As Director of Austin Stone Worship, I currently have the challenge of organizing worship teams across four campuses and several huge special events throughout the year. In what I’ve learned so far, here are 7 keys for making this whole thing work:
1. The Gospel. Keep first things first. You have to keep the gospel in front of yourself and your team. This NECESSITATES being in the Word of God and allowing it to change you and then exemplifying that gospel centered lifestyle to your team.
“The only music minister to whom the Lord will say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister’s most important goal!!!” – Keith Green
2. Focus less on trying to invade your leader’s lives and focus more on letting them invade yours. Create intentional space in your schedule for your leadership to be in your world. This will maximize your efficiency of influence in more of your leader’s lives in less time (and Lord knows we always need more time!). These touch points are so important for consistent communication of the values and vision of your church and ministry.
3. Lead through your leaders to the rest of the worship team. The reality is that you cannot be in multiple places at one time. Let go of the weighty thought that you will be able to personally touch every person in your ministry (band members, tech, production, etc). Know your leaders well and lead through them. Call them to lead their teams the way you lead them.
4. Stop using people to get tasks done and start using tasks to get people done. With a subtle change in perspective toward your long “to do” list and the people yo whom you’ve handed those tasks, it could radically change both the efficiency of your ministry and your influence in those people’s lives. Think about your to do list and ask yourself, “Am I just using people to get stuff done?” or “Am I developing people by using the tasks at hand?” If the answer is yes to the first question and no to the second, then I’d challenge you to redistribute your entire task list to your leaders with a new vision for developing each person uniquely. Have a plan for people’s development, not just your ministry’s bottom line.
5. Celebrate the wins with the whole team. Stop and think about all that God has done through your team, bring the team together and celebrate. Many of us are guilty of going long periods of time without celebrating with those who we are standing shoulder to shoulder with letting God use to build His kingdom. If you haven’t celebrated with your team in a long time, then the next email you send should be a party invite to your team!
6. Admit when you are wrong and have the humility enough to tell your team. You can’t always make the right decision for your team in every situation and when you have found that you may have led them astray, admit it, ask their forgiveness, correct your course, and move on. It’s amazing how your influence in their lives if you are actively placing your trust in grace.
7. Don’t forget to be an artist. More than likely, you are the guy in the office going to bat for your team, sitting through the endless schedule of meetings and responding to all the emails that you don’t want your worship leaders bogged down with. Amidst all these administrative duties, you have to budget time to be inspired as an artist. Go on a walk, get out of the office, go see a band, have a great cup of coffee somewhere new, write some free verse poetry, whatever inspires you or gets your creative juices going, find time to those in short bursts throughout your week. If you are leading artists, then you cannot forget that you are one.