I’ve been in some great discussions with other ministry leaders at my church about recruiting volunteers across the board. The Children’s Pastor thinks that the musicians and singers are the “jocks” of the church and that the volunteers in the children’s program are the “band nerds” of the church.
As a former band geek, myself. I find it funny how the tables have been turned after all these years! I kid, I kid.
Anyway, It just got me thinking that we as leaders need to be careful in EVERY area of ministry to fight for a Culture of Crucial. What I mean by that is that we have to create an environment where every single volunteer feels that they are a crucial part of what’s going on at your church.
Honestly, no one is the jock and no one is the band nerd. We are all crucial to God’s work in and through our churches.
One of the ways that we fight to maintain a Culture of Crucial is to invite people, not just recruit skilled musicians or singers. People make up the lifeblood of our churches. People make the wheels go round. People are CRUCIAL to us being great leaders.
Without a team of people a leader is just a loner, and not really a leader at all. People are who Jesus came for. Not ministry, not organizations, not religion…He came for people.
You get what I’m saying here? Musicians and singers ARE indeed people, but we shouldn’t recruit them based only on the fact that they sing or play. Right?
Here’s some things to think about when inviting people into your worship team (or any other team for that matter):
- Meet your potential teammate for lunch or dinner to get to know them better. From the beginning it sets the tone of a relational team instead of a skills based team.
- Share your desires for the team and then ask them to share their own desires and how they see themselves fitting into that picture.
- Before you ever audition a potential teammate you should get to know them. By listening to them and asking questions about who they are, where they’ve been, and why they want to join you can get a good idea of their skill level before you ever hear a note.
- Musicians and singers SHOULD be skilled at what they do, but they should never feel like you want them on the team only because of their skill.
- Let them know that they are CRUCIAL to the vision of your church, even if they don’t make it onto that particular team.
- Help them find another area to serve in if they don’t make it onto your team.
Every volunteer that serves on your team should feel like the team would fall apart without them. Would it? Probably not, but it’s the “I need you beside me” that is more important than “I need your guitar chops in the band.” It’s more about relationship than about plugging a hole based on skill.
Just keep in mind that people are valuable for who they are, not necessarily what they do. Do we need great singers and musicians in our ministries? Sure. But I believe that if we don’t have relationships with those skilled musicians than we are not truly living up to our potential as Christ-like leaders.
Challenge: Spend a quick moment each week reiterating how much you enjoy serving WITH your volunteers. Don’t tell them that their voice is great or that they nailed that drum solo. Just tell them that you love the privilege of serving alongside them.
Russ Hutto is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.