Saturday, August 04, 2007

Seminar 6 - Stuart Townend, Kate Simmonds and Peter Brookes at TOAM 07!

Worship TT2 – “Team Players” - Stuart Townend, Kate Simmonds and Peter Brookes.

Stuart Townend

Kate Simmonds and Pete Brookes have got unique perspective of going from big established church at Brighton to new smaller plant in Australia. Communication – the definition of “team work” in the dictionary mentions a helpful thing; “Work done by organised division of labour, co-operation together” and note this one:

“Regard to the success of the whole rather than personal exploits”.

Co-operation – we must co-operate together. People who don’t work together won’t make an effective team. This involves listening. People are too concerned with what they are playing and not what the entire team are playing. Phatfish are a shining example of working together and listening to each other. Question is not – what shall I play hear – but does the sound need me here? Does it need me here? If not – may not need to play. We must pull together. Are you pulling in the same direction or are you as a worship team pulling in different directions?

There is an element of sacrifice of individual exploits of what we can do for the sake of the overall sound.

We are part of team! If playing solo then much more needed – but as part of a team, we have to adapt what he does to part of the broader team. Kate got some great things to say about the whole aspect of team work.

Kate Simmonds

Being a part of church have known Peter and Susan Brookes for a long time – and also shared a platform with Stuart for a long time. Peter Brookes is a team guy and thrives on being part of a team. Peter hates not being part of a team. Gone from a team of eight elders at CCK to an office in Sydney. He is also great at releasing people into ministry. Not difficult to move to the other side of the world because we knew we were going to Peter – a team guy.

The importance of team unity has been underlined by God in recent years for us. Psalm – “Unity … there the Lord bestows the blessing”. Inspired by the Hillsong worship team. Great being in Sydney because we can go over to Hillsong sometimes and love that! But they are so committed to team!

“There is favour granted to those willing to pay the price of unity, hard work and sacrifice. It is costly. It can reveal all the things you don’t love about yourself – it takes such an unnatural measure of selflessness - but the fruit of it is a remarkable testimony to the grace and favour of the King. A fully functioning community of believers covers one another – they make up for one another’s weaknesses and they help one another shine. The Hillsong team enjoy great unity – we build each other up when we come together. It’s an amazing bunch of ordinary people who continue to say “Yes” to whatever need presents itself” – Darlene Zschech.

How do we build team when we come together?

“Success in the Kingdom is building into the lives and needs of others” – Darlene Zschech.

The Hillsong team is full of people who could be individual artists in their own right but together they can be more than they can alone. Disunity is bitter in flavour and petty in nature. Unity is fruitful and fun. We should have a ball together and love what we’re doing.

“People must know our love for them is infectious – that it is our joy to pray for them” – Rob Rufus.

We want to have fun and joy doing this! Really got that from Rob Rufus yesterday.

Last year went and led worship with Matt Weedle at “North 06” and put a band together for this event. We were friends who truly loved each other. We had a one hour rehearsal for the whole event but knew that this would be amazing! It wasn’t musically amazing but knew that this would be an amazing time. Had a picture in my heart that we were of one heart. Our hearts were wide open and totally unguarded. The blessing in worship was just incredible. No insecurity between any of us. God revealed to me a lesson about unity and the tangible power of that as in Psalm 133. The powerful unmistakable otherness of the manifest Presence of God. The language of Darlene Zschech oozes with love for each other.

1. Look for the strengths in each person.

Ask God to give you the eyes to see the gifts in each people. It is gifting that needs to be unleashed. Make mental notes as you see. Time spent in God’s Presence together as a worship team will create excitement as to what God is doing among you.

The bottom line is not great musicianship but if we don’t know what the Presence of God is like; if the church is not regularly in the manifest Presence of God then we are missing our reason for being a worship team.

So disappointing to see musicians just playing and not engaging with God. We want worshippers! We need to be worshipping, waiting and growing in the gifts together and the benefit of this is incalculable.

2. Be Leaders of Vision.

We may be geographically isolated but are still connected to families of churches across the globe and there may be prophecies over us – over our church. Get hold of pastor and learn what the prophecies over the church are. The most important thing about team is that people embrace the idea of giving themselves to something bigger than they are.

3. Run with what God is doing with you.

Be fluid! Don’t feel that you must stay stuck. Set a high standard with what God is doing. Scrappy and lengthy sound checks use up valuable time and may create tensions. Learn to do it right. Set a standard of how it should be done. Even in a small church set standards of excellence. Get an efficient routine that will get morale high and focus clear. How can we do this well and efficiently so that it’s not a hideous burden every week?

Never avoid confrontation but always talk things through in love.

If you let little things slip they are always harder to fix later. Use the principles of parenting to address things in people. As with parenting – choose your battles. A team is in some ways built one person at a time. If we don’t win the tricky ones they can ruin it for everyone. Saw the opposite in a vocal training day at a church once. Greeted with words; “I just want to warn you …”. There was one controlling person ruining it for everyone. It was barren and fruitless and made me grieve in heart. That is the opposite of unity. No fruit whatsoever without unity!

Be careful not to promote gifted people with the wrong attitude until they have the right attitude.

They can be part of team but perhaps not on platform yet. Even if you feel you need that gift right now!

5. Give time to practical work.

Listen to CD arrangements and learn what works.

Great musicians are great listeners.

In Sydney no one has ever given any time to thinking through these things and there is sudden fruit! There must be time working out harmonies instead of working things out on the spot. With church plants there is a period of unsettlement. Everything is different! It takes extra mental and emotional effort and be sensitive to new people so they don’t see you only on Sundays.

We haven’t struggled in going from big church to small church! We wouldn’t be anywhere else because we know God has called us to go and be there and be part of a team.

“We know our life is brief – we can play our part in something significant – we can build a house for God” – Terry Virgo.

It’s not hard to inspire people to give themselves to something worthwhile. Recommend Darlene Zschech’s books – “Kiss of Heaven” and “Extravagant Worship”.

Stuart Townend

Evaluate – where are you in friendships within your worship team? Who particularly needs to be loved in your team? Make a note of practical things you can do to develop and strengthen friendships. Are you making time to worship? If not how can you structure rehearsals to make sure that isn’t the thing that gets cut?

Vision – what has God spoken to your local church over the last year prophetically or in a sense of leadership and how should that effect how you prepare to lead?

How does your part in the public aspect of church fit in with what God has spoken? Profound things that Kate has spoken that are full of wisdom.

Sound checks at their worst are a melee! They are not disciplined. Separate rehearsal time from sound check time. That helps the sound guy or girl. Go through each instrument – let the sound guy or girl lead the sound check time. Get everything set up and then let sound check guy lead and ask each instrument to play. No talking or playing! Be disciplined! Then think about what we can hear in our fold back. Each person in turn should say how much or little they want in their monitor. Then play half a song and re-evaluate. Shut up when you are not playing!

What do we do if the sound guy isn’t gifted in sound? It’s a whole other seminar! In years gone by at CCK it used to be if you could play you were in the band, if you couldn’t even steward then you were on sound desk! It actually is a brilliant task and requires skill. Too often people only speak to him when it’s wrong. He must be part of the team. He needs to hear what the band sounds like and feel part of creating this thing. He carries a huge amount of power! He can make you sound rubbish or brilliant. Sometimes bring in outside people to teach us how to do it better. Sound guy should be interested in music so as to understand what these instruments sound like. Sometimes people are technical but have no idea what it should sound like.

Practical side to rehearsals and how we do them. Set goals. Where do you want to be in a year’s time with your worship team? Long term and short term goals. E.g develops area of prophetic singing. Set a goal for that! Want one prophetic singing out. Rehearse songs for this and next Sunday so that next week we are not spending time preparing but can practice prophetic singing. Get keyboard player to play a few chords and get band members to sing out Scripture. Set short term goals in order to achieve long term goal.

Agree a time to begin. Arrive at appropriate times depending on instrument. Fold back on monitors is important. If you can’t hear it holds things up. Tune up! Be disciplined! People should not be talking while you are explaining the next song. May need to send others into next room to practice harmonies. May be deflating in terms of morale if band don’t play for majority of time while sorting out woodwind. Sort out your hand signals! Use them!

Notes for leaders – set a time to end and stick to it. It is a betrayal of trust to expect all to arrive at half seven and finish at nine when you don’t. Be sensitive to people’s ability and confidence. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Just because you are the team leader doesn’t mean you have to be the best all round. Give others jobs – use the gifts of the team.

Question of relationship between church leader and worship leader. This question always comes up! It is a vital relationship because it is so powerful when preaching and worship go hand in hand. Asked Pete and Kate to speak from their perspectives as to responsibilities to the other and expectations of the other.

Peter Brookes.

Dave Fellingham once said in his book that the relationship between church leaders and musicians is vital if a church is to be effective in worship. View the whole church as a team when you come to worship. We are altogether as a team! Within that is smaller team is the worship team and eldership team. How can you avoid clashes?

1. One key is avoiding a “them” and “us” mentality. Avoid talk of “my time”. It is God’s time! Be passionate to meet with God! Don’t have that sense of “yours” or “my” time!
2. Communicate about the meeting and beyond the meeting! What are we going to do in the meeting? Who’s going to start it? Talk about it! Elder may start the meeting but then worship leader may start. Talk together! Each may have something valid from God to start the meeting. It’s not about the meeting – it’s about life together in God! Communicate what God is doing in your life.
3. Develop a team feel. Friendship – not just a job! There weren’t many people I went to and asked them to come with us but did with Miles and Kate Simmonds. Won’t build a big church in Sydney without their ministry! Apostolic forum can’t believe I have got Kate Simmonds with me in Sydney! Kate knows I am for her – want her to continue to do in what God has given her to do. God has given her a massive anointing and will be displayed more and more in a big church in Sydney.
4. Make sure you are on the same page. Be clear on where authority lies. Ultimately the authority of the church lies with the eldership. The buck stops with me. Be very releasing. Make sure you bring direction – don’t allow drifting! One occasion in Brighton when the meeting produced every odd prophetic person turned up! There must be an element of trust between you. Trust Kate and Miles because they want to get us to God!

I don’t want worship leaders on the platform if they are not worshippers!

Kate Simmonds.

Be reliable and consistent in gifting and temperament. It is all to do with humility. Know the Word of God. Spot a dodgy line in a song. Do things the way your pastor wants them done! Ask them “How do you want this conducted?”. Never serve your own agenda. Love the church! You want the people of God to meet with God. Come full of the Holy Spirit! Bring a sensitive response to the preaching of the Word of God – what is the heart of this message? My expectations of church leader – when Terry Virgo asked me to lead Stoneleigh I asked God for authority needed. You do need authority to lead but that is always submitted to church leader! Authority goes with role rather than gender. There is a beautiful safety net – worship leaders don’t need to correct prophecies! That is the elder’s job! We are secure with our elders in trusting them to weigh what is brought.

Expect leaders to trust – but that is earned over time and over years of relationship. Expect church leader to be a worshipper and to love the Presence of God and place a high value on worship. Sometimes you may see an elder looking around at the church and not engaged. We must have a commitment to the next generation. Bring the young through! Have a heart to see our children worshipping! Our kids are receptive to the Holy Spirit. Simon Brading started leading worship when he was 11!

There is no limit for our kids today!

Simon Brading said others have encouraged him to look out for new worship leaders – he is looking out for the ones God has got His hand on. But when he started leading worship he didn’t have any concept of what leading worship was like. I sang in worship for 5 or 6 years before releasing what worship is about! Get them into the team! Get them getting our heart and seeing what it’s about!

Run new songs by your church leader! Songs we sing shape the theology of the church.

This conference is all about the glory of God. The content of the songs is increasingly “You – You – You”.

Expect constructive criticism. Don’t want “Fantastic” or “Silence”. Silence says to me “You have failed”. Sometimes the people are not up for it. Perhaps we need teaching about being a worshipper but sometimes the pastor may say a gap was too long. Don’t talk too much! Dave Fellingham has said that to us again and again at CCK. Receive those things!

Expect in your heart a move of God! We are there to prepare the worship team for a move of God! Teach servanthood and sacrifice and the Presence and glory of God! It is putting a big picture in people’s hearts – but make sure that is in line with your pastor’s.


Anonymous said...

You've got quite a few typos.

Don said...

...but a lot of wisdom shared! I've passed the link on to the worship leader of my congregation.