This one goes out to all the musicians and vocalists serving on a worship team.
I’ve been on both sides of the team relationship, as a staff worship leader and as a volunteer team worshipper, and I’ve come to learn a few necessities for keeping things healthy and life-giving on, and off, stage.
1. Look to the right source for validation
This is the most important thing. Don’t look to your leader for what only God can do. God is the only One who can meet your intrinsic need for validation!
How can we do this? By refusing to judge our worth based on how often or where we're asked to serve. For one, it drains the leader when these kinds of expectations are placed on them. Two, our leaders can never satisfy the yearning in our hearts to know that we are infinitely valued. Let’s go to God with our heart’s needs, and we’ll be full enough to minister with the team on Sunday mornings.
2. Remember that your leader is human
Very, very human.
It’s a natural thing to want to elevate our leaders and see them as more-than-human, simply because they’ve been called to a leadership position. Doing this, however, will only set ourselves up for disappointment when they make mistakes, which they all will. And it’s okay. Our leaders need the same grace of Jesus that we do on a daily basis, so instead of freaking out when mistakes are made, let’s be the first to offer the grace that we so desperately need.
3. Assume the best
Let's say you haven't been on the schedule as much as you'd prefer or an email hasn't been returned as quickly as you'd like. First, refuse to assume it’s a personal attack. This got me into a lot of unnecessary heartache as a beginning worshipper, and put a ton of stress on my leaders. Dealing with the assumptions of others is one of the most draining things a leader has to do. So let’s make it a point to assume the best, and if a serious concern ever arises, bring our concerns directly to the leader and talk it through in love.
4. Serve wholeheartedly
I have a good friend who would show up for a weekly service, whether or not he was scheduled, just to change the guitar strings for our worship leader. He did that without being asked or paid—it was just his way of serving, supporting, and encouraging the leader, and it certainly did just that.
If you ever start wrestling with the question, “Does my leader see how much I’m serving?”, take a step back and remember this: it is Jesus we’re ultimately serving, and He sees everything.
I believe that if we put these core truths into practice, we will become the servant-hearted ministers—on and off stage—that God desires us to be. Our leaders will be encouraged, our teams will be strengthened, and God’s Kingdom will advance.
Isn’t that really why we’re here?
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.