Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team

In any quality organization there are codes of conduct and concrete expectations. A number of years ago I attended a worship conference at Gateway Church in Dallas and was totally impressed by their worship team. Based on Gateway’s code of conduct and my own experience, here are the standards and guidelines for the worship teams that I work with.



  • Must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is consistent and growing through prayer, Bible reading and church fellowship.
  • Be a committed attendee and giver at our church, including regular attendance at Sunday Services.
  • Demonstrate technical competence as either a singer, musician or audio/media technician.
  • Singers and musicians must be comfortable on stage and expressive in their praise and worship before God.
  • Maintain a faithful attendance record.
  • Be committed to practicing an hour or more per week on their Sunday songs at home.


  • Worship team members are expected to live a lifestyle that is above reproach, avoiding even the appearance of evil. (I Tim 3). Being a minister, who is up front, adds extra responsibilities because people see us as examples of what a Christian should be like. Therefore, it is imperative that we consider the way we treat each other and carefully guard our hearts from impurities and pride.
  • It is God’s desire and our desire to see our worship team members living a victorious Christian life, free from bondage. If there are any addictions or issues with which you struggle, please let us know – we are here to help you, not to judge you.

The following issues should be dealt with before any public ministry position is taken:

  •  Alcohol and drug abuse. Sexual immorality
  •  Prideful attitude. Anger and rage problems,
  •  Inability to submit to leadership, gossiping and stirring up strife
  •  An unbiblical lifestyle

DRESS CODE (special note: Dress codes vary widely with the size and type of church. An informal church of 100 people who meet by the beach might be significantly different from the mega-church with a televised service… this is what works in my situation.. your situation might be totally different)

General Dress Code: Modesty & dressy (not sloppy), culturally relevant style are key.

  • No overly tight clothing. Woman: No short skirts or short dresses. No low-cut dresses.
  • No sleeveless tops (without a covering).
  • No revealing clothing (i.e. see-thru material without undershirt)
  • Proper footwear: polished shoes or dress running shoes.
  • No gaudy/over-sized jewelry (anything that might be a distraction)

Sunday Morning Attire: 

  • Men: Nice shirt & pants: optional jackets, sweaters & vests.
  • Ladies: Nice top & pants, skirt or dress (knee-length). No pants that are tight all the way to the ankle unless you wear a long top that goes mid-thigh. No gaucho or cropped pants of any kind.
  • All: Nice dark dress jeans are also acceptable. Old & baggy jeans are not acceptable. No hats.
  • Colors: Stick to neutral tones: Black & all grey tones, browns and all it’s tones, light/dark blue, dark purple, white and off-white. No loud prints.


  • Typically each band member and singer will be scheduled once or twice per month based on their availability and monthly service schedules.
  • Arriving on time and ready for music practice is essential for each member! In order to present worship music that is both excellent in quality and anointed, a strong rehearsal is necessary. The more we practice, the freer we are to worship and lead others in worship! (Check out: The 10 Commandments of Great Worship Team Members)
  • Learn your instrumental and vocal parts before you come to the mid-week rehearsal.
  • Thursday Night Rehearsals: 6:30-8:30 pm *mandatory
  • Sunday 7:30 AM Rehearsal, 8:30 AM Prayer, 9 AM & 11 AM services.
  • Note: Only that Sunday’s team practices the Thursday night prior.


  • Look in the mirror and watch what you look like – jump, clap, bow, dance, raise your hands, be engaging. If something appears awkward, adjust it to make sure you are communicating what you want to communicate.
  • Do not let the congregation determine your level of expression. Sometimes they will not be engaged in worship. As leaders, we always need to be engaged. Show them an example of how to express worship. Most of the time, they simply need to see worship in order to learn how to express it on their own.
  • Be sincere. Worship from your heart. Give a warm smile from within. We are leading people from all different circumstances, so remember that a warm smile ministers more than you realize.
  • Musicians – Be sure to stay engaged in worship. Practice ahead of time and memorize your music so you don’t have to focus on your instrument the whole time. Sing while you play. Seeing a musician singing from their heart can really help people worship. Move around your area. Use your space to the fullest. When there is no movement, the platform can look stagnant. (check out: Where Is Your Brain On Sunday Morning?)
  • Do you want to know what the best worship teams do? They worship and lead others to do the same.

Question: What do you agree or disagree with in these guidelines? What is working for your team? 

Check out my new book.. “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

If this blog has been a blessing to you, would you consider a small financial gift to cover the costs (via this  PayPal account)


This entry was posted in Church, God, Leadership, Music, Wisdom, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team

  1. Pingback: Worship Team Guidelines | Worship Links

  2. Pingback: Guidelines For A Strong Worship Team |

  3. Pingback: 10 Ways To Improve Your Worship Team ~ Part 1 | Following God: Notes ♫ From A Grand Adventure

  4. sweetjoey says:

    I have sought the lord diligently about this matter of wine- i enjoy wine and i am a Christian. wine enhances life; it enhances a meal and is a wonderful addition to life. wine is spoken of a lot in the bible and i believe that jesus even drank it. his first miracle was water into fermented wine. i have come to the conclusion that it is not sin if in moderation. i also have an opportunity to be on a worship team soon. i certainly wouldn’t want to break rules but if something isn’t a sin, then how can it be enforced?

    • Mark Cole says:

      The Bible only talks about abusing wine.. i.e. getting drunk…
      So I would agree that moderation is not a sin… but…
      Each church has it’s own guidelines on wine…so if you want to be part of the ministry in that particular church.. You need to adhere to their standards..

      • sweetjoey says:

        the first thing I addressed when I became a member on the worship team was abstinence from alcohol. it was in the handbook and I needed to be open and honest about it right away. there were no absolutes but obviously, discretion needed to be applied about the subject.
        the morning I auditioned, the Holy Spirit informed me that this matter would come up later that evening-although it isn’t sin for me, it was still a standard in their book. I was willing to lay it down if necessary.

    • Kimberly Scott-Pilkington says:

      I would find out how your church’s leadership feels about that subject. Some churches don’t have a problem with it; others do. I personally do not want to do anything to be a stumbling block to others in our congregation, or others who hold the opinion “Christians don’t drink.”… I’d just check with the church, and go from there. If they say “No, you can’t, then you have to decide if you’re willing to set it aside for the opportunity to lead others in worship, or, if you’re not willing to do that.”

  5. These are good guidelines. I guess the one that will always be different in any church is the dress code, as that really comes down to the style and culture that is set by the senior leadership. For instance, our ‘code’ seems to be less ‘formal’ than yours. if that’s the right way to say it – but we still maintain a high standard of decency. We ask everyone, guys and girls, to do the ‘jump test’ before leaving home – if it moves or rises, it needs to be pinned or changed!

    We always explain our guidelines to joining members, so they agree to them when joining. You’ll always have that one person who’ll want to join their own way, on their own terms, and will look for the loopholes. I’ve heard the “rules are meant to be broken” used a few times to justify a bad attitude, but I’ve never seen them as rules. They’re guidelines that define our culture and create a platform from which to explore the fullest expression of leading and worshipping. People who say that they’re “being confined or restricted” by them tend to be the ones who have their own agenda!

    • Jaqi says:

      I am an African and I have loved these guidelines.

      About dressing, especially when it comes to colours; in the environment where I am, bright colours are fine. in fact, with the art of the African churches, when you wear the colour range stated in these guidelines, it may look so dull, given our skin colour, unless the platform is worked on a bit. I think if the bright colour is not so bright as to draw attention to the individual, it is OK.

      we have guidelines too, but we keep revising them and modifying according to society changes. however, we stick to the biblical standards of modesty when it comes to dress code.

  6. Pingback: My Top 10 Blogs of 2014 | Following God: The Grand Adventure

  7. Pingback: The 10 Commandments of Great Worship Team Members | Following God: The Grand Adventure

  8. Pingback: Celebrating 30,000 Views: My Top 10 Blogs | Following God: The Grand Adventure

  9. bill says:

    Wow, I’m glad all of our team are close enough to God that we do most of what you mentioned with out rules. We let the holy spirit lead the direction. We have a presence of god in the service, every service. Personally, I think your missing the boat, so to speak

    • Mark Cole says:

      Hey Bill.. thanks for your feedback.. let me give you another perspective..
      The Apostle Paul believed in the Holy Spirit’s direction but he didn’t hold back when he felt like people were getting off track.. One does not negate the other..

  10. Lorraine says:

    I appreciate your “Guidelines”……..very interesting and no doubt challenging for some?

    We often do not receive notification of the music to be used in the Sunday early service until late Friday or this past week Saturday…..does not leave much time for preparation.

  11. fred bachmann says:

    Guide lines are helpful, but when rules are the qualification you give in to pride and legalism. A born again Christian with a heart and walk with the Lord and a heart to worship the Lord with all our minds ,hearts and souls is the starting point for a worship band . we need to master our instruments by prayer and practice and continual learning, and be committed to do all things to glorify our Lord and God.

  12. jacob isaac says:

    i am touched God bless you

  13. Margaret says:

    Thank you for your uplifting transparent information about being a example to for leadership, good stuff?

  14. Zara says:

    Lets remember that when we join a worship group is to adapt and become part of that group, and that is to follow their rules, code of ethics, etc.. We don’t join a group to do whatever we want. That is not the right thinking. Also, lets remember that serving on the altar is a privilege not a right. Learn to know which is which and if you don’t fit in then you should not serve, because the God we serve deserves the very best. I approve these guide lines 100%.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *