Get More Musicians: Two Factors That Affect Growth
By Jon Nicol
Every church has one of two problems.
Finding enough musicians.
Choosing between too many musicians.
You're probably wondering where you can sign up for the second problem.
Since the majority of churches are dealing with the first problem, I'm beginning a series called "Get More Musicians."
For this first installment, let's talk about two huge factors that affect the number of musicians.
Pool of Eligibles
The first factor is your church's size.
The law of averages is at work here: the larger your church, the deeper the pool of eligible musicians.
In the average church of 150, the chance of finding 25 solid musicians is slim.
In a church of a 1500, chances are good that you'd find at least 25 solid musicians.
The second factor that affects growth is musicianship.
A talented musician began attending our church this year and recently joined the worship team. I wonder if he would have even attended our church four years ago. He certainly wouldn't have enjoyed being on the team at that point in our development. Our level of musicianship was sketchy.
It's shining example of a principle I learned years ago: Good musicianship attracts good musicians.
While I was serving as a guitarist and youth leader at a megachurch in Minneapolis, I was in awe of the caliber of musician that attended there. More poured in weekly. The leadership regularly turned away musicians that most churches would have been ecstatic to include.
Great musicianship drew great musicians. And 6000 people attending every weekend helped, too. (That's more like an ocean of eligibles versus a pool...)
In every church where I served on staff, my worship ministry was on the shallow end of these factors: the pool of eligibles and the musicianship were both ankle deep. At best.
Overcoming the Factors
At each church, I knew I couldn't change the "pool of eligibles" factor quickly or directly. So I ignored it. I looked outside my church for musicians. Some joined the team as "non-attending musicians" (you can read more about how I recruited off of Craigslist), or they just subbed once in a while as "guests."
I coupled that effort with significant investment in any willing musician I could find in those churches. Eventually I began to build a few decent teams.
In the first couple ministries I served in, my tenure was short because of financial restraints of employing a second pastor. But in my current situation, I've been here long enough (and I'm planning on staying, Lord willing) to begin to see those early efforts and investments payoff in something I haven't seen before: a momentum that's pushing us towards to the deep end.
Good musicianship is begetting good musicians. And we're also in a season of new families coming to our church - so that means our pool of eligibles is deepening. Don't get me wrong, we're far from "arriving" - whatever that is. But for the first time, I'm beginning to see the those two factors work for us.
It's easy to hate these two factors. I know I have. But they are part of the growth process. And we have to wrestle with them if we want to grow our teams with solid musicians.
So every few weeks we'll keep returning to this subject of "Get More Musicians." I'd love to hear about how you grow the musicians (and musicianship) on your team.
Post Graphic - Leo Reynolds, Flickr
November 12, 2012Tweet