leadership

Shepherding Your Team

It’s so easy to forget that spiritually leading my team is the most important part of my job as a worship leader. Often times, I am very concerned with the quality of the experience, but I can forget about the quality of influence on my worship team. Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.” From this verse we see that the Lord enjoys our excellence. But so often, the pursuit of excellence and the tyranny of the urgent can pull us from what really matters: loving the people around us. I can forget that God has placed a team of people under my leadership so that I can shepherd them. Love them. Encourage them. Correct them and help them grow. Pray for them. Walk with them through some of the toughest seasons of their life. And as shameful as it is for me to admit, when I’m not prioritizing how I can serve them, I can start to see my team of volunteers as a resource instead of as people, as God’s children. I can fall into the trap of thinking about what they can do for me, instead of what I can be doing for them. .

Perhaps, you too tend to lose sight of the state of your people. Well, there’s hope for the both of us and it begins with our willingness to be intentional. “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks…” (Proverbs 27:23). Great leaders consider how their people are, not just how useful they can be. Knowing the condition of your community (individually and as a whole) will not just happen naturally. Intimacy is hard work. The Message translation says, “Know your sheep by name.” How many times have you been introduced to someone, only to forget their name seconds after you shook their hand? Guilty! To know your people you must be intentional to listen to them. You need to be the one asking the questions, praying the prayers, and making the time for your volunteers. As your knowledge grows, so will your compassion to disciple them.

Being purposeful and accessible are maybe the greatest keys to effective discipleship. You’re probably thinking, “How am I going to make time on top of everything?” I understand. The secret is to create margin. Organize your time and your tasks well so that when Sunday arrives you can spend your time with your team, instead of charting songs and answering emails.

As you get to know your team, not only will you be able to more effectively encourage them, but you will also be able to empower them. Andy Stanley writes in Next Generation Leader, “The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault.” Good leaders produce followers, great leaders create more leaders. Jesus is (literally) the perfect example of this. He came to serve, not to be served, and then He empowered us to carry His precious gospel. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 4:12).” Consider the strengths of your team members and start giving them responsibilities in those areas. This will assist you in creating margin for yourself. You may even discover that they are better at parts of your job than you are, and that’s okay.

Be encouraged knowing that the God who is your perfect example is also your perfect strength. Be intentional to know your people, listen to them, pray for them create margin for them and empower them in their strengths. If you are looking for ways to serve your team, you will find them. It doesn’t mean you always have all the answers. More often than not, it just means you are willing to listen. 

5 Tips For Worship Leaders

 

Before I start, I should preface by saying if you’re leading worship, you’re in ministry. Regardless of church attendance or equipment used, it’s a big deal and we need to support each other in this journey.  Why? As the Church, and further, worship leaders, we can accomplish infinitely more together than we can apart. So, that said, I hope my top 5 tips can serve you well, or maybe someone you know even better. These are not necessarily “right” or “wrong” in my mind, but more things I learned from experience and desire to pass along.

1. GET OUT OF THE GREENROOM

Your weekly stage time is unearned leadership equity. You acquire influence just by standing up there! You often have as much stage time as your pastor, if not more. Take time to invest in the people attending your church, outside of the greenroom. As much as your team of volunteers and musicians might need you, you’ll feel just how much your people need you too… as more than a leader, but a pastor.

2. “GOD, LET ME FEEL THE NEEDS OF MY PEOPLE.”

How do you pick songs? I hope the determining factors are more than just great electric delay lines or synth leads. No, the prayers of your people should motivate the choice. Prayerfully discipline yourself to become aware of the Church’s needs, locally and globally. Don’t be surprised if God trumps your desire to introduce 5 new songs next week to instead play a dated, but timely, song.

3. LIVE OUTSIDE OF YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION

I am a full proponent of boundaries, knowing what you do and don’t do is essential to managing yourself (time, finances, energy) well. However, I would also encourage you to step outside of your written list of 9 to 5 obligations to serve other areas of ministry. What is stirring in the youth department? When's the last time you grabbed lunch with a member of the tech team? Watch how your team begins to strengthen because you went outside of your “job description.”

4. GIVE AND TAKE AWAY

“Walk worthy of the calling you have received.” –Ephesians 4:1. As quickly as your excitement came for getting the position as “worship leader,” the disappointment of losing it can come just as fast. Go check out the book of 1 Timothy 3, it’s a solid list of things to keep in mind to honor your position in ministry. As a leader, you are held to a higher standard. It may not be “fair,” but it’s only natural when you have influence for people to examine your character and the decisions that reflect it. Remember, if we have integrity, nothing else matters. If we don’t have integrity, nothing else matters. Fight for integrity.

5. WHAT YOU SEE, THEY SEE

Have a VISION for your team. Ask yourself, “Why do we do what I do? What is my purpose in leading worship?” Create a mission statement and share it with your worship team and pastor. Leadership guru Patrick Lencioni says, "[Visions and values] serve as cultural cornerstones and must never be compromised." Your vision and hope for your community will influence the shape of your worship team culture. So, what do want to be the thing that brings your team time, and time again, to the stage? What is the heartbeat of your church? Write it, memorize it, live it by it. Stay the course.


Guest post by John Maguire

John grew up in Gainesville, FL and attended Oceans Edge School of Worship in September 2009.  Before joining the the CCFL worship staff, John was a worship pastor at LifeChurch.tv Wellington.  He assists with our lighting and stage design, leads worship at all our campuses, and is involved in development of worship leaders. For more about John, follow him on Instagram/Twitter @_JohnMaguire_