To the Small Team Worship Leader

If there’s someone in the worship world who feels alone and forgotten, it’s the worship leader who leads a small team. Because you’re not focused on being cool or different. You’re trying to make it through Sunday. You’re trying to give your church the best worship experience possible.

But sometimes your drummer doesn’t show up.

Your piano player doesn’t know how to keep it simple.

Your vocalists don’t have the greatest tone or pitch.

Maybe you don’t have a clue what you’re doing.

You feel stuck, confused, not sure where to go next.

Sound familiar?

Leading a small team can be the result of lazy leadership—you don’t recruit, you don’t take the time it takes to grow it. But I’m not talking about that. That’s for another blog post. Sometimes it has to do with where your church is located. Or the size of your church. Or some other dynamics we can’t even see.

And I want to encourage you today, small church worship leader, to lift your head high and rise up to the next level.

Here are a few steps you can take:

1. Become the Excellence You Want to See: Just being real, sometimes we are the ones who stand in our own way. We can alienate people by our personality. We can frustrate others by our disorganization. Don’t be the reason your team lacks momentum. Step it up and worship, lead, organize and be the excellence you’d love to see spread across your team.

2. Realize What Makes Worship Powerful: You could have the largest team in the world with the best musicians in the world playing the best songs in the world. And still, it could be dry, lifeless, fake. Powerful worship doesn’t consist in the size and quality of your band. It consists in the hunger of the worshipers. How hungry are you? How hungry is your team, no matter how small it is? How hungry is your church? Focus on stoking that flame of desire, no matter how small or inexperienced your team is.

3. Be OK With Simple: I get it—you’d love to provide your church with something more dynamic. They’ve heard the acoustic guitar and cajon long enough. I get it. But just realize that simple is the song of the people. Concert style worship has its place too, but in most local church settings, it doesn’t connect. People don’t believe it. They watch, they don’t engage. They’re not impressed because they didn’t come to be impressed. They’re looking to get close to Jesus. Use your simple setup to your advantage.

4. Take Baby Steps: If you want to try something new, take it one step at a time. Add one new instrument. Simplify your vocal line. Use pad loops or MultiTracks. Try software keys. Provide an online course for your team to go through. Whatever it is, try it one step at a time. Don’t feel the need to overhaul everything quickly.

5. Prioritize People: The reason you are in a local church is to disciple people. That’s also the best way to grow a church. Be present with your church, with your team. Pray for them, challenge them, call them to higher things. Don’t use people to move up in your ministry career. Ministry is and always will be about the people.

I’d love to hear from you.

What is the size of your church and what are the struggles you are having?