In any quality organization there are clear codes of conduct and concrete expectations. A number of years ago I attended a worship conference at Gateway Church in Dallas and was so impressed by the organization of their worship team. Based on Gateway’s code of conduct and my own experience, here are my standards and guidelines for a strong worship team.
GUIDELINES FOR A WORSHIP TEAM IN MINISTRY
- Participants must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is consistent and growing through prayer, Bible reading and church fellowship.
- Participants must be committed attendees and givers at our church, including regular attendance at Sunday Services.
- Participants must demonstrate technical competence as either a singer, musician or audio/media technician.
- Singers and musicians must be comfortable on stage and expressive in their praise and worship before God.
- Participants must maintain a faithful attendance record.
- Singers and musicians must be committed to practicing an hour or more per week on their Sunday songs at home.
COMMITMENT TO A GODLY LIFESTYLE
- Worship team members are expected to live a lifestyle that is above reproach, avoiding even the appearance of evil (1 Tim. 3). Being a minister, especially one who is “up front,” adds extra responsibility because people see worship ministers as examples of what a Christian should be like. Therefore, it is imperative that we consider the way we treat each other and carefully guard our hearts from impurities and pride.
- It is God’s desire and our desire to see our worship team members living a victorious Christian life, free from bondage. If there are any addictions or issues with which you struggle, please let us know—we are here to help you, not to judge you.
The following issues should be dealt with before any public ministry position is taken:
- alcohol and drug abuse.
- sexual immorality.
- a prideful attitude or anger/rage problems.
- an inability to submit to leadership.
- gossiping and stirring up strife.
- an unbiblical lifestyle.
DRESS CODE (Special note: Dress codes vary widely depending on the size and type of a church…an informal church of 100 people who meet by the beach might have a significantly different dress code than a megachurch with a televised service… This is what works in my situation…your situation might be totally different.)
General Dress Code: A modest & dressy (not sloppy), culturally relevant style is key.
- No overly tight clothing. Women: no short skirts or short dresses.
- No sleeveless tops (without a covering).
- No revealing clothing (i.e., see-thru material without an undershirt).
- Proper footwear: polished shoes or dress running shoes.
- No gaudy/over-sized jewelry (anything that might be a distraction).
Sunday Morning Attire:
- Men: Nice shirt & pants: optional jackets, sweaters & vests.
- Ladies: Blouse & pants, skirt or dress (knee-length). No pants that are tight all the way to the ankle unless you wear a long top that goes mid-thigh. No gaucho or cropped pants of any kind.
- All: Nice dark dress jeans are also acceptable. Old & baggy jeans are not acceptable. No hats.
- Colors: Stick to neutral tones: black & all grey tones, browns, light/dark blue, dark purple, white and off-white. No loud prints.
- Typically each band member and singer will be scheduled once or twice per month based on their availability and monthly service schedules.
- Arriving on time and ready for music practice is essential for each member! In order to present worship music that is both excellent in quality and anointed, a strong rehearsal is necessary. The more we practice, the freer we are to worship and lead others in worship! (Check out: The 10 Commandments of Great Worship Team Members)
- Learn your instrumental and vocal parts before you come to the mid-week rehearsal.
- Wednesday or Thursday Night Rehearsals: 7:00-9:00 p.m. *mandatory. Note: Only the upcoming Sunday’s team practices the Wednesday or Thursday night prior.
- Sunday: 7:30 a.m. Rehearsal, 8:45 a.m. Prayer, 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. services.
TIPS FOR BETTER PLATFORM PRESENCE:
- Look in the mirror and watch what you look like—jump, clap, bow, dance, raise your hands, be engaging. If something appears awkward, adjust it to make sure you are communicating what you want to communicate.
- Do not let the congregation determine your level of expression. Sometimes they will not be engaged in worship. As leaders, we always need to be engaged. Show them an example of how to express worship. Most of the time, they simply need to see worship in order to learn how to express it on their own.
- Be sincere. Worship from your heart. Give a warm smile from within. We are leading people from all different circumstances, so remember that a warm smile ministers more than you realize.
- Musicians: Be sure to stay engaged in worship. Practice ahead of time and memorize your music so you don’t have to focus on your instrument the whole time. Sing while you play. Seeing a musician singing from their heart can help people worship. Move around your area. Use your space to the fullest. When there is no movement, the platform can look stagnant. (Check out: Where Is Your Brain On Sunday Morning?)
Question: What do you agree or disagree with in these guidelines? What is working for your team?
This article originally appeared here.