5 Reasons You’re Leading Alone

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Its been said,
that every healthy body has an open back door.

As team leaders we often try everything under the sun to keep our volunteers happy, motivated, committed and excited to serve in our teams and departments.

Yet somehow, we lose people.

Even some of our best. And we find ourselves in leadership baffled and scrambling to fill positions.

What if the problem isn’t so much WHAT  we are doing or not doing…

but WHO we are as leaders?

Here are my top 5 reasons to why I believe volunteers drop out and how to prevent it!

1. Leaders talk but don’t walk

Welcome to orientation!

In order to be a part of this team we expect you to be on time, prepared, rehearsed and be a team player!

Meanwhile Johnny leader strolls into practice just in time for his soundcheck, makes the team wait while he learns his words/chords and leaves practice as soon as it’s completed because his time is apparently more valuable than the rest of the teams time.
Nothing is more repelling than a leader who asks their team to do something they themselves never follow through with.

Too many leaders demand and don’t demonstrate.

Bottom line – If we have any hope in leadership, it is imperative that we meet or excel the standards we hold our volunteers to.

By doing this they will automatically see you as a leader in the trenches WITH them.  Which creates a foundation of teamwork, relationship and most importantly,

TRUST.

 

2. Leaders talk but not enough

There is an epidemic amongst the church and business world today and it goes by the name of Under-communication.

In any organization with multiple moving parts there is bound to be communication issues.

The antidote to this issue is not to conceal information or build silo’s -its actually the opposite.

A good couple of questions to ask yourself as a leader in the process of communication is, “Who needs to know?” and then ask, “Who else needs to know”.

Your volunteers will never complain about over communication. If they do its because the information isn’t pertinent to them specifically.

There’s a reason we have alerts and notifications on our devices, it’s because we need to know. We want information at our fingertips the moment it comes in, in this information overload society.

Make sure your volunteers know what they need to know by the time they need to know it and they will repay you with commitment.

 

3. Leaders Talk, but don’t listen.

Leaders manage their teams too often with a one-way communication.

When there is a problem, as a leader we feel its our job to repair the situation as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Sometimes this is just not possible.

Sometimes your team is trying to say something is wrong, but you as a leader don’t take the time to listen.

I’m no longer impressed by leaders that can grow a team. A leader that can help his team grow is rated at a higher caliber.

If the majority of our communication is non-verbal its going to require you as a leader to inspect what you expect.

Meet your team at more than just a surface level.

Create an environment and culture of open healthy conversation and teach them how to challenge the process properly. You will add value to them when you listen.

4. Leaders talk, but too loud

Have you ever confided in a leader only to have the same sensitive information come back to you through someone else?

It is impossible to follow someone you can’t trust.

Information is powerful.

For a leader, it is necessary to filter which information is time sensitive, circumstantially sensitive or people sensitive.

There is a difference between gossip and information.

Gossip is complaining to someone who has no power to change it.

Information is what our uplinks and overseers need in order to make decisions for the health of the whole.

The last place a leader should ever find themselves is releasing information that isn’t theirs to share and withholding information that isn’t theirs to keep.

Be available to your team and honouring to your overseers.

Check your surroundings before you pull the information trigger.

5. Leaders talk, but lack passion

Come one, come all! Follow me on this grand adventure of mediocrity.

Is it just me or does this casting call sound all too familiar in the church?

I’ve been under leaders where the only excitement or passion that they displayed was when they rolled up the rim and won a free coffee.

Personally I believe passion is the most overstated yet underexposed trait of mankind. Passion is what exists past your feelings.

LISTEN UP!

If you currently have the PRIVILEGE of leading people you have a God given responsibility to lead and disciple them into being a better version of themselves.

This requires you to be continually creating a better version of yourself.

If leading people is a job for you then you are in the wrong position.

Let your passion flow from your heart to your words and actions. Put it on display for your team to see everyday and you’ll be surprised who follows you.

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5 Reasons Your Congregation May Be Disengaged

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One of the most common problems I experience when talking with worship pastors/leaders is “how do I balance providing a worship experience that resonates with me and my team but will also be effective in reaching and engaging those who are far from God?”

I know for myself, I have a track record of trying to introduce songs that personally move me in an attempt to deliver an authentic experience but, upon execution, it ends up falling completely flat.

How do we as worship leaders create an environment that engages people no matter where they are in their walk with God?

Here are five pro tips in creating an engaging worship experience:

1. Alignment is everything

In all of our attempts to communicate the gospel, a typical Sunday morning is delivering one hundred different messages to our visitors.

Our unchurched guests are bombarded with bulletins and announcements, then expected to sing about aspects of the bible they have no context of.

For example, the blood of the lamb, or fire falling down. To the average joe who is simply looking for hope and a place to grow and belong this can be sensory overload, or borderline cult like.

Truthfully, the message begins as people pull into the parking lot. Everything and every environment communicates something.

To be effective, every aspect of Sunday morning should point people to one place.

Jesus.

Worship is only one facet that operates on Sunday. It is vitally important that the worship leader and the senior pastor or key speaker be headed in the same direction. The lyrics in our songs should disarm discouragement and be sensitive to our target audience.

2. It’s not all about you

I don’t know about you, but I’m confident that God moves all week long and not just Sundays.

When I first started ten years ago, I would lead worship as if i’ve waited all week to connect with God but when I would open my eyes nobody was following or sharing my passion.

Truth is, if you only eat one meal a week you are going to feel starved.

Our role as worship leaders is exactly that. To lead others in worship.

Music is only one aspect of worship. Our lifestyles day in and out should model a life of worship. We expect our music team to be personally worshiping throughout the week so that when Sunday comes, they are full and ready to engage.

The worship set isn’t about them getting their fill, its about them pouring out.

We are there to serve, not be served. Being in any position to lead others is a privilege and not a right or entitlement. Come prepared, take responsibility for your position and be ready to lead.

3. Deeper, longer, louder

Said the prophets of Baal.

 

4. But seriously,

Your length of set can be a cultural and theological barrier. When Elijah was facing the prophets of Baal and their god was not answering, his response was, “maybe if you shout a little louder, your god will show up”. Let’s not find ourselves trying to do the same thing.

We don’t need to do an hour of worship for God to show up.

Yes, Sunday is the time for corporate worship and we shouldn’t ignore that. However, if we expect and desire to have new-comers in our church, let’s not punish them.

God is not a car in the midst of winter in Canada, he doesn’t need to be warmed up. His name is Emmanuel which means “God with us”. If He feels distant it’s not Him who moved.

In relation to your lyrics being sensitive to the unchurched, be timely with your introduction of new songs and frugal with your song repertoire. By the time you are bored of a song, the majority of the congregation is just learning the lyrics.

Keep a limited setlist of songs that get the best engagement.

Cut the good for the great.

For us we have a three song setlist and 14 songs in our repertoire, that we change out as a new songs comes in. This enables our teams to prepare with excellence and its easy to follow for our congregation.

5. Don’t feed steak to babies

Life is spontaneous enough. Sunday mornings should be planned.

The reality of the situation is if you want excellence then you need to plan.

Do I believe the Holy Spirit needs to move?

Absolutely.

I believe He moves as much in the planning process as in our Sunday services. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s imperative that you, as a worship leader have a personal worship experience during the week.

If God really wants to move He’s not going to let you stand in the way.

We need to get over ourselves in believing that we can control what God is going to do. Our job is to be good stewards of what we’ve been entrusted with.

So if God entrusts you with a newcomer on a Sunday morning, be mindful.

It’s like putting a four course meal in front of a baby. They don’t know how to even use the utensils and we expect them to polish it off and say thank you, then offer to help prepare the next one.

The church exists for mission.

The great co-mission.

We can’t create disciples if we aren’t reaching the unchurched. They don’t come out of nowhere. They are reached from the community, brought into the congregation and discipled into the core. Let’s do everything we can to ensure their transitions are as simple as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Toss your Stands

 

468D56195 Reasons to Toss your Stands

Imagine for a moment that you are walking into a church for the first time. As the service nears commencing you notice the band come out, shuffle their lyrics and sheet music on their music stands and pose as a well rehearsed unit.

Meanwhile, you notice mid first song that the bass player hasn’t looked up, the vocalists are in a constant posture of prayer and the guitarist appears to be studying micro-biology with his chord chart.

Many of today’s churches are limiting their effectiveness in being able to provide an engaging worship experience because they are too afraid to remove the music stands in fear of the fall out of raising standards.

Here are five reasons to remove the music stands from your team!

1. It will supercharge engagement

Your role as a worship team in a service is to provide an atmosphere where doubt, despair, sorrow and regret have no foothold.

It sounds really simple but removing the stands will remove a personal barrier between you and the congregation for a purpose of authenticity.

When the congregation can make eye contact with a vocalist or musician who truly believes in what they are singing it communicates 100 times more than just words on a screen.

93% of communication is non-verbal. Don’t share your testimony with a music stand, remove the barrier and communicate your passion to someone who walked into your church looking for hope.

2. It will force you to choose who you lose

A good leader wants everyone on the team.

A great leader recognizes where the weakness is, makes efforts to coach and offer training, but then also knows when it’s time for people to move on.

Great leaders won’t sacrifice the potential of the organization to appease those who choose not to improve.

Removing the stand will remove the excuse. You will lose players or singers who simply don’t have the time to practice.

It’s a risk you have to take.

You will lose engagement if the music set is distracting because people don’t know their specific parts or if the set is poorly executed. Which group of people are you prepared to lose? For us, losing engagement and the possibility of people coming to Christ wasn’t a risk we were willing to take.

3. It will strengthen your team

Every person on a team is accountable to one another. That’s what makes it a team.

When the worship team is comprised of people who are genuinely trying to grow themselves in their craft it creates an accountability structure where you count on one another to rehearse the parts, know the setlist and transitions.

There’s no room for personal agendas.

Everyone is striving for the excellence. Removing cheat sheets and stands will put an expectation on each player to rehearse what they are responsible for and bring it to practice.

Teams that lack responsibility and accountability often rely on apathetic habits which can only produce mediocre results.

4. It will free you up to genuinely worship

Memorization is internalization.

We commit to mind and heart what is generally very important to us. As leaders in the music department, we should be in a mindset of worship all week long and not just on Sundays.

Knowing the songs off by heart and having the structure well practiced and transitions smooth will allow you to embrace what you are trying to deliver to those in your church.

Have you ever been in a worship service where you were so worried about the next tag or bridge that you emotionally disengaged from the experience altogether? If you said yes to that question, chances are you took some of your audience with you.

Study your lyrics, commit them to heart, memorize your chords and practice it exhaustively with your team until it becomes second nature, then watch how engaged you become in the exact thing you are working to project.

5. It will expand your recruitment list!

Anyone out there need more members on their team? Of course we do, we are always looking for people, but why aren’t people always lining up to volunteer?

To put it simply, excellence begets excellence.

You attract what you are. If the quality of what you produce isn’t inspiring then its time to step it up a notch.

There’s a reason this is the last point. Until you remove the crutch, you will never fully trust yourself to walk on your own. Trusting your team to grow is necessary before you can run as a team.

Raise the standard of your team to a level that people can’t find in a karaoke club on a Friday night. People love to be pushed provided is done with love and they know that you have their best interest at heart.

In short, remove the crutch, choose who you need to lose, raise the expectation level, make everyone accountable for their part, become great at what you do and don’t forget to enjoy it while you’re in it.

myvictory music

29695208_10155480056156938_5213862731517330315_n5 Reasons to Toss your Stands

Imagine for a moment that you are walking into a church for the first time. As the service nears commencing you notice the band come out, shuffle their lyrics and sheet music on their music stands and pose as a well rehearsed unit.

Meanwhile, you notice mid first song that the bass player hasn’t looked up, the vocalists are in a constant posture of prayer and the guitarist appears to be studying micro-biology with his chord chart.

Many of todays churches are limiting their effectiveness in being able to provide an engaging worship experience because they are too afraid to remove the music stands in fear of the fall out of raising standards.

Here are five reasons to remove the music stands from your team!

1. It will Supercharge Engagment

Your role as a worship team in a service is to provide an atmosphere where doubt, despair, sorrow and regret have no foothold.

It sounds really simple but removing the stands will remove a personal barrier between you and the congregation for a purpose of authenticity.

When the congregation can make eye contact with a vocalist or musician who truly believes in what they are singing its communicates 100 times more than just words on a screen.

93% of communication is non-verbal. Don’t share your testimony with a music stand, remove the barrier and communicate your passion to someone who walked into your church looking for hope.

2. It will force you to choose who you lose.

A good leader wants everyone on the team.

A great leader recognizes where the weakness is, makes efforts to coach and offer training but then also knows when its time for people to move on.

Great leaders won’t sacrifice the potential of the organization to appease those who choose not to improve.

Removing the stand will remove the excuse. You will loose players or singers who simply don’t have the time to practice.

Its a risk you have to take.

You will lose engagement if the music set is distracting because people don’t know there specific parts or if the set is poorly executed. Which group of people are you prepared to lose? For us, losing engagement and the possibility of people coming to Christ wasn’t a risk we were willing to take.

3. It will strengthen your team

Every person on a team is accountable to one another. Thats what makes it a team.

When the worship team is comprised of people who are genuinely trying to grow themselves in their craft it creates an accountability structure where you count on one another to rehearse the parts, know the setlist and transitions.

There’s no room for personal agendas.

Everyone is striving for the excellence. Removing cheat sheets and stands will put an expectation on each player to rehearse what they are responsible for and bring it to practice.

Teams that lack responsibility and accountability often rely on apathetic habits which can only produce mediocre results.

4. It will free you up to genuinely worship

Memorization is internalization.

We commit to mind and heart what is generally very important to us. As leaders in the music department, we should be in a mindset of worship all week long and not just on Sundays.

Knowing the songs off by heart and having the structure well practiced and transitions smooth will allow you to embrace what you are trying to deliver to those in your church.

Have you ever been in a worship service where you were so worried about the next tag or bridge that you emotionally disengaged from the experience altogether? If you said yes to that question chances are you took some of your audience with you.

Study your lyrics, commit them to heart, memorize your chords and practice it exhaustively with your team until it becomes second nature, then watch how engaged you become in the exact thing you are working to project.

5. It will expand your recruitment list!

Anyone out there need more members on their team? Of course we do, we are always looking for people but why aren’t people always lining up to volunteer?

To put it simply, excellence begets excellence.

You attract what you are. If the quality of what you produce isn’t inspiring then its time to step it up a notch.

There’s a reason this is the last point. Until you remove the crutch, you will never fully trust yourself to walk on your own. Trusting your team to grow is necessary before you can run as a team.

Raise the standard of your team to a level that people can’t find in a karaoke club on a Friday night. People love to be pushed provided is done with love and they know that you have their best interest at heart.

In short, remove the crutch, choose who you need to lose, raise the expectation level, make everyone accountable for their part, become great at what you do and don’t forget to enjoy it while you’re in it because every position in the church is a temporary position.