Worship Team Prerequisites
Christopher Rath (with input from several others1)
The Worship Team consists of those persons involved in leading the people in corporate worship. Although we generally only think of the Worship Leader and musicians as making up the Worship Team, it in fact consists of at least the following individuals:
We believe that at New Wine, Home Care Groups are our life blood (until God tells us otherwise). Our vision is to build New Wine upon relationships rather than on talents and gifts, and the Home Care Groups serve as the primary centres for building these relationships. It is in the Home Care Groups and through the relationships developed there, that our vision of the church is imparted to new members of New Wine.
It is not out of a desire to see prospective Worship Team members perform that attendance is required. Rather, it has been our experience that until new members of New Wine become committed to a Home Care Group they do not integrate fully into the life of the church. Therefore, we require that until one is committed to a Home Care Group he will not be considered for membership on a Worship Team.
The Father seeks true worshippers: those who worship in Spirit and in truth. Also, in the body of Christ we lead through service. Therefore, as it is the purpose of the Worship Team to lead the people in worship, it is a necessity that Worship Team members be able to worship; regardless of their place in the church, or the surrounding circumstances. If an individual cannot worship then he will be unable to lead others in worship. Being a worshipper is more important than being a musician or technician.
In the body of Christ we lead by serving. Unless a Worship Team member is willing to give himself to service, he will be unable to lead others in worship. While not everyone has service as a primary motivational gift, everyone can develop a servant's heart. All Christians should be seeking this heart attitude, in any case.
Worship Team members are just that: Members of a team. Unless they are able to submit themselves to the Team leadership, and integrate and work with the other members of the Worship Team, they will hinder rather than help lead the people in worship. We do not expect that conflict will never exist. But, team members need to be able to allow iron to sharpen iron by dying to self. Crucifying the flesh doesn't mean nailing your brother to the cross!
Whether a prospective Worship Team member fits in can only be determined as relationships are built between existing and prospective Worship Team members. While New Wine presently has a single Worship Team, we may eventually have more than one. And, we recognize that a prospective team member may fit better into one group than another.
Excellence, not perfection is demanded of Worship Team members. Team members must be proficient enough with their instruments and equipment to perform the duties required. Whether a member is proficient enough will be determined on a individual basis.
As always, attitude is as important as aptitude. As Christians we are called to do everything as unto the Lord. In other words, we are to perform our duties "in excellence." From a performance perspective, excellence is different for someone with a year's experience than for a ten year veteran. However, there shouldn't be any difference in attitude between two such individuals.
No matter how long we perform a task, there is always room for improvement. Members of the Worship Team must always remain teachable that we may continually hone our skills. God is always doing something new, and unless we remain soft and flexible we will not be able to move with Him.
It is also expected that team members will individually pursue further training, where it is appropriate. For seasoned musicians this may take the form of refresher courses in technique, or further theory; while for technicians it would probably involve something else.
A prospective Worship Team member must share the vision we have for worship; or he must be willing to buy into New Wine's vision. Unless all team members share a common vision, there will be unnecessary tension within the team. For example, if one team member wants a C&W sound, and another a Rock sound, there will always be friction. Any such friction will hinder the teams effectiveness in ministry.
On any team, there is only room for a limited number of players. Unless there is an opening on the Worship Team, no one will be considered. Prospective team members who meet all the criteria laid out will be considered for membership as there is need for their service. During seasons of an abundance of qualified servants, we will try to seek God's will and way to involve as many as possible in ministry.
Personal holiness does not refer to legalism! There is no standard to which prospective team members will be compared. We recognize that each of us must work out our own salvation, in fear and trembling before the Lord, at our own speed. However, it is expected that Worship Team members be born again, Spirit filled Christians with an ongoing, growing, active prayer life.
Also, we also recognize that the commitment required by Worship Team members involves giving a lot of time. Prospective team members must have the time to give, without causing harm to their family or work situation.
Evaluation of the criteria entitled "Personal Holiness" will be made by the Elders of the church in consultation with the prospective team member's Pastor and/or Home Care Group leader.
Worship Team members must be committed to regularly attending worship practices and events where the team is ministering. From time to time there will also be books to read, conferences to attend, and tapes to listen to. Team members must be willing and able to give the time required to do these extra things. As always, we recognize that financial constraints may hinder some team members from participating in all events, and New Wine will assist team members financially, when it is able.
1. List of contributors includes Terry Munroe, Michael Cook, and Dennis & Priscilla Gruver.