“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?”
-1 Corinthians 3:1-3
My wife and I have been extremely privileged to have delivered both of our healthy babies in a hospital delivery room in our town. The room was equipped for the times when things go as expected and was ready if complications arise. All in all we paid for this advance in medicine, equipment and knowledge and for us it was well worth it. What never came into our minds was to plan our babies’ deliveries in a Target or a store like J.C. Penney. Why not? The answer is obvious: those establishments are not equipped to meet the needs of healthy baby delivery. While there may be unusual stories of families having their babies in stores like that, I can promise you that wasn’t their plan. They’d have rather spent their delivery time in a hospital room fully prepared for any circumstance.
Interestingly The Church functions more like a hospital than any other business you may think of. It’s a place for the sick to leave with health. It’s a place for babies to be born and sent out into the world and it’s a place where healthy people can come to receive advice about how to continue growing in their good health.
What always seems surprising to newcomers to church is that even seasoned Christian struggles. You may even be surprised when some of your worship team members continue to struggle time and time again with whatever it is that is their sin issue. People, no matter how ‘churched’, are fallen. The list includes pastors, worship leaders, worship team members, Sunday school teachers, elders, ushers, board members and the like. Rather than stick our heads in the sand as worship leaders we should embrace the opportunity to always be speaking truth into the lives of those we lead. We just aren’t given perfect people. There was only one perfect person and we nailed Him to a tree because He put too much pressure on us. Everyone messes up. Each and every person is tempted and tried. It’s a given. We are rather called to be shepherds or care givers of those whom we’ve been entrusted.
It is easy to lose sight of the spiritual condition of our team members. It’s much easier to always assume things are okay. After all, most people won’t walk right up to you and say they are struggling with pornography or greed. But it is your job to know those you whom you have on your team. Those folks are the ones that are allowing the Spirit of God to move freely in and among your midst. If you are completely unaware of your team’s spiritual state of being you are running the risk of having something like an unsanitary delivery room. Yes, delivery will happen, but the the risks are ridiculously unnecessary and preventible.
It’s time for our worship teams to become some of the most spiritually healthy teams in our churches. In order to do so we’ve got to make sure we have systems in place for caring for our team’s spiritual condition. Similar to hospital delivery rooms, we have to use our advancement in knowledge to help us prevent possible harm and promote healthy and life-giving practices whenever possible.
In order to maintain positive spiritual growth you’ve got to constantly be choosing to evaluate spiritual condition. Routinely ask yourself if you are looking for signs among your teammates for opportunities for spiritual growth. Make sure you are capitalizing when individuals seem ready to take another step forward in the Lord. Be available for counsel and never assume that the entire team is at the same spiritual place as one another. In assuming so you would be forfeiting the stronger Christians for the weaker. You’d only be able to move at the rate of your newest Christian on the team. Instead, group your team into several scales of people. Minister to each one according to their needs. Jesus modeled that over and over. To the tax collector (baby Christian) he was very easygoing and loving. However, to the Bible teacher he was harsh and straightforward. Each was given an opportunity to place their trust in Him. He knew what they needed and when.
Finally, in your pursuit to grow your team’s spiritual maturity be in constant prayer for each team member individually. If your team is large you can’t do that everyday. However, you may be able to pray for each person individually once a month or more. On your best day you cannot change a human heart. You can desire the change, but only God does the work. Prayer is the instrument that God uses to begin the transformation. Praying for your team is a major part of your job.
I’d love to hear about the plans and practices you already have in place on your team. Are there new ways you may be able to encourage your teammates to grow in the Lord? Have you been praying for each person by name at least once a month? Do you have a scalable way of knowing where your teammates are in their spiritual life? Comment or private message.