4 BEST PRACTICES FOR RECRUITING NEW TEAM MEMBERS
How do we go about recruiting new team members?
There will inevitably come a time when you need to recruit new worship leaders, new musicians, new sound people, new media team members, and others to fulfill different roles in the worship
How do you find the right people, with the right skill sets, to step into these roles?
1. Keep Your Ear To The Ground
2. Run Auditions
3. Have A Clear Pathway
4. Pray & Wait
PRACTICE 1 – KEEP YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND
Keep your ear to the ground.
Musicians tend to hang around musicians. Tech people tend to hang around other technically-oriented people.
Keep your ear to the ground, and ask your current team members who they are seeing in their sphere of relationships who may have an affinity for one of the roles needing to be covered.
As you have these conversations, build an internal list of people (literally write down all the options) who could serve in different areas of ministry.
Then, do some quiet exploring. Ask their small group leaders, youth leaders, and others who are close to them how they see that persons maturity as a disciple of Jesus.
Once you have your list, and get some background, begin to pray over it asking Jesus to illuminate who He is inviting to serve with you in ministry.
PRACTICE 2 – RUN AUDITIONS
Don’t be shy about holding people to a standard when it comes to skill level, particularly in recruiting new musicians.
Take your time with musicians. You could start by saying, even to skilled musicians, “Let’s sing together” or, “Tell me about your guitar.” Although there are many roles in worship – children’s ministry, visiting patients in the hospital, or small groups – most people want to be in that main, visible worship setting.
This is when auditions are important. Pastors know that not just anyone can or should go up and speak. The same is true in worship leadership and the up front musicians on stage.
Look for experience, maturity, and others to affirm their gift and calling. You can teach technical skill and musicianship, but, if someone’s heart isn’t in the right place, that is much harder to develop in someone. In some larger communities, you may have a great pool of talent able and willing to be auditioned.
That’s fantastic. However, the reality is that many of us are just scrambling for anyone who’s willing to plunk away at the piano!
Even in small settings, set the bar high. If you invite people, or train people, who become good at what they do, they tend to attract other people like them and of their skill level.
And, vice versa. If you’re always just going with what you have and trying to get by – you’ll attract the same kind of people.
Look for good musicians. Look for effective sound people. Look for people who are great with visuals.
You can even bring people in from the outside in order to raise the bar to give people a perspective on what you want to see happen in the worship ministry.
PRACTICE 3 – HAVE A CLEAR PATHWAY
Have a clear pathway.
To lead your new musicians in the right direction, it’s important to clearly articulate your church’s worship philosophy.
Articulate what you believe worship is about in the broadest, biblical sense, including the music in the narrow sense, and why we’re creating these gathered worship settings for people in the first place.
Being on a worship team also takes commitment, so this is something you’ll want to be upfront about with your potential new team members. Maybe this role requires a commitment of six months or a year. Or you may want to try shorter commitments to involve more people.
Have a clear pathway before you begin this process. Let individuals know what it takes to make this ministry work. If they’re a fit for worship ministry, great – otherwise, you can redirect them to another area of ministry, making it clear that they need to trust your decision.
If they want to pursue further involvement or if they want to connect in another area of the church, help them. Don’t just look for musicians to fill a function and leave everyone else in the dust.
PRACTICE 4 – PRAY & WAIT
Pray and wait for the right person.
And, finally comes the most important step – pray and wait. You can spend years appointing people to roles who are not ready for those roles.
Although this can seem to work fine at first, your quick appointing of someone to a role is far easier to do than the disappointing you will need to do if things go south.
You may want to tell someone that you are looking for them to serve “for a limited time” (even set a date), or until you find someone that you believe is more fully called to be in that role for the long term.
You’ll find great people with servant hearts by being transparent up front. The people who say yes are the people to develop, to work with, and to grow with.
They embrace their responsibility and are called into servant-heartedness by Christ, and their willingness to be flexible allows you the space to pray and wait for the right person to come along.
Keep the bar as high as seems fitting, and over time God will bring you the people you need.
Try at least one idea for the next time you meet.
Choosing team members is one of the most vital parts of leading worship, as these are the people who will support and guide the church in worship ministry.
No matter who you’re looking for – sound techs, musicians, or graphic designers – don’t feel guilty for setting the bar high.
Keep your ear to the ground in the communities of people you respect, and run auditions and ask questions if you need to know a little bit more about someone’s skill set, talents, or maturity.
As you’re finding your team, articulate to them on the front end what you’re looking for, and what your church stands for.
It is also important to be transparent about the time commitment involved in the role, so that expectations are managed along the way.
And, trust God through the process. You may need to be patient in waiting for the right person to fill the position. Rest in knowing that God will send you the people you need.
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