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5 Ways to Build a Worship Team - Part 3: Hold Regular Church-Wide Auditions

I can not stress this enough - part 1 and part 2 are crucial in how to build up your worship team. If you haven't yet checked those out yet, see the links below. In the next 3 parts I will be going over other ideas that you can tweak depending on your church denomination, views and preferences on how you manage your ministry. 

1. Invest in Your Current Team

2. Get Into Your Community

3. Hold Regular Church-Wide Auditions

4. Build Relationships with Other Local Churches

5. Online Referrals/Marketing 

3. Hold Regular Church-Wide Auditions

This step is often overlooked. Typically, worship leaders just audition when someone inquires about joining the team. I should start off by saying that every team is different and how you hold your auditions is completely up to your discretion. I am going to run through some examples of ways I have auditioned band members and ways I have heard other worship ministers audition their potential team members; I will get into building these relationships next week.

- Online Auditions

After talking with local worship ministers, this seems to be becoming more popular. It also makes it easier for the person auditioning and you as the minister. How this works - the person auditioning would make a video with a camera, their phone or a web camera with them singing and/or playing a song selection of their choice as well as a song selection of the minister's choice. This gives the person auditioning the freedom to re-record until they like what they hear. It takes the pressure off of them and it will also show you what they think is a good audition to send to you. After they send in the video, even if the audio quality isn't that great, it gives you an idea of what they're going to sound like. You could then schedule a one-on-one or have them practice a song or two with the worship team. People that do it this way typically have a page on the church site that shows what songs are required for the audition for the different vocalist/instrumentalists that audition as well as where to send it when they're finished.

- One-on-One

This is the most commonly used format today. When someone talks with them about joining the team, they typically just give them a song or two and meet with them one-on-one. I have been through this before and because I only had one shot to get it right I practiced that audition a number of times. This way is very good to see how devoted the person is to practicing, but it doesn't mean that they could in turn keep up performing to that standard for the long haul. I believe that anyone can play any worship song out's just a matter of how much practice it takes the person to get there. This is not a bad way to audition, however, I do believe a mix of the online audition and this could be a nice touch and take the stress level off the musician significantly.

- Audition Days

This one I have heard and seen, but not as often as the first two. This one is where the minister holds regularly scheduled dates throughout the year where anyone that wants to join can just come in and audition one-on-one or sometimes even as a full band for part of the audition. This one of course takes time and you might have a date where hardly anyone shows up, but having the regular scheduled dates does a few things. The first is it provides those people that are debating whether they want to audition the chance to re-think it multiple times in one year. You just never know when someone will finally break down and say this one is going to be the time I audition.  It also gives them a window of time to come out and they aren't necessarily set for a specific time to the minute to show up. If you have a number of people show up you could audition them one-on-one and then throw them into a band setting and see how they all do together. The more opportunities you give people, the more likely you will get someone. 

- Practice with the Team on a Practice Night

This one is pretty self explanatory. If you think they are ready, or you are confident that they would be comfortable in this situation, go ahead and have them practice one night with your team. This gives an idea of how the person auditioning will work, interact and compliment your current worship team. This could also give your current worship band a window to give some input on how the audition went. At the end of the day you ARE building a team, so team input is good!

There are a few other ways you could do this, but for the most part, they all spring off of these four ways. I believe the key is having a regular audition practice. You could do all four of these, or maybe two of these, but you want to do these regularly to give your future team members every opportunity to join your community and ministry. I will also end with saying the worst part of being the ministry leader is having to turn away people who just aren't there yet. Do it with love, and give them things to work on. If you are holding auditions regularly they could come back to the next one and surprise you. You should also look at these auditions on how can you grow and minister these people. Now get out there and grow your ministry!

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