Better You, Better Worship (Pt. 4)

As in my previous three blogs, I’m unpacking seven specific disciplines that are helping our worship team stay fresh and focused.

#1 Pray
#2 Read
#3 Talk

Today, I’ll share #4: Listen.

Listen to music. Listen to lots of music. Listen to music that is out of your comfort zone. Listen to your grandparents’ music. Listen to your kids’ music. Stay out in front of musical trends. Get a Spotify account and spend time every day hunting for something new, something that moves you. Listen alone and listen in groups and let the dreaming begin.

Listen to each other. When was the last time you made time to hear the musical opinions and ideas of those you serve with every week? How seriously do you take feedback from the congregation? It’s easy (and selfish) to operate in a bubble, only creating music that fits the mold you’re comfortable wedging yourself into. Come to grips with the fact that you’re not the only one who has good musical ideas. Create a few musical forums and open your ears...

Listen to the message. I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible, and usually a bit hokey, to try and match the music to the message each weekend. However, allowing the music to by influenced by the collective messages of your pastor(s) seems to be a much healthier way to meld the two. I’d encourage you, if you don’t already, to have a system in place that mandates every individual on the worship team to sit IN THE AUDITORIUM (that includes you, worship pastor) at least once every weekend. Do not allow an “I’m here just to play music” mindset to take root. Just saying...

Listen to the past. Two things here: First, take time at the beginning of each week to listen back through the previous weekend. Take notes and see where you can get better. Then, go back and listen to music you were making two or three years ago. Is there something you could bring back, a style of music that you put on the shelf but could be a welcome change of pace today? Maybe there’s a great song you forgot about that your congregation would welcome back with gusto. Some of us (and I mean me) tend to move forward so quickly that we forget some really good stuff that could stand to be dusted off and repackaged.

Let me hear from you. What and who are you listening to?

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Andy Chrisman
Worship Pastor
Andy came to Church on the Move in 2005, having been in the music industry for over 25 years. He's dedicated to raising up the next generation of worship leaders, and even though he spent many years with the group 4him, he says he's "having more fun now than I ever did on the road."
@AndyChrisman