Perhaps you have had this scenario before… You have practiced hard all week; your team has practiced equally diligently. You rehearse well. You even play well for the worship set. But afterward, you get feedback from your lead pastor that things just didn’t go well in service that day because things simply didn’t sound good. It can be tough to realize that there’s actually a fair amount we can’t control when it comes to the quality of sound on the worship team from our end but what we can do is take care of our sound team by encouraging and resourcing them along the way. And more likely than not, they’ll return the favor by stepping up their game to take care of you!
Encourage Your Sound Team
The first thing you should remember is that your relationship with your sound team is always priority. Your team needs to know you are there for them and that you have their back. Oftentimes, the sound team (or any team for that matter) can feel misunderstood, unappreciated, or taken for granted if they are not invested in well. To avoid this, make sure to encourage your team when you notice things going well. So often, people only notice the sound team when things are not going well. If things are great, they don’t even notice or at the least, don’t say anything! Because a lot of the feedback your team hears is negative, when you notice something good with the team, tell them immediately before forgetting. You can never over-encourage someone!
Build Healthy Connections
As good as encouragement is, it’s not good enough to stop there. Just like any healthy relationship, the relationship with your sound team will take work and effort. It’s important to show your sound team that they are a priority by scheduling regular meetings with them. And by meetings, I mean more relational and fun things like coffee, lunch, etc. Use wisdom with this. For example, if you have a female sound team leader and you’re a male worship leader or worship pastor, bring a third person into the mix so things don’t get weird for them or you. Through this caring relationship, you will have plenty of opportunities for constructive feedback and training for your team. Also, it’s important to specifically invest in your key team leader and model to them a culture of discipleship that they can continue to implement with the rest of the team. Creating generational discipleship within your teams is always a forefront goal of ministry.
Stand Up for Them
When people complain about the sound team or others criticize them, stand up for them. Even though they might not always be in the right, when you give your team the benefit of the doubt, you build credibility with them. In essence you’re showing you trust them and that trust is returned to you. In the future, you will be amazed at how much your sound team will go out of their way to make sure your mix, the sound, the stage setup, etc. is how you’d like it and to do their absolute best to help you out. You are building trust into the relationship and show that you are truly looking out for your team. Furthermore, the power-play dynamics that are unfortunately all too common with worship leader and the sound team just melt away when there is mutual trust and respect. Just remember how the Bible says to treat others, and you’ll do great with your team:
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
At the end of the day, remember that you are on the same team as your sound team. You both ultimately want the same things, so make sure to treat them as an equal and a vital part of the team — because they are! As you invest into your sound team, you will find them investing back into you and your relationship will be stronger and ultimately your teams and worship ministry will be all the more healthy and vibrant.
- Invite someone to summarize the topic.
- How would you describe the current health of your relationship with the sound team?
- What things listed above are you currently doing well?
- What things listed above could you get better at?
- Who would you say has been your “go to” person in the worship ministry up to this point? Does this article change your mind about who this person should be? Why or why not?
- Discuss a time in your life when investing in a person really led to blessing in your life and this person’s life. How does this relate to investing in those you serve with?
- Describe some areas you can start encouraging your sound team in that they are doing well in right now.
- What are some current situations or potential situations that you might need to stand up for your sound team so they know you have their back?
- Are there any rifts in your relationship with your sound person now that you need to mend? If so, prayerfully consider how to approach the person and address the situation.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
TAKEAWAY: Talk to your sound team leader sometime this week and ask them when they can meet for coffee or lunch. Tell them you just want to thank them for all they do and allow the time to be as “agenda free” as possible. See what this does for your relationship with them and journal your reflections on the time together.