Music Team: Cameron Thornton
1 - Pursue the type of character that others want to be in the presence of.
You don't have to be the most inherently talented muso for others to want to play alongside you and look forward to it. Character goes along way, ask my wife, I’m an ordinary sort. Folk that have all the skills but lack the heart and righteous intent can often be the most difficult to get alongside. So invest in people by pursuing Godly character that will benefit those around you.
So how do you do this and what are some examples…
How - Take time to reflect on your own uniqueness. The specific elements that God has given you or developed in you. You might need to ask the opinion of some close others on this one to help you gain some clarity. The aim is to narrow down exactly what value[s] you bring to the team? Once you have some ideas it’s simple - continue to develop these helpful characters.
Throughout this process it is likely that you will recognise what helpful skills/attributes that you don’t have... pursue these too. You don’t necessarily need to set micro and macro goals and a timeline to achieve them but write down both sides of the process and pass them onto your band leader to create a little momentum.
Next step is to recognise if the things you have noted are attitudes or behaviours.
Once you have worked that out and considered your list, get stuck in but don’t try to bite them all off at once, do this and you will add to Australia’s obesity epidemic. In all seriousness this will usually lead to failure and you will end up feeling worse off than when you began, not ideal. Tackle one virtue at a time. Start with the one you are most excited about or the one you find most challenging. For example, it could be avoiding unhelpful smack talk or something simple like improving your punctuality to demonstrate to the band that you value their time. Both of these are behaviours and are the outworking of an attitude to honour others.
This first essential skill is the long game but it really adds up over time and soon you may be known as the wise one of the group that people want to be like because you have become more like Jesus.
2 – Know your parts.
Anyone can turn up prepared. People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Set time aside to polish your parts. Knowing your parts and how this contributes to the whole is a game changer to the vibe of the practice time, which in turn sets the tone for the whole session, and more than this, the whole service.
Your level of preparation will spill into every person that walks into the doors of the gathering. Put it this way - You wouldn’t put a half-baked effort into a set if you knew you were opening up for Pearl Jam. You would work really hard on your own parts so your band effort was tidy as. Truth is you will probably never open up for Pearl Jam [the legendary band that was a driving force in forming a genre] but you are opening up for the word of the Lord, to prepare the hearts and minds of the crowd that are coming along to meet with God’s people. You are opening up for Jesus!! So don’t be sloppy, don’t discourage the band by not putting the time into your parts, because they always know.
It’s worth noting that some individuals try really hard in their own time and are still not quite up to scratch on game day. In this case, good. At least you are giving it a genuine nudge and with this application you will improve quickly. Others have long weeks, sick kids…etc. And for those that have had a rough week, be honest to your band and get around each other. But don’t use it as or look for excuses if you know within yourself that you could have prepared more effectively.
3 – Seek out the type of tech that will improve your musicianship.
We are all time poor, so use the tech around you to improve your instrument skills. I’m talking apps, pedals, effects and what not. Best part of this is that it is usually interesting or gives the old axe a new edge. So share your findings with your band. Draw others into it and create some buzz. Good vibes lead to more positivity and the catalyst for this could be a simple sample pad or app.
4 – Imitate better musos than you.
The very best athletes have all been coached and aspired to be like their hero’s/heroines. Do the same. Nuff said
5 – Remember that it’s more than a roster and getting through 5 or so songs and rewarding yourself with a beer at 9pm on a Sunday night.
If this is how you are feeling, then I suggest you take a break from the ministry. Because it is no longer a ministry for you right now. If you do take a break, fully debrief it with one of the HBC team to understand why you needed to enable you to leave the door open to returning sometime.
Every week the music teams contributes to the eternal plans of our Lord and King. Don’t underestimate the worth of your role. Don’t sell short the 5 songs and chats in between.
Take the time to properly get to know your band:
Turn up early, leave late, hang out at other times beyond a Sunday or a scheduled church thing. I have played about 50 gigs a year for the past 10 years in a covers band [and originals for all the haters] with the same two dudes. We are very different people [especially the drummer] but our friendship runs deep because we poured into each other not just the music. But it takes the leadership of one to welcome this scene. And they now turn to me when things go south in their lives and it’s a real opportunity to be there for them and offer them Jesus love in action. We can do the same for each other in our church bands.
People vibe from our connectedness from the front. We don’t need to smile into each other’s eyes like Angus and Julia but breeding a culture of unity comes from hang time.
[6 – Buy quality stuff first time].
Don’t go cheap on ordinary music gear. Save up, sacrifice some other unneeded stuff and buy the good stuff straight up [or second hand if it’s still legit quality]. Buying good gear means you will commit to using it, it will last longer, sound better and is easier to sell in the long run if you are drawn to another ministry over time.