Dec 1, 2019
I get a lot of emails from worship
leaders asking for advice and counsel, and I am always happy to
help! Some churches require even more help than a simple email
response, so I recently started offering coaching services for an
affordable rate. If your church needs some guidance or coaching,
feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and
we can try to get something on the calendar. Here are 16 questions
I answered recently while coaching a church, and decided to make
available as a podcast episode. The questions are listed below, so
feel free to jump to the ones that interest you. Resources
mentioned are also listed as well.
- How large is an ideal volunteer force (let’s say a church of
1500 weekly) and what does the makeup look like? I.e. How many
singers (of each type), band elements, and choir?
- Why don’t modern worship bands and singers use sheet music? It
seems sheet music provides specific guidelines and clarity for what
to play when, when to rest, what notes to sing, rhythms, cuttoffs,
etc. Do you ever find sheet music useful at times? If so, when?
- How do you recommend on-boarding new members (vocal or band).
Do you audition? Once someone is selected, is there a rehearsal
process beyond a mid-week rehearsal before their first Sunday?
- How do you evaluate the sound while also participating in it?
Traditionally a music director or choir director is listening to
the sound so that they can critique and make changes. This is
difficult to do while focusing also on your own sound, in ear mix,
blend with other vocalists (to the extent there are any) etc.
- What are the tell tale signs of a thriving church music
ministry? When you visit other churches, what are you looking for
that will indicate a healthy program?
- What is your position on the music ministry raising up
children/teens in music? Do you believe in a children’s music
program? Children’s choir? If so, with what frequency do you
incorporate them in the main auditorium service?
- Do you do anything like special music in your services? If so,
how do you lead the congregation to know not to sing along, but to
listen, enjoy, and connect to God silently?
- What is your ideal worship song selection template? We
sometimes follow the upbeat > slow build > ballad >
misc/hymn pattern. Would you recommend something different?
- If you don’t use sheet music, how do you instruct background
vocal singers on what to sing and when to sing? Do you plan chords
and teach parts to them at each rehearsal? Do you record preview
tracks and put in planning center for them to listen to?
- How do you give specific direction and feedback with the
intention of making the sound better, while still shepherding and
loving the team well?
- When someone is failing (i.e. can’t perform up to standards
musically) how do you address that if they really aren’t good
enough to be on the team?
- What are the top 2-3 spiritual leadership practices you would
recommend implementing in the worship ministry?
- What do you think is the biggest frustration for worship
ministry volunteers? What drives away participation in the music
- Do you have any tips for how to transition between songs,
especially of different styles like modern songs to traditional
songs or the other way around?
- What are your favorite ways to train and equip vocalists?
- What does your worship ministry leadership structure look like?
For instance, worship leaders, music/band director, service
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