Band ≠ Worship Team, Part 2
By Tom Curley
Today's blog is a guest post from Tom Curly.
I'm With the Band – Worship Team:
How to keep your church worship ministry from becoming just another great band
The musicians of our generation are band experts. We have grown up consuming the bulk of our musical entertainment from groups of four or five guys playing bass, drums, guitars, and keyboards.
As a teenager, I remember idolizing bands and wanting to be a “rock star” myself. My musician friends and I spent a lot of our time forming bands, naming our bands, creating cool graphic art of our band’s name and trying to find a place to perform. (We probably should have spent some time practicing!)
But “Bands” as we know them are not the same as a local church worship ministry (LCWM). An important difference is that a band is about ownership. A LCWM is about stewardship.
A drummer with a “band” mindset gets concerned when anyone else plays “his” drums, even when the church owns the drums. Ownership mentality is concerned with “my music,” “my place on the platform,” “my equipment” and “my position” in the band. Ownership says “because of my years of faithful service, I deserve to play every Sunday.”
Even in worship ministries that do rotate multiple members, if one member is disgruntled because he wasn’t chosen to play on Easter Sunday even though he has been with the band longer than the musician that was selected, the attitude is incorrect and is more influenced by a “band” mindset of ownership rather than a mindset of stewardship.
A true stewardship approach to worship ministry says, “I am only holding a position of service for a season until God brings someone else for me to share this with or pass it over to.” Stewardship recognizes that we don’t own anything, nor do we have any rights to demand.
Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 9:17-18:
“If I were doing this of my own free will, then I would deserve payment. But God has chosen me and given me this sacred trust, and I have no choice. What then is my pay? It is the satisfaction I get from preaching the Good News without expense to anyone, never demanding my rights as a preacher.”(NLT)
Paul knew he was “crucified with Christ” and as a “dead” man had no rights that he could demand.
Many musicians and singers with a “band” way of thinking feel that they are entitled to certain “rights” due to their degree of talent or their tenure on the team. I discovered this myself when our church changed to in-ear monitors and all instrument amps were removed from the stage in order to provide a cleaner sound for the congregation. This change took our worship team out of their comfort zone. Some team members were unhappy that they could no longer have their preferred equipment played at their preferred sound level and left the team. They could not fully see past their personal sacrifices to grasp the overall vision of an improved worship experience for the congregation. As a leader, I had to shoulder much of the blame because I had not done a good job in teaching about servant ministry.
One practical way to limit team members feeling of ownership is to ask the church to purchase most of the musical equipment. Back in the day, ownership wasn’t really an issue because the church owned the piano and the organ! However, today many worship team members feel overly possessive because they use their own personal equipment. I’m not suggesting that churches provide a guitar for the guitarist, but they would do well to purchase the less personal items such as drums, instrument amplifiers, keyboards, etc…
Let’s teach our worship teams about stewardship and watch how God’s blessings pour down when we realize that everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him!
Question: How have you helped move your team towards stewardship?
Tom Curley is the Christian Arts Pastor and Lead Worshipper at Northridge Church in Pensacola, FL, where he has served for 15 years. You can email Tom at email@example.com
Post image: Flickr
July 26, 2012Tweet