How To Coach a Worship Team, Touring as a Worship Leader & More with Shawn Thomas (Podcast Ep. 35)


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In this episode, I talked to Shawn Thomas, worship coach, recording artist, songwriter, mixing and mastering studio owner, plus leader of a worship ministry at his home church. We dive into how to improve your worship team on a musical and spiritual level, church vision and mission, and even touch on recording a live worship album.

Find Shawn:

What If You Don’t Think Your Musical Style “Fits” In Church

You might be surprised at the kind of styles that are appropriate in various churches or other types of services within a specific church. If you’re an accomplished guitarist, don’t assume you can’t use that skill in church. And if your church is fully committed to other instrument types, it’s okay to find a church that would appreciate your skill. Don’t change churches necessarily, but it’s okay to serve on another worship team once in a while.

How Should Someone Start Touring or Guest Worship Leading?

Shawn never set out to tour when he started leading worship, but he found out ways to promote your ministry as he went along. For example, he reached out to churches who had brought in similar artists in the past. Often, they would invite him to come as well.

If you’re a solo artist, you can probably receive offerings and sell merchandise to cover costs and maybe even make a little bit of money for your services. Not having an upfront fee makes it easier for churches to have you come. If you’re a band, you might have to ask for travel costs, but you have more flexibility as a solo artist.

If you plan to travel, do some planning. For instance, how far are you willing to go, how will sound get set up before you get there, where will you stay if you’re staying overnight, and more.

How Do You Coach A Team If They Are “Off” Musically?

Every situation is different, so gauge your group. But no matter what, someone has to be the leader. Set guidelines and expectations for the band. They should know when to play and when not to play.

Should You Use A Worship Team Contract?

You don’t always have to use a contract or have worship team members sign something. But you can. What every worship team should have, though, is a written list of expectations. That helps the worship leader and the worship band members to be aligned on how the group “works”. Having a written document to refer to makes things fair across the board for all team members.

How Should A Worship Team Start  The Process Of Recording A Live Album?

Recording a live album is not like being in a studio. Microphones bleed across to other mics, and there are a lot of variables. You have to think about the equipment very carefully. It’s a big endeavor and one that should be approached with a lot of thought and prayer.

How Do You Spiritually Develop Teams As You Coach And Train Groups?

You should consider your worship team a small group, just like any other small group in the church. So that means you’re checking in with each other throughout the week, praying together outside of worship rehearsal and Sundays, and all the things a small group does.

Have a Bible study time where you look at song lyrics and Bible verses together before service. Sometimes training and conversation comes up mid-rehearsal. Be open to going off the scheduled rehearsal time to check in with each other.

How Should Churches and Worship Teams Find Their Local Target People Group?

There are all sorts of types of people you can choose to try to reach as a church, or even worship ministry. If you try to go after all types of people, you’ll fail at reaching any of them. Find out who God is calling your congregation to reach, and go after them. God will call other churches to reach other types of people. Don’t turn someone away if they don’t fit in your target people group. But at the same time, have some sort of focus as a church.

Where can people find you?

Find more about Shawn and everything he is up to at Additionally, get 60 seconds of advice on worship each Wednesday on Shawn’s Instagram channel.

Learn To Lead Worship Better

Are you looking for a resource that will help you get started leading worship or improving your skills?

Check out the book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days.” It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day handbook that can launch your worship leading journey in as little as two weeks.

>>  Get this valuable resource by clicking here.

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