The Worship Workshop

 

Articles to read and be blessed.

Building a Team - by Colin Owen.

Where do you start?

First thing to understand is that you are dealing with people, yes people, where would we be without them? Now people are complex beings, and each one has an opinion, the trick is to get together people who are of the same opinion. This will, at a stroke, put paid to most of the potential problems that teams encounter from time to time.

Problems always revolve around personalities, i.e. musical taste, dress code, church back ground etc. Whilst we don't want clones, we do want people of like mind that are positive about the team and its aims. Unity is the one ingredient that's often missing, especially in the more accomplished teams. It seems the greater the skill, the greater the likelihood of ego, or pride becoming involved. Both of which are the kiss of death to the team, not to mention any Holy Spirit involvement. See Perfectionism.

You will often find folk with a strong personality finding their way into church leadership, in most cases this is desirable, but there can only be one leader in a team, and some folk just think they can do it better. Should you have this kind of problem the only real answer is 'the sack'. You can spiritualise it if you like, and call it stepping down, but it amounts to the same thing, getting them out of the team. Do it sooner rather than later, strong personalities have the ability to attract followers, need I say more?

Vision:

The team need to know where they are going. Without vision the people cast off restraint (and hence perish). Strong but achievable vision is like a tonic, it excites team members. Don't go over the top, this will have the opposite effect and discourage folk. Vision can be in bite sized chunks, even with rough (not rigid) time scales. It's good to be able to 'see' progress, even if slow. If you're excited about the future, the team will be too.

Spiritual Stuff:

As I said, teams are made up of people, take care of their spiritual needs. Be pastoral in your approach, use understanding and Godly wisdom. Praise & worship is front line ministry, the team will be targeted savagely, be on guard for them. Look out for gifted members, some may have a real gift for praying, or discernment etc. Use such folk to the teams best advantage. Don't hog leadership, we are all to share in the work and the blessing.

Authority:

Authority is given by God. If you've got it you won't need to push it. God given authority commands respect, human assumed authority leads to rebellion. God given authority will be obeyed, earthly authority must be obeyed, there's a world of difference. If you constantly face rebellion, ask God, am I in the right place? If you get a yes then there are spiritual problems in the team, and you will need to deal with the perpetrator who will be human, not a demon. The underlying push may be demonic, but this can only happen through a willing human. Make no mistake, you are dealing with people. This means face to face standoffs. Never shilly shalley with such matters, it will only get worse. In teams, problems don't just go away (unless God moves them), because problems are people centered. If the person stays, the problem stays.

This is where you need discernment. Some folk will really respond to ministry and come through with flying colours, others will only respond to the ministry of the boot! Don't be afraid to use it, but always try to discern which kind of person you are dealing with. If at all possible, save them from their trouble, get them free of it. Only use the boot when God says it's the only way. Sadly this will probably happen at some stage, God uses all sorts of things to teach us. And don't think because you're the leader that He won't keep right on teaching you. If anything, His attention to detail gets stronger with leadership.

Social Stuff:

Socialising is very important to the life of the team. It will function better if everyone knows everyone else. Ideally we should all be good friends! Work on it (you'll have to). Get them to socialise and build friendships, and watch out for loners, they may need extra care. Loners may have some sort of hidden problem, a sort of opposite to exhibitionists. Insecurity is rife in church, and totally opposed to the good news, which states our security in Christ. Be ever vigilant.

It's a good idea to 'make' the team do things. Often, if left to our own devices, we won't want to bother with certain kinds of stuff, like get-togethers, Bible studies, parties, etc. Don't just come together to practice songs. There's more to life than songs, and more to life than 'work', should I say ministry. Life is for living in all its fullness, that's one of the reasons Jesus came. Every once in a while let go and just praise the Lord. The church is empty so you can turn the volume up and let rip. This sort of thing can be like a breath of fresh air. When we minister to the Lord, He ministers back. Sometimes a good blast blows the cobwebs away.

Practice Times:

Try to make practice times fun. Sometimes we just get bogged down in the music. We often start our times with a cup of tea and chat, see what folk have been up to during the week etc. It's good to be involved with them in their lives. Often you will be blessed by what they've been up to, have share times, so they can have a voice, you'll be surprised at the results.

Many team members are not free in their expression, hand raising is one thing, but singing out is another. Use practice times to encourage the timid, and the strong, let them minister, so long as it's not iffy, let them off the leash a bit. It's part of a leaders job to 'raise' others up. You don't raise folk by sitting on them, you must actively assist and encourage them. You can only do this by giving them space (time), even if sometimes they trip up.

It's one of the great failings of the church today, we don't allow people room to grow practically. We preach them full of the Word, but never give them a chance to flex their own muscles. How often do members of your congregation get up to preach? In some churches, there is no assistant pastor, so there's no one being trained to pastor. This is sad, and means that the pastor has a lot of work to do, certainly more than he need do. To me, this is short sighted, and non biblical. The whole function of the church is to build the saints up for works of service, in most churches that means, doing the flowers,setting out communion, taking the offering, or greeting folk as they come in. All valuable works of service true, but where is the next generation of preachers, apostles, pastors, teachers, and prophets coming from?

We've found psalm singing to be useful. Just set up a simple musical chord structure and sing a Psalm ad-lib. Invent the tune as you go. You can split the team into two's and have one sing to the other etc. Or, get in a big circle and take a verse each in turn. This is very character building. The shy ones will hate it! But it does build faith.

Another thing that has proved of value is to have free movement times. Once Carol put together a tape of songs that were very descriptive, quite beautiful in fact. We dimmed the lights, and played the tape. All were encouraged to just mime out what they heard, or dance it. It was a time of great blessing, we all ended up on the floor before the Lord, and the team was in a new place after that. The whole church noticed that something had changed. Dare I say, try it, and see what God will do.

Summary:

There are other pages in this site that deal with music, praise, worship etc. Suffice to say here, that as a leader you must lead by example. Take your team up into the heaven often, get them 'hooked' on it, then they'll want to go there, and take others with them, which will have a tremendous effect on your praise & worship times. Get them as free as you can so that the Lord can use them as and when He wants to, variety is good, not just one person always singing out.

Look for other leaders in the team, and encourage them. Make it your aim to do yourself out of a job, then you can move on to pastures new, knowing that you have left behind a little carbon copy of yourself to carry on the good work.

In His service,

Colin.