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Unread 07-31-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
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Tips for a new praise team leader?

Hey guys. So right now Im the bassist of our Youth Group's praise team. However, i was informed a week ago that I will be leading the praise team after our leader graduates.
Im not 100% sure if im going to be bumped up to acoustic or electric, but i guess that doesnt really matter..
The point of this thread is me asking you guys for tips for a new, young praise team leader (ill be just turning 16 when i step up).
I read the sticky in this forum but was wondering if you guys had anymore tips.

Thanks and God bless.

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Unread 08-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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1) The Leader has to work harder than the team. You have to be prepared, willing to lend a hand to others, and make sure the Team has everything it needs to succeed.

2) You have to be willing to lead. Some times that means making decisions that aren't popular. I've seen "leaders" who just wish problems away. It never ends well.

3) You have to be willing to be led. You will find yourself answering to the church leadership and your team. But you must always remember that you are accountable to God first.

4) You can't lead if nobody will follow. Listen to your team and congregation.

5) No leader ever prayed too much. Make it a central part of your ministry.

6) Get a written job description, mission statement, and chain of command from your leadership. Stick to it no matter how much you don't want to. Make that document public.

7) Demand that your leadership develop a discipling relationship with you. Don't let them just put you to work solving their problems without getting some spiritual growth out of the deal. They don't have to be your best buddies but they do need to be regularly available to help you with your struggles.

8) Demand that your team members conduct themselves in a manner that brings glory to God. Their conduct is a reflection on the Church. Oh, and of course you need to lead by example on that one.

I'll probably post some practical advice later. My point is you have to have your head around the big stuff first. Make sure you know who you are serving. It's not all about you. I really struggle with that so I thought I'd pass that along, just in case.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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You have to be organized and do lots of boring administrative work.

The band needs to know what they're playing in advance
The band needs chord sheets in advance
The band needs GOOD chord sheets (not unfiltered junk from the internet)
The band needs to know when everything is happening
The band needs to know who is in the band each week.
The band needs to know what you expect of them


You're responsible to make sure all of this happens.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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Something to do while you still have access...

talk to the guy on the way out. Find out what he did that he felt was effective and find out what he wishes he could've done better.

No one here can really tell you what works for your congregation, but if anyone should be able to, it's the guy you're replacing.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #5
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Outstanding advice so far.

From a tactical standpoint, this may not apply to you and your team, but I see it more often than not with "Youth bands". A total lack of any band or song dynamics. Everyone just gives it all they've got as individuals from first note to last and from first song to last. Just a non-stop monotonous wall of sound. But...maybe you youngn's like it that way!

Excellent videos from Paul Baloche on this topic:

TEAMWORK IN WORSHIP BAND BY PAUL BALOCHE PART 1

TEAMWORK IN WORSHIP BAND BY PAUL BALOCHE PART 2
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Unread 08-01-2012, 01:30 PM   #6
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Don't forget to pray. It's easy to get caught up in sound checks and correct notes. Not that those things aren't important, just don't forget to pray.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 03:24 PM   #7
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More cowbell.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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So much Great Information so far! I realize it's easy to look at the Immediates of this. What immediately standing in front of you is.......Leading the Youth Praise Team. More than likely, this is God getting you Trained for a Much Bigger Position - For later down the road. This could be, being a Praise & Worship for an Adult Service or Multiple Adult Services each week. This could even lead to a Paid Position with a Church. So in other words - This immediate position could change your life.

Great News! You display Leadership Qualities, not everyone does. I'm sure that prior to you being offered this New Position, there were many debates about who would make the Best Choice. And - Of all the people available, they decided that it would be you.

As thesteve mentioned - Try to get in as much time with the person that you are replacing. Try to find out what he does, in order to put things together for each week. Also - pay attention to your own thoughts on how things went, when different songs were played in the past.

---Over my years as a Guitarist, I've been involved in a Few Church Praise Teams. The Praise Leaders that I liked working with the most were, one's that didn't 'Just' do their job. I really liked the one's that Showed Compassion for the Musicians involved, as well. Get to know your Musicians, find out their Likes, Dislikes, Abilities & Listen to their Ideas.

This is your chance to try to make it better!!! There is Always room for improvement. Take advantage of this Opportunity. Best Of Luck - I'm sure you'll do well!
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Unread 08-01-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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I'll second Joe's advice above about the Baloche videos.

OTOH, there's more to this than the music. Learning how to be comfortable and expressive on stage counts for more than you think. Our youth band tends to be very wooden, and it's obvious they're worrying over every note and word. Check out Tom Jacksons Expressive Worship . You'll find some videos there that will help. Also, you can find some of Tom's stuff on youtube to get you started.

Besides the practices, make time for some team meetings, maybe once a month or so. You need time to discuss song selection, worship style, the flow of different types of services, planning for future services (especially if you'll have anything special like a Christmas service), etc. Don't try to make this part of practice, when everyone is concerned about the immediate songs.

Tap into your team for their ideas and suggestions. You can't do it all yourself, nor should you. Let others have creative opportunities.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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The music isn't for you and your music team. It's for God and the congregation. Be sensitive to what God wants and what is appropriate for the congregation. Sometimes this means choosing music you don't particularly like.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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Apparently it often means choosing music I don't like, judging by what our worship pastor picks out for us....
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Unread 08-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #12
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Sorry if I'm repeating what someone else has said (I didn't take time yet to read other's replies).

The big thing is you have to be genuine. What I mean is, you have to honestly worship God while your up on stage, don't just perform. You can concern yourself with the notes and details before and after, but while your leading worship you need to genuinely worship God. If you have a million things going through your mind while your singing it will show. Believe me, we live stream our services and sell DVD's of our services at my church and you can tell who's worried and who isn't just from the look on their faces. As worship leaders we are often one of the first representations of our church and God's presence in church ministry and if we aren't sincere it makes it harder on the congregation to be sincere.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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Above all else, make sure that you and your pastor are on the same page about everything. Can help avoid many a pitfall down the road by communicating regularly with your superior(s).
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Unread 08-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #14
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My $0.02:

Start practice at the same time every time. If practice is supposed to start at 7:00, just start playing at 7:00 and act like you expect everybody to be playing too. Eventually the majority of your team will be tuned up and ready to play on time every week. Punctuality is generally not a strong point of musicians...

Don't obsess over missed notes by you or anyone else on the team, unless someone is consistently playing the wrong thing and clearly is misreading their music or doesn't know their part.

Do obsess over getting the right tempo, groove, feel of each song. If the band starts a song too fast, too slow or with the wrong groove and you let them keep going, they're going to play it wrong forever. Don't be afraid to just throw the brakes on a song and start over if it's not grooving. Also, spend time developing intros/outros and on teaching band members when and how to make an entrance in a particular song.

Most church band tend to confuse the concepts of dynamic, tempo and intensity. Make sure the rhythm section doesn't take off like a freight train when the intensity of a song builds.

Mix up your intros for each song and keep transitions in mind while practicing. Repetitive intros (i.e. acoustic guitar leads every song in) and awkward transitions can really kill the feel of a service. You don't want to have a song end and have 10 sec. worth of every member of the band shuffling their music at the same time.

Democracy doesn't work in worship leading. IMO the best leadership style is more like a benevolent dictatorship. Respect and acknowledge input from group members, but know what you want hear and stick to your guns. It's okay to say, "We may try it that way next time, but for today I want to do it this way."

Always be patient and respectful in correction when necessary.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 03:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAMatt View Post
My $0.02:

Start practice at the same time every time. If practice is supposed to start at 7:00, just start playing at 7:00 and act like you expect everybody to be playing too. Eventually the majority of your team will be tuned up and ready to play on time every week. Punctuality is generally not a strong point of musicians...

Don't obsess over missed notes by you or anyone else on the team, unless someone is consistently playing the wrong thing and clearly is misreading their music or doesn't know their part.

Do obsess over getting the right tempo, groove, feel of each song. If the band starts a song too fast, too slow or with the wrong groove and you let them keep going, they're going to play it wrong forever. Don't be afraid to just throw the brakes on a song and start over if it's not grooving. Also, spend time developing intros/outros and on teaching band members when and how to make an entrance in a particular song.

Most church band tend to confuse the concepts of dynamic, tempo and intensity. Make sure the rhythm section doesn't take off like a freight train when the intensity of a song builds.

Mix up your intros for each song and keep transitions in mind while practicing. Repetitive intros (i.e. acoustic guitar leads every song in) and awkward transitions can really kill the feel of a service. You don't want to have a song end and have 10 sec. worth of every member of the band shuffling their music at the same time.

Democracy doesn't work in worship leading. IMO the best leadership style is more like a benevolent dictatorship. Respect and acknowledge input from group members, but know what you want hear and stick to your guns. It's okay to say, "We may try it that way next time, but for today I want to do it this way."

Always be patient and respectful in correction when necessary.
This post should be a Sticky.

Couldn't agree more on point #3. I've drilled it into the heads of every member and prospective member of every worship team I've ever been a part of. A couple of bad notes or one wrong chord will usually be forgotten quickly, if even heard. Bad tempos and timing, on the other hand, can ruin an entire set and totally destroy a worship service. I've been known to pull out the metronome if I think things are getting sloppy.
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