If you’re in ministry, what are you passionate about? Learning? Musical excellence? Cool technology and gadgets? Stage time? Good singing voice? Or is your passion found in the people around you – the people that God has called you to minister to? My passion is in my volunteers. Nothing thrills me more than to get volunteers plugged in so they are able to play, sing, run technology, and do it to the best of their ability. God has called them to a specific purpose, and it thrills me to no end to be able to join them as they spend time in worship.
So if people are your passion in ministry, how does that dictate your focus?
And can you have a “ministry” if people aren’t the main focus and passion?
Are you taking the time to make the volunteer successful? During the worship rehearsal, I will stop on a dime if there’s something that doesn’t sound right. I believe that one of the keys to establishing that relationship with your volunteers is creating an environment where they know that things have been thought through, keeping them in mind. Therefore, everything needs to be designed to make them successful. Vocalists need to have clear and easy to read charts, with vocal parts clearly assigned. Instrumentalists need the same. In the rehearsal environment, time has to be taken to ensure that vowels are properly formed, breath control is enforced, and the vocal team is given the necessary direction to turn them from a group of soloists, into a vocal ensemble, with tight-knit harmonies and punchy annunciation.
Time also needs to be taken with the instrumentalists. I believe that the leader needs to be well skilled in how to communicate with a drummer, a guitarist, a bass guitarist, in order to have the music executed to match what he needs to hear. I am very specific with almost every aspect of my rehearsal, from how I want the drummer to groove, to specific amp sounds for the electric guitarist. Again, this all fits into how I am able to “produce” what it is I hear in my head.
Example: I can truly spend hours in my office on my Mac, working with Finale. Every piece of music that I hand my volunteers comes from that machine. I spend countless hours making sure that the minutest details are covered from vocal parts, to transitions, to what amp patch I want the electric guitarist to use. The more details that I can cover, the more valued the volunteer will feel, and the more synergized your team can become.
And don’t leave out the tech guys! Your tech people are one of your biggest assets in a worship ministry, and need to be cared for just as much as the musicians. The tech volunteer is directly responsible for reproducing the sound that you are creating, or putting the correct words on the screen, or lighting the service adequately, enhancing the emotion in worship. Take time to make sure your tech people are valued. Include them in your time of prayer as you begin the service. Spend time with your sound people, making sure they understand what it is you’re wanting to hear for a certain song. Emphasize the importance of what these faithful servants do, and how necessary their contribution is to the service, and the communication of the gospel.