The Power of Encouraging Your Ministry Teams


Sarcasm is the prominent flavor of humor in this day and age. Jokes that basically make people feel and look stupid are the staple of almost every comedian, television show and conversation. In addition, we have the ability to post and tweet anything critical that comes to our mind about one-another I’ve often felt like there’s more emphasis the spiritual gift of “evaluation” than any of the other real spiritual gifts.

However, I have been thinking about how thankful I am for the people that serve in the worship ministry and how to better serve them well and help them flourish. I have written about the parable of the talents and how they can apply to talent management but I wanted to take a slightly different twist. The phrase “well done, good and faithful servant” in Matthew 25 has always been a motivating desire for me. I want to know that I have intentionally used the time, talent and resources that I have been given in a way that makes my Savior proud. 

We should never underestimate the power of those words. If they can have eternal significance it’s important to understand the day in day out ramifications of saying the same thing to the people who work hard in service to Christ and His Church. 

There’s a book called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor that I highly encourage anyone to read. One of the things he talks about is called the Tetris Effect. Basically in a psychological study they observed what happened to people after playing the game Tetris for incredibly long periods of time. What they noticed is that people began to verbalize that they would start seeing shapes and patterns everywhere they looked. They would think about strategies of how everyday items like buildings looked like shapes and fantasized about how they could fit together to score points. Basically they had trained their brains to see patterns.

This same thing happens with encouragement. When we look for opportunities to thank people and tell them well done, we begin to see more things being done well that our brothers and sisters are doing. The opposite is also true. A person who is looking for the errors, flaws and fixes that need to be done they can train themselves to only see those things and completely miss all the good things that are happening.

You get more of what ever you reinforce. If someone works hard and you tell them that you noticed and it meant a lot to you, chances are they will put in the extra time and effort the next time as well. If you immediately point out how something could have been better, then your teammates will most likely do just whats expected and try to fly under the radar or maybe one day just up and quit.
Jason Hatley from has 3 great tips for thanking and encouraging people on your team  I particularly want to do his number 1 which is public/private praise. Basically some people like to be thanked in front of others, while most don’t. So to cover the bases, this is for my team (names have been omitted to avoid embarrassment, but you know who you are!)

  • sound guys for coming in before the rest of the team twice a week and getting the batteries, mics, in-ears, cables, and everything else out, checking and testing lines to make sure everything works. For being the front line face to those who both love or dislike whatever you’re doing behind the soundboard. For coming running when a mic malfunctions or a breaker blows. For making sure that the truth of the lyrics and the power of the music compliment each other with clarity.
  • presentation operators, thanks for helping people sing by making sure that lyrics are displayed quickly and at the right time. For the great camera transitions that allow people watching the service from outside the facility to feel like they’re able to get a great experience even when they’re not able to be present. For keeping your cool when the worship leader makes up their own order or words and when the computer freezes or needs to be rebooted. For sitting behind a booth for hours and listening to the same songs and sermons over and over again and still smiling and encouraging those on the platform.
  • media specialists for getting our sermons, website and social media updated, organized and easily accessible so that hundreds of people are able to hear the gospel, know how to get involved and become part of the Kingdom. For dealing with short timelines and numerous edits and still coming through with excellence. For spending hours creating sermon graphics, tracks, videos, testimonies, lighting cues and stage designs to help immerse people with the truth of who Jesus is and what He’s done for us.
  • Band and Vocalists for putting in the extra hours to listen, take notes and then practice the music before ever setting foot on a platform. Showing up early and setting up keyboards, guitars and other equipment. For continually learning new music, styles and techniques to keep fresh and accessible for those who we are leading. For listening to each other and trying to compliment and give space for each instrument and voice. For putting on display what it looks like to worship holistically with mind, body and soul.
  • Adminstrators for creating charts, scheduling team members, working on tech sheets, updating databases and copyright reporting. For turning in receipts and keeping track of important information. You are the unseen glue that helps keep things running smoothly and enable everyone to serve with ease.
This list is by no means exhaustive because it doesn’t begin to address the great people who create a hospitable environment for members and guests alike with coffee, ushers, parking, food, caring for and teaching our children and students or even preaching.
So to all those who feel beat down by the constant criticism of modern worship, or whatever the flavor of internet activism of the day is, THANK YOU. WELL DONE FAITHFUL SERVANTS!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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