As a full-time children’s pastor, Brent Weber leads a large volunteer force of kids, teens and adults in a family worship experience designed to engage kids, empower volunteers and create leaders. He’s also the founder of Impact Arts Academy, focused on developing the next generation of leaders (kids-teens) through the arts. Brent and his wife live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three kids.
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A worship team is one of the most fun and rewarding opportunities for us as leaders, but I also know that starting off a worship team can be a bit challenging as you break new ground. I thought I’d share some of our ideas that we’ve learned over the years that might be of help to you and your team. Remember, a worship team will evolve and change over time as it grows. However, the following are some recommendations to help get started:
- Find a leader with passion for worship and kids: Ministries tend to be most successful if people serve in their areas of giftedness and passion. It is sometimes better off to wait and not start a worship team than to start one with any available body. Look for someone who is already working with kids, loves to sing or dance, etc. I was asked to lead the worship team because I was teaching discipleship and loved to dance with the kids during big group worship time.
- Promote, promote, promote! Announce it in any of your children’s or teens settings. Even announce it from the pulpit if you can, or on your church’s website if possible. Ideally, an informational sheet or flyer to hand out is a great idea. We started out with just an informational sheet that we printed on colored paper, and then a sign up sheet that they had to bring back and turn into us. Now, we have graduated to colorful flyers and online sign-ups. This year, we even had a promotional video that we played in the lobby as people checked into our kids’ ministry.
- Deadline for sign-ups: We promote sign-ups for about two to three weeks before we actually allow them to sign up. With excitement and vision, we promote the program, tell them that sign-ups are coming, but they will only be able to sign up for a limited time. After announcing for a couple of weeks, we have about a four-week sign-up period with a deadline. Typically, a few people will come the week or two after sign-ups. For the most part, we begin announcing at the end of February, and have sign-ups usually in March, but sometimes into April, depending upon when Easter falls.
- Recruit: Seek out kids who are involved in acting, musical theater, choirs, dance or ballet, who seem outgoing, etc. Cast the vision to them about using their gifts and talents for God’s Kingdom. If they aren’t interested, you can try asking them if they know of other kids. You can also network with people who know people who are already singing or dancing onstage.
- Orientation meeting: We have an orientation meeting a couple of months before we start training them, usually in April. Typically, we need to have a make-up orientation a week or two later.
- Start with what God brings you: Our program in a large church began with one adult and 10 kids, who were on a team that served once a month. After people saw what we were doing, we were able to add about 20 more people when we had our second sign-ups.
As you pray through starting your worship team, God may give you other ideas that will work for your church and your situation.