7 Common Misconceptions of Being on a Worship Team
by Zach Eldridge
I’ve seen a lot of very gifted musicians and vocalists over my 10+ years as a church music director. I’ve also seen my fair share of worship team members who…how do I say…didn’t exactly put their best foot forward. From tardiness to entitlement to outright arrogance, I’ve seen the downfall of many a worship team member; each of which could have been avoided.
So, here are 7 Common (but Avoidable) Misconceptions of Being on a Worship Team…
1. “Talent Trumps All.” Being talented is great. Knowing chord structure, music theory, having stage experience, vocal range, they’re all great. But do you know what’s even better? Having God’s heart, knowing how to serve your leaders, and being a worshipper. Only a very small percentage of worship team members have the right combination of talent and spiritual maturity that distinguish them from just another musician or vocalist.
2. “Playing/singing my part is all that’s expected of me.” If your job is to play your instrument or sing, do it to the best of your ability (see Prov. 22:29). But to be clear, that’s responsibility number two. Praising and worshipping God is priority number one as a worship team member. Leading the congregation in worship is not only the responsibility of the worship leader, but for everyone on the stage.
3. “I’ll do just enough to get by.” Being late. Arriving unprepared. Failing to memorize your part. These are all signs of someone who wants stage glory, but is unwilling to give God glory by operating in a Spirit of Excellence. Most paid secular bands give their best, so why would it be okay to give God only a portion of our best?
4. “It’s okay if I’m late…I’m a volunteer!” Chronic tardiness tells those who were on time, “My time is more valuable than yours.” In the church consulting industry, we call this, “Volunteer Entitlement.” On the other hand, the musicians and vocalists I’ve worked with over the years who have a heart to give God their best would rather be late to their job or their own wedding before ever being late to the things of God.
5. “Changing/adding to my part is okay.” Over the years, I’ve known musicians who played a different part than the recording and it sounded great. Most times, however, the re-written part only sounded better to the one who changed the part, than it did to the rest of the team. If you feel a need to change your part, you might want to first ask the opinions of other team members, or better yet, your worship leader.
6. “My gifting is blessing enough to my church.” I see this problem a lot: Worship team members who only “volunteer” on their worship team. Most churches are deficient in volunteers for children’s ministry and church cleaning. Why? Most people prefer to be in a position where people can see them. If you want to be distinguished from the masses, volunteer for a less-visible position at your church (in addition to your worship team duties).
7. “It’s okay to be who I really am off stage.” According to our records, there was only one perfect human. His name was Jesus. So, we’re not suggesting that all worship team members must be 100% sin-free for the rest of their lives. What we are suggesting is that, as a worship team member, you are a representative of your church — and of Jesus. Social media posts are typically a very clear indicator of who a person really is.
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