The church – or bride of Christ – is not an assembly of the self-righteous – it’s a fellowship for the broken. We are all at different locations (not levels) in our spiritual walk with Christ. We don’t seek out other people who are spiritually advanced – so we would become “spiritual leaches”; instead, we learn from how the Holy Spirit speaks through others’ character and we encourage each other to grow – together!
The employment conundrum:
We’ve all seen it: “We can’t get a job without experience… but how can you get experience without a job??”. The church family – unlike the business district – is guided by an “upward focus”, rather than “the bottom line”. Our goal in building teams for worship (music/sound/lights/etc.) should be less focused on assembling highly skilled talent – and more focused on assimilating members who have a heart for God and who recognize the opportunity for personal growth and spiritual maturity. In short, we should embrace recruiting inexperienced members who have a genuine heart for God – to help glorify God’s work through personal growth.
Tunnel vision recruiting:
When we look to assemble teams for worship, the natural instinct is to assemble all the best, most talented players. While this would almost certainly guarantee a “Well-oiled Service Machine”, our tunnel vision would render us blind to allowing the Holy Spirit to encourage growth in the family’s walk with Christ. Our focus – inappropriately aided by tunnel vision – would display our desire for perfection rather than encouraging growth through the Holy Spirit. We pursue people… not perfection.
Watching the seed grow:
Imagine two kinds of services; one with a “Lincoln Brewster” praise team, and the other with a few members who may be young and inexperienced. While the LB praise team would certainly reflect stellar musicianship and aid in drawing the congregation into a worshipful experience, how much more would the congregation become encouraged by witnessing the growth of the inexperienced? As seasoned musicians, we already have the knowhow and experience in leading others into worship; but our inexperienced members are able to teach us too! They display humility and trust… “humility” in not thinking less of themselves – but thinking of themselves less; and trust that the Holy Spirit will override their inexperience and nervousness, and allow the experienced members to help guide them in their desire to nurture their God-given gifts. True leadership isn’t about control; it’s about inspiring others to pursue excellence.
Beyond the music:
We, as experienced team leaders, can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to engage the congregation – not only through leading worship, but also through encouraging observable growth. Assimilating the inexperienced into worship encourages the family threefold: It encourages the experienced to realize the joy in encouraging spiritual and personal growth in those we coach, it encourages the inexperienced to trust in growth and support from the Holy Spirit – presented through encouragement from both the experienced team members and the congregation, and it encourages the congregation to step out in faith and let the Holy Spirit encourage them to step-up and use their gifts for His glory. So instead of assembling teams of fully experienced members, we would better serve the Holy Spirit and the family by reflecting Christ’s desire for personal and spiritual growth by cultivating our teams to include both experienced and inexperienced members.