So many worship leaders are stuck leading worship every single Sunday. They have no one to back them up or fill in for them. This means they never get a break, which leads to exhaustion and burnout. Why do so many worship leaders have such a hard time raising up others to take our place? What should we be looking for in potential new leaders, and how do we help them grow to the level we need them to actually be capable of leading in our services? Andrew Wooddell has been training young worship leaders for the last fourteen years and has a ton of wisdom for us on how we can find, develop, and deploy new worship leaders into our churches. Enjoy the episode!
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:10 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast, a monthly podcast for worship leaders and worship team members. My name is Alex Enfiedjian, your host, and I am so glad you’re tuning in today to spend time investing in yourself learning how to be a good and godly worship leader. And today we’re talking about how to develop other worship leaders, not just yourself, but how to develop people downstream from you. raise them up so that they can lead in your church and help lead your ministry. Because I think so many of us worship leaders do ministry solo, like we don’t have anybody who can back us up. We don’t have anybody who could fill in for us. If we take a vacation. There’s no one that we’ve raised up and trained up to take the ministry on if God called us elsewhere, or if something bad happened and we got hit by a bus, there would be no one to fill in that Sunday for us. So how are you doing at developing others because God commands us to make disciples and multiply ourselves into other people. And so this month, I’m talking with Andrew Waddell from Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, he has been training worship leaders for the last 1517 years. And so he knows how to find potential worship leaders, what qualities you should look for in them, how to begin giving them safe places to use their gifts, how to give feedback, all that stuff. We talked about that in this episode. So my hope and encouragement is that after today, you would really take seriously the call to develop other worship leaders for your church. And to that end, I want to say many of you know, I’ve recently developed five brand new courses for worship leaders giving you the practical training in areas like set building, and team building, and congregational engagement, and all these things that no one ever taught us. And what I wanted to suggest is, I’d be okay, if your church bought this course bundle, and used it 100 times with 100 different worship leaders to develop them. Like I don’t care if you only buy one license, but you use it with 100 different people, I just care that you have a tool that you can use to help develop new and upcoming worship leaders. So think about that maybe your church can invest in a one time purchase $99. And you can use this as a tool to train other worship leaders at your church and let them go through the curriculum and then you can dialogue with them about it. Just a suggestion, you can check out the courses at worship ministry training, comm slash courses, or click the link in the show notes. And if you put in the promo code WM t podcast at checkout, it will give you 25% more off so it’d be like $75 investment, that man I don’t care if you use it on 100 different young worship leaders and then use it as a curriculum to dialogue with them. So check that out. But that’s enough of that. Let’s get into the conversation with Andrew Adele about how to develop new worship leaders at your church. Hey everybody, I am here with Andrew Waddell, who is the worship pastor of Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, a church of what 20,000 30,000 people in Florida, a lot of people, lots and lots of people in a room or online, and you also lead a school of worship at Ocean’s edge university where you help train and develop new worship leaders. Welcome to the podcast. So glad to finally Connect. Yeah, thanks
Andrew Wooddell 03:23 so much for being here and appreciate the invite.
Alex Enfiedjian 03:26 Yeah, it’s gonna be a great conversation. So Andrew, we know that true gospel ministry is all about multiplication, like literally God’s first command to humans was be fruitful and multiply. And Jesus’s last command while he was on the earth was go and make disciples. And yet, many of us leading worship, have a really, really hard time replicating ourselves in other people so that we build up teams of qualified worship leaders who can lead in our place. And I think many worship leaders listening probably feel stuck leading their services week after week after week, without ever getting a break without ever having anyone to fill in for them. And they feel burnt out and drained. And I’d love to just know, because you’re you’re actively regularly raising up new worship leaders through your school through your program. Why do you think the problem of not being able to find and develop other worship leaders exists? Is it especially pronounced in the worship leader sphere? Or is it a problem in general?
Andrew Wooddell 04:21 Yeah, I think it’s a big challenge in the local church. And I would say the first challenge that we have is cultural. I’m a dad. And so with my kids, I mean, we play sports on the weekends, and you know, whether it’s soccer or football or whatever, there’s a lot of parents right now that really love their kids to stay active and get involved in that. But there’s also a lack of parental encouragement for the arts, if I’m honest, so where you might have a kid who was really well rounded a few years ago, and he, you know, maybe some music sang in the choir, played a few sports and just kind of out of a variety of experiences. Some of those kids are more specialized now and they’re like, Hey, I just play soccer. I just code you know, programming or whatever it is that they get into. So I think culturally we Have these maybe young leaders who grew up playing music just for fun or in some of those spheres. So starting, I think the bar is starting a little bit lower, and the pool is a little bit thinner, if I’m honest, and so you have to maybe lower the bar. And instead of looking for the best, and just grabbing the best out of the pool, you have to now change into a mindset of development. Like know you’re interested, or Oh, you play guitar, or all you saying, Let me see where you’re at and help you grow from here. So I think it’s instead of talent finding approach, we’re going to have to become like developers and disciplers, even inside of worship ministry. And that’s a challenge because every week we have deadlines every week, there’s, you know, expectations, and it’s hard to carve out time inside of our busy schedule for discipleship and development. It’s hard, but it’s really, really important. And I think strategically, as leaders, we have to find time for that, if we’re going to replicate ourselves and you know, get a weekend offensive, those things we all really, really need.
Alex Enfiedjian 05:58 Are there any other factors that you think play into, like having a hard time finding and developing people? And specifically, is it is it especially challenging with worship leaders? Like, it seems like it might be easier to develop a Sunday school teacher than it is to develop like a qualified worship leader? Would you agree or
Andrew Wooddell 06:14 Yeah, and I think because what we need isn’t just a willing heart, we need, you know, a skilled hand and a willing heart, and you need some semblance of ability, musically, you know, music specific. So I think all the requirements, all the filters, if you will, gives you a much smaller pool at the end. It’s not bad, it’s just a greater challenge. And if we’re not intentional to be relational with our congregation, we’re gonna you know, people come in and out every week, and if we don’t catch them in the hallway, or meet the right person, we’re gonna miss out on that connection. So I think it’s important that we, as worship leaders don’t just do greenroom platform, sort of movements. We go out into the body, we’re in small groups, we’re connecting the community. And as we are, we meet people, and they’re like, you know, what I easily were showing my last church and like, God, really tell me about that. But if you’re not out meeting people, and just getting to know your church, and loving on them and shepherding them, it’s much, much harder to find out if you who is gifted and who is called to do that work with you. So I would start there, huh?
Alex Enfiedjian 07:13 Yeah, no, I love the intentionality that we need to have. And you’re encouraging us to have because yeah, if we’re not intentionally looking for and, and then intentionally making time to raise up and develop these fewer and fewer musicians in our churches, then we’re gonna end up with a dry pool bed or a dry lake bed, and it’s just gonna be nothing, you know, and we’re like, okay, we are literally out of qualified people if we don’t do the hard work, but I do agree with you completely, that the time thing is so hard, because we have so many responsibilities pressing on us. And I have a lot of young, really, really super talented 1617 year old kids, like they play every instrument, they sing amazing. And they love the Lord. And I need to make the time to really like actively disciple them and develop them as worship leaders. And so I love that encouragement. Where do you think you already kind of hit on some of these places like, don’t just be in the greenroom, be out, mingling, and in small groups, but where else should worship leaders look to find people that they can begin raising up? And what should they look for in a good candidate?
Andrew Wooddell 08:18 Yeah. Now, those are great questions. I think, like I said earlier, you have to have a mindset of development. And I think you’re going to have to build some sort of culture of development. So let me just pause there, a couple churches that I think everybody should look to, or celebrate a little bit, and they’re friends of mine, but a church of the highlands of Alabama, you know, huge multi site, mega church, but what they do intentionally with their week, they have their weekend services on Sunday, but on Thursday night, before they even have a weekend rehearsal for their team, they have a developmental training. So let’s say 7pm, the people who are interested in their worship ministry, and maybe you play an instrument or sing, they come in, they get coaching from some of their staff. They’re like, Hey, here’s two songs to learn for next week, they come in, and they practice and they’re learning the technology, and they’re learning the relationship side. And they’re, and they’re learning to take feedback. And you’re, hey, let’s work on that strum pattern, or, hey, let’s work on that drum fill, or, hey, let’s work on your pitch as a vocalist. And those two songs in that one hour, they get training, coaching development, then they’re connected relationally with a worship ministry, but the weekend team comes in today. Well, maybe they come early, and they’re just cheering them on. And you know, it’s natural. It’s more, I think, just local church centered. And then the people that were there earlier, can stick around and watch their rehearsal. But I think that’s a really cool model. And they build their week around that, like, Hey, this is really important to us. It’s so important that we’re not going to put it after a week in a row. So we’re going to put it before and as people are coming in to serve the week and they get to cheer on the people that are growing. So I think that’s a really cool model. My friends at 12 Stone church in Atlanta, Atlanta, traffic is nuts. And their church is like spread out all over Atlanta. And so they go, Hey, people aren’t going to come to our property on a weeknight because they’re soccer because there’s You know, homework, because, you know, whatever there is, it’s just too much traffic. And so they developed a YouTube curriculum where people can watch five minute videos. And they watch three or four of them. And then they take a short little quiz. And that’s how they’re discipling. and developing their people when they go, Hey, this is unit one is really about the heart of worship, and they walk through all that stuff. So if you’re a new team member, you get some of the DNA and some of the training. And if you’re listening to this podcast, right now, you can go to their YouTube, that’s called meta m, eta. It’s out there for anybody to use, but it’s great material. And you can reuse that if it echoes your heart as a worship leader, but it’s great training resource for the local church. So you got to find a way to develop who you have, when you’re at a church of 100. Church of you know, 10,000, you have to have a developmental process now, because that perfect worship leader candidate is not going to walk through the door, probably, it’s up to us to pour into them and grow them. And that’s what Jesus did. He took some rough around the edges, people and he said, I believe in you, and I want to do life with you for three years, and you might be a knucklehead, we might have to walk through some difficult conversations. But I believe in you, I believe that the Holy Spirit in you is going to help you get there. So that’s, I think that’s the best posture we can take, as worship leaders and disciplers.
Alex Enfiedjian 11:12 Yeah, that’s so good. And I did an interview with a church in Texas called celebration church, and they have a similar program before their rehearsal. And so the listeners, you guys can go look that up. It’s called behind the scenes or achieving musical excellence, with celebration church, and you guys can listen to that and hear how they do it, because we go into detail about the program. But I still would love for you to kind of like, tell us, what are you looking for? Let’s say several kids are coming through young adults are coming through your Ocean’s edge School of worship, what are the qualities that you’re looking for in somebody that you see massive potential in?
Andrew Wooddell 11:46 Yeah, I think you could boil it down to three things. I think Psalm 78, similar to says that David led them with the integrity of his heart and the skill of his hand. So I think you on the most important thing is that these people are in love with Jesus, period. And that integrity is really the thing that gives us longevity in ministry, the thing that allows us to speak into someone else’s life is that we’re following Jesus closely. We’re sitting at his feet, and we’re walking with Him. Secondly, skill, you know, you don’t have to be five stars, but you got to be skilled, and you got to be working hard at your craft, and just be faithful and diligent. And I think the last thing is teachability. If you’re teachable, if somebody can come alongside of you and say, Hey, work on this, and you take it to heart and you’re open to it, and you work on it, and come back, that’s somebody I can work with all day long as somebody who can grow, whether it’s a you know, as a Sunday school teacher, as a worship leader, whatever I think humility is a part of that does teach ability. So I would say integrity of heart, which is really our walk with Christ skill of our hand, which means you have to have something, you know, even the kid came to Jesus, he had five loaves and two fish, you know, he didn’t have enough to feed 5000, but he had enough for Jesus to work with. And I think that’s look forward, you go, hey, that’s enough skill, I can work with that. You love Jesus, and you’re teachable, let’s go. And whether they’re 16, or maybe even they’re like, 50 doesn’t matter. We’re just pouring in people.
Alex Enfiedjian 13:05 Yeah, those are such good qualities. Thank you, as you were talking about those programs that like are pretty intensive, and, you know, I’m thinking of maybe a church of, let’s say, 100. And they’re like, I don’t think I can develop a program to train people before our midweek rehearsal. Or maybe we don’t have a midweek rehearsal, or some some sort of excuse for like, why it wouldn’t work for them. Like I was just thinking about the young kids at my church. You know, we have, like I said, some really talented 1617 year olds, and they just need to be poured into and discipled. But we do have a midweek service. So it would be hard to, to do a training program midweek. But one thing that we are about to start doing, and maybe this is an idea for someone listening is we’re going to just start on the third service of our Sunday, because we have three services on Sunday mornings, I’m going to go through like a worship curriculum with them back here in the worship space in the area where we, you know, hang out in between services is the place where I shouldn’t be hanging out in between services, according to Andrew, but but I’m going to have them come back here and I’m going to teach them for 20 minutes while our pastor preaches. And then I’m going to dip out and get ready for the pastor to wrap it up. So I don’t miss my time to get back on stage. But then my other leaders will be back here continuing the conversation and doing dialogue with them. So that over the course of like, I don’t know, 10 weeks or 15 weeks, they get like a really good sense of like, what is worship? What is the worship leaders role, and all those things? And so, um, that’s just an idea that I’m going to throw out there and say, yes, it’s hard to make time. But if you use your time strategically, like maybe during the third service sermon, you could do something to disciple people.
Andrew Wooddell 14:36 Yeah, absolutely. I think we can all you know, do Google meet or zoom calls now and you can find time, even if they’re like, Oh, I can’t drive there and you go, like, why can’t make three hours work? Maybe you can record five minute videos and send them to your key leaders of like, Hey, this is what Colossians one says about the preeminence of Christ. So let’s make sure Jesus is in first place in our worship services, or you know, and those sort of conversations or Hey, notice the posture of heaven in Revelation four and five. where everybody’s gathered around the throne, but everything is looking at Jesus and glorifying Jesus. So I think having those honest conversations with people and and getting the why, why are we worshiping a? Why do we do this? Getting that solid? Then you get into the how do we do this? How can we do better? How can we make sure we’re, we’re honoring Christ and replicating ourselves? I think those are really important conversations to have. And it might be over coffee, it might be on a third service, like you said, it might be over a zoom call, but it’s just important for us to pursue those and have those.
Alex Enfiedjian 15:28 Yeah, that’s really good. Now you kind of hit on some of the things that you might teach in a foundational sense. Let’s say somebody listening finds a young person that has those three qualities you told us about? And they’re like, Okay, what do I teach them? So what does Andrew Waddell teach? What are the foundational things that you begin with? When you’re starting to train a new worship leader regarding their role regarding worship? What are the key principles you want to lay down first?
Andrew Wooddell 15:56 Yeah, so for our culture, I would say our highest value, obviously, is keeping Jesus Central, but our highest value and our corporate gathering is participation. And so that really shapes a lot of how we build our services, and how we think about our services and preparing people for them. And so I want to make sure that those leaders that we’re raising up or that we’re pouring into know that, and that we clearly define that. And so, you know, let’s say a 16 year old goes, you know, why are you guys doing that, that old song and you’re like, Well, that sounds not that old, it’s only five years old, or 10 years old. And, and they don’t understand the why you go, Well, here’s the deal. Our biggest value, our highest value is participation. And so we want people to be able to close their eyes, not look at a screen, and just pour their heart out to Jesus. And what’s important for us in that moment is that they know the song so they can sing along. And that’s, that’s more important to us than maybe the latest song. And so, but not every church culture is like that. But I think for us, we want to make sure our new worship or new worship leaders or our younger worship leaders know what the culture is. And then we kind of steer them towards that in our conversations in our discipleship. So there was a great little book, tiny book, it’s out of print now. It’s called music and worship ministry, you can get on Amazon for like $3 or $4. Back in the day, we might have bought all of them, I don’t know. But I would give one of those to all of our worship leaders as well. And it was just super readable is it was short, but just a great resource of biblically what worship is because I think Biblically, what worship is and culturally what churches can make it, there’s a tension there sometimes where it’s not always an alignment. So I think it’s important to point people back to doctrine. Yeah. And what the Bible says, and what Jesus says worship is, and fight for that, and teach people that and make sure that we’re really aligning our hearts and our services around that.
Alex Enfiedjian 17:41 Yeah. And I would love to hear, you know, as you get some of these, like, 1920 year old people joining your university and entering the worship track, and they have an idea in their mind of worship, is this or worship? Is this thing I saw on YouTube that this other church does? What would you say are some of the wrong ideas that young people have about being a worship leader today that you have to kind of correct?
Andrew Wooddell 18:03 Yeah, I mean, we all have them, we all have wrong ideas of what worship is, I think, and this has been around for years, but I think the greatest challenge is going to a conference or watching a service online. And going, I want to do that, and trying to replicate or copy paste that into your context. And I think what we all know is that God is not a copier machine. God doesn’t make copies and just put them everywhere, what God does is he makes unique masterpieces, he makes unique poems, and, and each person, each leader, each context is different. And so I think you got to teach people to fight for what works in their context. And that changes, you know, the message doesn’t change, but the method does. And it’s going to change five years from now, or 20 years from now. So we teach the 20 year olds, really that and you know, not to take what’s on, you know, YouTube and that church in whatever city and fight for that, or even mimic that necessarily, but learn from it, glean what you can, and make sure that you always apply it inside of the context of your local church or whatever that that cultural context is.
Alex Enfiedjian 19:03 Yeah, that’s really good advice. You know, because I think a lot of worship leaders want to import their desires onto their congregation, you know, and I was even having this conversation with our Production Director, because he came in, you know, from Saddleback, and from like, this other 30,000 person, church, you know, we’re a big church, but we don’t act like that in terms of production. And he wanted to import a lot of that into what we do, and it wasn’t really translating to the body. And so it’s like, Okay, well, what does this body need? And I think a lot of worship leaders need to ask that question too. Like, no, they don’t need to sing that cool techno pop song, they actually need to sing Great is Thy faithfulness, like, what is your church actually need? So that’s really helpful that you help them understand comes
Andrew Wooddell 19:46 from relationship, Alex, it really does. Like you have to know the people in your church so that you can serve them and Shepherd them well, and they may not need what that YouTube service has, but they might. So you really have to be open to the work of the Spirit and be in relationship and trust. Lord.
Alex Enfiedjian 20:00 Yeah, that’s good. So let’s talk about practically, we have a young worship leader under our wing. They’re, they express interest. They’re talented, and they love the Lord. And they, yeah, they’ve got their little quirks and niggles, but we all do. So what are some practical things that you do to help develop these people? We’ve talked about teaching, we’ve talked about videos, we’ve talked about this pre rehearsal program, are there any other practical ways to help them develop both spiritually and musically? Or did we kind of cover it all?
Andrew Wooddell 20:32 No, I think we’ve covered it, I think the most important thing I can do is make sure that they’re following Jesus are following me as I follow Jesus. And we’re pointing them back to him as much as possible, and not towards anything else. So I mean, spiritual musical development comes from that place. It’s the Mary Martha challenge in the local church is we love Martha’s, because they get a lot done, they’re reliable. And they work really hard. But it has to start from that very position of sitting at Jesus’s feet. And Jesus doesn’t break Martha, in that he just says, Martha Mary’s chosen the greater thing. So I think the greater thing is to sit with Jesus, and out of that relationship, and out of that time, you know, do the ministry that were called to do so I think we can point the people that were discipling, back to that marry position that marry place at the secret place with Christ, and letting the Holy Spirit speak to us staying in His Word, I think that’s going to be beautiful, because then what Jesus does through them is going to be maybe different than what we expected. But it’s going to be beautiful. Because all 12 of the apostles, they all looked very different. Jesus didn’t disciple them toward one model, he disciple them towards, you know, who they were in him. It looked very different. So I think, you know, somebody said, it’s really, really good ministry should be designed around somebody’s gift. And so I think, well, we the worst thing we could do is be like, hey, you should look like this leader that I like, or that’s on YouTube, or whatever. But instead of going like, this is who you are. And guess what you might play the violin? Why can’t a violinist be a worship leader? Maybe they should be in their local church context, I don’t know. But we have to make sure that we don’t go like hey, you have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, play a certain instrument to be a worship leader, I think we have to make sure that we’re like, Okay, are you following Jesus? Yes. And then just pour into them and just see what Jesus does from that spot.
Alex Enfiedjian 22:15 I love that. I love that not hands off approach, but like, I’m just gonna put you at the feet of Jesus, and you just abide with him and the fruit will come and it’s going to be the fruit that God wants, not the fruit that I expect you to give, which is really hard for controlling people like me to like, take my hands off and be like, you just be who Jesus made you to be. Now what if who Jesus made them to be is not really a good fit for your local churches context,
Andrew Wooddell 22:42 I think in relationship and discipleship that comes up. I think at some point, you have to be honest with them to have that conversation, but celebrate it, rather than it’s, you know, you don’t fit here or you got to go, I think you just go, Hey, you know, what you’re growing. And your voice, the language that you speak, is not our cultural context. That’s not wrong. I’m glad you speak different languages is that chapter two, it’s, you know, God gave you that language, you can go out and minister to the people that knew that language. So I think we have to be honest with people that were discipling. And go, you may not fit here, but I’m just, I’m supposed to disciple you towards Jesus. And then what you do from there, as you kind of raise your sail, and you catch the wind of the Holy Spirit. You know, if God calls you to, you know, Africa, or you know, somewhere in Europe or Asia or wherever, that’s beautiful, and God calls you to, to speak that language for his purposes and for His glory.
Alex Enfiedjian 23:34 So let me ask you this, you know, there’s that initial dip in quality when you’re when you’re investing in someone, and they’re getting their feet wet, there’s going to be a dip in quality. As you’re developing people, if you’re putting them on the platform. I mean, there are other venues that you can develop people in, you can create other venues to help people get their experience. Like I have a young woman who’s starting out in the kids zone to start getting more comfortable with a microphone. She has a great voice, she sings harmony, but she does never song into a microphone. So okay, we’re going to give you live experience in the kids zone, you know, sanctuary. But let’s say that person is ready now to get on stage and to try leading like, how do you set up your leadership and your church body to be okay with the dip? Or how do you protect them from crashing and burning? Any thoughts on that?
Andrew Wooddell 24:26 Yeah, um, no, I have some thoughts on that because I have failed in that way. A lot of times. I think if the culture at your church is to develop and disciple that your leadership will celebrate that, then they’ll understand and then your job as a leader is to set them up for a win and keep them from failing and may not be you may not hit a homerun, but you know, you’re shooting for a single or a double. So one of the things I tried to do with a new leader is I try to put a new leader with solid teams. And I go hey, you know, I’m not gonna throw you to the wolves and, and this is a developmental team with a developmental leader. Like, I’ll take the developmental team, but I want you know, even the a team, I hate that expression. But the a team, I want to give you the developmental leader. Because even if you mess up or you don’t say, well, they’re going to cover that with grace, and their experience is going to come in and some, it’s going to help you win. So I think it’s that it’s we want to make sure that our culture, with our leadership and our congregation, we understand, hey, we develop people. But on the flip side, we have to set them up for a win. So even crafting the setlist with them and help them understand like, don’t come in with three brand new songs, you know, and then people are gonna stare at you. And that’s not going to be a win for us. Because again, our greatest value is participation. So you know, strategically helping them understand that even I asked the people if they’re going to speak before a song, to set up a song, to try writing it out. Maybe not word for word, but at least the framework of what you want to say. So you don’t get caught in that rabbit trail. And then even in rehearsal, it feels very strange. But I have them practice it. So not to be inauthentic. We want it to be authentic. But again, wanting to give them reps, giving them experience so that they don’t fail, and so that the Holy Spirit can work through them. So I think it’s all of those things. But again, I think the best thing I can do with a new leader is give them an experienced team so that their weaknesses are covered with grace. Mm hmm.
Alex Enfiedjian 26:14 Yeah. And you’re really hand holding them until you are able to let go. It’s like teaching a kid how to ride a bike. It’s like I’m gonna run next to you. And let go for a second and I’m gonna grab you again and eventually like, Okay, I’m gonna let go and you’re gonna ride for a little longer before you fall. And it’s like, okay, so why don’t you leave one verse, okay, why don’t you lead one song? Okay, why don’t you lead to songs now. And it’s like, slowly building that muscle until they’re ready to do the whole thing by themselves. And then you give them the best team possible. So I love that.
Andrew Wooddell 26:41 Yeah. And if you’re a local church worship player, I would say start with what you have, and start every week with something. Maybe you have somebody else, like, say hi to everybody to agree. Maybe if somebody else pray, maybe you have somebody else, like lead a section of a song, you know, even if they’re not as good, but just get that into weekly rhythm. And what happens if you look at Jesus, I think it’s Luke 10. And Luke 11. He says, start sending everybody out two by two. And he sends a 12 out two by two, they come back and they’re like, this was awesome. But we also failed help. And it creates good conversation with questions. And then the next time he sends out the 72, by two, they come back, hey, we couldn’t do this. We tried this. And then they were celebrating the wins. And they were also like, we need to learn more so and if you get to create that context, where you send people out, they feel trusted, but they also get to come back with questions, and ongoing discipleship. So I would say make it a weekly rhythm for you with something small, anything small, even like backstage, like, ask your drummer to pray, leave the prayer, you know, or maybe you ask the bass player to do a demo, because those people are like, what I never get a microphone. Like, just pour into them and see what the Lord might do.
Alex Enfiedjian 27:46 I love that. That is so encouraging. Now, you did mention like the disciples coming back and talking to Jesus, and he’s debriefing with them. So when after you give a leader a shot, let’s say you give them the best band possible, you throw them on stage, not know you don’t throw them on stage, but you help them do well. But they, you know, everybody messes up the first time. What is your post mortem? That sounds morbid, but what is your post discussion process sound like, as you’re cutting it open and looking inside? What does that look like, after the fact? Um,
Andrew Wooddell 28:17 before I say anything, I want to hear what they thought, because I think getting their feedback raw is really, really important. And I think it gives you a window into their thinking, because you’re gonna realize really quick, if they’re like, it was awesome. And you’re like, the band was killing it. And, man, it was, it was rockin, but everybody’s staring at them. People were singing with us. But they’re like, how was awesome, then you realize, hey, here’s a disconnect. Where were you looking? You know, did you see people? Or maybe people were like loving it. And people were like worshipping Jesus, and they were celebrating God and every way, shape and form. And they come back and they just start kicking themselves. Oh, I missed that second verse. Or, you know, and you just like, man, no, no, Jesus used you and you glorified him. And people were blessed. Like, don’t get caught up in your mistake. So I would say start by just asking, Hey, what do you think? How do you feel? How do you think that went? Once you experience, you know, and you’ll get a lot of different points of feedback. I’ve had people just tell me how the enemy was attacking them and their thoughts the whole time. And then as a leader, I get to say, yeah, that happens to me, too. And they’re like, oh, okay, I thought it was because I was new, like, no, it’s called spiritual warfare. And that’s part of how the enemy distracts us when we’re trying to honor Jesus. So I just think you got to get their honest feedback, pretty raw. And pretty soon after this, this sets over, and then just disciple them from there. If I’m honest, like and then I get to lead the conversation towards what would you do different next time? Or, you know, what was the win? Like, what worked? Well, what didn’t work? Well? How would you change your rehearsal? You know, in light of that, so just kind of creating those like thinking questions where they can kind of wrestle with it and grow.
Alex Enfiedjian 29:55 Yeah, I think the approach of asking questions is so much more beneficial than you Just simply slamming down the facts like this, you did wrong. And this you did wrong. And next time do this. It’s like asking them and letting them discover it for themselves. That’s that’s where the gold happens. That’s where the connections get made, you know. So
Andrew Wooddell 30:12 right. You don’t want to hold up the the Olympic paper and be like seven out of 10. You know, like, you don’t want to be that that leader. Yeah. Like, see what the Spirit is doing in them, and then just keep keep pouring into.
Alex Enfiedjian 30:22 Yeah, and one thing that I did early on with some of the young worship leaders here is like, we would sit down a few days later and watch the service together. And I would pause at different points and be like, okay, right here, you could have saying this, or you could have said this, or you could use this moment in the song to give an exhortation. You know, like, you just felt like that would have been helpful right there. So watching it back with them is, it can be very helpful. Yeah, very painful, but very helpful. So let’s, let’s just begin wrapping up the conversation in terms of what’s like a realistic time frame to see true development and improvement in a new worship leader? Like, is it six months? Is it a year? Is it three years? And then like how much time per week or month is necessary to really invest in people? So it’s too time related questions, but go ahead and stab at whatever you want.
Andrew Wooddell 31:13 I think if I can use the terms, macro and micro, I think you’re right, six to 12 months, on a macro level, are they getting better? Are they improving? Is it more effective ministry? I think that is true, it’s gonna take a little bit, because they’re not gonna lead every week, probably not, you know, you’re gonna give them maybe one week in a month or something. And then hey, learn from this, let’s plan on next month and grow from here. So I think it’s going to take six to 12 times of them leading worship. But I think you’re going to get the micro growth, and you’re going to see how they receive feedback if they’re teachable. So for you, you guys have a three service, Sunday model we have, most of our campuses are two or three services. So we get a chance on a Saturday night service to like step back and go, How’d that go, oh, that didn’t go well. Or hey, that didn’t connect or Hey, let’s tweak that thought the spirit was saying this instead. And so then Sunday, you get a chance to try again and make it different. So if you’re in a multiple service contacts, you can even grow across the weekend, maybe not in leaps and bounds, but you just go That was way better. Or hey, I shared this verse. And I think this land is better than maybe sharing it without the verse. So I think you can celebrate that stuff, too. Because really, macro growth is a bunch of small steps across time. So yeah, I think six to 12 months, but I think you can see micro growth inside of weekends and inside of even like set to set, if you’re in a one service weekend model, how they lead last month and how they lead next month can be better. So see growth in that. And then I would say if you can spend an hour a week with somebody, maybe 30 minutes to an hour a week with somebody in general, not the week that they’re leading. But I think, you know, in general relationally, it’s, it’s always always helpful, because you’re what you’re really trying to do is not disciple them towards being a worship leader. You’re trying to develop trust with them. So that when you need to have a hard conversation, or when you need to really go deep with somebody that relational trust is there. How many times did Jesus just hang out and eat with his disciples? Before he had to have that hard conversation with Peter, or, you know, to pull john aside, you know, like, it comes from relational time and trust, and speaking to my life for the people that I’ve spent time with, and that know me, and that challenged me privately and you know, that I’m accountable to so I think that’s important for us to chase as leaders.
Alex Enfiedjian 33:29 Yeah, that’s really good. And when do you give up on somebody? Or do you just repurpose them, like we talked about earlier? Or do you find a smaller venue for them to serve, like, God wants everybody to serve, but not everybody will always get to that same platform of like, influence. So yeah, what does that look like in the development process?
Andrew Wooddell 33:53 Yeah, you’re investing in people to get a kingdom outcome, you’re not investing them so that they, they can fit the mold. And if they don’t become a vocational worship leader, you’ve failed, you know, so make sure you’re not discipling them towards a career, or something like that, like, hey, if you don’t look or sound like, you know, Phil Wickham, or Brandon lake or somebody like, You failed, like don’t set them up for a loss in that way. I just think you go, Hey, you, I see something in you. I see leadership in you, Hey, I see. And it could be their spiritual gifting. I think it’s so important to, to remind people of what God has already put inside of them, whether it’s compassion, or you know, some people have the prophetic gifts, some people have a heart of mercy or heart of giving, and just call out what the Holy Spirit has already put inside of them. And help them unlock that in ministry. So that a year from now, maybe you’re just like, you’re an incredibly merciful person, you’re filled with the Spirit, you love Jesus. And they don’t have to be a worship leader to exercise that spiritual gift. You know, you just find other places in the church to to help them use that for the glory of God. And I think that’s the ongoing conversation. Those are some of the things you have to have relational trust to do. But again, we’re not saying you’re a worship leader, I see it and you, you just go, Hey, I see some gifts in you, and I want to pour into those gifts and see what Jesus might do. Are you? And people were like, yeah, yeah, people that we’ve poured into, and they’ve gone off and, you know, move to New York and become an artist, and there’s people that have gone off and you know, just become a, you know, small business owner or something else, but they still have those leadership gifts inside of them. And we still celebrate that because God’s don’t work in them and through them. So just point people to the thing that God’s already made them to do. And don’t put a label on it. Just call out what Jesus has put inside of them, and encourage them to do ministry around those gifts.
Alex Enfiedjian 35:38 That’s so good. And for the listeners, like notice how people centric all of this conversation has been, which is like, duh, like, the church is about developing and discipling people and I recently tweeted something along the lines of like, you know, the goal, whether it’s a church of 50, or 5000, the goal is to I don’t even remember what my tweet was now, but it was basically like, it’s all the same make disciples. So don’t worry about numbers, just do the thing with the people that are there. You know, it’s actually easier to make disciples if you only have four people in your ministry, because you could spend more time with them, right? So I think people get hung up on like the programs, it’s like, No, just develop people, pour into people, disciple people and call out the best in people. So that’s really good. I’d love for you to tell our listeners about ocean edge School of worship and ocean edge University. So tell us what it is what they could benefit by plugging in with you guys. And anything else you want to share about it?
Andrew Wooddell 36:34 Yeah, we’ve been around for 14 or 15 years. And we began as a residential discipleship program for worship 10 months school, and just pouring into people, we expanded it to a two year track at one time. And then we expanded it from just worship leaders to Creative Leadership, and even production. So we have people that are coming in with audio visual abilities and callings. And so we were like how we pour into them. So we’ve just expanded it and tried to be flexible with it over the last two years, we’ve felt called to kind of chase accreditation partnership with a couple other accredited universities. And, you know, we’re on the verge of like, unleashing maybe like a school of education. So you can come learn to lead worship, and You can also get your bachelor’s degree, as a teacher, and you go, Hey, I feel called to be by vocation. I’m a school teacher, Monday through Friday, and I get to lead worship at my local church on Sunday. So we just feel called to go that direction. There’s a lot of by vocational people out there, we want to make sure people leave, and you go, Hey, I want a major and a minor. So we’ve done that. Um, so you can go to Ocean’s edge University comm find out more, you can always follow us on our socials. Brittany is our Director of admission. So if you reach out to Brittany, just say, hey, Pastor Andrew sent me. And we want to make sure that we connect with you and give you an opportunity to grow. If you feel called to do that in the context of a local church. And there’s a lot of colleges out there a lot of universities. But for us, the beauty is you’re in a local church, we have 10 campuses, and a ton of other like smaller venues, whether it’s student venues or outreaches, or baptisms, where you can come and get practical experience discipled by like local church, pastors and leaders, while you’re pursuing your degree. And so right now, you can get your bachelor’s in three years, which is awesome. And so our dream is that you can graduate, learn ministry in a local church concept and hopefully be debt free when you leave. So we’re working on that. But if you want to find out more, I would say go to the website, Ocean’s edge University calm,
Alex Enfiedjian 38:27 awesome. And I’ll put a link in the show notes. Andrew has been so good to have you on I’d love for you to leave some final words to the worship leaders listening about major idea of training up new worship leaders for the glory of God and the growth of his church.
Andrew Wooddell 38:42 Yeah, so I would say first of all, most of my friends, Todd, who is a local church worship leader in Atlanta for years, he says this when you’re looking for somebody and see if it’s working, he said, you’ll know it’s working. If the load is light, and the field is right, and somebody’s doing the thing that God made them to do, you’re just like, yes, even if it’s a little bit like man, they’re learning. It’s still like, yes, but sometimes people will look on at something and like somebody who’s functioning in a way that’s not their gift. And you’ll say like, you know, when will this end, don’t do it again. And I think that’s a good tell to find out if somebody is functioning in their gifts. But everybody’s got a gift. So just because somebody doesn’t work in worship ministry, and it doesn’t work out, doesn’t mean they’re discarded doesn’t mean they’re not used by Jesus. It just means we haven’t found their fit yet. And the best thing we can do is disciplers is help them find their fit. And it may not be in worship, but we want to help them find their fit because they matter in the kingdom. And we need everybody we need everybody and all the spiritual gifts and all the ministries that God has put inside of us to be a healthy local church. And so I would say fight for that fight for people get to know them fight for relationship. And I would say the last thing is fight for longevity, fight for your souls health. Stay close to Jesus. I have another friend who’s at a church. He’s been there for nine years. He’s like man, just now after nine years of planting seeds and pouring into Just now it feels like we’re finally there, we’re finally hitting on all cylinders. And people are like leading. But it took nine years for him to get there. He’s a great leader. But now he’s almost 40. And he’s like, we’re there. And now I have to start, like, replacing transitioning, you know, but I think longevity is the thing we’re all looking for, you know, don’t go to a church for two years, then bounce and keep bouncing, like, find a place to plant roots. And like Psalm chapter one become a tree of righteousness planted by the water. And, you know, the beauty of that is that the seeds that were planted 20 years ago, I get to reap the harvest of, and if God allows me to stay at my church, like the seeds that were planting now, you know, when I’m 70 years old, and I will never be on a platform, different campuses, you know, I will get to see the fruit that not not that Andrew did, but that Jesus did, that the Holy Spirit birth through people. So I think that’s the beauty of longevity and ministry. And I would just encourage you to find a place where you can be there a long time, and just see what God might do.
Alex Enfiedjian 40:56 I love that, Oh, my gosh, oaks of righteousness, I want to help plant a forest of strong, stable, steady people who are giving shade in life and fruit to the world around them for the glory of God. So I love that.
Andrew Wooddell 41:09 Amen. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Alex. I love what you guys are doing at worship ministry training. And thank you so much for pointing to local church worship leaders. Thanks. Thanks
Alex Enfiedjian 41:17 so much, Andrew. All right. Well, that’s it for this month’s episode. I hope it has encouraged you to begin training and developing new worship leaders at your church for the glory of God, the good of the person and the expansion of God’s kingdom on the earth. Make sure you check out Ocean’s edge University if you’re interested in getting plugged into their school of worship. And also, like I said at the beginning, check out our courses on our courses page and see if those would be helpful to develop other worship leaders at your church. Have your church invest in at one time and use it as many times as you want to develop other worship leaders. I’d be happy for that kind of Kingdom investment. God bless you guys and I will see you guys next month for another helpful episode.