Posted by: worshipguitarguy | September 12, 2008

9/12 Update…

I’ve been out with a sinus infection the past few days, so I haven’t had time to blog…  so here are a few things that have happened recently:

Last weekend, I played an outdoor concert with my good friend Dan Evans and the worship team from his church.  We had an awesome time, and I’m thankful to have worked with such an awesome team as theirs. 

Here are a few pics from the concert.  There are a few shots in there of my standard setup right now.   

Second, my friend Zac and I are ready to start up this year’s worship band at the youth group we work wth.  I have to say I’m extremely excited because we have a talent base unlike any I’ve had in the past.  One big piece of that is Zac’s little cousin, who is just entering 7th grade but he can already play circles around me on guitar.  In fact, he played in the Grand Ol’ Opry at age 10 on a special guest appearance.  There are quite a few things I have to say about our experiences already with him so I’ll bring some of those up a little later.

Here’s a Question of the Week:
How do you as team members and leaders go about forming your team?  Do you do it through tryouts?  Invites?  Or are you happy for anyone that comes along?  What are some of the things you to do build unity and relationships between your team members?



  1. Great to have you back blogging again Gerry, and here’s a Question of the Week from me (conveniently ignoring your question): Having looked at your pictures, how would handbells sound through that AC30 with the gain cranked? And, how much extra tone does the tin of Altoids give you?

  2. Ha Ha Ha, we may have to try the bells through the Vox one of these days. 😉 The bells and the mandolin were for David Crowder’s Remedy song, and they worked out well.

    About the Altoids… well, they definitely do give a tone boost. (I keep picks in an Altoids tin since they’re easier to keep track of.) 🙂

  3. Great question! I am a worship leader over in Holland, MI and I utilize the tryouts in order to get a feel of their proficiency and their heart for playing worship. If they aren’t the greatest player but have the potential and the heart to grow, I will put them on a team with a seasoned player of the same instrument, allowing the development of a mentor/mentee relationship. I have tried the “Just be thankful for who shows up” method in the past and it kind of backfired when the skills just weren’t there and started becoming a distraction during worship.

  4. Our church is in a situation now where we take what we can get, and work with them to bring them up to speed. Not ideal at all, but short of bringing in hired hands, there’s not much else we can do.

    Question about photo #39 – what guitar is that?

  5. That guitar is an Epiphone Chet Atkins. Dan plays it through a Fender Acoustasonic amp… and has a very unique playing style that really makes it shine. It’s a hybrid style between an acoustic and an electric sound.

  6. Here’s a question about tryouts – how do you tell someone that they’re not good enough, in a way that does not discourage them from trying to serve in the future (whether in other capacities, or when they’ve improved)?

  7. I’d have to say in response to your question “G” that you have to hold tryouts and put strong vocalists in charge of managing your team. It just seems the only sure route to go to insure quality music! 😉

  8. Our church allows people who have a passion for worship the opportunity to play and we help them figure out if it’s a God thing or a them thing. It’s usually pretty obvious by the second or third time they play, if not earlier. Not everyone is wired to put up with the hassles of being on a praise team and not everyone is willing to put in the time.

  9. Jason – We didn’t have try outs at our church but one lady was really bad vocally. The way the pastor told them was more like, we really want to use your talents that God gave you and we feel that your talents are needed in ministry X…not the worship team. So instead of taking them out of ministry, they transferred them to another ministry. It also helped that this lady has a real good heart and is a little more mature in both age and maturity.

    How do other handle those situations?

  10. Killer rig! The Les Paul is beautiful…..I can only see the body in the pic, but wow!

    And over here, there’s times when we can handpick people based on heart and skill, and there’s times when we’re just happy to get what we got!

  11. Our auditioning process is fairly informal at this point–we invite people who are interested in singing or playing with us to come to a couple of rehearsals just to observe what goes on, so they can get a feel for how we work together. If they do that, then we “audition” them by having them join us on stage while we rehearse–this gives us the chance to learn how teachable they are, and what their skill level is. If everything seems like a good fit at that point, we start plugging them in where we can.

    We’ve found that those who are willing to submit to this process are usually willing to make the commitment necessary to work on the team, and that is almost as important (to us) as their skill and talent. The ones who don’t have the patience for this process usually eliminate themselves by not showing up.

    The toughest thing is when someone is patient and willing to commit, but their skill level is not high enough for “prime-time,” so to speak. In those cases, we encourage them to keep working on their skills (e.g., work with a vocal teacher, practice with their instrument more, etc.) or direct them to other ministry opportunities in the church, and invite them to give it another shot in a few months. When we clearly see potential, we work with them to develop it, but we don’t put them on stage right away.

    It’s hard to tell someone who has the passion and desire to be a worship leader that they’re just not a good enough singer or player for our team. We do our best to be gentle and encouraging, and those who have humble hearts take it well, but sometimes there are hurt feelings and bruised egos, and those of us in leadership positions have to learn to deal with that.

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