A worship team handbook is really helpful in communicating important information to people who have chosen to serve in the ministry. However, they can also be incredibly dry and frankly, quite dull. I believe that with the right approach, we can make the worship team handbook fun and instructional. We just need to change our perspective a little.
Last year, I completely overhauled the way I approached our worship team handbook and was blown away by the response to it. Our team loved it, but more surprisingly, a number of churches found out about it and asked if they could use it in their own setting, too. So what was so different?
Make it more like a magazine than a manual!
Don’t get me wrong, volunteers are involved in worship ministries to serve. There are expectations and responsibilities. It is a serious role to fill in our weekly services. But I think that it’s helpful to remember that these people are giving their time freely in order to serve the congregation and offer praise to the Lord. I want people to understand the heart behind the rules and regulations and experience the joy of serving. Sometimes, a 20-page word document full of heavy “do’s and don’ts” just doesn’t cut it. Why?
People just don’t read it. And if they do, they probably don’t memorize it.
As I thought about this, and how we could get people to read their worship team handbook, I had one main objective: I wanted people to value it. Then I had an idea:
I decided to make it more like a magazine than a manual.
It would be much more relaxed in tone; there would be articles rather than a straight list of rules and regulations and it would be printed well. This was the finished product:
You can download a PDF of the finished version (with a more general front cover) here:
You can even download the actual InDesign file itself if you want it:
As well as expectations, I tried to include a whole load of stuff that could help our team to grow in their ability to lead worship. For example, there is a crash course in music theory, a brief lesson on Planning Center, a few thoughts on the theology of worship and some helpful discussion points (most of which have already been published on thecompletechurchcreative.com):
I wanted it to be more conversational in tone with explanations as to why we make certain decisions.
The Finished Article
I sent it to a professional printer to make sure that the quality was high. The paper was a heavier stock on the cover and glossy on the inside. You might think that this was an unnecessary expense; perhaps it was. I decided to do this because I wanted the handbook to be something that wouldn’t just be thrown into a miscellaneous box (or worse still, the garbage) as soon as the volunteer got home. I wanted people to talk about it, to realize that we place a high value on our values and for it to be the kind of quality that it wouldn’t be embarrassing to leave on a coffee table in their living room.
Did everyone take to it? No. That’s why one to one conversations will always, always be more important than a worship team handbook. Importantly though, a critical mass did; a number of other churches did too. Maybe this is something that would be of immense value in your ministry? If so, why not give it a try! I hope it is as successful for you as it was for our teams!