So you feel the need to move from having a set band to using a pool of musicians. One little problem: you need the support of the current band. Get it, and you will be golden. Don’t, and life will be miserable for a season.
In our congregation, we made this move twice (in different worship gatherings). Each time it was pretty ugly and we lost people. After a couple failed attempts, I have learned a few things. Here is what I would do to move from a band to a pool of musicians:
- Pray. This is a spiritual deal and you need to make sure that the timing is right. You also need to make sure that you are sensitive to the people and that God is directing this decision.
- Realize the increase workload. If all this happens, your workload will increase. When I played with the same musicians, it got to the place that we could put things together incredibly fast. With multiple musicians you will now add to your workload things like auditioning musicians, scheduling musicians each week, getting new members acclimated to the band and music, as well as taking more time at rehearsals.
- Discuss this with appropriate church leadership.
- Talk one-on-one with each band member and get their thoughts. "Here is what I am feeling like God might be asking us to do. What do you think?" I would ask each member to pray about it and see if they hear anything from God. It is at this point that you will find how well you have led these people spiritually. If they never pray or have a shallow relationship with Christ, they won’t offer much besides their thoughts. That’s why setting the base is crucial.
- Wait. You will have already made up your mind. You are ready to move. You have identified potential musicians for the pool. You are ready to pull the trigger. Resist the temptation to run ahead. Wait. Your people need time to process all of this. Don’t run ahead of them just yet.
- Pull the trigger slowly. I would suggest working in new musicians slowly. This will maintain the current sound and experience and help get the new musicians acclimated to how things work. If you are needing to make huge and fast overhaul of the way things are done, I would suggest you make a sweeping change and work with mostly new musicians. This may need to be done to reset priorities and leadership. Just realize what you are doing and go in with your eyes open.
This can be a hard process. Make sure that you are confident of the switch and do your best to maintain relationships while having a strong resolve. It is not an easy transition, but with some time and attention, it can be done well. Above all, continue to guard your quiet time as you seek out the movement of God in this and all of life.
Have you transitioned from band to pool? What has been your experience? Suggestions?
Copyright 2007, Scot Longyear at Worshipplus