3 Ways to Engage Your Sound Team

3 Ways to Engage Your Sound Team

As a Worship Leader it is vital to understand the role of the Sound Team in producing the final worship experience for the congregation. The better your bond, the better the final worship atmosphere you will create together.

1. Make Them Part of the Team

Everyone serves on Sunday out of a desire to use their God-given gifts to glorify Him and enable others to connect with Jesus. This includes the Sound Team. It’s tempting for the Worship Team to gain an ego, going on stage to perform for the entire church every service. They are responsible for leading others to worship. But as a Worship Leader you must first quell any attitudes of pride, and encourage the Worship Team to adopt the same humble and approachable spirit the other ministry teams assume on Sunday. You are there to serve, not to be served. The Sound Team is part of the overall worship experience. If you start your service prep with a prayer session, encourage your Sound Team to leave the sound booth and join the Worship Team for the prayer. Outside of service, invite your Sound Team to team events in order to build stronger relationships between the Worship Team and the Sound Team.

2. Ask for and Value Their Inputs

As a Worship Leader you may be able to perfectly envision the song you are playing and how each part should sound and interact. But when you get to practice there are variables thrown into the mix that alter the final output. Once onstage with the band, the Worship Leader is fully immersed in the sound and loses the ability to externally process how the final mix sounds to the congregation. The Sound Team has the proper vantage point: external to the stage and able to process the dynamics of the room, the crowd, and each individual band member. At times the Worship Leader must be humble enough to seek feedback from the Sound Team to determine if the initial vision for the song is true to how the final mix sounds. A trained Sound Team can offer direction the match up the vision with the execution of the song.

3. Include The Sound Team in Your Planning Process

Song selection and creation of a worship set list for Service is one of the true challenges and skills of a Worship Leader. This usually requires coordination with the Pastor developing the message for the service to determine the thoughts and emotions to evoke during Worship. Yet it’s very easy for that level of intentional thought to get lost in translation with the Sound Team receiving no more guidance than the set list for the weekend. In order to properly mix the group and create the atmosphere the Worship Leader is striving for, the Leader must communicate the vision for the Worship portion of the service.

By Michael Nettis

Michael is a servant of Jesus Christ and is currently an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He is a techy by trade, but a worshiper at heart. He founded Armed to Worship with his wife, Kimber, to equip the world for worship.

Worship as One Conference Recap

Worship as one

Worship As One was the culmination of the vision for Armed to Worship – connecting military chapels with the local community as a single Body of Christ offering praise to God. Armed to Worship teamed up with Renegade Music Ministries, led by Robbie Phillips, who also serves as the Worship Leader for Schofield Chapel.

The Conference was a combination of training seminars and a night of worship. Kimber and Michael Nettis of Armed to Worship provided 3 training sessions covering the History of Worship in the Church, the Heart of a Worship Leader, and Building Connections in Your Church.

In between the training and the worship, Renegade Music Ministries hosted a ministry fair to highlight some of the local organizations supporting the community including Surfing the Nations, Pacific House of Mission, and Protestant Women of the Chapel. Next, Renegade Music Ministries set the stage, literally and figuratively, for the Spirit to move in the Main Chapel on Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa Hawaii. A crowd of people from around the island filled the Chapel and four different worship teams led them to praise Jesus Christ.


3 Reflections on Prayer – Persistant

Communication is key to any relationship. Its how we connect, we share, and learn. Thats why prayer is so important. Its the foundation of our faith because it builds our personal relationship with Jesus. Because its such an essential part to growing with God, the next series will discuss three principles of prayer.

1 Prayer is Personal

2 Prayer is Powerful

3 Prayer is Persistant

Prayer is Persistant

Prayer is not a checklist item, a must-do chore for us to maintain our religion. Prayer is setting aside time for Jesus in your life daily. You willingly spend time with those in your life that you love, shouldn’t you make the same commitment to your Lord and Savior? Pray in the good times, pray in the bad times – Prayers of praise and prayers of need.

In the Old Testament, King David and the book of psalms are the exemplary example of a life committed to prayer. A conversation between an individual and the Lord.

O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices

—Psalm 21:1

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

—Psalm 22:1

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you i trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.

—Psalm 25:2

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and i have trusted in the Lord without wavering

—Psalm 26:1

O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us.

—Psalm 60 :1

David did not only turn to God to praise the good, or only to complain about the bad – he went to the Lord for ALL things: the good AND the bad. He recognized God is with us in our daily lives.

In the New Testament, Jesus maintained a devout prayer life, continually retreating to solitude to pray to God the Father. Throughout his ministry his greatest miracles either started or ended with powerful prayers. In Jesus’ greatest moment of pain he demonstrated the persistence of prayer. After the meal of the Last Supper Jesus and his followers went into the Garden of Gethesame. Jesus went off by himself in the garden to pray. Even though he new his purpose and calling, he still struggled to accept his impending death. Its a true revelation of his human nature. He humbly asked God the Father to remove the burden of death, if it was in the Father’s will. He went off to pray to God the Father three separate times that night. Jesus maintained consistent communication with his Father.

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[a] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

– Matthew 26:36-46

Both Jesus and David demonstrated a life of continual connection to the Lord through prayer, in celebration and in suffering. David brought God into his daily life through prayer. He did not isolate God’s role to a single day of the week or wait until a critical moment of need. By maintaining a conversation with God David gained understanding of God’s will in his life.  Jesus brought his needs to the Father. Three times he went to the Lord. He was suffering, he was literally sweating blood from the stress of the situation. He persistently spoke with God, and in the end when the Father reaffirmed His will for Jesus’ life, Jesus carried it out in full obedience. When you pray to God, expect He will answer, and be ready to faithfully serve Him.

We must recognize God as Father, and part of that requires we speak with Him. We welcome Him into ALL parts of our life. We praise Him for blessing, and confess our sins to Him. We cannot hide from Him in shame. He knows we have sinned, He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for us while we were still living in sin. Be persistent in prayer. Don’t be content offering up a single prayer request and then never bringing your need up to God again. Don’t feel guilty asking God to bless you, as if you can ask too much from the Creator of the Universe. Bring your needs to Him daily, consistently. Its a humble recognition of God’s presence in your life when you realize every day is a gift He has given you.

3 Reflections on Prayer – Powerful

Communication is key to any relationship. It’s how we connect, we share, and learn. That is why prayer is so important. Prayer is the foundation of our faith because it builds our personal relationship with Jesus. Because it’s such an essential part to growing with God, the next series will discuss three core principles of prayer.

1 Prayer is Personal

2 Prayer is Powerful

3 Prayer is Persistant

Photo credit: Runar Eilertsen via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Prayer is Powerful

We call on the Lord, and he answers. How much credit do we give God, the all powerful Creator of the Universe? Do we only pray for the small trivial things in life, secretly admitting if it’s not answered we won’t be too upset? Do you approach God with doubt? As you know Him through personal prayer you will come closer to knowing the Power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for the big things, put your faith in God.

In the Old Testament the Nation of Israel came together to call on God in the face of existential evil. In 2 Chronicles 20 we see the power of God when called on by a collective people. Three armies massed against Isreal, and the God-fearing King Jehoshaphat knew he could not win on his own power. The situation seemed hopeless, but he was faithful. His faith in God was bigger than his fear of man. King Jehoshaphat called the people together to pray and worship God, seeking his divine intervention and God gave his words through one of the priests.

1 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi). 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

14 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.”

– 2 Chron 20:1-4, 14-17

To receive the power of God they had to turn to Him earnestly and honestly. God promised to deliver them, but he also required obedience on their part. They were to march into battle led by worship. In the greatest call for humility and reliance on God, the Jewish people marched towards vicious enemies with the band in the lead praising God.

21 And when [Jehoshaphat] had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.” 22 And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.

— 2 Chron 20: 21-23

And their faith was rewarded. How often do we fully place our faith in God? Do we hear his voice, and obey? Jehoshaphat did not have a backup plan, he did not doubt God’s Word, or God’s power to deliver them. When called by God its too common to follow him without releasing all doubt, to truly put all your energy into God’s plan without reserving time and energy for your plan.

In the New Testament Jesus displayed the power of prayer, calling on his Father and healing all those who came to him. Yet the greatest miracle and display of powerful prayer came with the healing of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Lazarus was dead over 4 days, and his own sisters protested that the body would be rotting by the time Jesus arrived at the tomb.

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.

– John 11:17-29, 38-39, 41-44

Jesus called unto God, letting the people gathered know that God was greater than any illness, evil, or circumstance. What men considered impossible, Jesus achieved with God. To make his point clear he called out to His Father in prayer. Jesus gives us the example to follow when things seem hopeless – when we know we can’t, we must turn to God and believe He can. We call unto the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer and anything is possible, yet all things we seek must be in accordance with the will of the Father.

3 Reflections on Prayer – Personal

Communication is key to any relationship. It’s how we connect, we share, and learn. That is why prayer is so important. It is the foundation of our faith because it builds our personal relationship with Jesus. Because its such an essential part to growing with God, the next series will discuss three principles of prayer.

1 Prayer is Personal

2 Prayer is Powerful

3 Prayer is Persistant

Prayer is Personal

Prayer is not meant to be an academic endeavor. It is not reciting memorized verses. We don’t repeat the same phrase to our friends when we converse with them. We talk openly, plainly, and emotionally.

To understand the personal nature of prayer we can look at Elijah. In 1 King 19:4 we see Elijah mourning under a broom tree, and this begins his depressed conversation with God. In context of the situation Elijah should be celebrating. In a battle of faith between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Elijah called upon God who rained down fire from heaven, and Elijah struck down hundreds of false prophets. But after the triumph he is still pursued by Jezebel who wants to persecute him. So he steals a way to a broom tree and laments his life. However God sends an Angel of the Lord to tend to him, to help him recover. After providing for Elijah, the Lord calls him continue his journey. On the mount of God in a cave Elijah lays bare his discontent before the Lord.

14 [Elijah] said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. 18 Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

– 1 King 19:14-19

This is not a singular praise into a void. This is painful conversation between Elijah and God. Elijah calls out to God, and God responds. This is real talk. This is rough and emotional. Elijah is rebuked for doubting the omnipotence of God, but God also loves on him – he corrects Elijah, then encourages him to press on his ministry. When Elijah thought the evil of Jezebel had overcome the people of God and he was the only voice left – God let him know the next steps to take, and that he had 7,000 people in Israel he would raise up to serve Him.

Don’t hold back from God. Give him praise for joy, and bring him your pain for healing. God will love us, comfort us, and encourage us. When we shout out in our pain “and I, only, am left” remember God is there with us and he will support us as we lean on him, providing for our needs, and calling others to support His plan and encourage us in our journey.

In the New Testament Jesus gave us a model for our prayers in the Lord’s Prayer. It is a framework for HOW to pray, but was not intended to be the WHAT we pray.

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

– Matthew 6:6-13

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 

  • We give praise to God. We acknowledge He is with us and listening, we call out to our Father, and we recognize his identity as Lord of all.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  • We pray for his will. We seek to know his will, and even more the strength and courage to live out his will.

Give us this day our daily bread

  • What are the needs we are placing at the Feet of God? Are you leaning on him, or on your own ability?

and forgive us our debts, 

  • We ask for forgiveness. We must admit our sins and repent. We acknowledge our own weaknesses and our needs for God’s grace and mercy.

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

  • We recognize that we must forgive those who have wronged us. Not in a general pass over, but in a specific recognition of those who have hurt us, showing our weakness, asking for healing, both for ourselves and those who have harmed us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

  • Deliver us from evil. We know there is evil in the World. Spiritual warfare tries to separate us from His will as well as the body of the church. Satan wants us to injured, angry, and alone.

In the Old and New Testament we see prayer as a means to talk with God. It is a two-way conversation. We speak, and He listens. Do you give the Lord time to speak into your life? Do you listen? And finally, do you obey? In prayer we open ourselves to God, we are honest and vulnerable. We get to know our heavenly Father deeper and more completely.

10 Warning Signs for a Worship Team

We as worship leaders are all at different points in our ministries. Some of us are leading strong teams with a line out the door to join your team (Joel Houston), while others are struggling with getting anyone through the door and various issues that may arise. Some of us have led teams for a while, and some of us are just getting started. No matter where you are currently, here are a few warning signs to watch for as you lead your team and how to overcome those obstacles.

1. No Worship outside of practice

We need to live a lifestyle of worship every moment of every day. We are leading our congregation to the throne of God, so we should know the way! But here is an interesting question for you…does your team worship together…outside of rehearsal for the set? Whether this means you rehearse your set and then just pick a random song and worship, or having a time outside of practice to worship together. This is very important as it will help your team understand spontaneous worship better, and may even help you begin to write your own songs as you worship together more.

2. Rely on bringing in the “right talent” instead of growing the right people

Do you rely on the right talent to walk through the door or are you focused on intentionally growing the people you have in your church? If you are strapped for volunteers, then hold a clinic for the instrument you need the most. Teach the fundamentals of worship. If you intentionally grow people, especially the next generation, then you will never be in need of people to plug in the holes of your team.

3. No shared culture

It is important to bring your team together for more than just practice. Each church has a culture. Do you do anything outside of rehearsal as a team (potlucks, team outings, jam sessions, other ministries)? Try having a pre-service word and prayer. This could be a time to highlight one of your values. If you do not have any, then here are a few you can borrow (love humility, generosity, serving, faith, honor, unity).

4. Dependent on tracks

While using tracks can really boost your team to the next level, be careful not to get too dependent on using tracks. You may soon find yourself unable to play a song during service because your equipment died. You may also be missing out on the opportunity to grow more people to fill in what layers you need. Your team can get so used to the tracks that they do not know how to follow the spirit in worship when a song must continue.

5. No processes written down

Does your team know your processes? Do you know your processes? This could become a huge point of dissension in your team if you are not careful. If the team does not understand the audition process, or if you let people slide through the cracks all the time it makes you and your church look bad and unprofessional, not to mention the “hurt feelings” that come with such a vulnerable time as auditions. Ensure you not only have a process that does not have cracks in it, but that you also follow up with every single person that auditions.

You will also want to solidify your other processes such as scheduling people for services so that you are not burning out your “A-team” while leaving others out on the bench for six months. Simply having a tracking sheet to show how often you use people or how you want to intentionally grow them will help you as well as your team.

6. Worship team is “talent first- then servants”

Does your worship team come in, set up their equipment and then talk for half an hour while the other servants are sweeping the floors, putting out fliers, etc..? You may have a talent-first problem. Yes, the worship team has to be ready to rehearse, but we should all be servants. Look for ways to get your team involved and serving more. Even within the team you could train the singers how to help set up drums or wrap chords. Get everyone involved and pulling their weight.

7. No focus on ministries outside of Sunday service

Does your church focus on worship on Sunday only? Do you have a Junior High or High School youth worship ministry? Do you offer worship to your other ministries such as Celebrate Recovery? There are many opportunities to get your team and those you are growing involved. Take a team to the local nursing home or prison. Teach a worship basics course to those going on a missions trip. Teach a Worship 101 class to anyone in your congregation to help them understand that worship is not just about music on Sunday morning.

8. Disunity/gossip/back-stabbing

If you find disunity on your team, look for the source. Ensure there is good communication between members and leadership. If you don’t have rules written down such as contacting someone that you have been offended by within 48 hours, then look into establishing a few rules for your team. If you feel members of your team are not respecting your authority as a leader, talk to them behind closed doors. Also, establish rules for practice such as one person talks at a time and no one plays an instrument when someone is talking. Ensure members are not gossiping and enforce consequences for this behavior. You may find disunity is also because of what you are doing as a leader. Do you show favoritism or deal with people differently because of who they are or what they play?

9. Lack of Commitment

Do you find your team not responding to your planning center request or denying your invitation? Look at team dynamics. Are you overstressing your main team? Do you need to give them a break and bring in some new people to grow musically and spiritually? Perhaps you have individuals with more talent than heart. Look at rearranging your practice times. Is it on a bad night? Are you wasting people’s time by holding four hour practices before service? Are you having your team play all seven services in one weekend? Lack of commitment is generally due to burn out and wasted time.

10. Lack of growth-spiritually, musically

Is your team stagnant? If you are musically stagnant, look at holding clinics for different instruments, sign up your team for jam sessions at your local music store. Look into the new music coming out in song discovery. Look at writing your own music for your church. Is your team stagnant spiritually? As a worship leader, check in on your team’s devotions. Ask them what is going on in their lives, and if there is anything you can pray with them about. Take your team on a local mission trip and serve others. Take them to play at a prison and watch lives change before your eyes. Schedule a worship and prayer night where there are no time restrictions.

Kimber Nettis is currently an active-duty Captain in the U.S. Air Force. She graduated from Baylor University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Christian Ministry through Liberty University. She and her husband Michael founded Armed to Worship Ministries, a non-profit that serves to organize, train, and equip a lifestyle of worship.

Fear Not – Isaiah 41:11-13

You are going to have a challenge to overcome this year. A battle to fight this month. A struggle this week. Maybe even an argument today. And when these moments arise its all to common to get caught up in the busyness of life and try to succeed on our own. We are called to be faithful in both the big things, and the small things. And that applies to how we handle conflicts too.

When trouble comes your way do you heap the whole thing on your shoulders, or do you stop and ask God for help? Taking even a moment to acknowledge our need for Him can significantly shift the odds in our favor. God loves his children and wants to see them prosper. Don’t keep your daily drama from God, instead share what’s on your heart through prayer and worship. In the end you’ll realize that it wasn’t as dramatic as you initially thought. You’ll gain some perspective, and you’ll gain new strength from the Spirit!

Behold, all who are incensed against you

shall be put to shame and confounded;

those who strive against you

shall be as nothing and shall perish.

You shall seek those who contend with you,

but you shall not find them;

those who war against you

shall be as nothing at all.

For I, the LORD your God,

hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Fear not,

I am the one who helps you.”

Armed to Worship

2 Chronicles 20

This passage tells the story of King Jehoshaphat when faced with overwhelming odds in battle. In the face of certain defeat he called the people of Judah together to pray, and fast, and worship God. The Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the priests who told the congregation

Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them…You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.”

When King Jehoshaphat led his army to the battlefield he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army and said “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

King Jehoshaphat acted in great faith, trusting in the Lord and sent forth a team of worshipers to glorify God, instead of sending forth his troops. He trusted in God, and God delivered his people, utterly destroying the three armies that were coming against Judah.

We are called to fight for God, but our weapon is worship.