As the saying goes, ‘you never have enough volunteers.’ Well that may be true, but any Worship Pastor can attest, you definitely never have enough musicians. The problem is I can’t just look at someone and say ‘ope! Guitar player!’ Then go and ask him to consider joining the band. And here at Lifepoint we have taken the position of NOT paying our musicians. They are strictly volunteer.
But lately we have had an influx of musicians and vocalists. Here are a few reasons I believe that is the case.
- Prayer – My former choir director was short of tenors. So he said he ‘prayed them in’. "I needed some tenors. None were joining. So I prayed them in!" And it worked! Who do you need? Pray them in!
- Culture of Excellence – We hold high standards. You don’t practice, you don’t play – period. The only exception is a last minute fill-in for sickness or emergency. I think people appreciate that across the board. They know their hard work is valued. And besides excellence breeds excellence. They begin to push each other!
- Culture of Teaching – Just as we value excellence, we also recognize that not everybody is an Eric Clapton or Billy Joel. So we are willing to take raw talent and develop it. I’ve done this at 2 different churches. Watching someone develop and grow over the years really rewarding. But GROWING is the key. If they don’t have the drive or desire to develop their talents, then its a no-go for me. Also along these lines we are beginning our first workshops in February. They are an intentional step in developing the talent of our team. Additionally, if someone doesn’t make the ‘cut’ in practice, we will offer the workshops as a place they can hone their skills – then tryout again later.
- Tryouts – Everyone goes through tryouts. Everyone. Every 6-months. And in the literature we give them prior to tryouts we make clear the following: 1. What we are looking for 2. That our primary responsibility is to put them where they are exercising their gifts 3. That we will be forthright in our opinions and to be ready for it! In other words it does a great disservice to them and to us to let them pass out of pity or fear of reaction. Then they are frustrated with the level of expectation and everyone else is frustrated too. Moreover, we set goals for everyone that goes through tryouts – even those who don’t make it. Why? Because it gives us a good indication if they are serious or not. Their goal may be to attend workshops and work on pitch. But if they don’t attend any and show up for the next tryout, what does that tell us? They don’t care about developing…they just want on the team.