From Spring Break to Summer vacation travels to Thanksgiving and Christmas, one of the most common problems I deal with in filling out our teams for our worship environments is a lot smaller pool to choose from.
Every church I’ve ever been a part of, from the small established ones to the growing church plants to the pseudo-large (not mega) church I serve at now, it has been a similar situation. Most of the consistent regular volunteers that you count on any other time of the year, at some point during the year, will seem to all schedule their travels on or around the same weekend!
How do we deal with that?
One of our simple solutions is to scale way back and go from a large band with full instrumentation (and auxillary) to a more stripped down, organic acoustic set. Instead of 2 electric guitars, bass, keys, and full drums, we go to percussion (djembe, cajon, etc), a few acoustics, and bass. Layer on top of that a smaller vocal crew and you’ve got a nice scaled down acoustic set.
Also, depending on when and what holidays we’re talking about, sometimes you can bring some of your younger musicians in to help fill in the gaps. But a lot of the times, those families are also traveling. It can really make you pull your hair out!
The biggest thing is to make your pool of volunteers as large as possible, with a wide age range of participants. Don’t limit your teams to only the coolest, hippest, young cats. And don’t box yourself in with only the seasoned, older folks. Make your pool really big!
Another option is to partner with other churches in the area and if the need arises ask THEM if they have a spare musician sitting around that week that might be able to help you out. We’ve done so in the past and it can be a really neat dynamic. If it’s appropriate you can give them a gift card to bless them for helping out.
What do YOU do when vacation and travels knock out many of your key players?
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.