7 Steps to Empower Your Team.

1. Set expectations early and often.

For example, if you have weekly rehearsals and an attendance policy, then it is up to you to communicate that and continue to hold people accountable to it. Plan wisely – it’s easier to set realistic expectations than hold people accountable to superhuman standards.

2. Lead your team spiritually first, Technically second.

If you aren’t praying as a team, then the purpose for gathering each week may need examination. Are you building “a” kingdom, or THE Kingdom? Start with prayer before rehearsals and Services. Encourage growth. Better yet, plan a Tech ministry retreat day. Remember, you can’t lead people where you haven’t been yourself. Jesus is the foundation of your ministry, and your walk with Him overflows into who you are as a worship pastor, or leader.

3. Don’t waste people’s time!

The single most effective way to frustrate people and lead them to leave the music ministry (or any ministry) is wasting their time. If you want skilled and talented people to serve in the ministry then make sure you are prepared and ready in advance to lead them through the rehearsal and services. If you as the leader show up late, under prepared, or waste time during rehearsal, you will soon find that your volunteers seem less committed and distant. It’s because they found a better way to spend the time you were wasting.

4. Give your team the tools they need to be successful.

Some teams work monthly off of Planning Center Online, some work week to week. Give your Tech team, musicians, choir members, enough time to prepare the music on their own at home. Tools like Part cds or Planning Center allow you to send plans, charts, and links to music so your team can spend time practicing and listening during the week.

5. There is a difference between practice and rehearsal.

Practice is what you do individually to prepare for rehearsal or Service by listening and learning the songs you will be mixing for the weekend. Be familiar with the texture (Musical Layers) you will be blending, guitar solos, going over charts and being ready with your parts. Exemplify what you desire from your team. If you are the director or leader, then you need to learn your material and additionally be prepared to help your team work through theirs. It’s easier to teach material if you have it down cold. Rehearsal should be time spent rehearsing the music.

6. Be specific and generous in praise, and be even more specific and generous with corrections.

If the volunteer FOH nails the mixes and cues in the service, take 5 seconds afterwards to affirm them in front of the team. If your keyboard player shows up completely prepared and ready to rehearse, thank him out loud so it affirms that behavior for the entire team. Corrections are harder, and require more delicate handling. If the guitarist is consistently missing a progression, you need to address it to make sure that they understand specifically what needs to be played. It is up to you as the leader to make sure you are able to either demonstrate or sing the part you need them to play.

7. You need to be at your best when things go their worst.

We have all had a bad Sunday. Someone one got sick, the sound system was feeding back if you so much as breathed near a microphone. This is not the time to point fingers at your sound tech, or throw a fit when your soloist sends you a text message saying they had to go visit their kid at college. Your team is watching you, and your reaction will set the tone for the outcome. Sometimes the best solution is to pause for prayer as a team, and default to the simplest solution. Example: Turn off the sound system and gather your team around a piano to pray for the Services you are preparing for. Fix the sound system later.

Jermaine Rodriguez

For the past 16+ years, Jermaine Rodriguez has been impacting and influencing music ministries as an orchestra director, music pastor and ministry consultant. Working with some of the world’s most influential worship leaders, Jermaine is considered by his peers to be a “music pastor to music pastors.” With a unique approach to music ministry, Jermaine has inspired many churches with new processes that have propelled music ministries into success across the nation.