How to Get the Best of Your Backing Vocalist
Most of these you will find can be applicable to all aspect of worship ministries. This was only written from my experience as a backing vocalist and worship leader.
Tell us what you want what you really, really want
It is hard being a WL, as you are supposed to direct the musicians and singers what you want, and there is far too many people to have to talk to. I’ m going to be honest in my time as a BV (not only in church music teams) BV’s get neglected during rehearsals. We appreciate that the Lead vocalists “trust” that the vocalists know which parts to sing but sometimes they become lease confident in their work when you expect them to do what they want. Letting the vocalists know what you want is something they very much appreciate.
In doing that, it shows that you have high regards for the skill they have given and respect them not only as artists, but brothers/sisters and as a person.
Communicate your vision for Sunday, this cultivates a unity within the team and gives greater purpose in what everyone is doing.
Hold up wait a minute, put a little love in it
I know a rehearsal time is never long enough and you have plenty to do as a WL however, don’t just do a walk-by “Hello” to your BV’s. There may be some team members who are shy or don’t have anything in common with you, but actually spend a minute one-on-one with a BV. It is less than 5 minutes (if you have 4 BV’s) and it’s a valuable use of time while waiting for the instrumentalists to be tuned up. Singers love to talk, even the very shy ones.
This is another way of showing you love your brother/sister and that you value their time. Because worship is a lifestyle, your team is your family. Don’t forget about them even when you are not on the roster together.
BV’s are there to support you when you lead worship. Here is a little tip that may be effective in your next service. The congregation are like sheep, the follow the shepherd around, meaning you Mr/Miss/Mrs worship leader, you. When you clap, they clap. When you dance, they dance. Now when you interact with your BV’s, the sheep follows them too. Why? It is like you are endorsing your BV that “hey, they are here leading you too follow them.” Praise and Worship is a party, give a little smile and eye contact to your team members, and make that unity and enjoyment evident on the platform. For example, If you ever to go a Justin Timberlake or Britney spears concert they interact with their backing vocalists and musicians because they are just as much part of the fun too. And that makes the audience feel welcomed, it creates a positive energy that lets the stage feel a little less stuffy. Invite your BV’s, involve them as we are all in this together.
These are two words people could never get sick off and don’t get enough.
Make sure you remind them that you appreciate serving with them.
Worship is not a one weekend thing, it is a full-time job. You may not know what they had to sacrifice to be there and serve. They could’ve done something else but instead they made a choice and commitment, make sure they know that you know.
Say a little prayer for you
Pray for your team, need I say more?
Being in the worship ministries means automatically getting on Satan’s Target list. He does not want you, your team or the congregation to worship and experience God. Keep your team in your prayers, we all can’t get enough of God’s protection, guidance, provision, and love. Pray for your team.
These are just a few starting blocks on bringing out the best of your team.