Choosing Team


One of the questions I get asked a lot is ‘how do you choose people for your team/s?’

At St G’s we have a musical worship team of over 65 people. This has taken a while to build, but I can honestly say it’s one of the most fun, healthy and rewarding teams I have been part of! Praise God. I have learnt a lot over the years of doing this, mainly by mistakes to be fair (!)  but here are 3 fundamental practices I stick by as I try to become a better leader and better enabler of people.

1) Meet with any potential team members before they join.
Regardless of the team I would argue, vision and values should lead the way.

Vision is about painting the picture of the future that produces passion that leads to action. Values are the lenses through which we see vision and those helping to attain it.

Even in the small things explain what it is your trying to do and the type of people you are looking for to fulfil it, i.e Character, expectations like time commitment (are they in involved in other ministries?). Basically fill out the blanks, if you don’t, people often fill them in for you which can cause problems down the line. ‘Well you never said this…I never expected this… ‘ etc…
When people know where they are heading and know what’s expected of them, know they will be invested and know they are chosen for a reason (i.e it’s not just anyone can rack up and join whether they are right or not) – this builds trust. Trust brings the ability and permission to lead/influence.

2) Audition People
This can often bring contention (especially with the whole Xfactor culture) but I think actually hearing people is so important. We wouldn’t let any just come and preach so why do we often settle for that for worship teams? Again, this is pastoral to protect the church, the team and the individual. I have met with many people who have a heart for worship but are not gifted to help lead it in corporate setting (i.e, they can’t sing in tune or drum in time) I’m fed up of hearing of people who have been told they are great and then are completely taken out of the mix in a service, only to find out and be heart broken – how is this honouring to them or God? I believe we have a call to be honest even if that means it puts you in a tough position.

3) Say no when required
In the light of above – Sometimes for the good of your team and the individual, you will have to say no. This is never easy to do but important. We are about people and we are about the Kingdom. We want people to be serving In the right place at the right time. Being a leader often will make you unpopular. But you are not there to be popular as the ultimate aim.

Anything key things you would add to this?
‘Nurturing Team’ post will be coming soon!

Comments 2

  1. Simon Bray

    Really important stuff, and I’ve really appreciated you keeping me sharp on it over the last few years. Auditioning can bring contention, and I think there can be some flexibility – there are a number of different ways of achieving the aim of an audition. However you do it, though, if you get your vision and expectations clear then you will be clear about what level of skill and what sort of calling you are looking for in team members, and that makes it a hundred times easier to explain the need for testing out and for audition, and for the possibility of a ‘no’.

    Getting vision and expectations down in writing is also key, I think. I did this in order to delegate some team leadership responsibility and make sure that we stayed on the same page as that happened, but it was actually really useful for me to do that quite apart from the need to have it on paper to pass on to sub-team leaders.

    An interesting tension: Bill Hybels writes very persuasively in ‘The Volunteer Revolution’ about making it easy to volunteer (not making the service easy, but the process of volunteering) – how do we hold that in balance with building high quality, committed teams?

    Keep up the good work! Look forward to the next in the series…

  2. Post
    Chris Sayburn

    Great thoughts mate, it’s surprising the number I speak to who are not sure what they are trying to achieve as a worship team/ministry week in week out. I love a quote I came across ‘If there’s no goal, you run up and down the pitch all day not knowing if you have scored’ (or who needs a goal in Spains case… #EURO2012 ;) Vision is so key and so is constantly reminding yourself and others of it.

    re: Volunteer Revolution – yeah as you say an interesting tension! I personally prefer making it a slightly longer (therefore harder?) process but ensuring it’s right for them/family/ministry/church etc… for them to be involved over making it easier/more convenient. I think if people are passionate about something they will do what it takes to be part of it and will actually value that people care enough about the same thing they care about.

    The ‘worship’ life of the Church (in my opinion) is so integral to the health of Church. We need leaders who are committed to Christ, the community they are serving in, and the Church – if this takes a little longer than so be it.

    Really hope to see you soon mate. Would love to get you to do a guest post at some stage!

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