Purpose and Vision
It is our belief at Gateway Community Church that the Praise & Worship team is a vital part to the ministry of this body of believers. Members should view their function as ministers of the gospel through music and song. Those who serve on the Praise & Worship Team, therefore, should view their role as a calling from God.
Membership on the Praise Team (in any way) is a position of Christian leadership. The primary function, then, is to lead the congregation in true worship under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24) We emphasize that our purpose and calling is that of leading others into the very presence of the Living God. There is no calling issued for “performances” and “showmanship” – - only true praise and worship. Therefore, members must strive continually through prayer and example to have a pure heart before God and others.
The vision for the Worship Pastor and Senior Pastor is to maintain a musical program of excellence. We desire to have a praise/worship team, including singers and musicians, choirs for special performances, dramas, and live recordings of praise/worship. Special programs for younger children will also be available at times.
Guidelines and Requirements
- It is very important for those who participate in the Praise Team to feel that they are “called, appointed, and anointed” to the ministry at hand.
- Participants must be born-again believers of Christ, and their lifestyle must resemble that of a born-again Christian.
- Participants must be worshipers on and off the platform. Anyone who has difficulty worshiping at home or in the congregation is not ready to be a leader.
Talent and Skill
Although we recognize the importance of a pure heart, the musician and vocalists also need to have enough skill so that they can follow the Holy Spirit. Musicians and vocalists should have open hearts to receive advice, correction, training, and should be committed to becoming proficiently skilled at their ministry. “Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it”. (1 Chronicles 15:22) One does not need to be a professional musician to worship the Lord, but God honors the discipline of additional practice and preparation. “Failing to prepare is preparing for failure.”
- Praise Team members should be actively involved at Gateway and dedicated to Gateway’s vision and to the leadership of its pastors and other leaders. This commitment includes their prayers, regular attendance, and tithes/offerings.
- Those who commit to serving on the praise team are asked to commit to weekly rehearsals and they are expected to do their best to make sure other commitments do not interfere with their ability to serve on the Praise Team on a weekly basis.
- Because we value the importance of family, prospective praise team members should not join the team without the full support of their family.
Attendance and Punctuality
- Attendance and punctuality are very important factors for being a member of the music team.
- Weekly rehearsals are required, and members should arrive ready to work on the designated material.
- Poor attendance and showing up late for rehearsals demonstrate a lack of discipline and respect for the Lord’s ministry.
- Those who are unable to attend rehearsals should not expect to participate in the praise team the following Sunday unless prior arrangements with the worship pastor have been made
- As leaders, members must dress properly. Although we recognize that God does not judge us by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7), we also realize that proper attire adds a level of professionalism to the worship experience. Consequently, members are encouraged to be neat, clean, and appropriately dressed for all services.
- Inappropriate dress for regular worship services includes T-shirts, old jeans, sweats, short skirts, etc. “All the Levites who were musicians . . . stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linens . . . “. (2 Chronicles 5:12)
New Applicants and Waiting Periods
- We constantly seek to expand our praise team. Anyone interested in serving is encouraged to set up an appointment with the worship pastor to discuss the guidelines and expectations presented in this manual. The prospective praise team member will also have a brief and informal audition at this time.
- New applicants to the music team will be required to attend several rehearsals before “taking the platform.” Additional reading may also be required, at the discretion of the church leadership.
Schedule Conflicts, Etc.
If at any time, a member (including visual equipment operators, sound engineers, etc.) cannot attend a service, rehearsal, etc. they must notify the worship pastor in advance if at all possible so that proper adjustments can be made.
Sound Engineers, Visual Equipment Operators, Etc.
- Sound engineers and visual equipment operators are important members of the music ministry.
- Visual equipment operators are asked to arrive early so they can operate the slides while the praise team rehearses. These members should be attentive at all times during the service and ready to make changes “on the fly” where necessary.
- The sound engineers are also asked to arrive early, and help the music team as much as possible. Sound engineers must be alert and responsive, especially during the worship, and should be ready to make adjustments quickly.
* It is important to state that we intend for the information in this manual to serve as a guideline, but we realize that exceptions will occur. These exceptions will be determined by the leadership of Gateway Community Church. It is also important to state that these guidelines apply to those who participate in the music ministry on a regular basis, not those who participate in special programs, special music, etc.
Lastly, open communication is of vital importance. If at any time a member is confused, discouraged, or unhappy with the way things may be happening at a given time, they are encouraged to speak with the worship pastor, senior pastor, or other leadership. The only way to deal with hurt feelings, resentment, confusion, etc. is to bring it out into the open so that the Lord can help us work through it as a team.
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Praise Team Rehearsal
9:00 a.m. – Arrive ready to rehearse