I believe scripture teaches that those who are called to Christian ministry are to be held to a higher level of accountability than the average church member. This no doubt applies to those who are called to lead worship be it the “worship leader/music minister” or other members of the worship ministry. Though one person may be delegated to oversee the worship ministry and be the one “out front,” it is my philosophy that all members of the worship ministry are worship leaders. As such there are certain criteria such as character qualities, spiritual maturity, and anointing that should be examined when leadership considers someone for a position in the worship ministry.
As we consider folks for ministry we must first realize they are human. All of us have some baggage we are carrying around no matter how good we look on the outside. Love, mercy and grace should always be a high priority when recruiting team members. Having a little baggage doesn’t necessarily disqualify someone for ministry. On the other hand, having a great singing voice or being a hot musician doesn’t necessarily qualify someone for ministry. I have seen talented musicians who could not flow with a band and were not teachable. I have heard great singers who thought their time had come and everyone should step aside to behold them. We always want to deal with people in love, but we must also use wisdom when choosing those who will lead others into God’s presence; for their sake and the sake of the church body.
Here are a few questions (not necessarily in order of importance) to consider when choosing worship team members.
1. Is the person a worshiper? Do they worship during congregational worship services? Do they worship in private?
2. Does the person have a servant’s heart? Do they volunteer in other areas of ministry? Do they mind getting their hands dirty? Do they have compassion for others?
3. Do they have a problem submitting to authority? Are they teachable? Are they argumentative? Are they spiritually accountable to others?
4. What is life like at home? Are they rebellious or submissive to parents? Do they have a stable marriage? What are their kids like?
5. What is their level of spiritual maturity? Are there any outstanding character flaws? Any addictions?
6. What musical abilities do they possess? Are they accomplished or a beginner? CAN THEY CARRY A TUNE? (Please don’t put a tone deaf person in the choir. They may be a tremendous worshiper, but the choir is probably not their calling.) Will they be able to mesh with the other worship team members?
7. Do they have an anointing and calling to lead others in worship? Do they have a heart for God’s person and presence?
8. When is the right time for them to join the worship ministry?
These questions may seem scrutinizing but there is a lot at stake. Placing a person who is not ready for the responsibility and accountability in such a visible position will do them more harm than good. Also, they will eventually cause disruptions or disunity in your worship ministry which could filter down to the congregation in time.
You should have a plan for recruiting members for the worship ministry. If you don’t one of two things will probably happen. You will never recruit anyone causing your ministry to stagnate, or you will recruit the wrong people. Some possible tools for recruiting might include a questionnaire for potential team members. Wisdom should be used in determining the appropriate questions. You might also have rehearsals to determine their musical abilities. Always be honest with people.
The most important ingredient in recruiting worship team members is prayer. You must hear from God. Do not get in a hurry just because you have a need. It is also important to have other members of the church leadership, especially the pastor, involved in the final decision phase. There is safety in a multitude of counselors (Proverbs 24:6).