The 4 Track Mind of a Worship Leader – The Band


Continuing thoughts from here and here


Track #2 – The Band

  • A worship leader must communicate effectively with the band.  Rookie worship leaders often make the mistake of assuming that the team instinctively knows where they are going or how they are feeling led to minister.  A skilled worship leader will commit themselves to over-communication as a habit, whether it’s through verbal cues or hand signals, eventually building to “knowing” glances. And communicating effectively is not necessary only in the heat of the moment, but also in times of rehearsal, in discussing worship sets, and numerous other times outside of the worship service.  
  • A worship leader must remain aware of the band members.  A famous philosopher once said, “Stuff happens.”  Or something like that.  We must maintain an ongoing awareness of each member of our team.  Get into the habit of regularly glancing at each of the band to ensure they are still with you.  Noticing that the guitar player had a string snap let’s you know that your planned set may need adjustment.  You don’t want to get to a place ahead of the team because you were unaware of them.
  • A worship leader must learn to take mental notes.  Reserve part of your mental operating memory to take notes of instances or performances that are noteworthy.  And write them down as soon as you can!  These are instrumental (no pun intended) in the development of the overall team.  These things can be items that require correction or things that deserve recognition.  Either way, they need to be discussed.
  • A worship leader must work to remove “second thoughts” from within the band.  A worship team must have a sense of unity to effectively lead together.  Unity in heart.  Unity of plan.  Unity of mind. The band should not be a place of competition or comparison.   There cannot be any suspicion of upstaging, undermining, or other actions that are designed to affect others on the team.  For this to happen in the worship service, the following must happen first:
    • A worship leader must establish a standard of excellence with the other musicians.  Any expectation of a dynamic worship service begins first in the preparation of the band and singers.  To make the most of rehearsal time, it must begin on time and stay focused.  I didn’t say militant.  But there must be an understanding of what is required to take part in the team.  Each member must pull their respective weight.  When different standards are applied to different people, you open up the potential for resentment and bitterness.  Individual skill does not exempt you from maintaining the standards of the team. 
    • A worship leader must ensure that the band is properly prepared for service.  One of the biggest mistakes I have made is trying to rush a new song or band member into action.  In my honest desire to add something fresh, I had put the band in the awkward position of not really feeling comfortable with the music.  There is nothing inspired about a band that is glued to the chord charts for fear of getting lost.  Not the most conducive environment for ushering a congregation into the Holy of Holies.  I have found that my willingness to delay for the benefit of the band fosters a sense of trust and honesty on their part.  Never put your band in the place of being unsure of themselves or what they are doing.
    • A worship leader must not allow any place for strife within the team.  One of the healthiest things any type of leader can do is confront strife and root it out.  The Apostle James tells us that where strife is there is every evil work.   The challenge is being willing to remove wonderfully talented people who are not willing to work in the context of a team.  It may seem like you are handicapping yourself, but you are preserving the integrity of your team.  



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