In a body of 200+ believers, we have a healthy assortment of available talent.
I have always heard that talent draws more talent.
The experience level varies widely. Of course, we have many guitarist, a couple of KB's, a couple BP four drummers, and quite a few vocalist.
We will be going to 2 services by year's end.
I would solicit feedback from those who have experience in working with so many available people. 1. Do you "pool" musicians / vocalist?
2. Which software works best for scheduling?
3. How many songs are on the "list"?
4. What "verifiable" criteria needs to be met by potential team members, prior to acceptance in the pool?
In the past, when someone would approach a leader, with a desire to join, we would ask them to just come and hang out with us at rehearsals. That worked for awhile, but I believe we may have out grown that option with so many potentials. What are your thoughts,and or, experiences?
To start off, I would create two teams - either each with their own worship leader or with the worship leader working with both. Put them on a rotation that could be every other week or maybe two weeks on and two weeks off. Don't let the team be off for too long of a break, or they get rusty fast. (In other words, I wouldn't recommend one month on and one month off)
Each team would cover both services on a weekend.
There a lots of previous posts about team member requirements; maybe you could do a quick search of the forums so we don't have to try and cover it all again.
How many songs? How much time are you given? I figure on about 5 minutes per song, so in a 30 minute set, I'll get in six songs.
I agree with Rick about the same team doing both services for a given week. Makes preparation more solid and manageable. However, you may notice that there is a generational difference between the services (ie. the older folks get up for the early service) that may beg for some difference in song selection and instruments used.
The most important verifiable criteria that I can think of is that they have been committed to the church for at least a few months (so many headaches saved). It's great if someone you trust can vouch for their character, heart and, if possible, their abilities before they come in for a tryout.
We are in a place of a limited number of musicians now, but I think some underlying principles still apply. We have about ten vocalists of varying giftedness participating now, which we have tried to place on teams according to their blend together. Both of the churches I have served in in the past in a worship capacity were about five times the size of this church (they were in the 250 range), where we had many more musicians to draw upon to go with the vocal resources, but I noticed a similar phenomenon both of those places - the skill level of the individual musicians was never as important as the spirit and heart they possessed and/or the heart of unity, partnership and servanthood they possessed. In other words, the selflessness of the team members and the team. Finding the right "mix" or "blend" of musicians and vocalists is a weaving together of people's hearts and spirits as well as their gifts, so I'm not sure if you ever can "outgrow" the need for personal interaction, especially if you have a great group dynamic that is pretty God centered, team-oriented, and self-denying. Those who are not of that same spirit will not be comfortable long where they can not "stand out" of be a star. As you are building some new "teams" it will be a test for your existing members as well as they may be able to be part of the mentoring of the new people according to their ability and desire to spend the extra time to come alongside them and possibly be "split up," not so much in worship at first, but to practice as parts of "pilot" teams as you learn the skill levels and spirit to be a part of a team of those whom God makes available. this should be an exciting journey. I like "scheduling" (team placement) according to the blend and with mentoring in mind. then the calendar comes into play. Generally speaking our most experienced team is on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of a month, we have two other teams on the first and fourth Sundays of the moth respectively, and on five Sunday months we integrate a couple of our least experienced people who are not on a monthly team with some of our most gifted and experienced team members. With the teams set, I have a team member that does the calendar scheduling for me to make substitutions, etc to accommodate travel plans, etc., so we don't use any software for scheduling the teams or the music. When I schedule the music I take into account the themes of the morning, but also the team that will be leading. In terms of "the list" are you speaking of the total number of songs in the repertoire of your teams? I don't know how to give an answer to that as I don't believe in letting that stay static. We use Easi Slides software for worship, which is very similar to Easy Worship. It has a few limitations, but it is a free download.
We have two sites and three services. On of the services is "traditional," so it has its own worship team. The other two services over lap, so musicians can't really be shared. Between those two services we have 2 worship leaders/guitar, 3 guitars, 2 singers, 3 KB, 2 BP, 3 drummers, and a few horns. The other site has a pretty static worship team with the one worship leader/guitar, 1 singer, 1 KB, 1 BP, 1 guitar, 1 drummer. The site I lead at has myself as worship leader/guitar, 2 guitar, 2 KB, 1 BP, 2 drummers. The guitars and drummers rotate on a 2 on/2 off schedule. I like using two KB at the same time, so one plays "piano" the other synth.
I like having one team with rotating members, but we also have very flexible musicians who work well together. If we had more people interested, I would rotate singers as well, but right now we just have one (just don't use more than 2 at once, there are a finite number of harmonies for any given song!)
Song list: 50-100 depending on where you draw the line. Probably in the neighborhood of 50 that anyone on the worship team could play without "relearning" it.
Criteria: Our general rule of thumb is that people have to attend our church regularly for at least three months before they can join the team. That tends to weed out the flakes.