Eight Things to Think About When Scheduling Musicians
By Jon Nicol
Creating a musician schedule is:
1. Not a time to keep everyone on your team happy.
It’s not going to happen. Someone is scheduled more than they want. Less than they want. With someone they don’t click with.
The team schedule or rotation can’t be held hostage by every person’s wishes.
2. Not a place to be completely fair.
What affects who gets scheduled?
Availability? Attitude? Talent? Tenure?
Are they available to play? Do they have a great attitude? Do they have the talent to do what needs to be done in that particular service? And then there’s tenure…
Does seniority and longevity warrant preferential treatment? All things equal, do you give the spot to the person with seniority on the team? That’s a tough one.
All I can say is that your schedule won’t be fair from someone’s perspective.
3. Where you begin planning your music.
The abilities and the combination of musicians that you schedule should influence the music you choose for that week. Play to their strengths. Avoid their weaknesses.
For instance, if you have a guitar-driven band with a so-so keyboardist laying down some simple pads, don’t do a piano driven song that week. Or if you do, rearrange it to be guitar driven.
4. Where you can intentionally give people a much needed week off.
Everyone needs time off. Period. End of sentence. Full stop.
If you have someone who won’t take a rest, schedule it for them. Besides the R&R, the view from the pew can be enlightening for the over-scheduled.
5. Where you can intentionally decide not to play with a full band.
Sometimes, it’s good to simplify things. Some Sunday, give half the band the week off and run with just a guitarist, a percussionist and two vocalists. People will appreciate the change in feel. And it’ll also help them to understand they don’t need a full band to worship. And, it will help you do #4.
6. A way to serve your team with good administration.
I’m learning more and more that good administration - including communication, scheduling and other systems - serves your team. It communicates that I value them and the ministry when I make sure the new musician schedule is up well before we need it.
7. A great time to prayer over your team and the upcoming Sundays.
As you plan your month, pray for your people. And pray for the services that you are scheduling. You never know what God wants to do in those services.
8. Necessary even when your musician team is only “one deep.”
A lot of smaller churches don’t bother scheduling because they only have one person at each position. But for all these reasons listed here, begin scheduling.
How do you approach scheduling musicians? What are some of your scheduling headaches? How have you dealt with them?
Does seniority effect how you schedule? Why or Why not?
July 12, 2012Tweet