Every three or four months I’ll put a little blurb in my church’s weekly bulletin in an attempt to let church members know that if they’d like to sing or play an instrument on the worship team, I’m the person to contact. We have enough new members joining, and old members who are waiting for a nudge, that this will usually yield a couple of emails or phone calls.
I’ve learned that how I word these little advertisements is important.
If they’re too long, no one will read them.
This isn’t the place for outlining the values and goals of the worship team. A church website or some other publication might be better suited for a lengthy ministry overview. An advertisement for worship team members in a weekly bulletin doesn’t need to be very long.
Don’t sound desperate
A desperately worded blurb communicates two things to two different groups. First, to your current volunteers, you are not good enough, and second, to your prospective volunteers, I really need you. You don’t want your current volunteers to feel undervalued, and you don’t want people joining your team thinking that they are a more important member of the body than anyone else. That’s not how the body works, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:21-27.
Use a cautious tone with cautious buzzwords
If your advertisement says: “If you want to be on the worship team, please contact ___”, then if I read that ad, I’m thinking that all I need to do is email you and then, once you show me where to sign, I’m on the team! It’s just that easy!
But if you say (and this is how I say it, by the way): “If you’re interested in exploring using your musical gifts to serve the congregation, please contact ____”, then if I read that ad, I’m thinking that this is the beginning of a process of expressing my interest, and exploring an opportunity. There isn’t a dotted line yet. Make the process intentionally slow, and err on the side of caution. These are leadership positions at your church and should not be taken lightly.
Make it about serving, not about music
I use the phrase “…using your musical gifts to serve the congregation” to set the tone from the very beginning to prospective worship team applicants that my priority is building a team of people interested in serving the body of Christ, not just playing music.
Very few members of the worship team at my church just approached me out of the blue. They either thought I didn’t need any more volunteers, or wasn’t interested, and were happy to remain in the pews. But when they saw a little blurb in the bulletin one week they decided to email me.
Regularly, and carefully, making members of your church aware of opportunities to serve will result in a stream (even if it’s one person per year) of musicians eager to serve. We should be eager to integrate them.