March 05, 2018

By Ryan McLouth

So you have a lot of people interested in serving on your worship team, but you don’t know what to do with all of them? This is an excellent problem to have, and there are plenty of solutions. The only question is, which one is the best fit for your church?

Depending on the amount of persons interested and the profile of their particular skill set, the first way to get everyone involved on a regular basis would be to set some form of rotation. This could be totally random, or you can build specific teams. Here at Central Methodist, we are blessed to have the right amount of individuals interested that we retain three distinct ensembles. Each group has four singers, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, bass and percussion. If working from at least a semi-contemporary format you can build groups this way or even aim for smaller groups with more sparse instrumentation. Either is fine. The second option for rotation is to build a group at random each week from the pool of musicians that you have to work with. There are pros and cons to this format. A benefit can be that band members get to work with different people each time they perform. A couple of drawbacks are that services may not be as “tight” since players and singers don’t know one another’s style and skills as well. This is not necessarily a challenge if you are working with advanced musicians. Scheduling rehearsals and services can also be harder with this routine in some ways.

Sometimes we have major interest in one or two areas but less in others. For instance, you may find that you have many individuals interested in singing but not many interested in playing bass. In these situations, you may need to put the singers on a rotation and use the bass player more frequently. This problem and solution can of course manifest in many areas. If you have several guitarists, I would encourage you to train all of them to play bass since there are many similarities between each instrument. Additionally, this gives you more freedom and flexibility with scheduling. If you have many singers, it is always good to work on training some of them on how to sing basic harmony— particularly on the corporate part of a song such as the chorus or the bridge. Additionally, it is possible to find free music (with your subscription) from Christian Copyright Licensing International’s Song Select database. Some of the music you will find on this database includes arrangements of Christian music with multiple voices. This can help you get many singers involved on a regular basis and ensure that your leaders sound great and stylistically appropriate in the process.

Thanks for tuning in this month and engaging in the discussion of worship music. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you! You can contact me at any time via email at rmclouth@centralmethodist.edu or phone at 660-651-9964. Until next time, keep playing and singing