I love to meet other pastors and chat about ministry and teams and all that God is doing in His Church. It’s encouraging to hear stories of Salvation and people coming to faith.
Lately though, I’ve noticed a pattern amongst worship pastors. Somewhere in the conversation a pastor will say something like;
“Oh yeah, we can’t do that, we don’t have all the people we need”... Or they may say, “If only we had the resources do it…”
I find that way of thinking intriguing on many levels.
One thing that our Senior Pastor Brian always says about Hillsong Church is “we will always have more vision than resource”. That has definitely been the reality for our church and creative team over the years — no matter how much we grow, or what resources we have or don’t have, there is always more that we can be doing to build the Kingdom of God. Let’s never allow our present circumstances, or current resources, to limit us. Instead, let’s always see beyond the circumstance and look for ways we can continue to grow our teams!
So, how can you grow your worship team? Is it as difficult as it seems?
Yes, it is difficult to grow a ministry, but it’s not too difficult. It’s certainly not impossible.
Often all that it takes is a little tenacity and the right ideas.
So, here’s 10 practical ways you can grow your worship team;
1. Create Something That People Want To Be A Part Of
There’s no point in trying to grow something that no one wants to be a part of. Start by taking stock of where the team is really at. Take a good, hard look at the team, its dynamics and even those that are a part of it. Do some self-assessment; look at your own leadership and make sure that you’re not the reason it’s not growing. Perhaps people aren’t joining because your leadership style is turning them off.
Have coffee with some of your existing team and ask them about their experience in the team. Do the same with people that could be part of your team but aren’t. Ask them why? Make the changes you need to make, create something inspiring and enjoyable, and given some time the team will start to grow. As our Pastor Brian always says, “healthy things grow!”
2. Ask People To Join
Sounds simple, but often people just need to know that you need them. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. So ask away! If the people you ask don’t want to be involved, go back to point #1 and start again.
3. Start Regular “Team Nights”
At every campus of Hillsong Church globally we hold regular “Team Nights“. At most campuses, these are weekly. The idea behind them is to create community and to inspire the team to grow in their craft. We’ve written about them before, so I won’t go into the details too much here.
(WHY We Do Team Night? HOW We Do Team Night? WHAT Do We Do at Team Night?)
It is worth saying here though, that our Team Nights are open to anyone who would like to come. If you feel you have something to contribute, we’d love for you to be a part of team nights. Not everyone that comes is ready to play or sing on the platform, but at Team Night you can start the journey towards being ready. You can be a part of what’s happening and over time, should you put the effort in, eventually your skill and ability will be at a place that will mean you are ready to be rostered. Team Nights are a great way to grow your team and to attract new people into your creative community.
4. Teach Your Team To Be Bringers
Once you’ve started Team Nights, ask your existing team to bring other people. Your worship team might know other people within your church community with hidden talents and giftings that you don’t know of! Inspire them to bring those people.
5. Go Visit Your Youth Ministry
It’s incredible the talent that sits in most youth ministries. Likewise, it’s incredible that so many worship pastors are reluctant to utilise the youth within their churches.
If you want to grow the ministry, you need to be investing in and utilising the gifts and talents of the next generation. Don’t underestimate how God wants to use them. Don’t be intimidated by them. Don’t exclude them.
Yes, the young people will come with a youthful enthusiasm that will rub some people up the wrong way. Accept that and include them anyway. It will grow your team, and it will be worth it.
SEE ALSO: Leading a Young & Free Generation in Worship
6. Start Something New
A few years ago now, Pastor Brian and our leadership team decided to start a new, 8am Chapel service. The new service meant there was now a need for more worship leaders, musicians and singers, production and TV team members. The new service meant the team had to grow, there was no choice.
In your ministry this may not be possible, or your Senior Pastor may not want to add a service. But the principal still applies. You can create a place for more people by creating something new. For example, add a pre-service prayer meeting and ask people from your congregation to bring breakfast or morning tea for the team. Create a hospitality team. Why? To create a meaningful place for people to serve. In doing this you will increasing the community in the overall team and make it a place people want to be a part of.
Another idea is to add instruments to your band. Percussion or strings are just two examples. By adding new instruments you make a new place for people to be able to serve. You may just find that you have people in your church who are willing to be involved but who also don’t think they can because they never see the instrument they play being used.
7. Grow More Leaders
You may already have a leadership team, that’s great — ask all of them to find a second in command. In other words, don’t take the sole responsibility to grow your team by yourself. Teach your leaders to lead. Part of leading is growing the team. If you all take it on and own it, watch as your team starts to grow over time!
SEE ALSO: Worship Team Tips for Everyone
8. Become Evangelists
Perhaps you’ve already utilised all the singers and musicians in your church community. If that’s the case, it’s time your church grew. So, take the Great Commission on board, actively evangelise and teach your worship team to do the same. We should all be doing this anyway, but in case you’re not, now’s the time to start. Not only will your team grow in the long run, but more importantly people will find Jesus and salvation!!
9. Teach Someone What You Know
Sometimes people would be involved if they had the skills. They feel limited because they don’t sing or play an instrument. That’s okay, teach them. It will take time and a lot of effort, but if you want your team to grow, it will be worthwhile.
SEE ALSO: 10 Things I’ve Learnt about Leading a Creative Team
This may seem counterintuitive, but instead of focusing on growing numerically, start by increasing the standard. To do that you may need to downsize. Instead of utilizing more and more average players and singers, perhaps you would be better off utilising less, but better, players and singers?
It’s incredible the way a good musician will attract other good musicians. Likewise, it’s incredibly inspiring for average musicians to watch and learn from good musicians. So, instead of just trying to grow numbers however you can, maybe it could be better to work on upskilling the team you currently have.
These are just 10 ideas. Not all of them will be applicable to every church, or every worship team. Some of them may not even make sense to you. Please take the ideas that work and use them, and leave the others. If you’d like more explanation about any of these, please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. I will do my best to answer all of them.
Other things you can do is connect with us through our Worship newsletter, or come along to Hillsong Conference later in the year. Come meet with us in person – any of our team would be happy to chat with you and work on specifics of your situation. We’d love to help you grow your worship team however we can.
Until then, over to you!