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Weigh In Volume 24: Worship Team Lifestyle Agreements

 —  July 10, 2012 — 6 Comments

We are in a transition right now in our group as our Youth Worship Pastor has recently stepped  down. He did a great job of leading our students and bands but I regretfully don’t know a lot about the lifestyle expectations that those in the band had. Let me unpack this a bit more and ask this:

Does a student in the band qualify as a leader?

Are they held to the same standard as a college age leader?

Is a lead singer treated differently a percussionist?

Where is the line?

Is the Worship team a front door to the ministry where non-believing students can come get connected?

Or is a place where only those students who have proven to be mature in their faith can lead others from the stage?

So many questions!

What are your criteria for a student interested in  serving on a youth worship team? Does it change depending on the role or involvement?



Geoff Stewart


6 responses to Weigh In Volume 24: Worship Team Lifestyle Agreements

  1. Ah, this is interesting that this just came up considering I had a major discussion with another pastor on staff at our church about this just yesterday.

    To me, if you are on the stage, you get the leadership tag whether you want it, deserve it, or not. So, in my opinion, this is a place where established individuals should serve. I’d rather have just a guitar player or just a keyboardist than have a full band of people who aren’t necessarily connected to our ministry or are even saved and growing in their faith.

    Also, in a previous ministry, we basically formed a band out of random individuals. In my estimation, we participated in the “church bar hopping” scene where the instrumentalists kept rotating churches and never truly getting connected or leading.

    But, alas, I’m lower on the totem pole, so it looks like we will be pulling some people in. :)

  2. Josh windeler July 11, 2012 at 3:01 am

    I.ve done it both ways. In the end, in my opinion, they are leading and thus will be held to a higher stadard then others by their peers. 2tim3.

  3. As mentioned by the guys above, a student in the band most definitely counts as leadership, regardless of whether they want it to or not. They have to be taught how to lead appropriately and how being in front of others performing and leading songs directly affects other students’ perspectives about them. I wouldn’t necessarily say they have the same leadership level as college-age leaders, but that depends what your college-age leaders do in your ministry. But playing in a band, leading other students into a time of worship? That’s definitely a big deal.

    Being a drummer, I would say that you should treat all in the band equally, however more needs to be poured into whichever student is doing the talking. In fact, don’t have it the same student every week. If the lead singer, backup singer, or lead guitarist invites students into worship each week, see if the bass player or drummer would like to pray at the beginning or at the end of worship. Spread the love around, but always talk to the students, tell them what you expect them to say, but with oppression and stipulations.

    I think the band is a great place for students who are still searching to hone their skills while being involved. Now, this is a double-edged sword. If a student’s lifestyle is not being directly affected by the worship, or they are playing just to play and you don’t notice a change over time, I would ask that student about what’s going on in their lives. Maybe you can partner them up with other bandmates to help out. But still, the worship band is a place of leadership, so your agnostic student who has been attending for 3 weeks but can play amazingly isn’t in a spiritual position to lead worship.

    I’m a middle school pastor. We have a middle school band that is lead by one of our small group leaders. Is it good? Sometimes. Do we hit all the notes (or most of for that matter)? No. Do we fall apart? Definitely. However, seeing 12 year olds on stage, singing and praising, makes a far greater impact to their peers than awesome musicians. Students should lead students.

    • Geoff Stewart July 11, 2012 at 8:43 am

      @Travs – thanks so much for this – this is some good insight from someone who is a musician, which I am not. That is of course unless you consider the Triangle an instrument.

  4. If anyone wants it here is a link to download a pdf version of what I ask our entire NRSM arts team (worship and production) to agree to. We hand them out at the beginning of each ministry year and we hold them to it. It’s also basically the same document we ask all of our leaders to sign (yep, if you’re an audio tech, lyrics person, drummer etc you’re a leader).


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