One of the most vital contributions a worship leader can and should make to the culture of the worship ministry at his or her church is a firm commitment to building a healthy team, expecting (and helping) all of the members of the ministry – band members, choir members, tech team, and more – to act like the members of a healthy body.
Whether members of the worship ministry are up front or behind the scenes, one of the jobs of a worship leader is to help those team members contribute their gifts as one part of the whole body. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul couldn’t be any more clear about this. We’re one body, with many members, arranged by God, interdependent, and all empowered by the Spirit.
A worship leader can’t emphasize this enough with his or her team. We’re all in this together. We’re all cheering for one another. We’re all pointing in the same direction. We all have the same job. We all have different gifts, distributed as God sees fit. We all need each other. No one is more or less important than anyone else.
In my experience, most musicians resonate with this, and appreciate this biblical model of a healthy body. And when this mindset becomes the norm in the culture of a worship ministry, beautiful cooperation can happen between people with very different gifts. A worship leader should encourage this!
But once in a while, a worship leader encounters a musician who isn’t a team player. There could be many reasons for this, and oftentimes they can be brought along, and after being shown a lot of patience and grace, they buy in. It’s wonderful when that happens.
Sadly, not all musicians buy in to the biblical model of a healthy body. They may refuse to work with the rest of the members in a cooperative way. When that happens, and when it’s clear that it’s not going to change, a worship leader’s job is to ask that member to step aside. Encouraging that kind of unbiblical behavior can make the whole body sick.
Over the course of time – and sometimes it may happen slowly – a worship leader can help cultivate a healthy culture in the worship ministry of his or her church, through consistent encouragement of the members of the body, and with the help of the Spirit who gives that body its life.