Take Your Worship Band on Tour

This Sunday I’m taking a team of musicians on tour to lead worship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, TN. My good friend Randy is the lead pastor there. He is a visionary with great heart who is loving his people to the next level. He invited us several months ago to be guest worship leaders. I’m leaving behind a great team of musicians to lead at Chase Valley.

tour bus '74 by LordKhan

Be Missional with your Worship Ministry

Many folks who serve on worship teams only serve within their local communities. This is an opportunity for the Chase Valley worship arts ministry to serve beyond the 4 walls  of our building. It’s an opportunity to serve our Christian brothers and sisters and learn from them as well. Randy and I have planned a lunch after worship where both of our teams can interact and talk worship to share and learn from each other.

My Goal was to Go

From the very start my goal at Chase Valley was to equip and empower other leaders. I wanted to see how quickly I could get OFF-stage by empowering others to lead. When I frist showed up my time estimates on accomplishing this goal were 2-3 years. I would have never guessed it would be a real possibility within 9 months. I can’t take credit here – this is only happening because leaders have stepped up in our community. Our home team drummer hasn’t played on a worship team for many years, but came “out of retirement” for this gig.

I am crazy blessed – there are few churches our size that have enough musicians for 2 full worship teams. (I know of several churches that have a much larger attendance but a much smaller worship team.) I got lucky when God put me at Chase Valley.

A bit of Awkward Timing

The announcement went public yesterday that I’ll be going bi-vocational. It’s poor timing because I will absent from Chase Valley when most of the body hears the news.  I made some strategic decisions to prepare for this, but ultimately I’ll be relying on my team to lead off stage as well as on. I’ve prepped key leaders with the necessary information and I trust that they will be starting positive conversations in my absence.

I’m crazy excited for this weekend – both for the trip to Trinity and the awesome worship that will take place at Chase Valley. This post is a part of Creative Chaos.

Have you ever had a guest worship leader on a Sunday morning?

Have you ever gone out to do guest worship somewhere?

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11 Responses to “Take Your Worship Band on Tour”


  1. 1 Chris Martin September 18, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I’ve been a guest leader many times during my time leading worship. I feel like it is a really great opportunity to get a feel for what other churches are doing and how other congregations worship. It also gives the “normal” team at that church a rest. We all know what having a week off to sit in the pews can do for one’s soul.

  2. 2 Russ Hutto September 18, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Guest worship leader: Once in a while, but not so much in our environment. I would be more open to planning something like that on a special night of worship.

    I have lead elsewhere, but I don’t stray far from home too often.

    I appreciate your perspective on this, because mine is pretty different. I feel like we should really be ministering within the four walls as a team, and by that I mean:

    1) leading worship (obvious)
    2) leading small groups
    3) participating in ministry to those who are needy within our family
    4) greeting/meeting those guests who do come through our doors
    5) making an effort to mentor and coach others

    while at the same time:

    1) training and equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry
    2) participating in ministry to those who are needy outside of our family
    3) participating in the “arts” community outside of the four walls in our city
    4) participating in missional work like you mentioned.

    I think it’s an inward/outward balance that is good.

    I guess for me I feel like I shouldn’t even consider “taking it on the road” if at any time the team isn’t fulfilling key roles in the backyard.

  3. 3 Jeremy Killian September 18, 2008 at 11:49 am

    I have led worship at several youth events, and I found that my band played with more energy and passion than they ahd ever played before. It is amazing what a shift in venue can do for your band.

  4. 4 Mike September 18, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    We have guest teams in every once in a while. One of our (best) musicians is away at college, and plays on a travel worship team.

    We do not play at other churches on Sunday as a team, because we don’t want to leave the church without musicians. We do do a lot of out-of-the-building ministries, though – street meetings, worship services in the park or at the beach, encounter weekends. So we do play outside of the church quite a bit.

    We also do combine our team with one from another church at the annual meetings of our fellowship. The Super Worship Team is always a lot of fun, and is a great way to learn new songs.

  5. 5 jan owen September 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    We have had a guest worship leader come in maybe once when I was away years ago. I have our students lead, or my other leaders lead quite often but I’ve never had a budget to compensate someone else coming in. I have had guest worship leaders for my team come in quite often – Dean Lusk has led our team at some of our events several time.

    I have led worship in the Bahamas with some of my team when we went on a mission trip and that was wonderful. To be honest, that’s the only time I’ve ever been asked to lead somewhere else except at some retreats.

  6. 6 Billy Chia September 18, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Russ,
    Nice points! Yeah it’s a balance of not neglecting either side. I like the idea of getting “key roles” set up and then not worrying about the periphery stuff – just go! If we wait until everything is perfect we’ll never be missional.

    Jan,
    Mission trip to the Bahamas huh? Sounds like a sweet place to go! (My wife did a mission trip to Jamaica and talks about how nice it was to go there even if it was to serve and not for vacation.)

  7. 7 jimkastkeat September 19, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Does going from one Christian community to another really constitute as “missional”?

    I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I don’t necessarily know if I would frame it as “missional”.

  8. 8 Billy Chia September 19, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Jim,
    I don’t know man, your constraints on the language seem pretty tight. Are we theologians or artists? 😉

  9. 9 dorothy (vicar of vibe) September 19, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Actually, I think it would be nice.
    Currently we have multiple people for various instruments on our worship team, except for our violinist and worship leader. We are able to handle having the violinist take off a couple Sundays a month. But our worship leader has been going non-stop for some time now. And she does multiple events through out church, including working with the youth band(s). And she never complains.
    She is in the process of encouraging and training a couple new worship leaders.
    It would be nice to see her be able to just relax one Sunday.
    Oh, I’m not on the worship team. We serve together on the creative team.
    Just my 2 cents.

  10. 10 Dennis Baird January 25, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    From you comment above “I don’t know man, your constraints on the language seem pretty tight. Are we theologians or artists”.

    I believe as worship leaders we certainly need to have our theology straight. According to Brenton Brown many people will remember the songs we sing long after the sermons that they’ve heard. They actually learn theology from the worship songs that we select and lead. That being said I play in a worship band that regularly leads at other churches In the past month we’ve led worship at two other churches in the metro Atlanta area. I would consider that part of it more as being a servant… serving the body of Christ. I’ve also played in prisons, youth detention centers, and non-Church events. I would consider those to be missional. Either way it is a great experience for your team especially if they keep a servant’s heart througout.

  11. 11 Billy Chia January 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Dennis,
    I was just poking fun at Jim for being a little closed-minded. (That’s a quote from his blog where he’s got a lot of other post about being more open.)


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