great teams always start with great leaders. Leadership is crucial. What are you doing as a leader to improve?
Here are some areas to look at when you are working on improving your leadership and your team. Generally speaking, teams never rise above their leader.
1. Model Worship: If you are a passionate and biblical worshipper, it will rub off on your team.
a) How is your passion for God? God is the source of all good things. He is the source of creativity, the source of wisdom, the source of joy. How much time are you spending with the source? How much time are you spending with your Creator?
Are your reading your Bible daily? Are you encouraging and challenging your team to read their Bibles daily? Here’s a link to a daily Bible reading program that you can have emailed to you daily. It is in the New Living Testament version and it will take you through the whole Bible chronologically in a year. I highly recommend it. It will change your life! And it will only take about fifteen minute per day.
I would also encourage you to read one Psalm and one Proverb per day. The Psalms are must-reads for musicians and the Proverbs will teach you how to deal with people.
Are you praying on a regular basis? No matter how busy Jesus was, He got away from the crowds and spent time with God. We all need time with God. You do not need to do a lot of talking. Just find some quiet place and spend time with Him. Make a list of things you are praying about, and check them off as God answers your prayers.
b) How is your understanding of Biblical worship? Check out my blogs on understanding Biblical worship: “Actions Speak So Loud” and “Attitude Is Everything” In these blogs I review some of the basic actions and attitudes of Biblical worship.
c) How Is your stage presence? Do you ever video yourself and your team? It is always good to work with your team and remind them to be passionate worshippers. Getting a team to smile is huge. There is great power in smiling. It can change the mood of an entire congregation.
2. Model Excellence: If you model excellence, it will slowly rub off on your team.
a) Personal practice: Are you putting in the consistent daily time to be the best singer and player that you can be? Are you encouraging your team to put in regular practice time? Are you and your team better this year then you were last year, or have you plateaued?
b) Memorization: Are you taking the time to memorize the music every week? Are you encouraging your team to memorize their music? Memorization helps to get the song into your spirit. And memorization really helps you and your team communicate with your congregation at a higher level. There’s nothing worse than having a leader and team who is just reading music on a Sunday morning.
c) Always learning: Have you improved your organizational skills this year? Are you reading and growing? What other skills have you improved on this last year?
d) Learning to change and grow: Music is constantly changing. Musical forms are changing, chord progressions are changing, chord voicing are changing. Rhythms and grooves are changing. Are you listening to the new music and learning to change with it? Are you staying fresh and growing?
e) Private lessons: Have you thought about taking private lessons? Are you challenging your team to take lessons? What can you do to improve your singing and playing? Check out my blog: ‘What I’ve Learned About Improving Your Singing‘
f) Personal grooming: Is your personal grooming habits changing with the times? How is your haircut? Is the style of your clothing relevant to the people you are ministering to? I’m not talking about being trendy, just current. Is your look dated? Are you presenting the image to your congregation that helps them to engage in worship?
g) Written standards: Do you have written guidelines for your team? When you have your expectations written down, it solves a lot of misunderstanding. Here is the link to my blog on this subject: Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team
3. Great Songs
Sometimes a team does not do well because the songs are not as strong as they could be. Great songs make worship leading easy. Compare your list with CCLI’s Songselect Top 200. It will help you to see if you are on track. Also, check out my blog on “What I’ve Learned About Picking New Songs For Worship”.
a) Personal listening: What music are you listening to? Are you stuck with one group or church? Or do you listen to a good variety of music from different parts of the world? Again, the CCLI Songselect Top 200 is a good place to start. Personally, that list helps me know what the main musical flow is across the Body of Christ around the world. It is easier than ever to go to iTunes and pick the top songs from the new albums that are coming out. You should have a music listening budget and buy new music all the time.
b) Team listening: Are you encouraging your team to listen to new music? Are you putting the current music online that you are working on? Are you giving them links to the YouTube recordings and videos of the songs that you are using? I put the Mp3’s online and also send the YouTube links to the songs we are using that week.
c) Learning to listen: Are you and the team really listening to what is happening in the songs? Are you listening to the new rhythm patterns that the drums, bass and guitars are doing? Are you really listening to the new sounds that the electric guitar and keys are using? Are you listening to the vocal inflections. harmonies and riffs? Is that reflected in what your team is playing and singing?
5. Great rehearsals:
a) On time: Are you on time? Do you get there early and have everything ready to go? I expect (and demand) that my team is on time. It’s sets the tone for the whole rehearsal when everyone shows up and is ready to go on time.
b) Professional attitude: I work in both professional and volunteer settings. In professional settings, players and singers are expected to learn the material on their own time. They come early and are set-up and ready to go. They come to the rehearsal with the attitude of doing whatever it takes to please the producer. I expect the same work ethic and attitude from my volunteers.
For more on rehearsals, check out my blog: What I’ve Learned About Running A Worship Band Rehearsal
In my next blog I will discuss: Part 2: Charts and Vocals
This blog is part of my vision to train over 100,000 worship leaders around the world. If you would like to support this vision you can help by giving any amount ($1, $5, $20, etc.) on my PayPal account.