Small is beautiful. And so are people.

A guest post from Matt McChlery

Matt leads a team of musicians based in a church community in East Anglia, UK. Here are some things he has learnt about growing a team in a smaller church context. All the things he touches on here are relevant no matter what size our team or community is and many of the principles extend far beyond music and worship.

Be careful how you define success

Seek out what success looks like to God. We can get so side-tracked with trying to build numbers or reflect the culture around us that we risk losing sight of true success. Ask yourself, specifically, what does success look like within your context?

Build the people you lead

I have discovered the role of being a leader is more about building the people you lead - encouraging them and discipling them — than it is about learning which chord progression to use next. I’ve learnt to put people before the programme.

Don’t be blinded by bright lights!

How helpful is it to you, your ministry or your church community if you constantly compare yourself to what others are doing? Rather, concentrate on what and who you do have and use it to the best of your ability. Or you may miss what God is trying to do with/ through you.

Stretch but don’t break

This applies as much to the team you work with as it does the people you are leading in worship. Taking the latter, by way of example, help your congregation to engage with the material you sing (and other elements you bring to worship!). This may mean keeping some of the older, more familiar songs the congregation knows and loves. In smaller contexts, introducing new material might take longer, especially if the songs were originally written for mega-church contexts; do it gently and sensitively and be prepared to drop it if it does not work.

Share your burdens (& your break throughs!)

It can be really beneficial to team up with other leaders. Build relationship with people outside your context who perhaps can sympathise with your struggles and encourage you. Be careful not to use these relationships to gossip but rather to find solutions together, support each other in prayer and spur each other on.