Tonight Catherine and I will be having the entire worship team and their spouses to our house for dinner. We’re providing the main dish (i.e. I’m picking it up and paying for it out of my church budget) as well as drinks, and inviting everyone else to bring a side, a salad, or a dessert. There will be a lot of people squeezed into our house, a lot of food, a lot of noise, and a lot of fun.
Our worship team gets together at the church every month (every fourth Monday night) for what we call “tune-up nights”. We eat pizza and snacks, have an unhurried time of singing and prayer, and have a teaching on some aspect of worship leading. A couple times a year, (usually December and June) in place of a tune-up night, we’ll have a worship team dinner/party at someone’s home. We usually don’t have monthly meetings in July or August.
As this is the first time we’ve hosted one of these dinners at our house, I’m realizing just how much work it is. But it’s worth it in so many ways. It’s so good for a worship team to get together regularly, to eat together, laugh, pray, and just hang out.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about how to have good and fruitful worship team dinners:
Don’t underestimate the power of a silly game to help your team bond
Somehow we’ve gotten into a tradition of playing a round of “Catch Phrase” with the entire worship team at our dinners (most of the time). Men versus women. 35 people in a giant circle. Mass chaos. Laughter. Tension. Taunting. You name it. It’s just a silly game but it helps the team bond. There are other, and probably better, games you can play with your team (your youth pastor will have ideas), but the point is to do something that will foster an atmosphere of family.
Take the opportunity to serve your team in practical ways
Take their coats. Pour their drinks. Take their plates when they’re done. Get them refills. Offer them dessert or coffee. Find small, practical ways to serve your team members and their spouses. It will bless them, and it will remind you of what your role really is.
Every single time your worship team gets together, you should be singing together. Don’t just sing when you’re up front or plugged in. It might feel a bit uncomfortable for some people but it will get less awkward each time you do it. Getting a worship team to be comfortable worshipping together is crucial and will increase your effectiveness in leading the congregation in unity.
Let people connect with each other
If conversation is going well and people are enjoying one another’s company, don’t interrupt it. Worship team rehearsals and monthly meetings should be well planned-out and structured, but it’s OK for a dinner to be more relaxed and less structured. When people have finished eating and you can tell they’d be OK with being interrupted, that’s a good time to call them together for a few minutes if you’d like.
Worship team spouses are the ones who have to get all the kids to church when their husband is playing drums or their wife is singing. They have evenings when the worship team member they’re married to isn’t home because of a rehearsal or a meeting. Make sure they know they’re invited to your dinners, and even your monthly meetings if they’d like to come, and make a point to thank them for their sacrifice and support.
Budget for it
It’s helpful if your church can cover the cost of food and supplies. Just a couple hundred dollars will go a long way.
Planning and organizing worship team dinners: A lot of work.
Buying paper plates, cups, and plastic ware: $20.00.
Providing a main course: ~$100.00.
“Catch Phrase“: $29.99.
A worship team that is actually a “team”: Priceless.