Being on a Worship Team: What's Expected (and How to Keep Your Job)

Being on a Worship Team: What’s Expected (and How to Keep Your Job)

by Nick Behrendt

I love being on the worship team at my church. And I love the music gift that God has given me. The first worship team I was ever on was in a small-ish church. The Worship Leader was totally inexperienced, as she had been suddenly thrust into the position. Don’t get me wrong; she was a great person and loved Jesus with all of her heart. But there was very little order; very little discipline. I was asked to be on that worship team (versus formally auditioning), and there were no expectations of me, or anyone else on the team. She (as well as church leadership) didn’t push us to strive for excellence, because, as they told me years later, they were just glad that people showed on the worship team. They didn’t want to push volunteers too hard, and didn’t want us to burn out.

While that all seems nice and considerate, there should be expectations for worship team members. There should be a code of conduct consistent with how Jesus lived his life and what we’re told to do in the Word. So, here are a few of the fundamentals of Being on a Worship Team: What’s Expected & How to Keep Your Job

Be on Time. The only thing worse than waiting around for late musicians and vocalists is starting rehearsal without someone who plays or sings a key part in the song you’re rehearsing. If you’re perpetually late, remember that your tardiness tells others, “My time is more valuable than yours.” (see Deut. 23:23)

Know the Song Recordings…WELL. Is there someone on your team who always seems to be prepared in knowing everything about the new song your teams is doing? It’s not by accident. It’s because they’ve listened to the recording…a lot. You’re too busy for that? Do what I do: Put the song on a loop and listen to it during non-thought intensive times (in the shower, getting dressed, driving, sleeping, etc.). Boom! Now you're the expert! (see Daniel 6:3)

Know Your Part…WELL. Is there someone on your team who is constantly holding up practice to listen to their part on the recording through their smartphone? Not a good look. Come on guys, this is the house of God! Doesn’t He deserve our best? (see Col. 3:23, Prov. 22:29)

Watch How You Behave Off Stage and on Social Media. I recently saw a tweet by a Worship Pastor: “I hope you’re ready for worship this Sunday.” I then noticed that it was a reply to one of his team member’s late Saturday night tweets, who tweeted something about what he wanted to do under one particular girls' short skirt. Let me be very clear: as a worship team member, you represent Jesus. If you choose to be of the world — while acting differently on stage at church, you, my friend, are a hypocrite. (see Galatians 5:19-21)

Support Your Leadership Publicly & Privately. Just like you, your Pastor and Worship Leader are human. They don’t always get everything right. But they also occupy positions ordained by God; not to mention that they have enough haters who are ready to pounce at every wrong move they make. What they have few of are supporters…true supporters. Sowing discord about your leaders behind their backs is one of the things God hates (see Proverbs 6:16-19 and Numbers 12). Remember that Hebrews 13:17 tells us to “Obey (our) leaders and submit to their authority.”

Play or Sing Every Song Like It’s Your Favorite. So, you don’t like every song your worship team plays? Join the club. I’ve yet to meet a worship team member who likes the majority of the songs their worship team does. But chances are, the song you hate, someone else loves. And some of the songs you love, other people can’t stand. If you play/sing every song with joy and unto the Lord, He can begin to change your heart toward songs you previously didn’t like. (see Psalm 150:1-6)

Be Prayed Up. Prayer is one of the things that I see so many worship team members neglect. They think that’s the worship leader’s job, or the pastor’s job. I mean, we’re doing this all for God’s glory…why not include Him in on the worship team? Be prayed up the night before Sunday morning. Pray on Sunday morning on your way into church. Pray as you enter the church. The effective prayer of a righteous person can accomplish much. —James 5:16

Never Forget Why You’re There. One of the musicians is late. You forgot part of your gear. You hate the majority of the set list. We’ve all been there. But why are you there? Never forget this phrase: It’s all about Jesus. He is the reason we do what we do. Constantly reminding yourself of this will make all of life's nuisances magically disappear. Say it with me: It’s all about Jesus! (see Col. 1:18)


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