Characteristics of an Effective Worship Team Member Part 2


Here are a few more qualities of an effective worship team member (Continued from "Characteristics of an Effective Worship Team Member Part 1"). 

Effective worship team members will be expressive, both physically and with words.  Components of effective stage presence on the worship team includes utilizing the space around you to move (i.e. do not be stationary), lifting your hands, clapping, creating movement and energy, smiling, and keeping your eyes open.  Don't be the worship team member that plants their feet and clenches their eyes closed. 

"Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will    praise him again--my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 43:5)

Team Player
We are drawing attention to how good God is, not how good we are.  There is now place for rock star worship team members or those who are simply on the team to show off their skills.  The band, singers, technical crew, ushers, greeters, worship hosts, along with all the other volunteers are working together to create an experience that draws people into the presence of God. 

Strong Communication Skills
There's nothing worse than someone who is on the team but doesn't want to be there.  Personality conflicts and other issues are real and need to be addressed in the correct manner.  Are you a person who can communicate clearly to your leaders?  Or do you hold offenses inside, or worse, vent to those around you?  Work to develop the capacity to be a part of the solution, instead of part of the problem. 

Being on time shows concern and thought for others.  Lateness is not a personality issue, it's a time management problem.  The best worship team members are the ones that show up early so that they're ready to start on time. 

Musically speaking it's best to come to practice with your songs/parts learned, not to learn your parts. Spiritual preparation is also essential to the effectiveness of your ministry.  Pray over the songs, pray over the members of your team, pray that God would use you mightily on stage and off stage. 

Church is not meant to be endured. As we celebrate the new life that God has given us, we should smile, laugh, and enjoy each other.  Schedule time for your team to have fun together.  A team that plays together is more effective. 

I don't believe that God calls a person to a ministry for all time.  In other words, we should be seeking the Lord for His plan for which ministries we should give our time to.  Just because you've served in the worship choir for 20 years doesn't necessarily mean that it's God's plan for you to serve in the worship choir for the next 20 years.  Perhaps it's time to ask God where you will be the most effective, or where He wants to lead you.  

All In
Life and ministry are full of change.  As the Lord speaks to your pastor or worship pastor, it's very likely that change will take place in your church or ministry.  A couple questions to ask as you seek to serve the Lord:
Can you be supportive of your worship pastor?
-Are you supportive of the vision of the church?
-Can you get behind your lead pastor?  (After all, you’re there to serve his vision.)
-Are you supporting the church financially?

I love the church. I love that people come together with their differing personalities and gifts with the goal of reaching our world for Jesus.  In this post and the one before it, we've explored differing qualities of effective worship team members.  This list is definitely not comprehensive, and there are other qualities that you may add.  Let's continue to let Jesus work in our hearts and in our lives to make us more effective for His glory! 

Characteristics of an Effective Worship Team Member Part 1



Here's a quick list of what makes an effective worship team member. 

There's not a lot of room in the worship ministry for those who aren't there to serve. Don't think more highly of yourself than you ought (see Romans 12:3).  You are a part of a serving team. 

Romans 12:3 (AMP)
For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service].

An unteachable person is difficult to work with and creates disunity.  How do you take direction?  Are you working to consistently improve or are you coasting on your talent?

A team that is consistent in encouraging and lifting each other is unstoppable.  A culture of encouragement is irresistible and life-giving.  There's not place in the worship ministry for those who can't be kind. 

Phil 2:4 (NLT)
Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Are you available to your church and worship leader? Do you respond to Planning Center requests in a timely manner (hello, somebody!)?  Are you available when it’s not a glamorous job?
Would you do this if no one knew it was you?

Leadership Ability
On the worship team, every member is a worship leader, from the ones with the microphones, to the band members, to the worship team members that aren't scheduled.  Each person on the team leads worship in one way or another.  A leader recognizes that his or her leadership is not limited to the stage.  

1 Cor 10:23
"You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is beneficial.

Care for Physical Appearance
Sloppiness in dress and appearance can be distracting for audience members.  Know and abide by worship team dress codes without pushing the limits of what is appropriate for musicians and singers that might be lifting their hands, or standing on a raised platform.  I want the audience focusing on Jesus, not your belly button. 

Passion for Jesus
Worship team members must be passionate about their relationship with Jesus.  I look for those who are worshippers when they are not on the platform.  If there's a difference in the intensity of your worship when you're not on the stage versus when you are on the stage, this may be an indication of a misalignment of values, or a performance mindset.  Do you only worship on the platform, or do you lead the congregation from your seat?

These are a few characteristics to help you evaluate your own heart and involvement in your worship team context.  Additional qualities will be addressed in another post.


No Distractions

Our goal as worship leaders and worship teams is to eliminate distractions and point our congregations to focus their attentions and affections on Jesus.  We welcome the presence of God as we play and sing praise to Him, and invite the people in our churches to worship him, too. 

There are a number of things in our gatherings that can distract people from worshiping Jesus.  3 of these areas include:

1. Wrong Notes:  Every worship musician who's ever played in front of anyone ever knows that wrong notes are inevitable.  A vocal 'crack', a missed position, or brain fog can and does happen to us all.  While these missed notes are often forgotten a few seconds after they're played (unless they're live streamed or recorded), they have the potential to distract the people worshiping along with you.  Work to eliminate wrong notes.  Memorize the music until you can play it with your eyes closed. Don't rely on the confidence monitors, but instead ask your singers to memorize the lyrics.  Do your best to eliminate the distraction of wrong notes. 

2. Technical Issues:  the tech teams in your church have some of the most important, yet overlooked jobs.  Without these vital volunteers, there's not lights, sound, or lyrics or images on the screen.  If you've ever had the misfortune of having a projector go out during or right before a service, you've experienced first hand the power of the tech team.    Wrong words on the screen, bad mixes, missed lighting cues, or audio feedback can grab the attention of those in the audience and take away from the impact of what is being presented.

3. On Stage Presentation: As a worship leader, there will be times where you will want to address the people in the audience.  An encouraging word, an exhortation to worship, or at least a couple lines welcoming people to church can be positive interactions, or they can have the opposite effect.  If you need to address the congregation, prepare ahead of time the words and thoughts you want to communicate.  In other words, don't "wing it."  Ask Jesus to direct you as you prepare and pray.  Sometimes the few words you speak have more of an impact than all the songs you sing. 

Let's be leaders that allow the Spirit of God to move in our services.  By eliminating distractions and working to present the best version of our worship sets, our services carry the potential to see lives changed.  Of course, God is gracious and can move through even the sloppiest of presentations, but as far as it depends on us, let's do our best to offer life givingservices and experiences.   

3 Reasons to Attend a Night of Worship and Prayer

Evangel Worship is hosting a "Night of Worship and Prayer" on Friday, March 4, at 7PM.  These nights are powerful and set the pace for our church.  Maybe you're on the fence about attending a worship night event.  Here are 3 reasons why you should attend a night of worship:

1.  Extended time to worship, listen, and respond.
In a "normal" weekly worship gathering at Evangel, we have a very unique problem.  With the service times being what they are, and the multiple services coming back to back, we don't get a lot of time to spend extended moments in worship.  The worship in our services is refreshing and powerful, but sometimes I wish there was a little more space to breathe, let the Holy Spirit speak, and respond.  That's exactly the reason we have the Night of Worship and Prayer-to seek the face of the Lord, to listen to what He's speaking to us, and let His Spirit direct our steps.

2.   Intentional, set apart time to seek God. 
Proverbs 8:17 says "...those who diligently seek me will find me. "
Sometimes, you just have to spend intentional, focused time worshiping and praying-to refocus your mind and heart on the things that really matter, to gain a clearer perspective, or to hear a word from God that can literally change your life

3.  Time to pray for our community, our church, and our loved ones.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

If there's ever been a time to seek the Lord on behalf of our community, our church, and our loved ones, it's now!  When we gather to worship and pray we lift up the name of Jesus over every situation, concern, relationship, and issue that we face.  We ask Jesus to do the impossible in our lives and families, we spend time praying for healing and restoration, we declare the victory of Jesus over our community, and our lives, and above it all we exalt the name of Jesus. 

Our Nights of Worship and Prayer are some of the most uniquely powerful nights of ministry as we take a little more time, linger a little longer, rest in His presence a bit more, and declare His victory over our lives.  Please make plans to attend our next Night of Worship and Prayer on Friday, March 4, at 7PM at Evangel. 


5 Things I Didn't Know About Having Kids


Having kids is just the best.

Before we start, let me say that I currently have 3 kids: Kid 1 is almost 6, Kid 2 is 4, and Kid 3 is 6 months.  Parenting has many different seasons that are all different in important ways.   Parenting is the best thing I've ever done.  My kids are amazing.  They are creative, spontaneous, loving, and JUST SO GREAT.  People need to hear how awesome having kids really is.  It's totally hilarious.  

There are a few things I didn't know before I had kids.  Here are some of them:

1.  What tiredness is.

Like, seriously. 

When I was in college, I remember thinking how I was SO busy, and there was no way that I would make it because of all the responsibilities I had. If I absolutely needed to, I could pull an all-nighter to study or get some project done.  The next day/days were filled with sleeping in til noon or later and talking about my one night of hard work like I was some kind of super student or something.  I look back now and wonder what I did with all my time. 

Having kids ushered in a whole new understanding of just how much I could do on 3-4 hours of sleep a night, like, every day.  Kids have no "off".  You might think "They had a late night.  Perhaps they'll sleep in."  Nope. 

Now, having kids doesn't mean a life sentence of 3-4 hours of sleep a night, but they do happen with more frequency than you might think. 

This is a great opportunity to rely on God's strength, grace, and mercy in your life.  Some days, there's nothing you can do but say, "God, I have no idea how this is going to work today. Give me strength to be a good parent to these monkeys."  Which, as it turns out, is not the worst place to be.  (2 Corinthians 12:9 says "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.")

2. How little I know about myself.
Parenting will show you parts of yourself that you never knew existed.  Some are good, some not so much.  It truly is a furnace that can allow the Holy Spirit to burn away the impurities and selfish motives of your heart, if you let it. 

3. How little I know about anything.
The thought that I am trusted and expected to raise a baby into a fully functioning, schedule keeping, polite, God fearing, other people centered, self regulating person is really mind-boggling.  I remember walking through the door of our house with our first kid, setting the car seat down on the floor, and saying to my wife, "Well, what in the world are we supposed to do now?" 

This is where community has been SO important in our lives as parents. Once I admit that I really don't know how to do this, I can reach out to those who have more experience, and get the help that I need.  If that's you today, know that there are people that have walked this road before, and can give you the advice and encouragement you need, if you're willing to ask. 

4. How demanding parenting is.
No Christmas break, no summers off, no sick days (unless you actually are sick, in which case, you still have to take care of your kids).  Parenting is not for the weak.  Parenting will take any selfishness inside of you and smash it to little, tiny, cracker crumb covered pieces. 

Again, a good support system is crucial.  Find people that have gone before you (and survived), as well as those who are walking along side you that can encourage you along the way.  

5. What a rock star my wife is.
Parenting will not only show you a side of yourself that you didn't know existed, it will reveal things about your spouse that you never knew were there.  I'm SO thankful that God's plan for parenting was meant to be in the context of marriage and community.  I've learned so much about how caring, considerate, unselfish, nurturing, and generally incredible my wife is in this process of having and raising kids.  

6 (BONUS!). How totally amazing having kids would be.
The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 that "Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord."  In the middle of late night feedings, bed wettings, diaper changes, crackers ground into the couch, bathroom breaks, and all the other chaos that comes with having kids, this verse is an anchor.  Having kids is one of the hardest, most challenging, frustrating, best, life-giving, incredible things that a person can do.  It's an adventure.  I've never prayed so much, and laughed so hard in my life. 

Parents, especially parents of little ones, you can do it!  Take heart that this season, the bleary eyed, coffee guzzling, diaper changing, sleep training, car seat toting season, is short.  I've heard that it's something that we'll miss someday.  Let God speak to you as you seek Him.  Reach out to those who can help and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit, who guides us into all truth (John 16:13). 

Also, check out the series "Losing Your Marbles" from Evangel.  Seriously some of the best parenting messages I've heard. 

The Holy Spirit and Worship (Part 2)

In the first blog in this series, we looked at the fact that being filled with the Holy Spirit is not necessary for salvation.  In other words, without the experience of being baptized in the Spirit, you'll can still be assured of salvation in Jesus,  based on God's Word in 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"

So, why be filled with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit has been given to all believers to make us more effective for Him.  You CAN pound a nail into a board with a wrench, but it's much more effective to do it with tools designed for that specific job, like a hammer, or a nail gun.  Below are a number of scriptural reasons to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1. To be a more effective witness
Acts 1:8  "Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

2. To increase our boldness
Acts 4:31 "After they prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking God’s word with confidence.

3. For personal spiritual edification
1 Cor 14:4 "People who speak in a tongue build up themselves; those who prophesy build up the church.

4. To Build up ourselves in faith
Jude 1:20 "But you, dear friends: build each other up on the foundation of your most holy faith, pray in the Holy Spirit...

5. A way of giving thanks to God
1 Cor 14:16-17 "After all, if you praise God in the Spirit, how will the people who aren’t trained in that language say “Amen!” to your thanksgiving, when they don’t know what you are saying? You may offer a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving, but the other person is not being built up."

6. To be more effective in prayer
Ephesians 6:14-18 "So stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate,  and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace.  Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.  Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay alert by hanging in there and praying for all believers.

7. To cultivate and infuse joy into our lives
Acts 13: 52 "Because of the abundant presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the disciples were overflowing with happiness."

Romans 14:17  "God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

As worship leaders and worshipers, this list should speak for itself.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is invaluable to all believers, and as worship leaders, an extra measure of joy, boldness, effectiveness, and spiritual encouragement that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit should cause us to seek Him!