Moving to a new state brings loads of emotion and uncertainty. Are you going to like where you?re living? Will you make new friends? There?s nothing nicer than when you?re in the ?new? and you feel welcomed. The truth is, it doesn?t take moving to a new state to be in that state of mind. Anything new can stir up those feelings and emotions.
So how do new people feel at your church? How do the people that want to serve on your team feel about getting involved? Are you creating an environment that?s welcoming and encouraging, or are we scaring them away? Let?s take a look at a few ways we scare away new team members and then how to avoid making that happen.
?We?d love to have you join the team! Just join us Saturday for a full day class about how we structure our ministry. After that we?ll do a one-on-one interview, you?ll need to fill out our worship team covenant, and then after completing a month of new member classes, we?ll put you in the rotation to be scheduled once every two months.?
Does your signup process match the magnitude of the commitment? If people are committing to play as volunteers once every two months, the process to get involved should be pretty simple. Are you paying musicians to serve 7 times each weekend for services that are televised along with a rehearsal and full run-through? Your process should probably be a little more thorough.[quote]Does your signup process match the magnitude of the commitment?[/quote]
Disorganized, Unproductive Rehearsals
How long are your rehearsals? Okay, not how long you say they are, but how long they really are. Does your team get the proper tools before rehearsal? Do you often get stuck spending too much time on one song while not having enough time for all songs? Do rehearsals end on time? Rehearsals are most people?s first introduction to how your ministry really operates behind the scenes. What are they walking away thinking after rehearsal?[quote]Rehearsals are most people?s first introduction to how your ministry really operates behind the scenes.[/quote]
Lack of Timely Communication
I once served on a ministry where the worship leader would send songs late Tuesday night for a Wednesday night service. As you can probably imagine, we went through a lot of musicians. When are you communicating the weekend?s songs? Or are you constantly promising to get in touch with people, but never following through?
Are you communicating your expectations clearly to your team? There?s nothing worse then being held to standards that were never communicated. Or perhaps even worse, does your team have any ?elephants in the room?? How about the team member that never prepares but doesn?t get held to the same standard as everyone else? Few things can make a rehearsal more tense and uncomfortable than when there?s inequity in the team.[quote]Few things can make a rehearsal more tense and uncomfortable than when there?s inequity in the team.[/quote]
Are you expecting your team of volunteer musicians that rehearse once a week to sound as good or better than Hillsong United? Is serving in your ministry a joyful experience or a constant battle with a perfectionist?
How to Avoid Scaring Away New Team Members
If we?re all honest, there?s likely been a time in all of our leadership careers that we?ve done something to scare team members away. But what can we do now to make sure it doesn?t happen again? Here are a few quick thoughts.
Keep it Simple and Slow
The safest bet is always to keep it simple. I?m not sure of any situation in history that?s been improved by over-complicating it. Be careful to not implement a process or tool/technology just because it?s cool or new. Implement it because you can?t imagine doing what you do without it. If you?re going to implement something new, do it slowly. The best and most effective change is slow change. Communicate your changes with current team members or the direction you?d like to head to new team members and then get there slowly.[quote]If you?re going to implement something new, do it slowly.[/quote]
Live Under Your Own Rules
As often as you can, put yourself under your own rule. Experience the rules and regulations you?ve created. It?s easy to put a requirement in place that you don?t have to live under. Experiencing the results of your leadership will help you make better-informed decisions. Don?t be the leader that demands things of their team they aren?t willing to do themselves.[quote]Don?t be the leader that demands things of their team they aren?t willing to do themselves.[/quote]
Just be yourself. I know you just listened to that Andy Stanley leadership podcast and you want to take your team through ?Strength Finders? and ?only do what only you can do?? But is that part of your culture? If your church is more laid back, don?t suddenly try to enact new processes and procedures that will be perceived as complicating things. Know the culture of your church and be that. Don?t try to be the church down the road. Be the church God?s uniquely called you to be.
Ask for and Accept Feedback
Ask someone new on your team what the process was like. Let them know you?d like to see where you and the team could improve the process. Give them freedom to speak their mind, openly, and be willing to accept their suggestions. You don?t have to change, and you don?t have to make excuses. But listen to their feedback. Accepting feedback doesn?t always mean doing what they suggest, but it does mean listening without making an excuse.[quote]Ask someone new on your team what the process was like.[/quote]
It?s always great to have new team members join your team. It adds a new voice and perspective to all the great people you already have in your circles. If you can keep things simple, experience the rules you create, be real to yourself and your culture, and ask for and accept feedback, you can avoid the pitfalls that could potentially scare away new team members.