How do you pick songs?
The primary determining factor in crafting our Worship Gatherings in regard to song selection is the biblical text being preached. It is our desire to use songs to reinforce and encourage response to the specific truth being presented.
Regardless of the age, author, or genre of the song, our team asks the following questions when considering whether we should teach a song to our church:
- Does the song as a whole enhance the focus on Jesus or distract from Him?
- Do the lyrics accurately quote, paraphrase, or refer the scriptures and their principles?
- Are the lyrics and melody easy to learn and/or remember?
- Does the instrumentation fight for the focus of the song or support its purpose?
- Is the song as a whole creatively crafted or haphazardly assembled?
What are the monthly and weekly commitments required to be on the Worship Team?
We ask that everyone on our team commits to serve at least one Sunday per month. When scheduled, we ask that team members attend Thursday Rehearsal from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, put in roughly 1-2 hours of at-home practice, and come early on Sunday to help set up.
How do I know if I'm requested to serve? How do I respond?
We plan all of our Worship Gatherings using Planning Center Services, a web application that allows us to plan the details of each gathering and schedule all required volunteers. Scheduling requests are sent through Planning Center via email but can also be received using the free Planning Center Services app (account access will be provided).
What resources do you provide to help me prepare and practice?
We currently provide each team member with access to chord charts, part-specific practice tracks and original song tracks for every song. When available, we provide links to instructional videos and training resources. All of these are accessible via Planning Center Services.
What do I need to bring when I'm scheduled?
For rehearsals and Sunday gatherings, all musicians and vocalists should bring earphones with an 1/8 connector and printed music if needed. In addition, all guitar / bass players should bring guitars, straps, pedals, cables, and amps as needed. Drummers should bring sticks. Keyboard players may bring a laptop and audio interface if they want to use our keyboard as a MIDI controller although this is not required.
Do you pay musicians and vocalists? Why or why not?
We do not currently pay any musicians or vocalists. While there is nothing wrong with compensation, we ask that those gifted to serve the church through music would offer their service as volunteers. We desire those serving on our team to be motivated primarily by their love for Jesus and for the church and believe that providing pay can compromise this motivation.
Do you have a dress code?
Yes although it is very limited in detail to provide space for expression. Simply put: we ask that every team member dresses like a host of an event, maintaining personal cleanliness and modesty (not drawing attention to yourself).
Do musicians and vocalists need to be Christians to join the team?
Yes. Because our purpose is to lead people to experience hope and respond in worship, we believe our team should include only those who have experienced hope and responded in worship to Jesus. Simply put, to lead our people effectively we want our team to go before them.
Why don't you have a choir and/or orchestra?
The first reason is that we simply do not have the physical space on or near our stage for either of these groups. The second reason is that they each require their own different forms of oversight and leadership that we currently don't have resources or time to maintain.
I play [BLANK] but I've never seen that on stage. Can you use me?
Possibly. As mentioned above, we are limited in physical stage space and desire to keep our instrumentation relatively simple. Please contact us for further questions about your specific instrument.
Why don’t we include [specific form of worship] in our Worship Gatherings?
There are many different forms of biblically acceptable forms of worship and we in no way intend to communicate the forms we don’t include are wrong or that we disagree with them. However, we make choices based on what will be most effective for the majority of our congregation. The forms of worship we use most often - singing, praying, clapping, giving, scripture reading, serving - have a proven track record of helping large groups of people encounter Jesus and remain focused on Him without distraction.
Why don’t we sing only hymns? Why don’t we sing only modern songs?
We strongly believe in both the rich song history of the church and the power of fresh expressions of timeless truths. Therefore, we will continue to attempt to balance songs that are old with songs that are new with boldness and intentionality. It is our desire to select songs not based on age but based on effectiveness for engaging the mind in the truth of God’s Word and stirring deep emotional response.
Why are the vocalists / musicians on an elevated stage?
We simply believe that it’s helpful for people to follow people they can see. Our vocalists and musicians are people just like everyone else - imperfect, flawed, and needing Jesus - and the stage isn’t meant to convey anything to the contrary. In every opportunity we have, we want Jesus to be elevated above everything and everyone else.
I want to join the team but I’m not sure of my schedule. Should I still audition?
We always recommend completing an audition even you aren’t sure of your availability. This way, if you pass through the audition process, you will be ready to move quickly through the rest of the onboarding process and serve on the team.
I want to join the team but I don’t have [piece of gear]. What can I do?
This depends on the gear that you are lacking. We try to provide everything that is difficult to own and/or transport including the drum set and keyboard. However, with electric guitar gear, for example, the choices you make are deeply personal and greatly define your unique sound. For clarification, we will probably provide guitar amps at some point (currently limited by our budget) but have no plans to provide pedalboards or actual instruments.