Recently I've been wondering how I might bring in a little extra income by leading worship at other churches in the area as a substitute. I also thought it would help me get exposure that might help me land a full-time WL position in the future. We're currently attending a church that we absolutely love which gives me an opportunity to serve at other churches because they meet on Sunday evenings. I just don't know where to even start...
I was thinking of charging about $150 per Sunday, which would include a one hour planning meeting with the pastor or lead volunteer, a two hour practice during the week, a one hour rehearsal before the service, and three hours for the actual service(s). I'd certainly be willing to be flexible with that amount, charging less if they can't afford that much, and more if there were more expectations/requirements (such as PowerPoint, longer practice, additional services, etc.).
What would I do to market myself to churches in the area? Would it be appropriate to send an email to the worship and/or lead pastor of churches here, or is there another way that would be more professional? Is that price good, or is it too high/low? Any suggestions would be great!
If you want to be a worship leader, and you have actual experience leading worship, then check to see if any churches in your area are advertising for folks to apply. I just checked Craigslist for our area and there were a few ads seeking leaders and/or musicians for worship bands, so i imagine there might be ads for your town too. You could also just start to put the word out among your friends. Someone might know someone that goes to some church that needs a WL and is willing to offer pay for it.
I just came across worshipleads.com It was an idea I had tossed around with a friend for a number of years (she wanted to call it worshiptemps.com, etc.) and now... someone did it. Musicians, vocalists, leaders, etc. You can post your skills, availability, rates, etc. and let pastors and churches find you. Or, you can do what I did before for a number of years. I had a band with me but I had a friend create a full color, double sides, tri-fold (you can do this in MS Publisher or Open Office's version openoffice.org) and have it printed off at Staples, Kinkos, etc. I also made up some simple stationary / letterhead in MS Word and used it for some simple, straight forward "here's who I am and what I can do for your church family" cover letters and went and made cold calls/mailings. One by one I received invitations for the band and, at times, myself to come lead and it took off. I/we weren't super busy (we all had jobs and church homes to seve in as well) but the experience was great as I regularly walked into new settings and learned a lot as I went out each time. My experience for what it's worth.
Have a great time, seve and enjoy.
Mark A. Levigne
Put together a 'press kit'- a package with a demo CD of songs you have performed, pictures, etc. Include references, experience, rates and description of what the rates cover, etc.
Be clear about what 'flavor' of worship youe niche is -is it latest & greatest, a mix of older and newer? If it's flexible based on the church's needs, be sure to highlight it.
As far as actual marketing, do a little research. It's a fact that 80% of new busineses fail because of the lack of research into the market they are trying to go into. Now you don't have to go into a full on marketing research project, but do some initial legwork. Identify what area you want to operate in and put some feelers out. Ask around, review the church demographics, see what level of demand there is.
Do you have any college contacts or anything you could utilize? I know a few people doing what you want to do got a start because their Christian college (or even secular college) pals hooked them up. They had to do some travel, sometimes a couple hours away, so figure that in to your rates. As a sugestion, maybe add $20 for travel outside a 50 mile radius.
Hope it works out for you that could be fun and surely a great experinece builder