How to Lead and Pour Into Your Worship Team

As a worship pastor you may be great at playing an instrument, singing, putting setlists together and leading your congregation on Sundays. But sometimes there can be a big learning curve when it comes to leading a team. It can be difficult to lead people, and if it’s not done well it can cause frustration, burnout, and even losing your job.

Jenni Mcgrew, the Founder of Worship Leaders Collective, joined Matt McCoy to talk about how we can lead and pour into our worship teams well. Here are Jenni’s top three tips for leading your worship team and fostering a culture that encourages people to serve!

1. Be the volunteer

If you’re having trouble finding worship volunteers or getting your team members to serve consistently, it’s important to make sure that you are serving and volunteering.

Jenni: “If you want to have volunteers on your worship team, you have to serve with all your heart and all your mind. Serve the church, but also serve them. We look at Jesus, our greatest example, He didn’t come to be served, He came to serve and give His life. Be the volunteer. Serve. Show up.”

When you’re serving, make sure that you are also being positive and caring about your team. Jenni went on to talk about how to create a positive and uplifting environment that invites people in and encourages them.

Jenni: “When we create a culture of hope, love and encouragement, those things are contagious. Especially throughout the pandemic. People are in a hope and love deficit. These are the fruits of the Spirit and we are naturally attracted to the things of the Spirit. This will help create a culture that is sustainable.”

Matt: “Things immediately start to go south when worship leaders start caring about the music more than the people. That doesn’t make people feel good and want to keep serving.”

Do what you can to serve your team, encourage them, and create a positive environment. That will cause people to see that and want to be a part of it.

2. Put the relationship first

Having your worship services go smoothly and making sure everything gets done is important. But as a worship pastor, it’s equally as important (if not more so) to make sure that your team members feel valued and cared for.

Jenni: “We say this to all of our volunteers: ‘We care more about how you’re doing, than what you can do for us.’ People need to be seen and know that they matter. Always put the relationship before anything. Sit down and talk to your worship team. Ask them how they’re doing. Give them your undivided focus so that they know you see them and that they matter.”

When you’re running around on a Sunday morning, you may feel too busy to talk with your team and find out how they’re doing. But what little things can we do during this time to still care for our team?

Jenni: “Have a team huddle before the service. Go over things that need to be covered, but then ask if anyone needs prayer. Then after the service, have a debrief time. That isn’t the time to go over everything that went wrong, but celebrate the wins together. Then give all the praise to the Lord and give it all to Him. This can help the little things that happened that don’t really matter get washed away.”

Putting the relationship of your team members first can have a huge impact on your team. Ask your team how they’re doing in their relationship with God and what they’re reading in the Bible. If you’re helping your team grow as followers of Christ first, they will become better worship leaders and worshippers.

3. Don’t give up

We’ve all had to deal with difficult team members. Maybe they aren’t practicing or showing up on time, maybe they have a bad attitude, and it’s causing a lot of the problems within your team.

Jenni: “Don’t be quick to give up on people. Remember that they may be going through a lot and they may just be reacting to what is going on. The first step to take may just be giving them a safe space to share what could be going on. I had a young man on our team who had a bit of an attitude issue. I had to call him into our staff room and sit him down. I started by saying, ‘I want you to know that I really care about you.’ and by the end of our time together, he was crying and his heart was open. It led to a complete 180 shift. There’s value in seeing someone.”

It’s important to not just tell people to stop having a bad attitude or tell them they need to start practicing. It’s not easy, but we need to do our best to work together as a team. Try to figure out the why. That kind of pastoring and leadership can take your worship ministry to a whole new level.

Watch the full interview with Jenni Mcgrew below!

If you want to learn more about Worship Leaders Collective and join an amazing community of worship leaders, go to