Moving from Paid to Volunteer Music Teams in a Fast Growing Multisite Church with Stone Meyer
Thanks for tuning into this week’s unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Stone Meyer, executive pastor from The Bridge Church in Tennessee. Stone is talking with us today about the musical worship part of services and how to develop excellence in your unpaid volunteer musicians.
- The musical worship aspect. // The musical worship aspect of services is an important part and is often the first thing people hear when they enter your church. We may think of church as a presentation, but church is really people. Ephesians 4:11-12 says we are to equip God’s people for acts of service so the body can be built up, and this includes musicians who have been gifted to minister to God’s people through their talents.
- Raise the standard. // For many churches it can feel like we need to pay musicians in order to get the quality of music that we want. The truth is it’s a risk to use volunteers for the worship team. And if we don’t have enough volunteers, we can be tempted to lower the standard to attract more people. Really the opposite is true. If you raise the standard, you’re going to get more volunteers because great players love to serve with great players.
- Make changes when needed. // Rebuild the music team when things aren’t working out as you’re hoping. The Bridge Church took one step back to take two steps forward. First they scaled down their worship teams, and then they looked for people who were both excellent in their proficiency, and had great spiritual leadership. Initially these steps eliminated volunteers, but ultimately it raised the level of excellence and now they have a large pool of worship team volunteers to invite into service.
- DVLP process. // The Bridge Church wanted to raise the standard on their volunteer worship team, but they also wanted to create a development pipeline so people could reach that standard. That pipeline is a program called DVLP which is 100% volunteer run. Each week there are 90-minute rehearsals for the worship music, and in the hour before the rehearsals DVLP happens. DVLP is a 12-week development process for anyone new to the team. It helps set new members up for success, allowing them get to know their teammates and coaches, be immersed in the culture, and learn about how everything works.
- Don’t say no. // Someone interested in DVLP begins by completing a short form about their relationship with Jesus and their music knowledge. There is then a 10-15 minute evaluation with the individual. About 75% of the people go on to join DVLP, but for the others the team doesn’t tell people “no”, but instead “not yet.” Those interested persons may still need to grow or develop skills in some areas before this group would be right for them.
- Encourage those you coach. // The primary role of the coaches in DVLP is not to tell the new members what they did wrong, but to train, teach and develop people, encouraging them to believe in themselves. They ask those going through DVLP what they felt that they could do better during rehearsal so that they can examine and study their own skills.
- Learning and developing. // The end of DVLP involves evaluations for each person to see where they are and if they’re ready to graduate and begin serving on a team. Some of the main values of the team are development, learning and curiosity. Some people will go back through DVLP to coach, or to grow new aspects of their God-given potential.
- Download the DVLP Playbook. // You can learn more through the DVLP Playbook that we have available to download. It walks the reader through the vision for DVLP as well as practical aspects of the program.
You can learn more about The Bridge Church at bridge.tv.
Thank You for Tuning In!
There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose unSeminary, and I’m grateful for that. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the left hand side of this page. Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally!
Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live!
Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: FiveTwo
It’s hard to know how to grow your church. Especially as you come out of a pandemic in a changing culture. But you desperately want to. You believe the church can still grow. The good news? You don’t have to do it all yourself. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to find the right group of people who will help carry the load and bring growth to your ministry. You’ll be relieved. People will be helped. Your church will grow.
Download this guide TODAY for an easy 5-step plan to get the right leaders on board. We’ll give you 5 surprisingly easy steps to activate your congregation.