What makes a good team member? What are the traits and characteristics of a good worship team member? In this episode, we explore seven important characteristics of someone who wants to serve on their church’s worship team. If you’re a worship team member who is wanting to grow to be a bigger blessing to your team, or if you’re a worship leader looking to add new players to your team, this episode is for you!
Character – Are they godly, humble, and servant-minded? Do they have a heart for God, a love for His church, a robust knowledge of His word, and a vibrant, real walk with Christ? Are they committed to the church family?
Craft – Do they have a high quality of musical ability? Are they highly efficient on their instrument? Are they quick to adapt to musical changes and readjust their parts, or are they rigid and inflexible? Do they play well with the team? Do they listen to what others are playing and find parts that fit and compliment? Do they play what serves the song, or just play what they want? Are they simple and tasteful in their parts, or are they busy and distracting? Are they “tight” and locked in with the drums and other players? How is their timing? Are they able to play with a Click Track (aka: metronome)? Are they able to play many musical styles, or just one? For singers, how is their tone? How is their pitch? Can they sing harmony, or only melody? Singers who can sing harmony will be preferred over singers who can only sing melody (though that doesn’t mean that people who can only sing melody can’t make the team), as the former can serve two different roles and adds versatility to that week’s vocal team.
Commitment – Are they constantly trying to get better as a musician? Are they practicing their instrument regularly, weekly, or not at all? Are they reading articles, watching videos, researching new gear, etc. to try and learn new techniques? Are they relentlessly pursuing growth and excellence? Are they committed to Calvary Chapel South Bay? Are they showing up to church regularly, even on weeks they aren’t playing? Are they willing to help the team in other ways besides playing? Are they willing to play in venues besides Sunday morning? Are they coming to rehearsals prepared with their parts learned and ready? Are they on time or early to rehearsals, or constantly late? Are they quick to fulfill obligations and duties of being on the team? Do they show up to all mandatory team meetings? Do they cancel last minute on weeks that they are scheduled?
Coachability – Are they willing to take coaching and direction? Are they willing to change parts based on the desires of the leader? Is there a lack of receptiveness to input and direction? How do they respond to on-the-spot coaching during rehearsal? Do they apply and implement the ideas presented in the training material?
Chemistry – Musically, do they mesh well with the current team members? Does their style of playing fit the style of the team? Is their tone and style modern and cohesive with what we do at our church? Relationally, do they get along with the other team members? Are they easy going? Do they cause drama? Are they fun to be around?
Charisma – Are they a natural leader on the stage? Do they have a natural and expressive stage presence? Are they “into” the music when they are playing and leading? Do they express joy, passion, and worship naturally and in a non-distracting way? Or are they bored looking, passionless, and unengaged?
Communication – Are they quick to respond to the Planning Center Scheduling emails? Are they quick to respond to texts, phone calls, and other emails? Do they read the Team Training emails? Do they text or call when they’re (occasionally) running late? If they have an issue, do they bring it up honestly and lovingly?
Alex Enfiedjian 02:51 honors God,
Alex Enfiedjian 02:51 with their whole life, and yet they get up there on Sunday to lead worship, that’s hypocrisy. So character has to be the first thing if they don’t pass the character test don’t even go any further. Does this person have a heart for God? Do they love the church? Do they have a knowledge of God’s Word? Is their walk with Christ real and vibrant? And most importantly, are they committed to your church body? Or are they just, you know, wanting to play? So character number one, hugely important, don’t skip character, it will save you a lot of headaches, even if you feel like, Oh, I just really need an electric guitar player, or I just really need a keyboard player right now. Or how am I supposed to play without a drummer, you don’t want to put someone up there. If they aren’t going to represent Christ well, so don’t skip on this, you will save yourself a lot of headaches. Secondly, if they pass the character test, craft, you want someone on your team who is committed to developing their craft as a musician or a singer. So if you are a team member, be committed to developing your craft. You know, we want people on our teams who have a high quality of musical ability. You know, we want to bring our best to the Lord, we want to bring our best to the church because we’re better equipped to serve the church. And the church gets more when we are able to use our instruments or our voices in a way that really helps them worship and doesn’t distract them from worship. So is this person or are you quick to adapt to musical changes and readjust your parts? Or are you rigid or inflexible? Does this person play well with the team? Are they listening to what the other team members are playing? And find parts that fit in and complement that or do they just play whatever they want, and they’re real busy and they don’t serve the song instead, they serve their ego and play all over the keyboard or all the The guitar neck. So these are things that we’re looking for in team members. How do you how to be a good team member, you work on your craft, practice with the metronome, practice listening to other songs, worship songs and pick out the parts of your instrument and say, What is that professional keyboard player playing? Oh, I see he’s playing very little here. So use the resources that are available to you, whether they’re online or take lessons, or just do what you have to do to improve your craft. Because if you want to be a great worship team member, you will continually grow in your craft. So character craft, then commitment, this is important, because if you join a worship team, but aren’t committed to the team, to your ability to the church, body in general, then you’re not going to be a blessing to the church. And that’s what we want. We want to be blessings to the church. So commitment, is this person. Are you constantly trying to get better as a musician? Are you practicing your instrument weekly, at least? Are you reading articles online or watching videos to grow and to be committed to your role on the team. And then besides being committed to musical growth, it’s also important that you’re committed to your church, if you’re just showing up when you want to play, or if you’re just showing up on the weeks that you’re scheduled to play, there’s something wrong, you should be in love with your church body, you should be committed to your church body, even on the weeks where you’re sitting in the pews. In fact, I would argue that we need more worship leaders in the pews, to spur the congregation on to worship. So don’t just show up when you’re playing.
Alex Enfiedjian 07:12 Also, you know, be committed to the obligations you have, as a team member, meaning show up to your rehearsals on time. And, you know, are you prepared? Are you do you know, your parts? Do you have them down cold? Or are you fumbling through the music, be committed, being part of a team is a commitment. And when all of us, including the worship leader, myself included, when we are committed to practicing before rehearsal, then the whole rehearsal goes better. And things just sound better, and the church is blessed more. So be committed to your team, to your church, to your worship leader, don’t leave them hanging in, you know, don’t text them that you’re, you know, 15 minutes late, when you’re already 15 minutes late, let us know, let your worship leader know ahead of time be committed. So character craft commitment, the next thing that we look for, at least in our music department is is this person coachable? Are they coachable? Are they willing to take direction because a lot of us we get stuck on I just want to play, how I play, what I play, when I play, I don’t really want someone to tell me when to play. But again, we’re looking for people who are humble, and who just want to serve and be a blessing. So if there’s a lack of receptiveness to input and direction, that person is just going to butt heads with the worship leader, or the music director of the church. So, you know, oftentimes with my team, I’ll you know, we’ll be playing something and I’ll have a run, stop, and I’ll say, hey, what you’re doing, can you try this instead? And graciously, my team members always say, yeah, I’ll play that. But if you’re like, No, I don’t want to play that because that sounds stupid. And you know, in my opinion, or I don’t like that, or I want to play this jazzy beat, even though it doesn’t work with the song. That’s not a coachable, humble, servant minded attitude. So be coachable. Because your music director or your worship leader at your church, they were hired because they have the gift of, hopefully, they have the gift of piecing together music and producing a live band situation. So trust their judgment, their musical judgment and be a blessing to them, and work with them to bless the church. They have a vision in mind for the song, and they want that vision to be accomplished. So work with them, not against them be coachable. The next trait of being a good team member is chemistry. And there are a lot of different types of chemistry, not the one in high school. The one that says musically do these does this person mesh? Well, musically with the current team members, and the sound that we’re trying to accomplish. Because there are many people who are extremely talented musicians, they might be a piano player or a guitar player, but they just do their thing. And they have a style. They’re very good at it. But their style does not mesh doesn’t have chemistry with your current sound or the vision for your team. So don’t just settle for a keyboard player, because they’ve got classical experience. And they can rip the keyboard to shreds. Because if you put them into a contemporary setting, they might be all over the keyboard. In every spectrum of sound, low, high, mid, they’re playing everything, they’re playing the baselines, they’re playing the melodies, they’re playing the little flourishes up top, and they’re leaving no space for anyone else. So you know, pick people who you think are going to mesh musically, with your current team, or with the sound that you’re trying to accomplish. That’s really important. You know, also make sure that their tone, and their style is modern.
Alex Enfiedjian 11:47 That’s, that’s just the musical chemistry. But besides that, you want to make sure relationally they fit that they have chemistry with your team. So do they get along with the other team members? The last thing you want is team member drama. So as if you’re a team member, please do your worship leader a favor and get along Be kind, be compassionate, be quick to forgive, don’t hold grudges? Do they get along with your team? Are they easy going? Or do they cause drama. So you want people on your team who are fun to be around who love to be around each other, who would get together and have you know, not picnics while maybe picnics but something you that you enjoy being together you enjoy praying together, you enjoy reading the Word together, you enjoy playing together, you laugh together. So chemistry is super important, not just musically, but relationally. So, and to encourage chemistry, if you’re a worship leader, or a music director, I would encourage you to do things with your team. I know I’m trying to grow in this. It’s hard because everyone’s busy. But put something on the calendar, a bonfire or, you know, a night of prayer and a potluck at someone’s house, just get together and be together outside of rehearsal night or Sunday morning chemistry for a team member is a huge thing to more charisma, charisma, meaning is this person, a natural leader on the stage. I’ve had many experiences with a team member who might be great at what they do musically or vocally. But when they get on the stage, they lock up, they freeze, they get uncomfortable, they get stage fright, they get awkward. And they just, you know, shut down and look, you know, really distracting. So it’s important for a worship team member to be comfortable on a stage to be comfortable in front of people. Because that’s what we’re doing. We’re leading people, right. And so I would say if you’re someone on a team and you’re uncomfortable on the stage, I would try to find places to serve that are maybe a little less intimidating. Maybe it’s in the youth band, or maybe in the college band or somewhere where there may be less eyeballs on you. And try to get comfortable there first, and then work your way up to the main stage because we’re called to worship the Lord with our bodies to use our bodies to lift our hands to lift our eyes to the Lord. And so if if your body language is a downer, you’re you’re leading the congregation down and you’re leading with your body. So be aware of your of your of your posture, be aware of your, you know facial expressions even. So Express, express joy Express, express passion, express worship naturally in a non distracting way. Because the last thing you want to do as a worship team member, you are a worship leader. If you’re on the stage, the last thing you want to do is to look bored, or look unengaged or look super nervous, because when you’re nervous, the congregation is nervous for you. So have charisma. And then the final thing just as an administrative element to the whole, being a good team member, the last thing is communication. As a worship leader, and as a as a music director, and as a ministry leader, I send a lot of emails, I have to send a lot of texts, I have to send a lot of Planning Center, you know, scheduling requests, and I’m looking for in a team member, someone who is quick to respond to my communication, that doesn’t mean they drop everything. But it also doesn’t mean that What it does mean is if they don’t respond ever to a Planning Center request, or scheduling requests, something’s wrong. So be quick to communicate with your worship leader because they can’t plan their sets. They can’t. You know, even pick they can’t pick songs if they don’t know if you if you’re playing or not. Because, believe it or not, we do choose songs based on who’s playing on the team for any given week. So be quick to communicate if you’re going to be late to her. So let them know ahead of time, so they can get started without you.
Alex Enfiedjian 16:48 Even if one thing about communication, too, if you have an issue with your worship leader, don’t talk about it with your other team members, talk about it with your worship leader. Hopefully, they’re a kind, loving person, and they will gladly hear your input and respond in a godly wise manner. So communication is such an important part of being a good team member. And even on the stage. You know, when you’re looking at your worship leader, make sure you’re watching him for the cues and any changes that he might or she might be making. So those are the seven traits of a good team member. I’ll go through them one more time, character first, craft, commitment coachability chemistry, charisma, and communication. I hope this podcast was a blessing to you. I hope you took something away. I hope you learned from it. And if it was a blessing, please share it with someone else that might be encouraged by it. And if you wouldn’t mind, go ahead and leave a rating for me on iTunes that would help me so much to get the word out to other worship leaders and other worship team members that we have something here, the worship team training podcast, meant to equip and bless them so that they might be a blessing to their church. God bless you and have a great day and have a great Sunday. worship Jesus passionately. God bless
Character, Craft, Commitment, Coachability, Chemistry, Charisma, & Communication. The traits of a good team member! – Tweet That!
If someone isn’t honoring God with their life they shouldn’t be on the stage. – Tweet That!
Good team members play what serves the song, not what serves their ego. – Tweet That!
If you’re just going to church on the weeks you’re scheduled to play, something’s wrong! – Tweet That!
If you have an issue with your worship leader, talk with your worship leader about it, not others! – Tweet That!
It’s important to have people on your worship team who enjoy being together. – Tweet That!
Before Sunday, make sure potential team members have a natural, confident presence on the stage. – Tweet That!