What is it about Praise And Worship teams that attract so much dissension? Why is there seemingly so much more animosity and discord in the praise team, of all places, than in any of the other groups? I’ve often thought about this. I’ll discuss it with you briefly in today’s blog and offer 3 ideas I believe will greatly reduce or minimize drama on your Praise Team.
1. Implement an in-depth interview/evaluation process for new members
A “come one come all”, open-door membership policy is a sure-fire way to insure you will always be dealing with a lot of drama on your praise team. Why? Because many people gravitate to praise teams for all the wrong reasons.
Praise teams are not like choirs. In most churches it’s not that hard to get into the choir. Many churches don’t require any kind of audition or interview to join. Praise teams are much smaller though. Often it takes a little more to get on the praise team (and if it doesn’t it should). So in the eyes of many people being on the praise team endows them with some kind of “elite status”. There is a perception of prestige that comes with with being on the praise team because it’s something “not just anybody” can be a part of.
So when someone is expressing interest in joining the praise team you must have measures in place help insure that person’s motives for wanting to join are pure and not misplaced. If needed you might even speak to your pastor about your concerns and get his/her guidance to come up with the right questions. The goal here is to insure the person is truly interested in ministry and not just the “glamour” that is often associated with singing on the praise team.
2. Every new member auditions
I’ve made the point before but it bears repeating here. The Praise team is NOT like the choir. The choir is a very forgiving place to sing because of its’ sheer size. Numbers hide a multitude of faults. But even if you’re not doing lead vocals it takes a different level of vocal ability to sing on the praise team. Praise teams don’t offer the “vocal camouflage” of large numbers. Add to the mix the fact that everyone is singing into a microphone and vocal ability becomes much more important on a praise team.
At the very minimum a new member should be able to demonstrate their ability to match pitch and sing harmony with other members. That’s usually enough even for choirs that require auditions. However I believe praise team auditions should include one more element. Every member of a praise team should be able to both lead songs and lead praise and worship. To “exalt”, as my praise team leader calls it.
I realize many praise team leaders don’t see this as important because most of the lead vocals and leading of praise and worship is often done by one person. Personally I think this is often the root of a lot of the drama that is common in praise teams. One very simple way to eliminate that is to implement my third suggestion:
3. Require all members be able to lead songs and lead praise and worship, and rotate those duties regularly
If you’re doing steps one and two correctly this is a requirement nobody on the praise team will find difficult. Requiring all members be ready, willing and able to lead and exalt praise and worship creates an environment of fairness and equality that makes every member feel like a valued contributor. If someone decides to decline or opt out of leading they can hardly complain about not being given the opportunity.
There are many other ways to minimize discord and dissension in your praise team beyond what I’ve included here. But I think most of it can be avoided by simply building the right team in the first place. Then taking steps to promote harmony and unity by making every member feel they have an equal opportunity to contribute in some way.
Need more articles like this one for your Praise Team? Check out Praise Team 101.