How to Attract and Retain Great Musicians

March 27, 2012 in Featured, Worship Team

I get asked all the time, “how do you find such great musicians.” And while my answers have always been straight forward and to-the-point, I’m still disappointed to see their reaction to my answers:

  1.  Be Great!  Greatness attracts greatness. If you’re a mediocre leader or musician, chances are the great players will not want to be on your team. Ok, ok. So you’re not great, but still need solid musicians. Fine, call people you know who are great at what they do.  Don’t know anyone like that?  Then hit the social trail and tell everyone in the whole wide world that you have a need and want the best of the best to audition. It’s more time consuming than a great reference, but may be your only shot at this point.
  2. Take Care of Your Musicians! This one is a no brainer, yet the second most rejected piece of advice I give on this subject. Musicians are typically “different” than most others on a church staff. And typically the lowest paid as well. The LEAST you can do to help compensate them for their time is to provide three simple  staples: Food, Water, Rest.  You’ll be surprised how eager musicians become to serve with you on a full stomach and a rested body. At every rehearsal, we feed our team. And we feed them WELL!  Not just pizza or sub sandwiches, but Chicken or Steak, Mashed potatoes or Mac and Cheese, green beans or Corn. I’m talking, a Southern heart-attack-on-a-plate meal! We eat for thirty minutes, chat about the music a little and then rehearse. Talk about getting your team there on time? This will help!
  3. Pay them!  By the way, THIS is the #1 most-rejected piece of advice I give. But you pay your pastor, your youth director, your janitor! Do you expect more of a commitment from the unrewarded? You get what you give. “Musician” is typically the one position that  requires a high-level, single-minded skill set. Yet, many expect them to offer those skills for free in the name of The Lord.  God wants YOU to be fair to everyone on your ministry team. He also wants you to reach for excellence.

By implementing one or all of these steps, you increase your chances of finding, retaining and multiplying great musicians for your church. Talk about these in your next staff meeting and let me know how it goes! Until then, if you need a leader, musician or singer for a worship service, All Praise Ministries can help. We know a lot of GREAT players and singers for hire. But if you ever want to use them again, you’d better treat them well.