Originally posted by Russ Hutto October 2008. Reposted with permission.
What do Major League farm systems and worship ministries have in common? For both to be successful over an extended period of time they have to be future minded.
Creating a Culture of Crucial (a culture where people KNOW they are valued and crucial to the success of the whole) means putting people first. Of course we should always be aware of positions and roles that need to be fulfilled, but we should never see people as a set of skills. People are PEOPLE!
Another way that we can create a culture where people are truly valued is to make every effort to combat the “Now is Normal” mentality.
Many of us who are worship leaders or pastors know that it’s very easy to slide into the status quo. We get into a place where there are plenty of musicians and singers on the team and we have our pick to choose from. On the outside it looks like we don’t need any more, because we have a jam-packed stage.
Whether you work with volunteer musicians, singers, children’s workers, parking lot attendants, youth workers, etc., we all face the temptation to kick it into cruise control and to see our present situation as the norm. We let it become the status quo. We should be careful to always be looking forward. We should be future minded, while leading intentionally in the present.
If a Baseball team wins the World Series one year and then never makes any line-up changes for the next 10 years, what are the odds that they’ll win in the tenth year? Probably slim to none. You see just because a team is great one year doesn’t mean they always will be. Players are traded, players retire, and players get injured. The World Series “now” won’t last forever. It can’t be “normal” for a team to win again. They have to be constantly recruiting new people.
Whatever you have NOW should not be normal. Even if you have the greatest team you’ve ever had, as a leader, you still need to be inviting people to join your ministry teams. Granted, in some situations, it’s good to have the same people minister together for the sake of unity and excellence. But, it’s also good to have a continuous attitude of invitation to your team. We should never have closed doors.
Even if that means creating alternate teams to minister in different venues, we should always be developing leaders. As a worship leader, I’m constantly on the lookout for people who I know would enjoy ministering with our worship team. That means they are people and ministry oriented and also decent at what they do.
Some of the greatest teams in Major League Baseball are successful because of the enormous talent pool they have to pull from in their minor league farm system. I’m not necessarily saying that we should create a worship band farm system, but I do think that being future minded is necessary to create a Culture of Crucial.
It’s crucial that we are always looking towards tomorrow, while living in today. Whatever your now is, at this very moment, make an effort to do your very best at never accepting it as the norm. Make your nows count, but make sure that you never make your nows normal. I’ve been in situations where we had an amazing team that in a matter of a few weeks disintegrated. What I’ve learned is that we should always be training and equipping someone to step into roles when needed. Kind of like a farm system.
People will be needed, valued, and crucial to the success of the church’s ministry when we continue to invite people to join us, even when we have a “full roster” – it’s absolutely necessary to create opportunites for people to use their talents for the Lord. Have a full roster for worship team? Here’s some suggestions on other ways to get people involved:
- Start a guitar group. Meet once a month and invite any and every guitar player to come and sit in. Hand out music a week earlier.
- Have a drum circle.
- Rotate singers and musicians into other areas of church ministry. Children’s ministry, Youth ministry, community outreach, etc.
- Start a community band. One that plays only outside the church.
- Start a songwriting community.
If at any time we just close down the inviting of people to participate in ministry, we’ll run into times when we don’t have anyone and we’ll be scrambling to fill positions. But, if we continue to invite people to ministry even when our “now” looks good, we’ll be ready when we need to plug people into those spaces.
What are some ways YOU’VE created depth in your ministry teams?