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The Role of the Praise and Worship Team Members

technology, worship, team, church, audio

This week we have the first of two perspectives on the Role of the Worship Team.

I thought we should start by explaining… who is… or should be considered part of the ‘worship team’.

This may seem rather obvious, but the people on the praise and worship team are those directly involved with the praise and worship.

This would include, but is certainly not limited to the singers, musicians, worship leader and the sound, lighting and vision technicians that immediately support the ‘on stage’ team. Obviously all of these people must work together to ensure that the service flows to the best it can and the congregation are able to enter worship freely. Any of these team members can either enhance the service, or take away from it.

The role of the praise & worship team then is to lead the congregation in worship. Everything that comes from the worship team must have the goal to lead the congregation in worship to God, not to entertain – we need to keep in mind the purpose of leading worship is not to show off my vocal prowess, dexterity on the frets or produce the ‘killer’ audio mix.

It’s about helping people on a journey from walking in the door to a place where they encounter God in a meaningful way. The only way to lead anyone is to first connect with them in some way.

Imagine having a conversation with someone who is constantly avoiding your eye contact, continually distracted by the action happening behind you or staring into the ‘distant blue yonder’. It could appear as though they weren’t paying attention to you, and more than likely you would move on to a conversation with someone else who is interested when they talk with you.

By the same token, a worship team who are so engrossed in their own experience of worship, playing their instrument, reading charts or lyrics, paying little or no attention to where the congregation is at, have forgotten their purpose and are not going to be as effective as they should be…

In the majority of churches today the song list is set out in advance and the level of difficulty of songs means that with a few practices of a song during the week prior to a service should give you enough confidence to run without charts & lyrics when the service time arrives. This means that you can actually focus on leading the congregation.

The ‘technical team’ also has the responsibility to connect with the congregation, as well as connecting with the ‘on stage’ team, in order to be responsive to changes in monitor levels, mixing to enhance what is musically happening and following any directions from our leadership as to the mix direction. Diversions from the run sheet are possible in any situation and the difference between a good operator and a great operator is someone who is paying attention and is ready before the moment happens – connected to the leadership on the stage.

Being connected to the congregation means being aware of how they engaging with the worship service and then assessing whether there is anything we can do to ensure they are moving forward in their worship, led by the on stage team.

Let’s all make this week for us a milestone in proving our connection to our leaders, the others in our worship team and our congregation, because the greater level of connection to the people around us, the more we are able to impact and influence them for good.

Kevin Watts

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