Several years ago, I was tasked with building a worship ministry from the ground up. The church that I had just joined was well established, but had dwindled in size over the previous couple of years. I was part of a ministry team that had relocated in order to breathe fresh life into this congregation.
At first, I didn’t have much to work with. The budget was nonexistent, volunteers were few and far between, and the equipment was old and outdated. Having come from a large church with plenty of resources, this was a brand new experience for me. I had to reset my expectations and figure out how to get the worship ministry off the ground.
Fortunately, I was able to glean a lot from my much more experienced pastor. He directed me to find my “why” and to focus on the type of worship team I saw in the future.
Writing a worship team mission statement was a critical step that allowed me to maintain focus when the reality of those early days made it seem as though it would always be just me, leading worship from my guitar. I needed something like a compass to help direct me. I needed a mission statement.
What Is A Worship Team Mission Statement?
A compass allows you to navigate uncharted territory without getting turned around or lost.
Unexpected barriers and unforeseen conditions can lead to devastating outcomes unless there is an instrument that shows you where you are in relation to true north. A worship team mission statement can act as a compass that will keep you in alignment with your goals and desired outcome.
In the context of a worship ministry, a mission statement can make all the difference when attempting to build a team of people that will set the tone for worship in your church.
Purpose of a Worship Team Mission Statement
Simply put, a worship team mission statement answers all of the “why” questions. Why should we put effort into this team? Why do we approach worship the way that we do? Why are we accountable to our lead pastor?
Creating a statement that encapsulates the heart and purpose of your worship team will greatly assist the leadership and navigation of your team.
How To Create A Worship Team Mission Statement
There are a couple of ways you could go about writing your mission statement. You could just search your heart, come up with a statement, and hope you haven’t missed anything. Or, you could take a more strategic approach.
Allowing yourself to immerse in the process and taking time to walk through steps in accountability will ensure that your statement is a direct reflection of your church and your worship community.
I have broken this process down to five tangible steps.
- Reflect on the purpose
- Identify core values
- Define goals and objectives
- Craft the mission statement
- Seek consensus and refine
Step 1: Reflect on the Purpose
Before crafting a mission statement, it is essential to reflect on the purpose and identity of your worship team. As Christians who are passionate about drawing people into the presence of God, at least a portion of our purpose should be to “build up the body of Christ”, as it says in Ephesians 4.
But beyond that, there are factors to think about that are unique to your circumstance.
Consider the following questions:
- What is the primary purpose of your worship team?
- What is a realistic expectation for the size and skill level of your worship team?
- What unique qualities or gifts does your team possess?
- Who is your target audience?
- How do you envision your team impacting the community or congregation?
These reflections will help you articulate the core values and goals that your worship team mission statement should encompass.
Step 2: Identify Core Values
Core values are fundamental principles that define the ethos of your worship team. These values shape the team’s character and guide decision making.
They act as a filter to help determine things like what kind of worship songs are chosen, or what type of vocalists, musicians, and worship leaders become a part of the team. Choosing where you place your value sets the plum line for how you build.
Brainstorm with your pastor or leadership team and identify the values that resonate with everyone.
Examples of core values include:
- Authenticity: Striving for genuine worship experiences that reflect the team's heartfelt devotion. Authenticity speaks to purity and lends to reverence and the glorification of God.
- Excellence: Pursuing musical excellence and continuous growth in skill and knowledge. Having this as one of your core values sets the expectation that there is always room for growth and improvement and creates a culture of doing things well on the church worship team. Weekly rehearsals and worship resources stem from this core value. Speaking of worship resources, the CCLI is an amazing resource that offers chord charts and other resources that will help you perform worship songs effectively.
- Unity: Fostering a sense of togetherness and collaboration among team members. This is a core value of the body of Christ and should therefore be considered for your worship team.
- Servanthood: Embracing a humble attitude and a desire to serve the congregation through worship. When the worship pastor and his team serves God’s people in this way, the ministry is bound to thrive.
Choose a few core values that truly reflect your team’s identity and incorporate them into your worship team mission statement and overall worship team guidelines.
Step 3: Define Goals and Objectives
Too many worship ministries rely on their perception of what is trending or what has worked for them without considering goals that are relevant to where their church leadership is going, and how they can serve the church.
Worship team mission statements should outline the specific goals and objectives your church leadership aims to achieve. These should be actionable and measurable, allowing the team to track the progress and stay focused.
Consider the following examples:
- To lead the congregation into authentic worship experiences that inspire spiritual growth throughout the body of Christ.
- To cultivate an atmosphere of praise and adoration where individuals can encounter God’s presence.
- To develop a diverse repertoire of music that resonates with the congregation’s spiritual journey.
- To nurture and mentor team members, equipping them to serve with excellence in their musical abilities. Speaking of equipping team members, takelessons is a great resource for online music lessons.
Clearly articulate your team’s goals and objectives, ensuring they align with the purpose and core values you identified earlier.
Step 4: Craft the Mission Statement
Now that you have a clear understanding of your worship team’s purpose, values, and goals, it’s time to distill them into a concise and impactful mission statement. Remember, you shouldn’t have to flip pages to read your entire worship team mission statement.
It needs to be easy to digest, concise, and focused. In other words, make it short and sweet. You will lose most people if your statement is much longer than a couple of well thought out sentences. Here’s a simple formula to follow:
“[Team Name] exists to [verb][adjective][target audience] by [action], creating a [descriptor] worship experience that [desired outcome].”
“City Life Worship exists to passionately lead our congregation into transformative worship encounters by skillfully blending contemporary and traditional music, fostering a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere where lives are changed while we offer up our best praise to Jesus Christ.”
Ensure your mission statement is concise, memorable, and captures that essence of your worship team’s purpose and aspirations. Remember, you aren’t setting out to write a book, just a couple well thought out sentences.
Step 5: Seek Consensus and Refine
Once you have drafted a worship team mission statement, share it with your team for feedback and discussion. At this point in the process, it would be wise to bring in your lead pastoral team if you haven’t already.
Your mission statement and driving principals should align with the core values and theology of your church, and support the vision of your leadership team. Seek consensus and make any necessary revisions to ensure that it truly reflects the collective vision and values of your team. This is an incredibly important step in the process.
If you choose to keep your leaders and relevant team members out of the refinement process, you could end up with something that reflects you, but not your worship department.
Remember, the mission statement should inspire and motivate team members while aligning with the overall goals of your church leadership and congregation.
Crafting a worship team mission statement requires thoughtful consideration, collaboration, and introspection.
By reflecting on the purpose, identifying core values, defining goals and objectives, and taking your written statement through a collaborative refinement process, you can end up with a mission statement that will keep you focused and in the right direction.
Just like a compass, your mission statement will keep you aligned with your goals and will help you build a ministry that will have maximum effect on your church and extended community.
To learn more about ways you can improve as a church leader, or resources you can tap into, subscribe to The Lead Pastor newsletter. There are plenty of great articles that are sure to assist you in your church leadership journey.