“Teamwork makes the dream work, but the vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and
a bad team”. – John Maxwell
What a powerful statement to apply to your music department. Worship Pastors, Worship Leaders,
musicians, vocalists, media and sound techs, we need to be reminded that there is no “I” in the word TEAM!
Yes, your congregation may see you on the front line or behind the pulpit leading in worship, but what they
may not realize is you couldn’t be standing there without the support of a team. Teamwork truly makes the
Vince Lombardi, the legendary football coach, defined teamwork as “Individual commitment to a group effort
— that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
Nothing kills teamwork as fast as selfish spirits, grumbling & complaining, competitiveness, and unresolved
relational conflicts in our Music Department. When we’re consistently late for practices, we bring selfishness
to the team. When we’re personally not prepared, when our instruments are not tuned, when the sound
board is not set, when singers are more focused on Instagram than their correct part, when media team
members are checking Facebook instead of placing songs in the service schedule, confusion is right around the
corner. While there is no letter “I” in TEAM, there are two in the word “vision”. Isn’t it incredible how 2
“eyes” can make or break a practice?
In my 40+ years of music ministry, here are some things I have noticed from a true team player:
• A Team Player is committed to the cause of the team.
• A Team Player is committed to resolving relational conflict.
• A Team Player will encourage and support their peers.
• A Team Player doesn’t care who gets the credit or glory; realizing they don’t “own” a solo.
• A Team Player will be confident in their role and see themselves as valuable, no matter how small that
role may be.
• A Team Player will submit to authority. This is our protection.
Each fall I’m reminded of what teamwork really is, as I see geese heading south for the winter flying along in
the “V” formation. Scientists have learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird
immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range
than if each bird flew on its own. Quite similar, people who are part of a team and share a common direction,
get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift
each other up along the way.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and
quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock. When the lead goose gets tired,
he rotates to the back of the flock and another goose takes over. It is important to share leadership and take
turns doing hard jobs. It is important to have a rotation; to use different members on the team. This helps
avoid “burn-out” in music ministry. It may even be beneficial for you as a music leader to “take a break” from
time to time if you have the support staff that can coordinate a service without your involvement.
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed. Words of support and
inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace despite the day-to-day pressures
and fatigue. You hold the power of life and death of your group in your tongue. Choose life.
Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow the
injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead,
then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group. When one of us is down, it’s up to
the others to stand by us in our time of trouble. We must stand by each other when things get rough.
One of the greatest ways the enemy attacks our churches is through music departments with the
understanding if he can affect the worship, Spirit and Truth will not be able to be experienced as designed by
Jesus Christ. If we truly want to experience incredibly anointed music ministry, we must be willing to work as
a team. We must be willing to make the individual commitment to the team effort, face the challenges, and
support each other. Worship pastors, worship leaders, media and sound techs, band members – it takes
everyone working together!