How to Effectively Lead Older Worship Team Members
It’s not always the case, but the job position “worship leader” seems to be appealing to a younger audience these days. It’s common that worship leader positions get filled by recent college graduates, which is great for a lot of reasons! Primarily, it’s bringing church leadership to the hands of younger generations, prepping them to lead ministries as the baton gets passed on.
But worship leaders are tasked not only with controlling the quality of music and creative direction of the ministry, but also with leading their team members. When a worship leader in their early-to-mid 20’s is dealing with volunteers who extend through their late 40’s to 50’s, it can be difficult to know how those volunteers want to be led. They’re in a different place of life, and unfortunately many young worship leaders end up investing less time and resources in shepherding older worship team members out of a lack of understanding regarding how to properly lead them. Here are a few suggestions for how younger worship leaders can effectively lead older worship team members/volunteers:
Leading Older Worship Team Members
Leadership has a universal implication – as a worship leader, it is your responsibility to disciple each and every one of your team members. They’re there to lead and to be led by their leader, regardless of age. But that simple fact doesn’t always deter young leaders from feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, or straight up just not feeling motivated to lead their older worship team members.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or undermotivated/uninspired regarding how to lead older worship team members, here are a few simple tips you can put in practice to start:
Remind Yourself of Simple Truths
When we get caught up in the details it can be easy to forget some of the fundamental truths of why you’re leading. Remind yourself of why you’re there – you are in a position to lead for a reason, you do have wisdom to offer to your team, they have experience that you’d love to learn from, and you’re all on the same team.
Leadership of your team members should be universal. Different techniques or approaches can be used on people based on their age, experience, and a variety of other factors. But at the end of the day, you’re there to lead them, learn from them, and guide each member as an integral part of the entire ministry.
Be Honest About What You Don’t Know
You earn respect from your team members by being humble, honest, and open to hearing their ideas. When you’re asked questions by worship team members who are older than you, don’t be afraid to tell them you’d love to hear their ideas! People want to feel empowered to have a say in matters, and while that doesn’t mean executing their every idea, take the time to hear them out and see what they have to say.
Also, regardless of your age, you have a reason to share your knowledge and experience when you’re in a position to lead. While you gain respect through humility and open-mindedness towards members of different generations, you gain your team’s confidence through acting on your insights and experiences.
Rebalance Your Teams and Time
As a leader, most of your time during rehearsals and Sunday mornings is generally spent with your team. One of the most common complaints amongst older worship team members is that they feel there is a clear division between the “young and old people”, which puts a dead stop on reaching them to make them feel included and led.
One of the best ways to break down those walls is by rebalancing your teams. If you have multiple volunteers, keep mixing older and younger worship team members together on Sundays. When you’re talking to your teams during run-through and before service, make sure you give equal attention and time to all members on your team regardless of age. Who do you regularly catch up and have conversations with? Basic conversations lead to bonding, and a simple shift in your focus and time balance can make a drastic implication on how well someone feels led by you as a leader.
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.