How to Raise New Leaders on your Worship Team

Do you remember the story of Michael that I shared with you last week? He is a fellow worship leader (and a member of my coaching network) who, after leading a round of auditions, recently found himself at the helm of a fast growing worship ministry.

Like many of us would be . . . a new level of leadership is a bit overwhelming, but he’s growing through it and doing a great job.

Have you ever found yourself there . . . under the mounting stress of leading a worship team (regardless of the size) that just felt like it was more than you could handle at the time? I have!

Wherever you are in ministry — whether you lead 20 or 200 people on your worship team — there are leadership principles that can help remove the stress and maximize the gifts and opportunities that a growing worship ministry holds.

We kicked off this 3-part series by talking about how our personal growth ALWAYS precedes our ministry growth last week.

And now here’s leadership principle #2 . . .

#2 – New Leadership Challenges require New Leaders

You can’t do it all by yourself. You need other leaders around you to help you carry the load.

There are too many “Lone Ranger” worship leaders. Their slogan is, “No one can do it as well as me, as fast as me, or the way I like it, so I’ll do it all myself.”

The problem with that thinking is two-fold:

a) There’s only so much one person can do before they’re overwhelmed and under-achieving. You will never become all that God has called you to be leading your team by yourself.

b) If you try to do it all yourself, you are robbing (yes, robbing) potential leaders on your team of becoming all that God has called them to be, too!

The truth is . . . in a growing worship ministry there is far more to do than one person possibly can, so you have to raise up leaders around you. By doing so, they grow their leadership gifts and contribute to the kingdom. AND you are able to do the things that only you can do.

I remember vividly when this principle became clear in my life. In the early days of The Journey I was leading worship 48-50 Sundays a year — I call that ministry suicide by the way :-).

As we added more and more services I realized I couldn’t do this alone. I started investing in a member of our worship team and he became a volunteer worship leader. And then I kicked it into overdrive and really started developing new leaders. Over the course of a couple years we had built a team of 8-10 volunteer worship leaders who were not only leading on Sunday but also helping carry the leadership load in other areas of our team as well.

It was a huge relief. And as our team grew I was able to empower them to lead more and more, so that I could focus on the things that only I could do.

Listen — If you’re overwhelmed right now by the leadership challenge in front of you, that means you haven’t raised up enough leaders to help you succeed through it.

I could go on for an hour about how to select leaders, what are the criteria for becoming a leader (we just talked about this in my coaching networks), what is the process for grooming leaders, how do you help them succeed, and on we could go.

We don’t have time to get into all of that, so let me share with you a quick system you can use to get started . . .

Step 1: I do / You watch — Before a new person can lead well they must be shown a model for what it looks like to lead well. At this stage, you demonstrate for your new leader what success in their area looks like. They watch, take notes, discuss with you, etc.

Step 2: We do together — After your new leader has seen an example of excellence in this area, now you’re ready to give them some responsibility . . . but don’t throw them in the deep end without swimming right beside them! Have them lead alongside of you . . . a song at rehearsal, a meeting with your production team members, etc. In this stage they are growing their leadership abilities and you are right beside them every step of the way.

Step 3: You do / I watch — After showing competency as a leader, you can now allow them to take the lead . . . BUT, don’t abdicate responsibility for that area. They may be leading some rehearsals now, but always under your watchful care, and with a free-flow of communication and feedback between the two of you.

Simple as it may seem . . . that’s the best way to raise new leaders on your team!

By the way — if you want to learn more about how we select leaders, develop criteria, build a system for training and development, etc. at The Journey, then it’s time to join my next coaching network. Those are the types of in-the-trenches practical strategies that we discuss in these networks.

Check out to learn more!

Your partner in ministry,

PS -Want to learn the audition process that Michael has been using to grow his Worship Team and the leadership tactics for how to deal with the new leadership challenges that come with it? Check out the How to Double Your Worship Team in a Day resource.

And if you try the auditions system, give it an honest run and do it just like I teach it, and it doesn’t work for you . . . return it to us within 365 days of purchase for a full refund.