By Andrea Olson
Andrea Olson is a worship leader, recording artist, coach and founder of Overflow Worship, a ministry for Worship Leaders and entire teams. Andrea (with family in tow) travels the Midwest leading worship, training teams and equipping church leaders with practical tools to thrive in ministry. Andrea continues to release new songs for the church to sing and new resources on overflowresource.com, which she started in 2020, to help churches train their leaders and worship teams.
Written for worship leaders and entire teams, Top Five Tips For A Healthy Worship Team, comes out of the heart and experience of Overflow Resource founder, Andrea Olson.
This step by step guide will take you through 5 actions that when implemented, will help you turn the tide of your team culture and tackle ministry together!
Questions? Interested in booking Andrea for a team workshop? EMAIL US HERE!
As I travel, leading worship and training worship teams, I get many questions regarding how to be a healthy team or grow together as a team. Asking these questions shows great humility and a desire to grow, which is such a beautiful thing to see in the Church.
Over the last several years of worship ministry, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a worship leader and the makeup of a healthy team. There are so many important pieces to this discussion, but the conversation must begin with one word: SURRENDER.
Tip #1 – A HEALTHY TEAM IS SURRENDERED.
It starts with letting go of what we want. Because it isn’t about what we want. It’s about what God wants to do through us. That mental shift changes everything. Worship leading is a gift and it’s a high calling. Our main job is to surrender to where God is leading.
For leaders, that may mean surrendering your desires or plans in order to come alongside of the vision and needs of the ministry. For team members, it may mean stepping back from worship team for a season because God wants to move in a new way or through someone else.
Or maybe it means stepping up to the mic to lead even though you’re terrified. Wherever God is leading, our job starts with complete surrender.
Tip #2 – A HEALTHY TEAM IS PREPARED SPIRITUALLY.
Private worship must come before public worship. Our priorities need to be in that order. If we are not investing in our own personal private time with the Lord in worship and in the Word, we cannot lead from a place of overflow in public places. Without this intentionality, we can quickly become exhausted and unable to lead to our fullest capacity. (This applies to every team member, not just the “leader”). Your choice to make (or not make) this priority will have a profound impact on your leadership, your team and the Church. It will also impact your everyday life. It’s a big deal. It’s preparation for the spiritual battle you face in worship ministry… and daily life. You will likely have to fight for the time, but you will never regret it.
Tip #3 – A HEALTHY TEAM KNOWS ONE ANOTHER.
You’ve probably heard this. But, it’s so important that it’s worth repeating. Investing in relationships within your team is crucial. Sharing artistic gifts in public can be a vulnerable thing, and it’s so important that we trust one another as we serve together. I encourage you to schedule times throughout the year to get together, just because. No meetings or agendas. Simply relationship investment. It doesn’t have to be formal. Just get to know one another. These investments will only make you stronger as a team. I understand that you don’t need “one more thing to do”. But with a shifted perspective, you might find that you’re happy you took the time! You may be blessed with a new friendship.
Additionally, your church will be blessed because you are a healthier, stronger team that trusts one another and leads the church into the presence of God with strength and unity.
Tip #4 – A HEALTHY TEAM IS PREPARED MUSICALLY.
Worship Leaders – It is so important to spend enough time preparing for rehearsal. I believe that rehearsal is not for learning music or figuring out song flow. It is simply for putting the pieces together. Learning music and prepping song flows, tracks, etc., is for you to prepare beforehand (and communicate to your team in advanced, so they can prepare). The best thing you can do is over resource your team. Give them every tool you possibly can to set them up for success (and make it easier for them to come prepared to the rehearsal).
Team members – whatever your role is – be intentional in your preparation. Learn your music before rehearsal. Know it inside and out. Study that sound board! Dig into that lyrics program. Wherever you serve, your leader (and your church) will be incredibly blessed by your time and care. You will also bless your other team members as you respect one another’s time by arriving at rehearsal prepared and ready to go!
Translation: shorter rehearsals!
Tip #5 – A HEALTHY TEAM UNDERSTANDS THEIR ROLE.
We are all in this position to serve, so let that be the foundation as we continue. But, going further, we need to have a deeper understanding of our individual role on the team. Leaders, your role is to lead with kindness, while still being clear about expectations and what is needed. Bring your team along with you in the journey, communicating with clarity. Further, it’s so important to be on the same page as your Senior or Lead Pastor. Working together, instead of against or independent of one another. When leadership is unified, it’s powerful.
Team members, your role is to support the vision of leadership. That means respecting the leadership that God has put in place for that time. Remember, they have spent time before the Lord, seeking His will for that weekend (set list, team, etc.). So, it’s a blessing to respect their time, care and hard work by coming to rehearsal prepared and ready to support the vision God has placed on their heart and the hearts of the church’s leadership. Whatever your role in worship ministry, I pray that these tips are helpful and encouraging.
When it comes down to it…this verse from Colossians 3:17 sums it up beautifully:
Let this be our prayer. That every time we lead worship…whatever we do…that it would all be in the name of Jesus and for His glory and fame. May all we do point people to Him and Him alone.