Music Director Advice From A 20-Year Vet – Too Many Volunteers?
Is it possible to have too many Praise Team members? A large team of volunteers is difficult to manage. An abundance of volunteers is guaranteed to change the dynamics of your team from week to week and lend to inconsistencies. Is it better to hold auditions and have all your members audition for a single team?
I posed this question to worship consultant Dan Macaulay. His reply, “That’s a tough question and probably more of a ‘case-by-case’ scenario. I have been told before that you should never hold an audition process to remove someone from your music team, although at times in the past I have wanted to. This is especially difficult when you inherit bad or mediocre team members who would not be able to ‘pass’ an audition if they were just coming in new. I would suggest you continue to schedule your large group and count your blessings. There are ways to work with, and around, people’s weaknesses and you will especially appreciate the larger team come summer when people are on vacation and you have fewer members available!”
“If you have weak players, my suggestion is to alter your song list the weeks that they are playing in order to play to their strengths and mask their weaknesses. You need to include songs in your repertoire that are straight forward and not too complex. You can have great moments with very simple songs and your congregation will be none the wiser that you were working around some weaker players! Additionally, place some of your stronger musicians with your weaker ones. The more skilled or experienced players will cover for the weaker ones and can coach them along as you go, fostering growth and improvement. That’s a part of being a family and the body of Christ The result is more balanced and consistent, and is overall a more beneficial approach from week to week than simply having an ‘A list’ Team of great players and a ‘B list’ team of weaker musicians.”