Here are five simple ways you can annoy your worship leader, both in a rehearsal and on any given Sunday. These are proven tools to get the job done and absolutely drive your leader nuts!
These tools work better the earlier you can adopt them, preferably from day one.
This is the first and most used tool. Walk in with a no-hurry look on your face with a Starbucks latte in one hand and your iPhone in the other. Good bursts of laughter will accent this entrance. Then you could end the phone conversation with, ”I guess I'll have to go since the other ones seem to waiting for me".
If your leader has a suggestion on anything, smile, nod your head and respond: “I know!” This will let your leader know you are on the top of your game!
Always play a few notes or practice a line while instructions are given. Silence is boring. This will give a nice background noise for the rehearsal.
Every song deserves your input on the arrangement. Why do the songs the way everyone else does them? The congregation appreciates a different twist.
Never look at the other ones on the stage. Synergy is overrated. It’s better not to connect with anyone while playing, just do your job.
This is where we will miss a great blessing. As Levites, we should be faithful in our giving with our money as well. We can’t out-give God! The time that we put in volunteering at church doesn't take the place of giving our other resources.
Years ago I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy a vintage Hammond B-3 organ (worth ~$8,000) at a bargain price of just $250! After being overwhelmed with the joy of my purchase for a couple of days, I heard God speak to me as clearly as only He can: I needed to give the organ to our church. As a matter of fact, they had been looking for one. After struggling a few days with the decision, I gave in and donated the organ to the church. (Being a new immigrant to the US at the time, I didn't even know to ask the church for a tax receipt. But, but I'm sure God's accounting took that into consideration, as you will soon see.)
It wasn't easy giving away this dream-come-true. However, in doing what God has asked of me, I felt great relief and continued to attend the church. At this point I wasn't even playing there. They had full-time staff musicians to do that. To make a long story short, I eventually was hired by the church and had the privilege of playing that organ for about 15 years and I was paid a full-time salary to do it.
It’s natural to want to be recognized and looked up to. It’s one of the things that makes us practice harder and develop the talent that God has provided us. However, when it comes to our place in the ministry, things should look different. If we truly believe in the Bible, God is ultimately in control of everything. We should trust Him to put the right personnel in place for the music ministry as well.
Investing in young singers and musicians pays off. In short term it is hard to spend time and effort teaching them, especially when you need immediate results. In the long term it will pay off in more ways than one. You as a mentor will create lifelong friendships with them and often with their parents. You will have a unique chance to speak into their lives in tough times or at major decisions.
You will also reap benefits into your ministry. It’s easy to nudge the youth in the right directions about their attitudes, work ethic and their service to God. Don’t be afraid to share even complex musical ideas, as these young minds are a very fruitful ground. They will grow quickly and will be part of the church music ministry sooner than you can imagine.
I produce this blog to share ideas that might help church music ministries. My desire is to share of the experiences throughout my years in ministry. I include practical tips, organizational structure, principals and tools to help deal not only with success, but also with disappointments and hurt.