Hi, I am interested to know how your team recruits for new members. Do you advertise? Do auditions? Have posters, booths, flyers, etc.  And once potential members sign up, what's next?  Appreciate your inputs on this.  Thanks.

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Just read Junjie's Worship Musicians - A Sales Lesson from the blog and it gave me a clearer understanding of this whole recruitment thing. Learned a lot from the comments too. Thanks.
This is actually something I think our church struggles with. We haven't been doing a good job of it lately. To help address that we've (I've) tapped into some other ministries, especially youth fellowship leaders and children's worship leaders to see if they can recommend people. We've also started to make the odd announcement after Sunday Service. (However, we'd like a better, more effective way to do this.)

We don't audition worship team members, and probably never will. Personally, I view the ministry as two-fold. It accomplishes and fills a need, but at the same time it's an opportunity for members to grow through serving. It is difficult having two differing objectives, but in the long term we're a people-focused ministry. Sundays come and go. We're hoping the spiritual growth of people lasts an eternity.

We do meet with new team members, and usually there is a connection between them and someone already in the ministry. (We only encourage members who are committed to the church and have been regularly attending for a certain period of time to serve.) We generally just try to assign them to a team and leave it at that. We rely heavily on team leaders to a lot of the training work.

In the past we've also run day-long Worship Seminars once in a while, which we not only invite existing Worship Ministry members, but also those interested in the ministry to attend.

What we don't do well is discipleship and mentorship. I'd like to see if others have some good suggestions here. I wish we had a better systems that could ensure we have a good steady stream of new worship leaders to help grow the ministry. Helping them to develop both spiritually and musically, until they are mature enough to enter the ministry.

(eagerly awaiting other posts...)
There's so much in ministry that doesn't fit systems; and the flow of people, abilities, and virtually anything you need in a church is irregular, the more so the smaller the body. This is particularly acute in our present "season", when the small, highly-skilled worship team is sought after, and choir or large, open orchestras are not in vogue. In earlier times, when a youngster who had learned the staff and had a cello wanted to play, I wrote her whole notes for each measure, and gradually increased the challenge. She gained rapidly in skill and the ability to work with others (rather than suffering through years of lessons before being allowed on the platform). I am no longer allowed to do this, because the emphasis is on "reaching this generation", which apparently has no taste for anything except small worship bands.

Lest I sound bitter, ranting with no solution - I am looking forward to founding a fellowship in our town where people can come and learn worship music out of the church context (a sort of jam session with instruction and lots of free worship). This could be done in a church which was willing to make time and space available. You can also designate a service, such as Wednesday, for a freer time. We did that for years - actually started a worship team from scratch. When the youth group worship leader graduated, we had a open, ready format for them to join with us for worship.

But the whole thing of entry-level volunteer music ministry is complex -

Like you, I am eagerly awaiting other posts...
You make yourself friendly and get to know people. You'll learn more about your potential musicians at a dinner table or in a hospital room than anywhere else.

One thing you don't do is point-blank accept anyone who walks up to the platform - especially if it's a drummer.

I once was young, and now I'm a gummer
Bald with grief from a volunteer drummer
Played six-eight like a Tennessee Waltz
Eagle-eyed to spot my faults.
We just ask the body.. Announce it on Sunday morning. Then when they want to join we jump them in.

No really, they just fill out an information sheet and the pastor and I pray and seek the Lord. Normally we're looking for someone who is going to be a servant leader. Kind of like...

(1 Cor. 4:1-2).
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
(Titus 1:7)
The overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward.

There are tons of other verses.. but, normally we choose someone who has shown consistency, faithfulness, humility, talent and a heart to worship. Normally that person has to have been part of our body for a while too.

I don't know.. I hope that helps.

Some common problems we encounter is that people come and go in this ministry. We started to have good and strong people on the team and then after some time they go one by one either to another country or they get busy with other priorities. And so we figured, we just have to keep on recruiting and training people. Introduce new members on the team so that when someone goes we have other people lined up and so that we won't burn out as well. Coz sometimes its the same people on stage every single week.

So now we have this worship classes which we opened up for all just to invite people that has interest in worship and music and teach them how to improve it. Indirectly we are recruiting people to the ministry, those that show potential and commitment and we train them also so that when they finally join us they know what to expect in the ministry.

So far, we have 30-40 people with ages from 8 to 40yrs old. We're planning to place the kids in sunday school worship, the youth in our youth group and the more matured ones on sundays. So far so good. We're still praying though that they'll stay committed and join us once the classes are over.

Hi Denise,

I know I'm responding to an old post but thought I ask a question anyways. I'm currently wanting to start a live worship team from scratch. I play the keyboard and I'm trying to get different ideas and thoughts about going about seeking musicians and vocalist. We don't have a lot to choose from our church. There are some people that I know can sing but have issues at home. Just not sure if I should open the door and invite anyone that has an interest in being on the team to come try out. I want the right people on the team but at the same time, I'm willing to work with people. You mentioned you have worship classes that teaches those who have an interest to improve. I would love to hear more about that and any other suggestions you might have.

There is a standing invitation for musicians/singers to join our team. We also hear about various talents and abilities out there like "so and so can really sing". We try not to actively recruit folks in the sense that we don't put any pressure on folks or bug them for participation. However, when we hear about a member with certain talents, we will talk to them a bit and extend a personal invitation to join us.

One thing we don't do is create a vision and try to fill it. We work with the people whom God brings us and create a sound and ministry around them. At the moment, we have no lack of talent to draw from and the young crowd is slowly coming up.
The team that I'm joining now recently started talking to me about joining them when they caught wind that I was considering leaving my last church. Interestingly enough, my wife and I were both talking about auditioning for that team too when we left the church we were attending.

Methods I have employed have been varied and kind of depend on the church that I'm serving in and the culture there. The last church that I worked in, I talked to people personally and we always ran a line or two in the bulletin letting people know that we were looking for more servants... Both approaches were met with marginal success, the church had plenty of talent, but not enough willing hearts.

The church I'm in now is making a big push for musicians. They use several approaches. One, that I find interesting, is that they have an audition day. I think (I haven't observed, just heard about from the leadership) that anybody that wants to audition for any spot on the team can come during an 8 hour period on a Saturday (announced several months in advance) and audition.

The rest of the time, they seem to just be out there "working the crowd". The church culture is extremely servant driven. The pastors spend more time talking about serving than they do learning (this isn't to say that the church doesn't have learning opportunities, the truth is, they have one of the most fantastic CE programs I have seen in a while). To give you an example. We just had a "town hall meeting" sort of thing where everybody was asked to fill out a form that gives the leadership an idea on what your commitment to the church is going to be. More than half of the form was servant opportunities - a small, perhaps less than 25% of the form was dedicated to CE.

Likewise, in the mail, we have received two letters from different pastors telling us about ways that we can get involved as servants at the church. One of them even specifically asked us to tell them what our spiritual gifts are. AND if we didn't know, they offered to help us find out what they are.

It is a very interesting and unique approach.


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