Podcast Episode #161: Training Worship Teams and Musicians with Adam Michel 

Worship pastor Adam Michel talks about stepping into unhealthy church environments, mentoring for the long term, and leading with conviction.

Here are some notes from our very rich conversation:

Unhealthy church family

Lack of organization, administration, personality problems, or leadership issues. Administrative issues cause confusion, but these were easy issues to resolve. Working through leaders' issues looked like having many one on ones and getting to know each other. They have the skills and heart, it’s just some things are misaligned.

A lot of the big unhealthy problems stemmed from a lack of maturity, understanding, and forethought in serving volunteers. 

Leading a ministry with volunteers

When I stepped into a role where I was leading volunteers, I thought I arrived. I would tell volunteers that they were helping “my” ministry. I lacked experience and was saying things that weren’t good. It was only until friends that knew me well met with me, and put me in check. That’s how I learned.

Seeing people grow and change

In my formative years, I was stubborn and had to learn the hard way. Now, I enjoy seeing that in others and helping them from my experience.

It’s one thing to rehearse the group and help them sound good. It’s even better when you teach them how to figure it out on their own; it’s about equipping. Our young people need mentors and people to pour into them. Not just musical, but spiritual.

Mentoring for the longterm

To mentor properly, you have to develop trust. For them to know you have their best interest in mind. Going out for coffee or lunch and not talking shop; really get to know who they are. Mentoring is not an agenda, it’s building relationship.

Criticism, in love and with trust, is like a pruner saying “trust me”. It might not make sense now, but in the next season, they’ll bloom. With every correction, try to teach the why and how behind it which you can’t do that if you don’t have time. Even with criticism, we are building up.

Knowing the subtext of what we sing

To deliver the message of the song, you have to sing with passion and know what you’re singing about. As worship leaders, we need to know what we’re singing so we sing with conviction. It’s ok to be “vanilla singers” since we’re meant to be the bouncing ball in karaoke. 

You want to play skillfully to the Lord, but others are called to make a joyful noise. Maybe you wouldn’t put them on the main vocal but there is a place for them. We are all different parts of the body of Christ. 

Leading with music stands

You need to know what you’re singing so that you’re singing with conviction. Use the confidence monitor, but don’t glue yourself to it. My team plays with charts, but I’m modeling for them what it looks like to play without. All I ask of them is to try.

Kristina Kislyanka leads worship and student ministry at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. Kristina is a member of the Maverick City Music Choir. 

Podcast Episode #161: Training Worship Teams and Musicians with Adam Michel

Login to post comments