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Worship Team Covenants

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  • Worship Team Covenants

    We're in the process of trying to rework something on our worship team. I'd like to introduce a Worship Team Covenant. We had one at another church I was at and it seemed to work well. It helped some people to understand the commitment worship ministry requires. It helped other's realized that they could not commit to the team, thus avoiding issues with with half-hearted worship team members. Anyway, I'd like to hear your experiences with such a covenant, as well as see examples of covenants or whatever you might call them. Thanks so much.

  • #2

    I just made a post "commitments ad mixed signals" that could go right along with this topic. Perhaps sucha covenant would help in my case. Can I see what you have/had in place?

    I'm gonna keep an eye on this post. Thanks.
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart with your soul with all your mind and with all your strength!!


    • #3
      We have something similar that we call our "values"...everyone agrees to a short list of values. It takes the "perceived" legalism out of it (as opposed to having a list of rules or guidelines). We're in such a good situation right now that we don't need to use a signed covenant, although I have used them in the past. I think something like what we're talking about here is a must for any ministry team that wants to take their ministry seriously.

      Practical Worship

      Please Pray For My Wife


      • #4
        I don't have anything in place right now. I'm starting from the ground up. Kind of a daunting task. I've mentioned certain expectations to members of the team as they've joined, but nothing structured.


        • #5

          Any way I could get a look at those values?


          • #6
            I put this together and presented it to my team just as I took over.

            Being a worship leader
            • ALL of us are worship leaders. Whether you sing or play an instrument you are a worship leader. We must all strive to connect with the congregation, encouraging corporate and individual worship alike. The congregation will often reflect what they see on the platform. Authentic, enthusiastic worship is contagious. Although we are all leaders, the team leader is ultimately responsible for making decisions about part assignments, music, tempo, transitions, etc.
            • We will use music that is relevant, appropriate and ultimately points to an encounter with Christ. Traditional and contemporary music are all applicable and everyone is encouraged to keep their ears open for music that is new and fresh as well as music that has aged but still has a powerful message.
            • In everything, let’s do it well, to the best of our abilities. Lets bring our “finest ram” as a sacrifice to the Lord. This relates directly to practice and rehearsal.
            • It has been my experience that a worship team works best when substantial relationships are established. We need to be in prayer for each other. We need to be aware of each others’ lives. I hope to have “socials” at least every other month. Share and prayer time, bible study and fun will be the agenda, as well as team building and planning.
            Dress code
            • Our church encourages a casual dress code which may, for the congregation, include shorts, flip flops, sandals and even tank tops. This cannot be the case for those involved with the worship team. No shorts, no flops or sandals and certainly no tank tops. T-shirts are allowed but only those without large logos or blaring prints. The point is that we don’t want to be a distraction to the congregation.
            Practice (Several points here)
            • Practice vs. rehearsal- practice is what we should be doing during the week with the upcoming music set. Rehearsal occurs on Wednesday night or other designated time when we put all of our parts together.
            • Time- rehearsal time is very valuable as is everyone’s individual time. Let’s honor each other by committing to practice and being attentive at rehearsal.
            • We want to make each piece of music our own. We may change a transition, repeat a section or make other changes. Rehearsals will be key in making sure that everyone is on the same “sheet of music.” If you do not attend Wednesday night rehearsal do not plan on participating on Sunday unless arrangements are made to get up to speed with the worship leader.
            • Schedule is as follows: Wednesday night @ 8:00pm, Sunday morning @ 8:40am
            • At our very end our purpose is to present worship in the form of music that is encouraging, uplifting and sometimes even convicting in an effort to point people towards an encounter with Jesus Christ. To do this we must be…
            o Committed (to the ministry)
            o Diligent (in practice)
            o Open minded (to new things)
            o Focused (on Christ)
            Love the Lord your God with all your heart with your soul with all your mind and with all your strength!!


            • #7
              Looks really similar to what I used for years. The one thing I might add would be expected punctuality. I had to pull that one out several times when it became a problem with certain individuals.


              • #8
                We used to have this really formal covenant which people signed on when they joined. Then we started re-upping every year. Finally I gave up. It wasn't relational. While it did give clear expectations, I finally just got over my fear of conflict. If there is a problem, I pull someone aside and deal with it in a relational conversation (inappropriate dress, tardiness, etc.). It has been much more productive for us.

                Instead of getting caught up in all the minutia, I just remind them continually of our vision metaphor...we exist to bridge others into the presence of God. We send out emails if we see a trend (too much tardiness) and show them how that action hinders our vision metaphor. It keeps the main thing the main thing. It keeps people on purpose not individual little laws. It fits our culture. (For context we have over 50 folks on our vocal roster, 20+techs, and 10+ band members and this still works better and is more organic than our old system. There are just times I have to have several conversations).


                • #9
                  Our Pastor implimented a similar covenant for us this August due to the fact that we had two people leave the band. One for college and one left from ill feelings toward me (the leader). Our Pastor wanted to have it in writing what we expected from band members. I agreed with it because a person needs to know that a commitment is required and a format for what we are doing is neccessary to the cause.
                  Our Pastor was afraid that any new members would be frustrated and lost if they didn't recieve some kind of covenant that outlines just what a Praise team is and does.
                  Now if only we all read it from time to time and went by what it says

                  I didn't mean to be inaccurate, but I wasn't trying to be precise.


                  • #10
                    You know Trench - I like the fact that you brought up the whole relational thing. If I were to start today building a new worship ministry, I think it would look a lot different than it did 18 years ago when I started. It's easy to get caught up in structuring things to the point that the life is squeezed out.

                    It's interesting, in that because I am so much an artist and so not an administrator, I may tend to over-structure things just so I can operate somewhat efficiently, Does that make sense?

                    That said, I believe you've got to work with what works for you. And hey, if the pastor wants it...


                    • #11
                      I think having a signed form is too formal. I really think that a written set of guidelines/expectaions/philosophies, etc is great. It is something that you can point to when a conflict does arise. It should also be a "living document" (does that make sense?) In otherwords, if something comes up that is not originally addressed, fix it and add it to the document.

                      I think it is time to review ours!
                      Love the Lord your God with all your heart with your soul with all your mind and with all your strength!!


                      • #12
                        The reason I want them to sign it is so that they understand that this ministry takes a commitment. Then I hit them with Deuteronomy 23:21
                        “If you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin." Then I just stare and allow the fear of the Lord fall on them.......

                        Of course I don't tell read them the next verse. Deuteronomy 23:22 "But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin."

                        To date we've only had one person sign up. It's my wife.......I'm currently rethinking my approach.


                        • #13
                          I used to have my Worship Convenants a long time ago ... it was quite a document. It had lots of requirements and expectations. I was a young, single taskmaster. If you were late, you didn't play. If you didn't rehearase, tough.

                          Then, I got married ... and began to soften up.

                          Now, I have the experience of my full-time ministry job, at least 1-2 other "self-employed" business things, marriage, and 4 kids ages 7 and under.

                          My covenants basically say "if you can just make it, I'm grateful".

                          I agree we need to spell out our expectations, but there is nothing like living "real life" to remind yourself of what it's like being a volunteer and living a full life at the same time.
                          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
                          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

                          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:


                          • #14
                            Ok...I agree with worshiptrench that things should be relational. But I also like using the covenant to get started. I used to hold a ministry team meeting every 6 months to have people sign up for worship ministry areas. It gets old and time consuming. This is where I am now.

                            I typically invite prospective team members to come to rehearsals and hang with us for 3 or 4 weeks (longer if they don't have enough skill to get involved regularly yet). I tell them that they are welcome to come to rehearsals and to sing/play with us every week, but that they won't be on stage on Sunday mornings for a while.

                            If they're doing ok and they haven't stopped coming at the end of their 3 or 4 weeks, then I plug them into the rotation somewhere (maybe even sooner than that if I need a position filled). But I still don't make them a part of the team "officially." Instead I just ask them on a weekly basis, "Would you be willing to sing/play with us this Sunday? We need someone to cover that part."

                            Once I have seen their talent/abilities, have gotten to know them and understand their personality better, and get to see first hand what their level of committment is, I talk to them about making a six month committment. I meet with them individually and give them a Worship Ministry Handbook and a covenant. We discuss the expectations and the level of committment needed. If they agree then they sign the covenant and bring it back to me. If they don't then that's the end.

                            Once they are on the team, they are to keep their six month committment. At the end of six months most people stay in. Every six months (coinsiding with my last ministry sign up meeting 1.5 yrs ago) I go over the covenant with each team at rehearsals to remind them of the committment that they made and have them sign a new one if they want to continue. I give them an opportunity to bow out if they want or keep going. They always keep going unless their work or school situation changes and won't allow for it. So really the point is just to review and renew committment.

                            This has worked well for me over the past couple of years. I may change next month if it appears that something new is needed. You just have to assess the spiritual maturity, committment level, and enthusiasm of your team to determine what they need most.

                            Here's a copy of the initial covenant that we used to start the process four years ago. I have since tweeked it to raise the bar for our folks that have been involved for a long time. I wanted to challenge them to continue growing. But this is where I would start them off. The handbook goes into more detail about scheduling their own replacements if they're going to be out and such.

                            The purpose of the Celebration worship and arts ministry is: To exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and connect people to Him.

                            Understanding our purpose, and being led by God and designed with a S.H.A.P.E. for a ministry in the area of worship and arts, it is my desire to minister to others faithfully through this area of ministry within Celebration Church. I understand that this is my commitment to God and I know that faithfulness is the most important part of my service to Him. I desire to represent the Lord by committing to the standards of this ministry for the next 6 months. I will:

                             Attend worship services and rehearsals regularly (at least 75%, or 3 out of 4 monthly. I will report to my section or team leader when I must be out when involved in an upcoming service and I will call when running late for a rehearsal or service.)
                             Be part of a small group community for my own spiritual connection and growth. (I will choose a small group within our church to fellowship with)
                             Give regularly to the church financially, (understanding that giving is an act of worship, I agree to lead the way as part of the worship ministry)
                             I will represent Celebration Church and Jesus Christ at all times. (I understand that my life away from the worship ministry has a direct affect on my ministry.)


                            • #15

                              we still tell them commitments up front verbally. it opens us up to being able to have a verbal conversation later.

                              we also give them a trial run by making every vocalist start on bridge team (worship choir sort of) and test their faithfulness there.