many churches seem to just turn up, have a band practice and then just play the worship set. but are worship leaders meeting and encouraging, is there much prayer going into the team from the team members themselves or from the church leadership. does the team have a vision which tighly links them and the leadership together being on one page and one which excites the team to truely pursue his presence.

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Sister Denise,

Maka inspire kaayo imong mga words and your vision is so clear. I'm happy to hear such words from you. I'm so happy na merong mga Christians na matured na jud. Christians who have clear visions. To God be the Glory!!! 

Amen to that! He is faithful and just to complete the work He began in us.

 

Oh Denise!  We are at the bit "Before the vision ws birthed....." God bless you and your team as you follow His lead for the sake of His Kingdom!x
I'm a worship pastor in Birmingham, AL... This post just caught my eye because this past week I gathered my new team for our first vision casting night. What I've come to find over the past 7 years of full-time music ministry is that the ministry aspect of it truly has very little to do with music. It's much more about building leaders who can build leaders who can build leaders...etc. We lead people, not music. My goal for our initial meeting was more or less to light a "fire" and get our team members a glimpse of a deeper purpose in His service than just turning up on Sundays to lead music.... Anyway, I've uploaded the outline pdf that I wrote and followed throughout our first meeting. Feel free to read, use, and/or critique it.
Thanks for bringing up this important point!
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I enjoyed reading your outline, Scott. Thanks for sharing it.

It seems so hard these days to get people on the worship team to make it more than just showing up for their week of practice and performance. Not that the heart isn't there, but the pressures of our lives are so intense, so time-consuming. When I look into the eyes of my team members on practice night, I see weariness.

I think it's hard to "light the fire" when the shavings have been already been burnt one too many times...
Yeah... there is a lot of weariness involved in ministry. It's not an easy business.

I think the "trick" (if you can call it that) is found in the balance of the worship ministry's priorities employed and even forced upon the volunteers with annoying consistency. It's not about a vision-casting meeting or an outline of "purpose". That is the just the declaration of a mission, not the mission itself. It's about knowing in faith what is right, and doing it until others know it and do it until others know it and do it...etc. It IS "lighting a fire", but God gives us the tools of suffering through perseverance and hope sometimes never realized to win the souls and hearts of others. It's like lighting a fire with a wet rope and live wood... impossible without God.

Music comes in as a pretty magnetic advantage in "reaching" people. That's the easy part.

I worked as a full-time Worship Pastor on the West Coast for 5 years, and there were very few nights that went by that I wasn't up late working because I had spent my entire day meeting with volunteers, and digging into the weariness and painful realities of their day to day life. It's absolutely necessary.

Now, back in the Bible-belt, the pain is just as expansive and no less real with people. The difference that makes living our ministry's vision out a little more difficult down here in Alabama, I think, is the jaded nature of the "Gospel" they've dipped their toes into in the past. One of the first things we ask each other down here is "where do you go to church?". For so many, it is an "American" thing or even some sort of social club. People seem to believe that Christianity is simply a title, and not a life-changing relationship. No one can reach the rest and peace that Christ promises us, and gives liberally, unless we dig in and get to work with people. I'm big on the fact that a great worship team has good musicians and a good flow in the song selection... possibly even lighting and a strong element of entertainment. Those things are great, and we do that stuff, but I'm not interested in simply having a great worship team. I want a worship ministry. That has to be built with sweat and blood and pain and... you get the idea. You know all of this, I'm sure... And I'm not trying to suggest that you don't inject similar passion into your team. But I'm just very passionate about this because I've seen God work through it. I've seen the eyes of my volunteers go from weary and worn out to energized with the hope of purpose that they have been selected to take part of.... When I die, I want to crawl through the Gates totally exhausted and worn out, knowing that I used what He gave me with all that I had to reach and develop as many as He would allow me to.

It's not easy. I think GK Chesterton said it very well ... "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

Sorry for the sermon. I get a little carried away sometimes ;) God bless you guys in your search for what He might have you to do!

Scott

My personal opinion --

Yes, vision is extremely important!  Along with mission (purpose), and concept of operations.

Does this sound a little militaristic?  Maybe it's because I'm retired military!  But these items are of great importance for any team or organization to function effectively.

Many worship teams are exactly as you described.  Put together and told play 5 songs.  Maybe we'll rehearse for an hour before the service.

While you can do it this way and achieve a certain level of worship, I doubt many would grow to become true worshippers.

I submit to you all that if we build a worship team (a real "team" with personal relationship), and provide the team with a clearly stated mission & purpose, a concept of operations (the plan on how we will achieve the mission), and a vision (how the team will "look" at endstate) -- they will be more effective.  Eveyone will be on the same sheet of music!!!  (which is a good thing considering most worship teams play music)

Teamwork is usually the most effective way to accomplish a goal.  It's a tried and proven concept.  Another good side effect of having a team that understands the mission and the vision, is that the team can still function effectively in the absence of leadership (if needed).  This is called discipline.  Teams that have no vision and no purpose only do what they are told ....

It's not any easy thing for the leadership to do ... especially the worship leader who is often in between the worship team and the church leadership.  But the results can be astonishing.  The effort and struggle will certainly be worth it.

 

I'd like to know any couterpoints to this theory.  Please let me know if you think I'm wrong.

 

God's Favor!

Carl

Carl, I agree. To do what you suggest with purpose will undoubtedly lead to some amazing results, especially if the hearts are right. The problem I've seen lately is that our culture is no longer producing team members who are able or willing to commit. What's that old saying, "You can lead a guitar player to his amp, but you can't make him turn it down"...or something like that. :)

 

Maybe it's where I live, but I can not (let me repeat: CAN NOT) find team members who will be there on a regular basis. Their lives are too busy, their interests too diverse. Agreeing to a music schedule means "Looks good to me until something better comes along." And it's not just my leadership style scaring them off; it happens to all our team leaders.

 

What you are left with is trying to work with whoever can show up on any given practice night. Pretty hard to build a deep ministry with that.

 

Hey, maybe it leaves more room for the Spirit to work miracles...hmm, something to think about.

I am wondering if we have trained our teams to be this way? Because we have allowed it sometimes out of what we perceive as necessity to get bodies, they assume it is ok. I am in the process of looking inot backing tracks and Midi for these very reasons.

An artist seeks vision -- that is why he opens a piece of music and starts to play.  Much of the vision of a worship team is supplied through the words and the music of songs to God (which, by virtue of their message, are just as much songs from God to us). 

But while there is an unspoken fellowship in the making of music, we don't quite understand what is happening in our neighbor.  So it is good to share vision; and since our individual vision may vary, a good leader can help us see the relationship of the ministry to the growth of the church in love and unity.  Uniting vision is important -- we tend to view "our vision" as the church's vision, and it may not be quite so; or at least our own vision is limited.

We also have times when, through the necessity of repetition, our sense for music and life and ministry becomes dulled -- a leader can help waken us to the vision of Christ, and we get a fresh vigor.  A wise leader may consider that "another meeting" may do little to excite vision unless it offers something of substance greater than mere exhortation.

 

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