A poor rehearsal can make you want to quit music altogether.
Here at the Todd Blog we want you to have a good rehearsal. Last week, we listed some ways that worship leader can do just that – LEAD! Here’s #2…
The phenomenon of rude and petty worship leaders who treat their teams poorly is rampant. I’m not sure how it starts, but sadly, many church praise teams have resigned themselves to this reality.
But hear me when I say that regardless of how you disguise your meanness – calling it a “passion for excellence” or defending the growth of your specific ministry – it will come back to hurt you. Our meanness hurts our teams right now and come to hurt us much later.
So, how can you be nice?
There are lots of things I’m still “working on”, but one of the things I’ve always been able to do is hear individual parts very clearly. In a given song, I can usually follow the bass, the vocalists, the tempo, etc. with ease. Most worship leaders have that exact same skill, so why not use it to encourage our people?
When I hear someone do something with precision or creativity or if I love how the band’s working together, I’ll say it out loud into the microphone. I’ll stop singing the song for a few seconds to call out, “Perfect tempo, Dale!” or “Keyboards sound good there.” Not only is it a nice surprise to the teammate to hear their part called out, it also ensures that I get that encouragement across because there’s a good chance I’ll forget to pay all those compliments afterward. (Side note about complimenting musicians – they like specifics. Sure, that was great is appreciated, but going the extra mile with something like I was so worried about my transition there, but drums and percussion kept me right on makes a huge impact. Be honest – don’t manufacture praise, but when it’s deserved give it up right then!
It doesn’t seem normal for a worship leader to be selfish or territorial or petty, but unfortunately, it’s a regular way of life for a lot of churches. If we want to lead our people well and be nice while we’re doing it, we’re going to have to humble ourselves. We’ve got to think less about how smart we appear or how good our voice sounds. We’ve got to stop prioritizing perfection over personal connection.
When you’re the secret star of every song set, your team’s gonna’ know it. And you make it hard for them to follow you.
This is a fairly new thing I’ve been doing in my church. When I started it, I had no clue how successful it would be. God has used it to unify us as a team and I can honestly say I’ll never stop doing this. It’s that powerful.
Every Sunday (afternoon or evening) I email a “recap” to my team. It’s a long email sent to everybody where I list each person and tell them what I liked most about their playing/singing/service on that particular morning. I include the tech team, folks who were on stage giving announcements…anybody who contributed to the service gets on the list.
This definitely requires me to listen carefully during the services, but it’s worth it. As I mentioned earlier, I try to compliment my team specifically, isolating things that I thought were excellent. Some weeks, it’s easy. Other weeks, it’s harder to think up 15 separate compliments, but either way, my team loves it. In fact, if for some reason I’m late sending it out, they get upset!
It’s hard to do, especially on a busy Sunday, but I try to make sure my folks have heard that encouragement from me before they go to bed Sunday night. I don’t always make it – sometimes they read their recap on Monday morning – but I love doing it and my team is so much because of it.
Think about some of the best worship leaders you’ve ever served under. Were they nice? Comment below and tell us how their kindnesses shaped you as a player and future leader.