5 Ways to Shift Your Worship Team Culture

5 Ways to Shift Your Worship Team Culture

We talk a lot about passion. Having a passionate worship team. But is that really enough?

I have a feeling it’s not. And I think you might agree.

There’s a few goals that rise above for me:

  • Having a fire for Jesus behind & beyond the stage.
  • A steady, daily gaze into His Word.
  • A heart that trusts His goodness through trials.
  • A team that loves the church, not just their opportunity to play.

I’ll take that any day over a charismatic bass player who has cool hair and good stage presence. Of course, cool hair and good stage presence isn’t the devil. I work on my hair and my stage presence, though some may contest! These things aren’t mutually exclusive. But it’s important for us to create a culture where a fire of Jesus is cultivated off the stage. We need to do more than just call for energy, stage presence and leadership of songs.

Because here’s the reality—if you have a person on fire for the glory of God in the secret place, it’s going to show in their leadership on the platform. It will. It might not be mosh pits, backflips and sprints across the stage, but a fire for His presence will release an authority in worship that is better than just manufactured stage presence.

And isn’t that what we’re after? An authority that comes from knowing God—his voice, his heart, his will, his way—not just charismatic personality skills on the stage.

If you capture one idea from this article, make it this: Stop focusing on passion. Build a culture of integrity.

Are you tired of a floundering team? Do you want a culture you are proud of—one that outlasts you? Growth is not an overnight process. It takes intentionality and time.

If you’re a parent, you know this. The two-year-old stage can feel like 10 years of torture. But then all of a sudden, they’re so grown up. All of a sudden, it feels quick.

It’s the same with your team. When you start to change the culture, you will face resistance. You’ll be tempted to give up and just dial in Sunday mornings. It feels like an eternity of zero progress. But over time, your faithfulness will turn into growth, fruit and maturity.

Believe it. And get started now with a culture of integrity.

5 Ways to Create a Culture of Integrity

Here’s how to get started:

1.Spend Time in His Presence…Together – Seriously. How can you expect to lead people into His presence as a team if you’re not going there together? Go deep. If you’re strapped for time as a team, don’t cut corners here. Build this into your rehearsal. Worship without instruments in a circle. Worship on stage in rehearsal as a band. Teach your team how to linger, how to pray, how to hear his voice in worship.

2. Create a Challenging Environment – Always be pushing people to the next level. Oftentimes, we only go there musically. We talk about musical excellence, preparation and creativity. Drummers need to get better on the click. Guitar players need to work on their parts and their tone. Vocalists need to stop looking bored. We know this.

But what if you created a culture of spiritual invitation? An atmosphere where it was difficult to exist if you weren’t intense about your pursuit of Jesus. Imagine that. I think we often get nervous issuing such a challenge. But people will rise to the occasion if you cast the vision and pastorally lead. No doubt.

3. Don’t Get Too Busy for One on Ones – When your team is small, it’s easier to meet with people one on one. But soon your team grows and you also begin to grow apart from your people. Resist this urge. Find a way to give people one-on-one attention, even if it means raising up other leaders to help shoulder this. It’s important. Without it, misunderstanding can flourish. Gossip can win the day. A healthy one on one can turn harbored frustration into a good conversation and a healthy relationship. Seek peace with everyone on your team.

4. Create a Culture Schedule – What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. Too often we craft mission statements and vision points only to see them hang on a wall that never gets looked at. If those statements don’t reach your calendar, it will never happen. Your vision needs to become an appointment. Your mission needs to be a task. I know this doesn’t sound very exciting, but it’s the only way your team will accomplish anything and the only way you’ll see momentum begin to shift.

Have a vision for discipleship? How are you scheduling that into your work day and team calendar? Want to write more songs? How are you scheduling that into your work day and team events?

5. Resist Rules…for Now – High standards without an environment of acceptance, love & vision almost feels like legalism. It’s like the worst form of Christianity—telling people what they shouldn’t do but casting no vision for the glory of God. A heart in love with Jesus is a heart set on righteousness. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have standards and team rules. But don’t start there. If a new team member joins your team don’t just shove a behavior list in their face. Begin to cultivate the ground of honor, love, fear and respect for the Majesty of God. A massive view of God overwhelms the petty issues.

Isn’t this what we’re after? We’re leaders for the long game, not the quick compliment.

Don’t we want to make disciples across generations?

Aren’t we leaders in order to bring change?

Let’s dialogue. How have you created a culture of integrity in your team? What has worked or not worked for you?

This article originally appeared here.

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David Santistevan
David is a Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA.

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