3 Keys For Excellence in Worship Ministry: Heart, Head, Hands

Here’s a simple framework for training, mentoring and equipping people to better serve in worship ministry.   I think it’s helpful for any context large or small, long term or short term. It has worked for me in these situations:

  • Youth Ministry extended over many “generations” (including rebuilding every couple of years for the ‘next generation’)
  • International Special Events of only 3 or 4 days like the SOZO Festival leading a different team every day with as many 12-16 people from different countries, representing diverse languages, cultures and personalities.
  • Large church ministry with multiple leaders, numerous team members and lots of moving parts.

For healthy growth and excellence, focus on training in these three critical areas: heart, head and hands (Mark 12:30). See this post for more about this scripture and the basics of worship.

Why these three areas?

  1. Some people have a sincere heart, but need to work on practical skills.
  2. Some guys-n-gals are great players or singers but need a heart revelation of worship and an attitude adjustment.
  3. Some have a good heart and adequate skills, but need to fill their gaps in understanding or expand their knowledge.

Romania: Guitar Class at Scoala de Inchinare. ( I'll be back in August.)

A Vision for Developing Heart, Head and Hands

Stephen Covey says in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we begin with the end in mind. Start with a vision for the fruit we want to see produced.

  • The vision for our heart is to be humble, teachable, sensitive and authentic. We desire to exhibit  attitudes that are reverent, grateful and joyful.
  • The vision for our head is to be informed,  filled with wisdom, knowledge and insight.  We desire to develop expertise, or at least competent working knowledge of the tools of the trade in music, technology, and scripture.
  • The vision for our hands is to be skillful, well-trained and well-rehearsed, both individually and as a group. We desire to develop our muscle memory so we can play and sing in tune, in rhythm, with expression and creativity.

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value.”     Philippians 1:9-10 [NLT / AMP]

The “Heart, Head, Hands” Plan at the School of Rock Worship

The School of  Rock Worship is a one week summer day camp for youth to have a fun experience playing in a rock band format using contemporary worship music as the basis. Campers will have an awesome time and also learn the values of worship musicianship.

Here’s the daily schedule of how we’re going to apply the framework in this context. Each “Session” represents about an hour.

  1. Session 1: HEART ~ Every morning we begin with a daily devotional study of the “Life of David: A Teenage Worshiper” We’ll explore what made David known as a man after God’s own heart.  We’ll start each day by putting the First Commandment in first place.
  2. Session 2: HANDS ~ Next, small group instruction in each category of instrument – guitars, keys, bass, drums, other instruments and vocals.
  3. Session 3: HANDS ~  Campers will rehearse in their bands with coaching in the rock band format. They will select and develop a repertoire of 3-4 songs.                     [Then Lunch break – about 30 minutes]
  4. Session 4: HEAD ~ Each afternoon we’ll have large group “electives” which will vary each day but will cover: the basics of music, vocals, songwriting. We may also teach improvisation based on the “harp & bowl” model and “Intro to Recording” if there is time and interest.
  5. Session 5: HANDS ~ More small group/private instruction in each category of instrument – guitars, keys, bass, drums, other instruments and vocals.
  6. Session 6: HANDS~ The final session of the day will be band rehearsal with coaching in the rock band format for each of the bands.

An opportunity:

School of Rock Worship

As I write this, there’s still space for a few more kids at the camp:  June 27 – July 1,  for students ages 11-17. Check out the website for more details.  [Day camp only offered in the Salisbury, Maryland area]

Comments? We love comments! Leave yours here.

Question: How do you think this framework could apply to your context?

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