3 Strategies for Training New Team Members

28 апр 2016

In a previous blog post, Rich Langton explored some creative ways to grow your worship team. We’ve also done another post talking specifically about how to effectively roster your worship team.

We wanted to expand on these topics of team growth and answer some questions we often get about how we introduce and train new team members.

I’m the only worship leader, but the other vocalists aren’t ready to lead yet…how can I get them ready?

I only have one Sunday service, how can I train people without compromising the service?

A new drummer is very skilled but doesn’t ‘get’ how we do things…what do I do?

There’s such a massive gap between my main guitarist and the others in my team … how can I help them get to his/her level?

Don’t worry — you’re not on your own! These are challenges we face in our team regularly too!

So how do we do it?

Here are three practical ways to bring more people through in your creative team:

1. ‘Co-positions’

I’m the only worship leader, but the other vocalists aren’t ready to lead yet…how can I get them ready?

There’s such a massive gap between my main guitarist and the others in my team … how can I help them get to his/her level?
Have you ever heard the terms ‘co-worship leader’ or ‘second guitarist’? While the language is interchangeable, the idea behind this strategy is for anyone. In our church, we have a worship leader and a co-worship leader, both on for the same service. The co-worship leader is there to support the main worship leader — they may lead a song or a section of a song, they may welcome the church at the start of the service, etc.

The goal is to bring new people into roster rotation by scheduling them on a service surrounded by experienced team members. Instead of ‘throwing them in the deep end’, we give new people small and safe parts of the service to lead or play, where they can get experience and grow without being overwhelmed.

Let’s talk through some examples of how this strategy can work.

Say you have a vocalist (let’s call him John) on your team that you would love to use as a main worship leader, but perhaps he doesn’t yet have the confidence or experience for that role. Instead of giving him the leadership of a service by himself, try rostering John onto a service with one of your most trusted worship leaders (let’s call her Rachel).

Maybe have John lead song 1 during the set, and have Rachel lead the rest. You can be confident that the service will still be strong, because your veteran worship leader Rachel will surround John with strength, and as John grows he will gradually be able to handle more responsibility.

Then next time, John can welcome the church or read a scripture. Eventually, perhaps he can lead more songs. Keep giving him more responsibility, and give him encouragement and feedback as he grows. Help your ‘co-worship leader’ take measured steps of growth to get to a place where they are trusted by your pastors and your congregation.

Eventually, try swapping the roles and place Rachel on as co-leader with John as main worship leader, so he can test those waters of leadership with a safety net still there. After some time, growth, and experience, John might be ready to lead a service himself!
This same idea can apply to most roles and areas of your creative team. If you normally only roster 1 guitarist, this could be a great time to try adding another position. Put a new guitarist alongside an experienced player! The same can go for keys, vocalists, production and sound roles, etc… Once you have this process setup, it becomes much easier to train and grow new people. (This is obviously a bit difficult when it comes to instruments with only one position like bass and drums, but we will get to those soon!)

2. Utilise rehearsals

I only have one Sunday service, how can I train people without compromising the service?

A new drummer is very skilled but doesn’t ‘get’ how we do things…what do I do?
One way to involve a potential new person is to have them sing/play during a mid-week rehearsal. It gives them a taste of what a church service is like, and gives you a chance to assess their skill level. Ask them to come to rehearsal, set up their instrument, play along with the rostered team, and then pack down after rehearsal and sit in for the service. Additionally, this can also locate their level of commitment to serving —  if they have a bad attitude or are unwilling to ‘learn the ropes’ before playing in an actual service, it might be an indication that they’re not yet ready to serve on the platform.

SEE ALSO: How to Deal With Difficult People in Your Worship Team

But what about an instrument like drums, where two kits doesn’t really work in a rehearsal? Think outside the box! Perhaps you can leave some extra time at the end of rehearsal to swap drummers and let the new drummer play through the songs with the team. Encourage the new drummer to sit though the rehearsal to watch and listen to how things are done and then get hands-on experience for a few minutes at the end.

Don’t underestimate what a new person will learn, purely from coming to a rehearsal and building relationship and being exposed to the culture of your team. It’s a great place to start for anybody interested in serving or just wanting to get better — so put the invitation out there! If you’re not taking advantage of these opportunities already, start exploring how ideas like this could work for your team. Play to your unique strengths as a team creating new ways to grow!

3. Start Team Nights

(If you’re unfamiliar with Team Nights, read more about them here:)

TEAM NIGHTS: The WHAT, the WHY, the HOW

On one level, Team Nights provide a hub of interaction where we run Masterclasses, Rehearsals, and other specialised training (and for your new people, they also provide a great a time for practice without the pressure of a service).

It is a perfect platform to try things like:

  • Jam nights — a band sets up and plays through songs while rotating musicians. Everyone and every instrument now has the space to give it a shot and gain experience in a low pressure environment.
  • Singing a few worship songs together as a team — you can use this as an opportunity to include new people, try new arrangements of songs, etc. Playing/singing in a Team Night setting can serve as a stepping stone and experience-builder for your newer people.
  • Masterclasses can be utilised to bring training to a specific instrument or position on team. Cater them to your team’s strengths and areas that need improvement. If one of your guitarists are a step above the rest, give them a platform to train from their strengths. If an area of your team needs attention, masterclasses are a great forum for addressing these things.

So try it out! Set up a regular time for your team to worship, rehearse, and train together and watch the community and strength of your team grow.

Let’s be leaders who take up the challenge of including new people. Let’s be bold enough to build into others, share opportunities, and allow the team around us to grow into its full potential.

Brennan Fortier