I read a question at one of the forums that I frequent and felt I should chime in from my own experience. Below is a bit of that conversation. It is probably far from a complete response. Hopefully, though, it will help to give leaders a little altitude as to why we structure things the way we do.Hi Songman, I wanted to respond to your question in a pm just because this kind of thing can be a little contentious in the context of a public forum.
" Your question: "It sounds to me like you guys have a pool of players and pick them as necessary to form a team. How do you guys make sure no one is left behind? or members from forming "Clicks"?"
There are so many different ways to structure your teams. I have tried a bunch of them! And here is where I have landed at this juncture on the journey.
At Westside we have a large pool of players on 4 campuses and some smaller band type opportunities as well.
1. I think it is important that everyone buy into the larger team. Not just the band or campus they play in. Even when they are in the chairs, they are still on the team. When one member of the team wins, we all win regardless of whether you are playing that week or not.
2. I don't like to create bands for few reasons. One is the danger of creating elitism or "cliques." It is inevitable that some people will align themselves more with their band than their team or the church as whole. My opinion is this isn't healthy. I like to mix the players up. And their schedules usually do this naturally anyway. It creates a better sense of the broader team. People will own the bigger visions for worship and the mission of the church when this is done well.
I don't think it is healthy for anyone to play every week either. It is important for people to have margin. Also, it is more important that they get they are a member of the "church" before they are a member of the worship team.
We need to have a well developed bench. Set bands have a way of discouraging this. When life happens to one of the band members i.e. vacation, sickness, moral crisis etc...you have no one who can step in who knows the team and music. I have seen this happen a lot.
3. Regarding "no one being left behind." This may sound harsh, but I don't feel obligated to use every person who comes along who might play an instrument. We work hard to recognize and develop talent and character. But, we definitely have a bar of what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable for a persons ability. Always a hard thing to measure. Our goal is to facilitate an environment where people can connect with God. Everything is filtered through that, including the acceptable level of player for our church culture.
It is also true that the program can outgrow certain players. I have found that some musicians are very content with where they are at musically and are surprised when they are no longer on top of things. The program got stronger, but they didn't. And, they feel that tension.
There are also the folks who have the humility and desire to learn and grow as challenges are placed before them. They become the kind of core members who will model for the rest of the team how it is done in attitude as well as performance. They "get" how their effort is a sacrifice of praise before God who deserves the best we have at any given time.
I realize their are musical and relational advantages to having "set" bands. But I believe the upsides are worth the potential downsides. And, we work hard to create plenty of opportunity for community with the team. The musical downsides have been negligible in my experience.
Sorry this is so long, but as I prayed about it I felt like I should respond. Thanks for reading. Please let me know if I can be of any help." Grace and Peace, Pastor Troy Kennedy www.newworship.com www.westsidefamilychurch.com twitter.com/troykennedy https://www.worshipleader.com/webinars