We all love momentum. It just feels right. Things are happening, the team is growing, productivity is flowing. But what do you do when it's not there? When you're stuck in a rut?
First, let's talk about the purpose of momentum. Momentum is movement. Motion. The science of picking up speed.
I remember when I had some momentum on my skateboard as a child, sliding down the largest hill in my neighborhood. I had incredible momentum, but it was stupid. Because I fell. And rolled. And rolled some more. And cried. And it hurt. I made a decision that day to avoid such momentum for the rest of my life.
Of course, you don't want that kind of momentum in your team. Momentum that hurts, damages and hinders the purposes of God.
Just because you're busy doesn't mean you have momentum. Busy-ness does not equal progress.
You could be busy on a vision that doesn't integrate with your lead pastor.
The schedule may be full of activities, but you're not actually making disciples.
You could introduce a slew of new songs, but not reflect on if they're actually working.
Here's my point: Focus on a momentum that pleases God and serves the church.
5 Ways to Develop Momentum
I'm amazed by how many worship leaders settle into a routine and just ride it out. Not much thought is given to discipleship and how to move beyond picking songs and setlists.
Sure, songs are important. But there's so much more.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Challenge People: It might be that your team isn't challenged enough, both spiritually or musically. People are just dialing in a routine. Find a challenge for your team and specific challenges for individuals. Help your lead guitarist improve their tone. Meet early with a musician who is struggling. Debrief with your team about what God did in the services. Without challenge, people lose interest.
2. Sing the Right Songs: Sing the songs that provide descriptive imagery of Jesus. Leave people immersed in the Savior. There's no wonder "What a Beautiful Name" has done so well. It fires people up because it's all about Jesus, the name above all names. Write the songs that spotlight the Savior. Find the songs that showcase His perfection. A well-placed new song in the midst of a familiar set.
It could also be you've lost some momentum in corporate worship because you're doing too many new songs. There's nothing for people to grab onto because it's too unfamiliar. It's not that they don't want to; it's that they can't catch up to all the new.
3. Get Organized: Momentum is usually hindered because of a lack of organization and planning. It's hard to foresee the future and be 10 steps ahead of your team if you're operating from weekend to weekend. Plan one day a week where you look ahead, update Planning Center, communicate with people and plan team events.
4. Respect Your Team: Nobody sets out to be a slave driver. But if we don't appreciate our volunteers or make them feel valued, people will lose heart. Honor people. Lavish encouragement. Make them feel the importance of their role, no matter how small.
5. Always Be Growing: Never slow down on your recruiting. Hold auditions. Invite new people to take part. There's something life-giving about having a growing team of new worship leaders and musicians. It's healthy. It helps everyone avoid being possessive about their role.
If you apply these points, you just might start attracting the best kind of people as well—talented, servant-hearted, church-loving, kingdom-minded.
How do you maintain momentum, keeping main thing the main thing?
I'd love to hear some of your strategies.
David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This article originally appeared at davidsantistevan.com.
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