Praise and worship team guidelines are necessary for a team to function well, to champion each member of the team and bring out the best in each of them. Without guidelines, there can be disorder and this usually causes friction between the members.
Every team needs guidelines. Without them, we may discover that our ship is off course, or worse, that we are sinking and it’s too late. Let’s see why they’re so important and how we can apply them.
Why we need guidelines
Each one of us needs guidelines, or, that uncomfortable word that no one wants to hear — rules. Just think of how society would be without guidelines or rules. Families without rules end up dysfunctional. Any business or place where people are working together needs guidelines, laws, and contracts to function properly. Everyone needs to understand and be aware of what is required of them and also know the best way to fulfill their role.
Praise and worship team guidelines are necessary for our teams to function properly, however, this doesn’t mean there’s no space for improvisation or for personal initiative.
Guidelines are like the guardrails on a road. They allow us to safely move within a certain space and protect us from falling off a cliff.
What guidelines should look like
Guidelines should allow the team to function properly. They are not meant to be strict rules, otherwise, they could turn into a controlling system that we no one wants in a church environment.
This is what praise and worship team guidelines should look like:
- They should reveal the purpose of the team
- They should underline the values of the team
- They should define the standards of the team
- They should protect the members of the team
What’s the big-picture purpose of the praise and worship team? This should be identified so that all team members have a clear understanding of the goals and know how the team will function. It is one thing to do something. It’s another to do it with understanding and realizing how the work of the team can bring transformation and bless the people and the environment.
It is good to have some pre-set values because they determine what is important and valuable for the team. For example, if holiness is a value and the members choose to live in sin, the team will have a lot of problems. Values are not rules, but they help to understand which things have priority and also define the character and DNA of a team.
The standards are necessary to define the artistic level of the team. They give clarity to those who want to join the team so that they understand the level of commitment required.
Many times conflict comes when there is a lack of communication. Having guidelines in our worship teams help each member to know in which space of authority they can move. This will prevent conflict and misunderstandings.
Guidelines are defined by the vision of the team
Praise and worship team guidelines are not universal. Each team will define them according to their vision since vision defines the goals and gives direction. If we drive on a curvy and dangerous road on top of a mountain we will need more protection than if we are driving on a large straight road in a valley.
Let me give some examples:
- An established praise and worship team already has experience. The goals and direction are probably clear and the character is formed. I compare this situation with being on top of a mountain — the guidelines will likely be very clear since the experimenting process is over and their experience has led them to outline the way they work. Someone who joins this kind of team must adapt to the established way of working.
- A pioneering praise and worship team will be much more flexible since they are still figuring out their character. The vision and purpose may not be as clear as in an established team. This means that the guidelines will not be as defined. I compare this to driving in a valley since the road to arrive on top of the mountain is still very long.
Good praise and worship team guidelines
- Define what is the commitment of each member – It’s always good to clarify what is expected by each member of the team
- Practice time – It’s good for people to come to the practice time prepared. Define how many pieces will be done and stick to those. It’s better to play one or two pieces really well than many pieces badly.
- Delegate responsibility to others – Good leaders delegate. We can’t do everything on our own. Delegating responsibilities allows others to grow and for the team to function properly. One person can be in charge of coordinating the team, another may do pastoral care, someone else leads as an intercessor, and so on.
- Work as a team – Good teams function because people are not protagonists (this should never happen in a worship team since Jesus should be at the center). Everybody can be used by God. The Holy Spirit may lead us to take initiative, but we still need maturity to know how to move.
- Have grace for mistakes – Always remember that grace is vital to allow team members to love each other. Leading worship is not a show. We must allow grace for the members’ abilities and in any other mistakes that can be made, though this is not an excuse for people to be unprepared and play badly.
- Be accountable to one another – Being accountable puts all the members in a place where there is love and support from one another. Being accountable does not mean pointing out the problems and the issues, but checking on one another so that if there are struggles, members can support each other.
Good praise and worship team guidelines help teams function in a better way and should bring out the best of each team.
Any kind of ministry team should always be led by love. We must put aside our personal goals and ask ourselves why we do this kind of ministry. If love for God and people is our motivation, then praise and worship team guidelines will help guide our teams in a healthy and successful way.
Guidelines differ according to situations, to the maturity of the team, and from one context to another (even if we are with the same team).
My heart is to help you understand the principles behind guidelines so that they can be applied with love and in a successful way.
Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.
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I wish you the best.
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