Last week we published a post entitled “10 Practical Ways to Grow Your Worship Team (That Anyone Can Do)“. The feedback has been fantastic. It seems the post encouraged and inspired many. Personally, I have received many questions and much feedback.
One question that has come up again and again is this:
“We are very busy, and we don’t have time during the week to meet as a worship team, what can we do to continue to grow our team?”
I completely understand the heart of the question. At Hillsong Church, our team and volunteers are also busy people. The creative team are made up of all sorts of people from many spheres of life. From the professionals who work long hours in the city, to the single and stay-at-home mums, not to mention the many students; all incredible people with big lives.
These people generously volunteer their time to be a part of the creative team. They give more than is required and often thank the leadership for the privilege of serving. What a blessing this is — it’s certainly not something we take for granted.
Part of all this means they set time aside during the week to attend Team Nights. I’ve written about this before on many occasions so I won’t speak too much about it here, but Team Nights have been a great blessing to us as a community.
The other huge blessing that we haven’t written about too much is our pre-service prayer meetings. These are a hidden gem and one that I’m sure many worship teams are neglecting.
Good morning @Hillsong creative — the bible encourages us to get ….. On your feet now—applaud GOD! Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence. (Psalm 100:1-2 MSG) Let's do this! See you in back docks, green rooms and prayer meetings everywhere as we prepare to lead our church this morning. Love you! #bestteam #liftyourhands #nosleepingonstage #bringingourbest #icanbethecoffeegirl
I think of these pre-service gatherings as a hidden gem because they provide more value to us as a team than one might think at first sight.
Here are five reasons why pre-service gatherings are important:
1. They provide an opportunity for the current team to gather
The question I received over and over after last week’s post was about finding time to meet without creating another night out for people. Before a service is a perfect time to meet. By doing this regularly, you will be able to create a team culture. You can talk about the specifics of the service you are about to lead people in, but you can also encourage your worship team with your vision for the future.
SEE ALSO: BUILDING A HEALTHY WORSHIP CULTURE
2. They provide an opportunity to raise up leaders
Imagine you ask a potential leader to bring a short devotional thought or you have them pray over the group prior to next Sunday’s service. Doing this will build confidence in the new leader, over time it will develop them, and it will mean you are released from this aspect of the day. If you’re intentional about this pre-service time, you can transform it from “wasted time” into a leadership factory!!
3. They provide an opportunity to widen the definition of the “worship team”
Now that you’re gathering prior to each service, why not invite a group of people to provide breakfast or morning tea for those who are gathering. Many people would love to serve in the worship team but don’t sing or play an instrument — no problem — they could come and host in the room where you’ll meet. Some of the best conversations and pastoral care will happen during these gatherings, and it’s usually those with a hospitality gift who will have those conversations naturally. Don’t neglect these people, utilise them. Invite them to look after your team. It doesn’t take a huge commitment, yet the community you develop will be a huge reward.
SEE ALSO: 4 WAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR WORSHIP TEAM
For us at Hillsong Church, we include all our worship, television, and production volunteers in these gatherings. The entire creative team and many of their family come along to pray and commit the service to the Lord. Whether you have been rostered for that service or not, you’re welcome to be a part of the pre-service gathering. They’re fun times of food, real fellowship, and then the team head off to the service lifted up and ready to point people to Jesus.
4. They provide an opportunity to invite others
One way to grow your worship team is to create places for those not yet on the team to connect and become comfortable with the idea of serving in this area. One way to do this is to invite them to the pre-service gathering.
Aside from the opportunity to invite new people, pre-service gatherings allow you to invite the family members of those serving. By doing this, you create space for real community to develop. Being a part of the team then becomes more than just “doing a job” or “filling a position”, it becomes about life lived together in real relationships.
5. They are a time to inspire, teach, motivate, and pray
What better time to instruct, inspire, and pray than right before you lead the church in worship? This is especially true if you don’t have another mid-week meeting to utilize. You may not have another opportunity to speak regularly as the leader to your entire team all at once, so why not spend a few minutes reminding the team of why you do what you do, of your expectations, and praying that God would have His way in the service?
SEE ALSO: 8 WAYS TO BRING THE GOLD OUT IN PEOPLE
You may not have Team Nights yet. Your volunteers may not be in a position to come out another night during the week. But, all of your great church people do come to at least one service on the weekend. Perhaps you could utilise this fact, and invite them to come just 15 minutes earlier. Perhaps you could hold pre-service gatherings where you share for a few minutes, cast vision, and pray.
This hidden gem has been an excellent training ground for us over the years. I hope that if you’re not currently using your pre-service time to your best advantage that this post encourages you to use this time well.
I look forward to hearing the stories of how you create gatherings, invite people, care for your team, create real and lasting relationships, cast vision, and see God glorified in ways you could never have imagined.
Over to you…
If you’d like to receive our Hillsong Worship Newsletter, subscribe at hillsong.com/worship