Music Ministry Benchmarks: Worship Team Members

by vernsanders on March 11, 2011

This is number four in a sequence about benchmarks that started here, and continued here. Last time, we talked about benchmarks for a church’s chief accompanist for congregational singing here.

Remember that what follows is my opinion, and not the result of a scientific study. It is, however, based upon years of practical experience.

So let’s talk about worship team members leading congregational singing. I understand that many churches don’t have a whole lot of options here, but if you believe that the concept of first fruits applies to church music and worship ministry, we need to talk about it.

A worship team can be as few people as a single vocalist on a keyboard or a guitar, up to a full double (or triple) guitar band with a set of Tower of Power horns. Unfortunately, in some cases, members of the worship team are there to either “showcase” their talents, or because it is the only place available to showcase their talents. When this happens, the worship team is more about themselves than providing instrumental accompaniment for congregational singing. Not a good thing. With that in mind, there are, I believe, some basic benchmarks for a worship team member, be they a player or a singer. Here’s my list:


  • Can help lead congregational singing without placing the spotlight on themselves, either because of bad musicianship or wannabe stardom
  • Understand the “team” concept of working together for the goal of leading the congregation in worship


  • Is  comfortable in a variety of musical styles
  • Is comfortable in a variety of keys so that the team leads the congregation in the congregation’s comfortable singing range
  • Is prepared for rehearsal and worship, either because of the ability to play or the willingness to work at home to learn their part


  • Is flexible and able to respond positively (both in attitude and musically) when a particular song demands they take a different role in the ensemble
  • Can “lead” if called upon to do so
  • Can modify accompaniment or vocal scoring verse to verse based upon the text of that particular verse
  • Listens and internally “sings along” with the congregation, adjusting when needed or appropriate
  • Understands what a hook is, and can reproduce or create one when asked
  • Can play or sing comfortably with other members of the team, helping the group stay in the pocket, whatever those other team members’ musical capabilities are

I’m sure you can think of more things in each category, but the main reason for these posts is to start conversations. Tell me what you think by leaving a comment below.

Next time? Benchmarks for members of a choir. Stay tuned…

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Music Ministry Benchmarks: Worship Team Members – church tech news
March 18, 2011 at 5:49 am
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