How to Start a Worship Team
You’ve planted your first church and all is well except for one important thing, you don’t have a worship team. Your spouse can’t play an instrument, and you certainly can’t sing. Often when churches are new, and even in the life of an established church, there are times when you don’t have anyone to lead worship.
A few years ago my husband and I were pastoring a church that was blessed to have a young man attending who was an excellent piano player. A year or so later he left for college. Since we didn’t have anyone to take his place, I had to learn to play the piano in a few weeks. I prayed for hours asking the Lord to give me the ability to play a few chords.
The Lord was faithful. Within two weeks I was able to play all of our worship songs. I’m telling you this to give you hope. If you desire to play, and there is a need, God will give you the ability. That said, it’s helpful to find a piano course that teaches you to play by “ear” or chording if you need to learn quickly. If piano isn’t your thing, there are also sites that offer free guitar courses, chords and tabs.
If you shudder at the thought of learning to play an instrument, another option is to use worship split-tracks. Split-tracks are recordings that allow you to mute the vocals leaving the instruments to sing along with. Some companies sell worship DVDs which include songs, lyrics and visuals to use with projection software. These options are great for those times when you don’t have musicians, especially if you are starting a church from scratch.
If your church is already established, you can usually find someone in the congregation who can play a lead instrument. Be sure to read Worship Leader Guide for Churches and a great article by Bob Kauflin, What to Look for in a Worship Musician. Being able to play an instrument is only part of it. A worship leader must be anointed by God to lead others in this important ministry.
Another way to find worship leaders, singers and musicians is to put flyers on bulletin boards in local music stores, business and libraries. Also, the Internet is full of websites (online newspapers, community centers, schools, etc.) that allow you to post free and paid classified ads in your city or town.
We’ve forgotten in our entertainment era that a person leading their congregation in song, acappella, can be a powerful thing. Don’t feel pressured to have a full worship team from the start. Let God bring your worship ministry together in His time and it will be a beautiful thing.