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July 28, 2011

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Where have all the musicians gone? – Praise Team Tips

by Justin Williams
worship leader

I am going to put together a praise band for our church, and I thought I would get online and find some clever ideas for how to best recruit musicians.  What I came across was not too impressive.  I’m sure there is a good site out there filled with ideas on how to assemble the awesomest praise band in the world, but since I was unable to find it, I figured I would throw out a few ideas of my own.  (Below you will find random thoughts that are in no particular order, nor have they been prioritized in a list of importance.)

*Update – I did come across a neat website on worship: The Worship Community

In all my years of  leading a worship team I have learned that:

  • The best singers are not always the best worship leaders.
  • Worship leaders don’t need to have an extensive background in music or theology.
  • Musicians are all around us if we just look for them.
  • 9 times out of 10 there are musically inclined people in your church that are just waiting for an opportunity to serve. Put the word out that you are looking.  If you know someone is musically inclined personally ask them to step up.
  • The greatest worship leaders are sitting in your pews.  Pastors should be front row worship leaders.  If the people see their shepherd worshiping the sheep will follow.
  • Some of the best musicians are in your youth group.  Don’t limit yourself to adults.
  • Just because a musician plays in a secular band does not disqualify them from being in your praise band.
  • Check with other large churches in the area to see if they have any musicians that might be interested in helping out until you can get a praise team together.  They may even help you get one started.
  • The best praise teams are not the most talented praise teams.  The best praise teams are the ones who truly lead people in worship, and who are worshiping God on a regular basis in their daily lives.
  • Don’t be afraid to check out the local clubs and bars for talented individuals.  “Talk about diamond in the rough”, and think of the discipleship opportunities.  I’m not saying find the local bar musician who is always drunk out of his mind and make him your worship leader, but who knows the possibilities.  I am certain that if God can take the drunkard men of the Bible and mold them into our Hebrews 11 Heroes, he can take the drunk guitarist and turn him into a mighty praise musician.  (I will probably take some heat on this one, but that is ok.  I stole the idea from Gary Lamb.)  The key to this is to communicate your expectations for them to attend regular church services and participate in an ongoing discipleship training.  Let them know that you don’t expect them to go to Bible boot camp, but that it will be an opportunity for you to build a relationship with them and share how God can impact their life.  Present the expectations in a light that will be beneficial for the individual. Remember you will be working with a babe in Christ.
  • Don’t communicate to anyone that they are stepping into a permanent role on your praise team.  Be sure to let them know that each position is flexible and open to other musicians.  It’s not like an American Idol audition, but you want to be able to use multiple musicians to provide a variety of opportunities to serve.
  • Don’t become content with one group of individuals on your praise team.
  • Don’t become content with one style of worship.  As soon as you marry the newest worship style the culture will change and you will become irrelevant.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your praise team sounds awful at first.  “Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord.”  Make sure they are smiling and lifting their hearts towards Heaven even if it sounds like… you get the point.
  • Live worship is always best, but if you are unable to find musicians at first, consider something like Iworship until you do.
  • Once you recruit individuals, begin to develop a personal relationship with them making discipleship a priority. Set goals and develop future expectations.
  • Provide opportunities for them to freely engage individuals in worship.  Musicians are usually creative with a free-spirit mentality, and will need some freedom to develop new worship strategies.  This is something that you ration out over time.
  • If you find that no one is interested in participating on your worship team, chances are that your requirements are too rigorous and unrealistic.
  • Jesus was the ultimate Worship Leader!!
  • Pray it up!!  God will provide.

Well that about wraps up my praise team soap box.  I do want to close with this challenge:  If your asking yourself “where have all the musicians gone?”  I promise you they are out there.

  1. Create an awareness
  2. Cover the need in prayer
  3. Canvas colleges, clubs, and social gatherings
  4. Communicate personally to potential individuals
  5. Calendar a trial period for them to lead
  6. Challenge congregation to support worship leader and actively participate in worship

True worship begins and ends on a daily basis in the hearts of those that believe.

Here is a funny parody video to help take your mind off the pressures of finding the perfect worship leader.  Enjoy!!

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON FINDING A WORSHIP LEADER or KNOW OF A GOOD SITE TO GO TO FOR WORSHIP IDEAS BE SURE TO  SHARE IT BELOW.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 13 2013

    I had been browsing for suggestions for my website and stumbled upon ur posting, “Where have all the
    musicians gone? – Praise Team Tips | JUSTIN WILLIAMS”
    Select Blinds , will you mind if I personally use some of ur
    points? Thanks ,Gina

    Reply

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