Four Ways To Get People To Volunteer For Your Worship Team

by Bobby Gilles

in Church Communications,Worship Leading

Sojourn Worship Leaders Justin Shaffer and Jeremy QuilloCreate A Clear Pathway

At Sojourn, we hold a quarterly audition night. We have occasionally let new church members into the team when we know they’ve got the talent and experience, if the next audition night is a month or more away. No need to make them wait when their entrance into the team would be a foregone conclusion. But this is the exception, not the rule. Our Audition Night is the pathway that we consistently offer and promote, and thus is the clear way to join Sojourn Music.

Promote Your Pathway

Six weeks’ before each Audition Night, Sojourn Music Administrative Assistant Erika St. Clair sends me the link to a new registration form and the text of an announcement, which lets prospective worship leaders know which songs to learn and what to expect on Audition Night. I promote it in this way:

  • A listing in the church Event Calendar at
  • Regularly scheduled tweets and Facebook updates from @sojournmusic and @sojourn accounts (1-2 per week until one week before audition. About 3 tweets the final week, then another the day of the audition).
  • A listing in the Sojourn Church Sunday Bulletins — a printed bulletin we hand to all church attendees, which includes that day’s sermon notes and announcements.
  • Verbal announcement from the stage on the Sunday before the Audition Night.
  • A notice in the Weekly Email to church members, in each of the final two weeks’ before Audition Night.

Ask Your Team Members To Promote The Pathway

We encourage musicians already on the Sojourn Music team to use social media and face-to-face interactions to let people know about the Audition Night. Each person on the team has their own friends, their own Community Group circle, and their own connections. Also, we have four campuses, so the team members from each respective campus are a great help in reaching church members on the campus-specific level.

When we have auditions coming up, our worship pastors like Mike Cosper and Jamie Barnes promote it from their individual accounts. Many of our worship leaders do as well. Kristen wrote our “How To Prepare For Worship Team Auditions” article here at My Song In The Night, primarily to help our church members.

Don’t Just Promote/Never Stop Promoting The Pathway

What do I mean by this? It’s like I’ve written in articles like Social Media Marketing For Musicians and my E.E.R.I.E. System of Social Media Marketing: you won’t have much success recruiting people (or getting them to buy a product, come to a concert, attend a worship service, serve in a ministry or do anything else) if they never hear from you until you’re asking them to do those things. In short, one of the best ways to promote things is to not just promote things.

More people will want to join your worship team if the team seems valuable to your church. For instance, let’s look at Facebook:

  • Write a blog post about your Sunday set list/liturgy, then link to it on Facebook.
  • Publish Facebook photos of your worship team members, playing and singing.
  • Teach your church members the importance of worship, of gathering together and of singing (through whatever means are at your disposal – classes, a blog, YouTube videos, etc.)
  • If some of your team members are in other bands, or have singer-songwriter careers (whether nationally or in your city), then link to their solo records from time to time. Encourage their gifting, and affirm it publicly.

In Defense Of The Last Bullet Point

Sometimes when I write things like this, I get negative feedback from people online, usually along the lines of: “We shouldn’t puff people up and play on their vanity. They shouldn’t serve to get a pat on the back — they should serve for the glory of God.”

Of course they should serve for the glory of God. Glory and gratitude are different things. Read the salutations and closings in Paul’s epistles. Paul knew how to compliment people “in Christ.” Being a Christian shouldn’t make us less appreciative of others, but more so.

Paul encouraged, celebrated and affirmed people. I bet, from reading his epistles, that those who worked alongside Paul felt loved and appreciated by him. I bet that when they did something Paul found helpful in ministry or even something pleasing to him personally, he gave them a pat on the back, a hug, a kind word. I bet Paul’s friends often said, “That’s a guy who knows how to treat his friends.” “That guys really appreciates his fellow servants.”

Be that kind of person — be that kind of ministry — and you’ll attract others. Will some of them have an unhealthy desire to hear “man’s applause”? Probably. You’re a minister, right? You will have to do some corrective ministry from time to time (and often, you’ll quickly discern who needs to be dealt with this way). But human beings instinctively know that it is good and right to celebrate whatever is positive. It’s built into our psyche by our Creator, who looked on his creation and said, “It is good.” Affirm what is good — it’s an attractive pull that will cause your ministry to grow.

To put it another way: appreciation and affirmation is a double-edged sword because we’re tainted by sin. It’s easy for us to develop an unhealthy desire to receive compliments. But the solution is not to refrain from affirming and showing gratitude to those who serve well. No one wants to serve under a such a leader.

Photo above courtesy Chuck Heeke from Sojourn New Albany (from left: worship leaders Justin Shaffer, Jeremy Quillo)



Rob Still March 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Hey Bobby, great article and strategy! I really appreciate you being intentional to encourage your artists who are out there doing something. Love this mentality- “Affirm what is good — it’s an attractive pull that will cause your ministry to grow.”

How many musician / singers / leaders are involved at Sojourn?

Blessings on ya! Are you going to Killer Tribes this year?

Bobby Gilles March 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm

About 200 people, across all four campuses.

We’d love to go back to Killer Tribes but we couldn’t swing it this year.

Josh August 31, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Hey guys – new comment on an old thread. Curious to know about the auditions in this regard: do you folks come in for their audition only, or do you have the whole group of potential folks there and then begin the audition?

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