Here are some guidelines I follow in recruiting new worship team members.
Choose people who have a heart of worship.
Look for people who love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. There is no substitute for this foundation. Out of that heart flows genuine worship and a desire to be a team player. These are the kind of people I want to raise up into leadership—people whose lives are devoted to Christ, His Church and His cause in the world.
Choose people who are full of zeal to serve.
Don’t mess around with people who aren’t ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. When a developing leader is full of energy to serve and grow, they have an appetite to learn. They’re not picky about the tasks they are given. They come early to meetings and stay late to absorb all they can. A person with a professional attitude shows up on time, takes seriously his or her responsibility, doesn’t pretend to know everything, pays attention during rehearsal and wants to fit into the big picture.
Choose people who are loyal and willing to follow your leadership.
You can’t lead people that don’t want to follow you. They decide who their leader is. Attitude is everything. The apprentice must be willing and eager to learn from the mentor. The most fruitful mentoring relationships I’ve had are those in which both parties have a mutual desire to cooperate as co-workers.
Choose people who are integrated into your church community.
Worship leaders are formed within community—by pastors, leaders and worship leaders—and by the hard knocks of life. I impart worship leading principles, but I depend on the power of the church community to form people into mature leaders. Worship leaders are, first of all, Christians; secondly, they are musicians. A lifestyle of worship encompasses everything from feeding the poor to setting up PA systems to leading a worship set.
Choose people who have musical ability.
If you’re in a small church, you should start by looking for anyone who can play the right chords, keep rhythm pretty well and sing on pitch most of the time. If you’re in a big church, you can be much more selective—choosing people who are highly skilled. Don’t ever let the spirit and heart of worship be lost in a quest for a polished performance.
Release people into positions of responsibility gradually.
I’ve made the mistake of giving people too much responsibility, too quickly and watched those musicians and singers struggle because they weren’t ready for heavier responsibility. Ask someone to lead worship one time or to play an instrument in a rehearsal before they play in a worship service. Don’t give them a permanent or even a semi-permanent position at first. If they are called to a greater scope of ministry, they will first be “faithful with little things.”
Choose people who have the potential to lead people as well as music.
We’re in the people business. The ideal worship leader will have a pastor’s heart and will learn to communicate clearly and to identify, recruit, train and oversee people. But there isn’t always a highly skilled person available. Maybe you’re in a church filled with young people—you might have to settle for a person with a good heart, a passion for God and no leadership experience. Stay close to them, giving frequent encouragement and advice.
Andy Park is a worship leader, songwriter and author whose credits include “Only You” and “In the Secret,” and the book To Know You More.