Category Archives: training

5 Tools to Make Your Church Volunteers’ Lives Easier

If you’re like most churches, volunteers are a vital part of the various ministries that take place in the church. And, if you’re like most church leaders, you highly value your volunteers and want to make it as easy as possible for people in your church to volunteer. Here are 5 different tools that will make your church volunteers’ lives easier:

1. Worship Workshop in A Box from Paul Baloche – Here’s a great resource to help train your worship team! Paul Baloche and his band provide top-notch training for everything from music theory to singing to drumming.

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2. Canva – Most churches don’t have a graphic designer on staff, so this is a fantastic tool to help your volunteer graphic designers! They not only provide tutorials for beginners, so anyone can learn to design graphics, but they also provide a way to easily create beautiful presentations and documents. All for FREE!

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3. Proclaim – Here’s one for your media team! This church presentation software makes it very easy for your volunteer media team to collaborate on the Sunday media slides from anywhere. It all syncs in the cloud. The software also lets you record the sermon and make it available to the world right after service.

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4. Buffer – This one is a great find for your social media volunteers! It’s an app that allows you to easily schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. Your volunteers can add posts to the queue for the whole week, in one sitting.

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5. WorshipPlanning.com – And, of course, this is our favorite tool for church volunteers! (We might be a little biased.) It helps you plan your service with easy-to-use tools that build worship flows, schedule team members, fine tune details on musical selections from your personalized songs library, attach pertinent files, and maintain communication via your preferred channel. You can relax with WorshipPlanning.com because everyone is on the same page!

-Mark Logan

Is There Something Missing in Your Worship Ministry?

Shadows of team members

(guest post by Chris Gambill)

Think about all the bands you’ve listened to over the years. You probably had a couple of favorites along the way.

Remember when one of your favorite bands broke up or significantly changed its makeup?

Usually when that happened, it was because of a relational breakdown. Maybe that’s not how it was announced, but it eventually was revealed to be the reason.

Or maybe you’ve been in a band. Even though you loved playing music, you hated being a part of the band. It just wasn’t enjoyable and you couldn’t wait to be done.

Why do these things happen? The simple truth is this:

Music making and relationships go hand in hand.

You may be investing time in creating and rehearsing great arrangements, developing amazing visual displays, and recruiting and equipping excellent musicians and techs. But, it will be very difficult to maintain this for the long haul if relationships are dysfunctional and/or non-existent.

As much as we desire to develop good musicians and play good music in the context of worship, we must also have as a priority the development of godly, Christ-centered relationships.

Here are six reasons why.

  1. The kingdom of God is about relationships. It is more valuable to have quality loving relationships with other Christians than to have the most rockin’ band in your town. Jesus said people would know we are Christians not by the excellence of our music but by how we engage with each other in love.
  2. Developing relationships will facilitate a common bond, unity, and purpose beyond music. Your worship team shouldn’t be only known for the quality of the music, but for their bond together with Christ.
  3. When relationships are a priority, then you are less likely to deal with jealousy, anger, misunderstandings, and strife. And when those things do develop, you have a strong relational base to address them from. Truth can be spoken in love because you’ve already established the framework of love.
  4. When relationships are a priority, you become more than just a band. You are a small group (or groups) doing life and ministry together. That’s a win.
  5. Let’s be honest. Your team will play better together when they know and care for each other. A huge part of this is because your members will be looking for ways to look to the interests of others before themselves.
  6. David, a leader of worship leaders, reminded us in Psalm 133:1 how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.

Developing relationships is a key part of leading a worship ministry. And while it is vitally important, it can also be very hard. I’ve served in a number of different ministries. In some cases there’s been success in this area. In other cases, not so much. When I stop to reflect, the difference between ministries with strong relationships and those without is obvious.

Not everyone will want to develop relationships. Some may already have enough relationships. Some may just be there to play music. Some may not want to invest the time because of busy lives. But as a leader, you must persevere in this area for the health of your team members, the worship ministry, and the church as a whole.

So, what are some practical ways you can work at developing relationships within your worship ministry setting? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Begin by praying. Pray for the members of the team to want to care for and get to know each other. Just like Jesus instructed us in John 13, prayed for us in John 17, and Paul reinforced in Ephesians 4.
  • Make sure that you are setting the example of engaging in relationships. If you’re not doing it, not one else will either.
  • Have everything ready for rehearsal before people show up so you can be available to chat with people.
  • Take members out to lunch or coffee as appropriate. Be conscious of gender issues.
  • Invite more than one team member to have dinner at your home at a time.
  • Schedule regular worship team get-togethers. Some can be for the purpose of study or training, but be sure to have some just for the purpose of hanging out. These could be cook-outs, game nights, themed food nights (like Mexican), sports events, or a trip to a concert.
  • Related to the above, if you’re traveling somewhere together, be sure to car pool instead of everyone driving separately.
  • Also related, engage some other team members in the planning and executing of these events. Especially if it’s not your strength. I’ve found that involving others helps to increase participation.
  • Spontaneously invite people to go for lunch, coffee, or ice cream following a rehearsal or special event.
  • Surprise your team with food during a longer rehearsal or between multiple services. Food is a great way to foster spontaneous conversation and caring.
  • Make regular time for team members to share about personal needs in their lives and then provide opportunity for other members to pray for them. Don’t do all the praying yourself.
  • Be clear on your expectations. Let the team know this is a priority and that everyone has a part to play. It’s not fair to get frustrated that your team isn’t connecting if you haven’t communicated the importance.

Ultimately, you have to consider the context of your ministry setting. What are the constraints people have on their lives? How many people are a part of your team? Even if your team is small, start doing this now. It’s a lot easier than trying to retrofit when the team gets larger.

The important thing to remember is that this cannot be ignored. It may be hard and there may be resistance, but it is vital to push through. In the end everyone will be better for it.

Your congregation is watching the worship team. It’s obvious when a team gets along and loves each other and when a team is filled with strife. Which type of team do you think will be more effective in leading people to worship Jesus Christ?

And it will be a good way to make sure your team doesn’t become one that implodes on itself and people talk about at conferences for years to come.

If your worship ministry is struggling, maybe it really doesn’t have anything to do with how deep or talented your bench is. Maybe it has everything to do with lack of relationships among the ministry team.

For Discussion: How have your intentionally fostered relationships in your worship ministry?

Jared Anderson’s Free Tune School

Jared Anderson (Desperation Band/New Life Worship) recently started producing free piano tutorial videos on youtube. He shows you how to play many of the New Life Worship songs as well as his original songs. Here’s one of the videos – “Counting On God”. For more videos, check out his youtube channel.

It’s a great resource for piano/keyboard players. Check it out!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3c6bStlgMk&w=640&h=390]

New (and free) Webinar: Team Leading in WP

Webinars

With the powerful people-scheduling and team management tools built in to WorshipPlanning.com, it’s no wonder many ministries outside of the Worship Team want to use WP.  Plus, there are lots fo benefits for your volunteers to be on a single, centralized system where they can view serving details, access team info, and select their serving availability/preferences.

So, we are starting a new webinar called Team Leading.  It is about 30 minutes, and we cover the following:

  • Setting up and managing your team
  • Scheduling your team members to serve
  • Seeing how team members access the site

To see a schedule of this webinar, visit http://worshipplanning.com/webinars.  To register you must have a valid account in WorshipPlanning.com.  If you can’t attend the webinar, you can watch a recording of it on our new Support Center. To access the video, you must be logged in to the Support Center (use your WP login info).

Free Webinar with Tommy Walker: “Don’t Burn Out!”

Tommy Walker WebinarOn October 27th (at 9pm EST), we have a real treat for you.  Tommy Walker will be our first guest of a new webinar series we are starting.  He will be speaking about a topic that affects nearly everyone, across all vocations: burn out.  If you are a worship leader that’s in it for the long haul, you won’t want to miss the principles he has found  important to avoiding burn out.

Tommy has led worship for 20 years at Christian Assembly in Los Angeles and has over 100 songs currently being tracked by CCLI.  While this is very impressive, he says his greatest achievement is “to be found being faithful to His God, his family and his local church.”  I suspect we’ll learn that having our priorities right plays no small role in using God’s gifts to their full potential.

It really is an honor to have Tommy as our guess.  Please join us!  There is no cost to you.  In fact, all attendees will have the opportunity to download one of Tommy’s songs for free at the end of the webinar, as a thank you for being a part of this special event.

Register at one of these links (not required, but helpful for us):

To attend without registering, you have these options:

  • Listen over the Internet – http://j.mp/clB6tW
  • Dial-in by phone – 724-444-7444 (Call ID: 89043)

To learn more about Tommy and his music, check out http://tommywalker.net

Skip ahead with these bookmarks: