Leading A Worship Team (post from Hillsong Collective)

This post was written by the Hillsong Collective team and I thought I would share this on here:


For some of us, we have been entrusted with one of the most awe -inspiring, terrifying, and rewarding roles within our local churches… that of leading a creative team (or worship team, praise team, creative praise team, whatever you want to call it). This is an incredible privilege, but one for which there is no instruction manual, and a whole lot of variables… which has the potential to frustrate and limit our effectiveness as leaders.

Every person matters:

Of course, right? We all know this. But does your leadership show it? Do you have time for everyone, or only for that really good vocalist you’re trying to develop? What about the older person in your choir who’s voice is never going to be fantastic but they love singing and worshipping and being part of the team… Do you value them just as much? You should. Your team is called a team because its a TEAM. Every contribution matters, regardless of how prominent it is. Once your team is a closed loop, with no way in, there’s no room for growth. And a lot of this depends on your leadership. So, check yourself this weekend, and see where you spend your Sunday. Really, your team can only grow to the extent you value those least prominent in your team.
Build your culture with purpose:

Its important to be deliberate about the culture you build within your team. And if you don’t dictate the atmosphere, someone else will, and it may be a long way form what you were hoping. What are your church’s core values? What does your senior pastor want the church to be like? What qualities do you want your team to carry? If you can’t answer those questions, stop reading this and go figure out the answers. Our team is one typified by servanthood, a sense of family and community, and serving the Lord with gladness. Our people have a real strong respect for the platform and each other, and that is something we have been deliberate about in our speech and communication to our team. Our leaders carry that heart, and the trickle down effect is obvious within our team. What’s the culture of your team like? What are you building in them?

Put attitude above talent:

This is so critical, but something us leadership types can often overlook. Being brutally honest, you are better off having an average piano player who is committed to your church and team, rather than the full time professional player who thinks he is above the rest of the team and continually bucks against your direction and leadership. That kind of attitude can ruin morale within a team, and doesn’t help build your team in the long run. Confrontation is rarely fun, but its an important part of leadership (another post for another time). Trust me… build with the people who have your team’s best interests at heart; that will give you a healthy team, one people want to be involved with.

Do it for your church:

One of the biggest traps leaders can fall into is trying to replicate a successful model that just doesn’t work for them. Its all good and well to go to Hillsong Conference and decide to do an item with a string orchestra and singers sitting on the moon, but if you meet in a scout hall and have a worship team comprised of an accordion, upright piano and trombone, and the pastor’s kid on drums, it’s just not going to happen. Embrace that. Appropriate what you see from other churches to your own congregation. As cool as Israel Houghton is, your church might be predominantly retirees who won’t find it easy to connect with ‘Say So’. Work with your church’s leadership to find what you can do that will be a blessing to your church community; don’t get caught in the trap of imitating something else.

There’s so much we could talk about on this topic of leadership. What about you? What have you learnt in your time leading a team? What’s one thing you think every team leader should know?

// Gabe


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