Now is a great time, as most of us are outside of our usual church programming, to make the changes you’ve always wanted to make in your ministry.
And let me tell you, the single most effective way to bring a clear structure and identity to your ministry is to create a strong Worship Band Values Statement.
I usually see two frames of mind regarding Worship Band Values Statements:
- Worship leaders (often from the mainline) who have never heard of a statement like this, or are used to committee-created values statements that take a thousand words to say nothing, or
- Worship leaders (often from evangelical spaces) who have to sign a behavioral covenant for every group they want to be in, and they’re sick of saying they won’t drink or be gay in order to join a book club.
This is neither of those things.
This is a way to create a comprehensive, realistic framework for your ministry that puts you and your team on the same page. I can’t tell you how many worship leaders have brought complaints to me like, “I have one musician who constantly shows up late and unprepared.” Or, “It’s like my band doesn’t even know why we do what we do.” Or, “I have one musician who’s such a jerk to everyone that we basically do whatever he wants. I even have to take extra time scheduling him because there are musicians who refuse to play with him.”
(I’ll admit I have said all these things too at one point or another throughout my career.)
A strong Worship Band Values Statement can help with all of that. Let’s walk through how to make one that will provide the foundation for the band you’ve always wanted. First things first.
Create, then collaborate
My mainline friends are going to feel tempted to immediately appoint a committee for this. Resist! You are the worship leader. You will be the one structuring rehearsals and ultimately steering the ship for this band. Be brave! Create your first draft in its entirety before you bring it to anyone else. Then bring in a trusted colleague, like a pastor or a leader in your band. Once you’ve listened to their feedback, then you can bring it to the full band.
Build a framework for the team you’ve always dreamed of — but be succinct and specific
My evangelical friends are going to feel the pressure from their Lead Pastor to find every scripture passage about worship and exegete each one before you get to the actual meat of your values statement. Resist! We want this to be a useful tool, so it must be deliberate and brief. You have a whole career to teach your band about the biblical basis for worship.
Here’s how I built my Worship Band Values Statement. The first page includes essential information and the shared vision for worship.
The second page includes the nitty-gritty of how this band will be run.
Make it your own!
Take your band’s feedback seriously
Once you have a final draft ready, send it to your band and allow a week or so for people to share their feedback. Take their feedback seriously; they’re part of the team too. Once you’ve made updates, print one master copy and have everyone sign it. (In the time of Covid-19, you can probably skip that part.)
This is a working document. Revisiting it will ensure it stays relevant and effective. State clearly that this will be revisited yearly with the team. As the anniversary approaches, I recommend hosting a Worship Band Town Hall (more on that later) to make adjustments based on the previous year.
Stick to it!
Remember the complaints I listed at the beginning of this post? Having a Worship Band Values Statement gives you something to point to when thing start to get a little messy. It holds your musicians to a higher standard, and it holds you to a higher standard. If you take it seriously, they will too.
A Worship Band Values Statement will not only help your band become more structured, but it will also give your band a deeper understanding of what it means to be worship leader themselves.
Blessings to you on your journey!
If you’re looking to start something new at your church but need some help, contact me! I have worked with churches of all sizes, developing worship ministries from scratch and working within existing structures. I’d love to work with you to get your great idea off the ground!