Does Your Worship Team Have Height Requirements?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My wife Chrissy and I love Disney World. No, we are obsessed with Disney World. Don’t judge us, because we all have issues! One of the things that make the Disney parks so magical to us are the rides. Who doesn’t love Peter Pan’s Flight or Pirates of the Caribbean? Our kids love the rides, but there are some they can’t go on quite yet. Most rides have a height requirement and if they’re not tall enough, they can’t ride. Sure, sometimes it’s hard to tell if they’re tall enough or not, but most of the time it’s pretty black and white. 

I believe that in building a worship team, there must be height requirements. Let me phrase that differently. There must be standards that you expect the members of your team to meet and uphold. Whether those standards include having a dress code or encouraging a certain level of musical excellence or maintaining a daily devotional life, standards help to strengthen your team and keep everyone on the same page. They help to promote personal growth in the lives of those on your team. They also help to produce the best possible sound of worship for the incredible God we’re doing all this for.

Having and maintaining standards involves hard work. In God’s word, we see all kinds of examples of hard work leading to good things. Proverbs 12:14, Proverbs 14:23 and Ecclesiastes 3:13 all speak of the fruit that comes from hard work. There’s Nehemiah who labored hard with many others to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and in the book of Exodus, the children of Israel worked hard to construct the tabernacle according to God-given standards. Then there’s God Himself, who worked for six days to create the entire universe and continues to work today on our behalf for His glory.

With all that said, I know that every church is different. I can’t tell you exactly what your standards should be, but I can tell you what they should look like. Here are five characteristics that your team standards should represent:


They Need To Make Sense

 Just like height requirements, your team standards need to make sense for your team and your church. No one would be able to go on a ride with a ten-foot height requirement! On the flip side, if the height requirement was too low, some people might get in line that shouldn’t be riding. Adjust your standards to correlate with the size of your church and the musical competency of your team.


They Need To Be Thoroughly Communicated

Disney always makes sure you can easily see and access their ride height requirements. In the same way, you can’t expect your team members to read your mind when it comes to standards. Find ways to effectively communicate them. Whether you have a printed standards guide or it’s by word of mouth, your team needs clarity on every single thing you expect from them.


They Need To Be Enforced In Love

If Disney employees decided to not bother with the height requirements and just let anyone on, that would defeat the purpose. Standards don’t work if you don’t hold your team accountable to them, but you should always enforce them through a lens of grace, love, and understanding. One of the most powerful things that has positively affected the way I lead my team is the practice of putting myself in their shoes.


They Need To Be Followed By You

This goes without saying, but if you yourself are not following your own standards, don’t expect anyone else to. Your team needs to see you living out your standards if you’re to have buy-in from them. Let’s be honest, hypocrisy doesn’t make a good leadership quality.


They Need To Have Room For Exceptions

Like I mentioned in the opening paragraph, sometimes it’s hard for a Disney employee to tell if someone meets the ride height requirements or not. Be ready for exceptions to the rule along the way because there always will be. At the same time, have concrete reasons as to why you’re making the exception and be willing to back it up to your team. Finally, be careful as to how many you make. Making a few well thought-out exceptions? That’s having grace. Making them all the time? That’s called lowering your standards.


One thing I forgot to mention is that although the height requirements at Disney will stay the same, my children will not. One day they’ll grow tall enough to ride! Although you never want to lower your standards, your goal should be to help people meet them. It might be encouraging them to invest into their gift with music lessons, but still letting them come to rehearsals. It might be taking the time to meet with them weekly until they’re ready for Sundays. Whatever the case, always take the approach of helping people meet the standards, while keeping the standards high.

Do your worship team standards look like this? Do you need to create standards for your team? Wherever you are at in the journey, it’s never too late to start. I hope these tips can help you and your team as you strive to bring an excellent sound of worship before Jesus!



Nate Meyst



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