Creating a desire for growth within the church can be tricky. It is often resisted and mislabeled as “performance” by those who do not understand the heart behind it. However, as worshipers, we should always seek to bring the Lord our best. That means that growing in skill is a necessity.
Stewardship is the heart of excellence. Like the servants in the parable of the talents, being faithful with what we have been given should be our priority. He gave us all gifts and abilities for the sake of utilizing them to their fullest.
When we hone and refine our abilities, we are being good stewards of what the Lord has given to us.
If growth is going to happen, setting goals and evaluating progress is necessary. Remember that not everyone is going to want to grow. Some people are very content at their current skill level and aren’t interested in practicing or learning new things.
You can’t force growth but there are ways you can create incentives for it.
One easy way is to start the growth process is to create “growth plans” for your team members. Start by sitting down with them and finding out what their goals are. Why did they want to join the team? What ways would they like to serve? How can you help them grow and reach their goals? Once you know these things, you can tailor a growth plan to help them in their pursuit of their dreams and desires. Once the plan has been made, check back in with them from time to time to see how they feel and how they are growing.
Partnering with someone like this helps create a “buy in” because they know their leaders are supporting them and pushing them forward.
Another thing that can create incentive is having service tiers. This may not be an option in every church but the idea is to have low pressure opportunities and services for people to serve at before they are brought on for main services.
This can be adjusted for your specific church and needs, but here’s an example of what it could look like.
Start by having potential members help with things like wrapping cables and cleaning up the stage after a service. After they’ve done that for a predetermined amount of time, you could promote them to playing in home group settings. After that they could be moved to youth group or similar secondary services before finally being put on a main service.
The idea behind this is to create an opportunity for you to see how they handle serving as well as how they progress musically. In addition to that, this process introduces them to the culture of your church and team and gives them something to aim for, namely, main services.
When practice and serving are rewarded with affirmation, promotion and more exciting opportunities, it always results in having fuel thrown on the fires of their personal resolve.
Ideally, you want every member of your team to know where they are going musically. If they understand how they are or aren’t progressing, it helps them understand where their strengths and weaknesses are and where to focus their efforts. Giving healthy and well thought out feedback is a great way to do that.
This is where having growth plans in place will prove invaluable.
Knowing the goals you set together will help your team members when it’s time to review because they know what you are both aiming for.
Always focus to keep things positive during growth conversations, even when progress is slow or not evident. You never want anyone leaving feeling worse than when they came in.
Always let them know what they’re doing well and if growth doesn’t seem to be happening, ask them about how they’ve been pursing their goals.
Have they been practicing? Have they started taking those voice lessons yet? Asking these questions will help people refocus their goals and will shed light on their process.
In closing, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
Remember that people are always the most vulnerable after a set. This is particularly true when something didn’t go over well or mistakes were made. It’s best to wait until after a day or two after a set to have any conversation involving constructive feedback.
The point of leadership is to help your team thrive. Your goal in all of this should be to see your team members encouraged and excited about the future.
Always keep their growth and wellbeing at the forefront of your mind.
Often someone’s personal life can play a big part in their growth. We’ve seen it happen time and again where someone has played poorly and, after talking with them, discovered that they were going through something difficult personally.
If someone doesn’t want to grow, don’t worry. It might just mean that your team is not a great fit for them. Ultimately you only want to work with people who are willing to grow and receive feedback. People who are stubbornly set in their ways are difficult to work with and rarely bring life into their communities.