4 Tips for Growing Your Worship Ministry
Ministry needs people. That’s a plain and simple matter of fact. And unfortunately, we’ve heard all too-often that worship pastors will turn down an idea because they simply don’t have enough people to pull it off. If your worship ministry doesn’t have many people involved, you will frequently find it to be a bottleneck for creative pursuit and growth.
Growing Your Worship Ministry: 4 Helpful Tips
Growing your ministry not only helps to fill-in vacant roles – it can help drastically improve your worship ministry’s creative direction and capabilities. If you’re looking to grow the number of people involved in your church’s worship ministry but don’t know how to get volunteers involved, here are a few helpful tips:
1) Announce Worship Volunteer Needs & Make Signup Forms Accessible
This should be a no-brainer, but if you’re going to get people involved in your ministry, you need to make it accessible to your entire congregation. Not only do they need to be informed on the need to join – they need a direct and concise way to apply for the worship ministry.
Whether it’s a form on your website or a simple card placed in the worship guide/program/bulletin, make an easy enrollment form accessible to everyone, which leads to the next point…
2) Onboarding: Trial Runs or Auditions
Just because someone signs up to join the worship team doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. After you receive applications to join, you need a process to “test the waters” with new volunteers. Here are a couple ideas:
Trial Runs: A great way to introduce and test out new worship team volunteers is through trial runs during rehearsals. Make it clear that new volunteers are supposed will be introduced slowly by having them join for a few rehearsals, but not playing on Sunday. At least initially. This gives you a chance to see if they are a good fit culturally and musically with the team without sacrificing a standard of quality on a Sunday morning.
Auditions: Auditions are a fantastic way to test out new volunteers, but they can be tricky to navigate. On one hand, you want to gauge volunteers’ musical abilities, but you also don’t want to boil down your criteria for involvement to strictly musical aptness. If you run an audition night, choose a couple songs for the new volunteers to learn. Pick 1 instrument – whether it’s guitars, bass, drums, etc. – that you’ll have volunteers try out for on a given audition night. Leave that role empty for the volunteer auditions, but fill your other instruments with your usual volunteers. That gives you a chance to hear them in context and see how they mesh with the team. Make sure to always find time to hang out with the volunteers, whether on audition nights or others to see how they get along with everyone.
3) Team Nights
Everyone wants to feel that they are a part of a community. And while close friends may regard rehearsals and Sunday mornings as a “hang time” with their close friends, these types of worship cultures can begin to feel cliquey or exclusive to new volunteers.
Introducing team nights once a month is a great way to get people together to share ideas, future worship culture direction, and give everyone a chance to hang out and get to know each other. The more people in your congregation hear of opportunities to connect with others on the worship team, the more inclined they’ll be to join. Ask new volunteer applicants to join for a team night to feel out the culture and hear a little bit about how the worship teams are run!
4) Delegating Leadership
You’re the worship leader, but that doesn’t mean it’s your responsibility to lead the music all the time. As a leader, part of your responsibility (and hopefully a very large part) is to grow others into leadership positions. Spend time identifying committed, talented, and energetic volunteers who are already a part of your team. Invest in them and begin delegating leadership responsibilities to them (only if they’re interested, obviously).
Investing in committed volunteers and empowering them to lead is a great way to build of a culture of involvement from the ground up.
The more people you have, the easier it is to steer the creative direction of your worship ministry. But finding committed and talented volunteers is difficult. Make sure that the worship ministry’s volunteer needs are made known to your congregation, and get them an easy way – whether through the website or a program/bulletin card – to apply and get involved! Have them come in for auditions or to sit in on a couple rehearsals and begin putting together team nights for new and current volunteers to come to. It’s a great way to get everyone connected, teach them about your visions for the worship ministry long term, and see how well everyone meshes together. Lastly, be sure to invest in committed and talented volunteers who are looking for leadership positions in the church. Delegate leadership to them and allow them to build a culture of involvement in your worship ministry from the ground up.
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as Big Daddy Weave and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the CCM worship scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris serves as the Creative Director at Motion Worship, helping to write various blog posts and tutorials on production, stage, Ableton, music, design, and tons of other topics.