Why do I need to take time out of my busy schedule, and brain power from my already over-stressed mind to think about the values by which our worship ministry will operate? Great question. I believe it is an important step in creating a functioning team. You should not be making every decision, or doing every important task. If you’re team isn’t on the same page, you will do just that. Here are three ways your team values help your team function properly.
First, because “how” is just as important as “what.” How we do what we do is extremely important. If we praise the Lord, but do not live by His word, have we glorified him at all? If the people inside the worship ministry are not blessed by being a part of it, how can we bless those who are not a part of it? Paul, the apostle, was expressing ministry values when he wrote, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or clanging cymbal.”
Second, our values form our culture. “Wait a minute,” you say, “my worship team doesn’t have a culture. We’re just a few people trying to help our church praise the Lord during our Sunday services.” Well, if you have a team, then you have a culture. And if you have a culture, whether you know it or not, you have a set of values that are lived out in that culture. In his excellent article on corporate values and culture at IBM, Joe Marasco writes, “a culture defines how a set of abstract principles is translated into day-to-day behavior.” Have you defined the “day-to-day” or “week-to-week” behavior of your team? If you do not, then someone else will. How do you want your team to behave in rehearsal time? Do you want them to argue, to call one another out over mistakes? If not, then you should communicate values and behaviors that are different.
Third, defining our values helps us to make consistent decisions. When our team members know that they can count on us to act in a way consistent with our values, then a stable, more confident environment is created. Conversely, inconsistent decision-making creates uncertainty. For example, when everyone on the team knows what is expected of them in terms of rehearsal attendance, you won’t need to make a decision every week about who can lead worship based on who was at rehearsal.
Thinking through your worship ministry values need not take a great amount of time. In fact, when you define and implement those values, I believe you will save time in the long run. So let’s get going.