Worship Band Builder Podcast

Two Ways to Build and Rotate Worship Teams - Episode 25

August 17, 2020 Eric Michael Roberts
Worship Band Builder Podcast
Two Ways to Build and Rotate Worship Teams - Episode 25
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Worship Band Builder Podcast
Two Ways to Build and Rotate Worship Teams - Episode 25
Aug 17, 2020
Eric Michael Roberts

“Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Worship Band Builder podcast, where we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship! I’m Eric Roberts. I’m joined by my co-host, Emily Roberts.”

First, you can’t rely on the same small group of people in your ministry over the long haul.   Building new members and teams is the key to growing successfully  

METHOD 1  Rotate members within the whole ministry area 

Pros:  

  • One big happy family?  
  • May offer more flexibility for the people individual schedule  
  • May help less experienced musicians connect with other more experienced musicians  

Cons: 

  • Mix all levels of musicians  
  • Hard to reach synergy because people are always rotating  
  • Harder to get deeper relationships within the team 

METHOD 2: Rotate complete bands together as a team 

(Team Erod, Team Speed, Team Wildman) 

Pros:  

  • People get comfortable with each other  
  • You can skill batch and train easier  
  • More experienced bands/members don’t get frustrated and lower skilled musicians don’t get intimidated 
  • Easier to scale and build more teams  

Cons: 

  • Style may be segregated  
  • Some bands will be better and could become the preferred team  

Support the show (https://worshiptheking.com/partner/)

Show Notes Transcript

“Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Worship Band Builder podcast, where we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship! I’m Eric Roberts. I’m joined by my co-host, Emily Roberts.”

First, you can’t rely on the same small group of people in your ministry over the long haul.   Building new members and teams is the key to growing successfully  

METHOD 1  Rotate members within the whole ministry area 

Pros:  

  • One big happy family?  
  • May offer more flexibility for the people individual schedule  
  • May help less experienced musicians connect with other more experienced musicians  

Cons: 

  • Mix all levels of musicians  
  • Hard to reach synergy because people are always rotating  
  • Harder to get deeper relationships within the team 

METHOD 2: Rotate complete bands together as a team 

(Team Erod, Team Speed, Team Wildman) 

Pros:  

  • People get comfortable with each other  
  • You can skill batch and train easier  
  • More experienced bands/members don’t get frustrated and lower skilled musicians don’t get intimidated 
  • Easier to scale and build more teams  

Cons: 

  • Style may be segregated  
  • Some bands will be better and could become the preferred team  

Support the show (https://worshiptheking.com/partner/)

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to this episode of the worship band Boulder podcast, but we are working with you to lay the foundation for skillful worship. I'm Eric Roberts. And this is my cohost Emily Rabo . It's in the house. Yeah, I know. I said that I wanted to be an announcer for WWE my whole life. So no, I'm lying. I actually ,

Speaker 2:

Yeah , because when he was in the WW II,

Speaker 1:

Well, yeah, I have a friend who's obsessed with it. I never liked it. So I always thought who was it? What's his character, Cody Hawk , Cody Hawk . And I remember when I first met you, you took me to this real , uh, interesting fight barn and he fought shark boy, boy, shark boy. Yes. He fought shark boy. Okay. So guys , um, you know, today is a new podcast and it's episode 25. And we just, this past week, actually, it was a couple of weeks ago, but we're finally getting to the tail end. We have a new partner with , uh, Tom Rainer and church answers.com. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yes . So wonderful.

Speaker 1:

They launched their new site, like a , I think just about a month ago, the church answers.com got kind of re and Thom rainer.com was it got kind of merged into one awesome site. So, and then , uh, now the point is you can go to church answers.com, click on courses, and you can see , uh , two bundles, two very good bundles from worship and builder right there , uh, as part of the church answers product line, which is really exciting for us. And , uh , just give them a shout out for everything they've done and helping more and more churches get connected to the resources.

Speaker 2:

Yes, they are all about helping the small church or any church, but then they , they really have a heart for, for the small churches. And , um, yeah, if you haven't, if you're not familiar with Thom Rainer, you need to go to church answers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And get his new book. I think it's called, what is the book called?

Speaker 2:

Uh, the post post quarantine church . Quarantine church.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So that's , that's what we are now. We are the post teen church and it's very, yeah, it's very interesting. I'm going to be , uh, our episode today is going to be talking about rotating worship teams. And we're going to go through the pros and cons of two of the models that we have used in the past. And you can make your own conclusion. There's no right and wrong answer. Uh, even for me, it depends on the church, the time and everything else. So let's dive into this. It won't be a really long episode. We're going to give you the , um, the, the stuff. But first I had here on my notes, you can't rely on the same small group of people in your ministry over the long haul. So I mean, you can rely on some , some small groups of people, but you can't just rely on the same small group of people. And why can't you , uh , building new team members is a key to growing successfully and you , you can't grow with just a small group of people. Obviously, you know, you can rely on a few people, but what happens is, and this is what the problem is. If you just keep relying on the same guys to do the same thing over and over again, pretty soon, they're like, dude, I gotta , I gotta take a break and I'm out and they quit or they just leave or they get burned out. Burnout is a real thing. Worship leaders, get it, a tech team guys, get it. I'm I'm, I'm at that point now in my little church, I'm getting it. And we're going on vacation for a month, which is perfect timing. Cause we've been in this really intense live streaming setup for the last, like, I may be five months. So we're getting, we're building a better, bigger team and stuff, but yeah, I'm feeling it. So even, even the most intense, dedicated volunteers can get,

Speaker 2:

Not that he's bragging on himself.

Speaker 1:

No. I mean I'm yeah. I mean, I'm dedicated. I want to even do more, but I'm like, ah , I don't think I just need a break. So it is, it is , uh , worship leaders. Get it even the most intensely dedicated spiritual worship leaders will burn themselves dead out. Okay .

Speaker 2:

You have those rare, wonderful people who just show up every week, faithfully, no matter what is going on in their lives, they will be there. But those people are few and far between everybody needs a vacation now. And again, you know , um , issues come up, people get sick, their children get sick, their dog has an emergency. You just don't know what might happen. And so you need more than just one person assigned to each job.

Speaker 1:

Or they could be like where we lived in Ohio, very strong military town, right. Patterson. They could literally just be like, Hey, it's been good three years, but I'm on, I'm on to Texas. And so it is key. As I get older, I've realized how , uh, things change quickly. And I wanted all, I wanted to like find that one guitar player that I really like and connect with and just have him there every week. And that's, that's sort of a flaw in leadership. So we're going to throw out two models, method one and method two. I'll just stop there . Let's start with the cons. Okay. We'll start with the cons. So method one would be rotating members within the whole ministry area. So you just have one big ministry band and you just rotate a bunch of people and that's the one method. And then the second method we'll touch on in a minute is rotating, complete bands as teams. So you have multiple bands and they all rotate together. So like the whole band rotates.

Speaker 2:

Okay. That's what I didn't, I didn't mean to start with the cons. I meant start with rotating individual members. Okay. Sorry. I was not clear about what was on the paper, but I am on your same gauge . I am on your same page. Now

Speaker 1:

She's on the page I gave her and she did not study this. This just goes to prove children study your homework. I'm just kidding. He give it to me

Speaker 2:

And tell. Right.

Speaker 1:

And I did that on purpose. Cause it's more organic when she doesn't know what I'm going to say. So the pro so you, okay, so we can start on the pros of the first one . Yes ,

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. The rotating members within the whole ministry area.

Speaker 1:

Alright . So the pros of that are, it's one big happy family. It's sort of the way that it's, it's an easier way to do and people just do it. We're all together. We're all in this big worship team and we just kind of rotate in one day. It's you playing guitar and next day, it's Bobby next day. It's, you know, bass player just kind of

Speaker 2:

This at most churches. I think this is the more common practice. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . And it's the easier way to just do it. You know, it's almost like the default easy. I'm going to say anything better.

Speaker 2:

It's easier. I think it is just , um, when you create teams, it requires a certain amount of set up . But once you get going, I, I can't say that that running with teams is more difficult than this method. So

Speaker 1:

She just said what I said, when I said easier, I meant it just happens easier. Th this is the method that will just happen if you do nothing.

Speaker 2:

Path of least resistance.

Speaker 1:

Exactly what I meant to say. He has me here and tomorrow is our 20 year anniversary, but that's totally. And so, you know, now she's completing my thoughts after all these years,

Speaker 2:

Verbalizing them for you.

Speaker 1:

So verbalize this, it offers more flexibility for the people's individual schedule. It's kind of a flexible, Hey, can you play this week? Yeah, I can play this week. You know, it's kind of, for them, I'm trying, I tried to come up with, you know , what was good about this? Hey Bob, can you play next week or Hey, w a and we'll get to the cons of that part, but Hey Jeff, can you play the basis week ? Yeah. And then everybody can kind of just decide when they want to play. And you know, that's, that's, that is a pro of this. Cause it's a lot more fluid with everybody to kind of decide . Yeah . Uh , it also help less experienced musicians connect with other more experienced musicians because one week you might have your alias drummer playing with on the team and you might have your, your newest acoustic guitar player kind of play in that week. They'll get to know each other where you'll see, as you'll see , um, that could be a good thing. And it could also be a bad thing. So let's go into the cons. The cons of this is it does mix all level of musicians. So you will have, it can be a pro and a con, right? Some, some would be good, but then it might be bad because you got your, a plus drummer and you're brand new acoustic player. And maybe that causes friction between them. And maybe they're maybe the , the, the, the new guitar players intimidated by the drummer. And maybe the drummer is annoyed by the guitar player because he won't play on rhythm. So it just, it just can create , uh , it, the levels of musicians being mixed is harder. The worship leader can be frustrated, honestly, when I have a mix of bands, like I'm , I got my best drummer, but I've got like, my bass player is very new. It can be frustrating because I picked a really hard song, but then I forgot that it was like the bass player that wasn't really up to par for that level of song. So you have to look, it's harder to pick songs according to your band. Um, it's hard to reach a synergy because people are always rotating. That's what I mean. It's just, there's , that's the big key. I think the big con is this Bobby is the drummer and Fred, the guitar player. They played together one week and then they're rotating around. They might not play together again for a month, and then there'll be playing with a different person, a different person. And honestly, guys grown up. My band members were my best friends. You know, they were like the guys that I was really connecting with a small group of guys, and you get better as you do that. And you can see that in any, any band when they played together a long time, the same people, they start to click and you don't get that with a ginormous amount of people rotating in all different positions

Speaker 2:

You have on to building teams.

Speaker 1:

Ah , alright . So building teams. Yeah. Oh yeah. The method number two, Ben method. Number two, if you're going to build rotating teams, which means you're going to have band, a band B band to see in each one of those bands is going to have a very specific, you know, drummer bass player. And that's what they play. Now. We do know a, really, a pretty successful church in Ohio that does this, and that is their main model. And they have a worship leader and a band for like the first Sunday of the month. That's their month , that's their week. So they know I play every, every first Sunday, and they play with the same people every first Sunday.

Speaker 2:

That's another one of the benefits is knowing the schedule.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you can. And in this, you can skill batch. So , um, like for example, in one of my churches, I had team E rod, which was my team that I led , we had team speed, which was, I think Fred's team. It was more of the training Josh's team . Oh , team speed with John . Well, either way I thought his was wild man or something. Yeah. Speed was a rush and Fred, and so we have like team speed and they started out, this is a key to this. They started out as the newer man. Like they hadn't played as much together and they weren't quite all confident, like 100% . So they were like a training band. Like they kind of had training wheels on and they practiced every single week, but they only played like once a quarter, but then they started playing once a month. And when I left that ministry, they took over and played every week. So you can, you can skill batch and train easier when you do this, because you can say, Oh, you're a new guitar player. I'm going to put you with team. You know? And I didn't call them ABC because I don't want to be like, we're the 18

Speaker 2:

First string, second string, third string. We didn't want to do that. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So it was colors. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Putting the less experienced players, all in one band gave them an opportunity to practice their songs more before they had to perform them. Um, it wasn't a practice on Thursday, play it on Sunday thing. They could practice for several weeks before they were required to play that in front of anybody. So they were building skill the whole time and they could just practice the same four or five songs, however many it was. Um, and by the time it was their turn to lead worship, they were ready and they were, they sounded great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And there was an openness between me who I was their main, like producer trainer during that time. And then they knew, Hey, we're, we're here. We're kind of learning. And we , they were at the same level and yeah, because, you know, guys, if you're doing every single week, every single week, you have to play a new song and all this, that takes a lot more skill. If, you know, Hey, in four weeks or in six weeks, we're going to play these four songs. Those people were comfortable because by six weeks they were like, we got that song. We played it every week and we're good at it. And so that was a , that's really a key that is probably the most important thing for building , uh , is giving them that they're not going to be intimidated by the, by the, by the 18 players of the eight players. They're not going to be , um, getting them frustrated with them cause they showing up and not being able to play. So it's just a safer environment. And this is an easier way to scale and build teams. You're building synergy centered teams. Okay . So what is the cons of this method? There are a couple of cons that I can see .

Speaker 2:

Let me throw in one more pro for this is , um, you don't have the same people on stage every week for eight, 10, 20 weeks in a row. Okay. You're not relying on that one electric guitar player to show up every week and if he doesn't, you're sweating it. Um, so that is great for the worship leader, but that is also great for all of your team members. Um, we insisted that everybody sit out, I think it was once a month, wasn't it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. We got to that point where it was like, you know, you got to sit out just, just once, at least once a month,

Speaker 2:

Has any of you who have led worship? You know, that leading worship and freely worshiping are not the same thing. And we wanted our players to have that experience of just being able to be in the congregation and listen to the people around them, singing and not be responsible for leading anything, but just focus on connecting with God and recognizing that , um , unity of congregational worship.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. If you also use the same people for like 20 weeks in a row, then that sometimes they start thinking, yeah, I'm like, awesome. I'm the only guy I'm just, it becomes psychologically weird. I've seen it in people. I've seen it in myself. And that's a, that's why you got to take a break even for you , for you. Uh , during that time of rotating. The other thing, the good thing about this was it was so strong. The rotating was so strong, the worship leader for each week. I could take off as a full time worship pastor. I was taking off once a month easy. And nobody noticed because taking off, no , not taking off like going,

Speaker 2:

She was there. And this is another one of the benefits that we didn't mention, but he was able to go back in the sound booth and work with the sound team the week or two, that he was not on the stage. So he was able to build that part of his team as well. That's a, that is a rare blessing and an opportunity. Um, our poor sound , uh, helpers. I don't I'm terrible. No, no, but I'm saying they are, they are the overlooked members of the team and they are crucial. They are just as vital as anybody that is standing on the stage. So for Eric or, or any worship leader, to be able to go back and sit with them. And even if it's just to encourage them , um, or be able to do a certain amount of directing back there is fantastic.

Speaker 1:

I was producing that week. I was working with, you know , the training band that they got to go play, or I call them training. Man, that band got to play that week. I got to stand with the sound guy, hands on faders with him, helping him get more confident or bring in a new sound guy, real band on stage, real life in the booth producing from the, from the producer standpoint. And a lot of worship leaders will go the whole year and never have heard what it sounds like in the room because they're so stuck on the stage. So that is a big plus to this method. And it frees you up as a worship leader to build strong teams that don't rely on you. Now that that is a key because they they're rotating in , they have their own worship leader. And you know, you could be the worship leader of all three of these teams or all four of them. Or you could have one that has this worship leader in this worship leader, the church, we know every team had a different worship leader. So every week it was a different worship leader that brings me to a con. And that , that is going to be the con of this whole thing. If you have different worship leaders in different bands, and they're all really different each week, then you have a chance to have segregated styles. You have a chance to have, I wouldn't call it competition, but like obvious difference. So this church has a country style band, a rock style band, a folky style band. And that could be a con because people notice like,

Speaker 2:

Well, you know, I don't know that that has to be a con that could be considered a pro. I mean, because you know that everybody sitting in your congregation does not love whatever style is up there on the stage. So this way, if you had three different styles, at least one or two weeks out of the month, you might get something you like.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I think that's just something that could be a pro could be a con and it could also be avoided completely if you were like, we didn't have that because I was leading the song selection. I was leading the production of each band. They were, they were rising to a level that I was setting. And this was the style. Now this church we're referencing, they have allowed each band to become organically, whatever that band is. So they got some full key players and they , so that's their choice. You wouldn't have to be segregated. You could literally say, this is our 25 or 50 song catalog. You know, you're not playing any country worship, but you know, it's free to you for you to choose. If you're you, maybe you have a gospely style worship leader and a country style worship leader and a folky style. And you say, this is great for our church because we're diverse and we just want to do it that way. So it could be a protocol . And the other con is some, some bands could become favorited by the congregation. Now this didn't happen in our instance. And I don't think it happens in this church we're talking about, but you could see how it could be like, maybe like, Oh, we like it . We like it when they play. But when they play, like, we don't want to hear that. So you just, you do have to work on the consistency or this could become a con, but I re I think it really has a lot more pros, obviously.

Speaker 2:

Yes. Well, you know, consistency of quality, maybe it doesn't have to be consistency of , um, style, but certainly if the quality is excellent every week, then people won't have anything to complain about. They might still, they might complain. Cause we were like that. People were like that. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

I would like it if one week they had like the steel guitar going, like the Brad Paisley style guitar and the next week they had like, you know, like skillet going, I would think it would be cool. Um, but I'm , I'm musically diverse. And , uh, you could use this really. If you're a transitioning church, a small church with an older congregation, you could really use this one week as a really modern worship band, but that's only once a month. And the other weeks you do your hymns. Um, you know, cause church has been doing that, you know, two services and split services. I mean, you could

Speaker 2:

National and the contemporary or the blended service,

Speaker 1:

You could just really switch it up week by week. And, and , uh, you could, you could do it like that. I don't think there's any wrong answer for that. But so overall I do think there is no wrong or right answer, but I do think that rotating the complete bands together as a team has been my most successful model that I've used in some churches I've been in. It's been the one that has given me some really good flexibility, some really good training opportunities. It's freed me up for a lot more hands on producing training. It's a good model. And if you're thinking about doing either one of these models, check out worship band , builder.com , send me a message. Let me know what you think, Emily, and I can answer your questions. And before we go on this episode, this Thursday, we're doing something

Speaker 2:

Thursday. We are going to do a live Bible study and we are really excited about that .

Speaker 1:

Yeah, totally live Bible study. And we're going to do it Thursday and probably every Thursday or something we remember, Oh, I think we said, we weren't going to say exactly when it was going to be, but it's going to be on Thursday.

Speaker 2:

If he says it's on Thursday, that'll it'll be thirsty .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And it will probably be like every week. It may be a different times of the week, but this week it'll be Thursday. It's a live Bible study. Then if you missed the live section, you'll be able to replay it on our Facebook page. So just go to facebook.com and type in worship band builder, or worship the King and find us on Facebook and then you'll get the , and we'll also, you know what, we'll be on Facebook, live YouTube live. We'll be on Twitch. We are streaming on Twitch now. So we're streaming on six platforms on Periscope and I'm trying to hook up Instagram as well. So really just falls on social media. And then you can see the Bible studies. It's going to be kind of similar to this only. It's going to literally just be a really just simple Bible study. We're going to be just talking mostly led by her.

Speaker 2:

There'll be a brief Bible study. We'll have a song and a prayer. And , um , it should be a lot of fun .

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah. I forgot about the song part. So it'll probably exclusively be on the social media platform. So if you're listening to our podcasts on Apple, iTunes and stuff, just go over to social media and follow us, go to worship band, builder.com or worship the king.com and just click on any of those social links. It should be pretty easy from there.

Speaker 2:

Um , if you haven't considered teams before, this might be , um, a whole new approach that you hadn't considered, but , um, I know it has worked for us in the past. And so let us know, write us a letter. No , I just , I would really love to hear , um, what your experiences with this. What's worked at your church, what, what you're ready to try, and if we can be any help, we'd love to do that.

Speaker 1:

And on that, we will see you next week. [inaudible] .