Creating a Great Band [Get Beyond Being Musical Roommates]
By Jon Nicol
This is part of a new "workshop" series, Turning Your Team Into a Band.
Turning Your Team Into a Band...I think I’ll get flak for this series title. Having known some caustic/bitter church people (heck, having been one at times) allow me to take a few shots, so they don’t have to:
“We’re not supposed to be a band. We’re supposed to be a ministry.”
“And aren’t we suppose to be a team? C’mon, Nicol. You’ve got a seminar that called “Building the TEAM in Worship Team.”
“What’s next, we set up a booth in our foyer and sell T-shirts with our worship pastor’s face on them?” Umm…maybe, will it buy us the drum enclosure we need?
OK, now that that’s out the way…
Musically speaking, a disturbing number of worship teams don’t function as a band. I’m not even sure what term to use for this kind of musical hodgepodge, but here’s the definition:
“Seven people on the same stage all playing the same song, in the same key at (almost) the same time.”
It’s like roommates versus married lovers.
I was single till I was 27, and I didn’t live at home during college, except for one (long) summer after my junior year. So I know I roommates. Too well.
I had roommates. Suitemates. Apartmentmates. Housemates. As long as we all paid our rent, did our dishes and stayed out of each other’s food, life was tolerable.
When there was conflict, we worked it out, sometimes. But we all had our own space and did our own thing. And if it got really bad, we’d kick someone out (and we did), or got kicked out (and I did), or we’d all walk away (and we did).
But marrying your lover, that’s a different story. Now, two become one. One bed. One flesh. One family. One future. One tax return.
Passion ebbs and flows and takes on different forms. Who we are changes, our roles and goals, our outlook on life.
Why? Because we’ve told this other human being, “You and you alone, no matter what.”
We’ve given ourselves, not just to this other person, but also to this union that’s bigger than the sum of its two parts.
And a good band, whether it comes together for a one-time event, or it tours for 20 years, have some things in common with good marriage:
1. Give and take (but more give)
4. Create intentional space
5. Mutual purpose and direction
6. Great timing & synchronization
9. Always assume the best of the other
11. Embrace (healthy) conflict
12. HAVE FUN!
So a great band should be like a marriage? Yeah, but without some things, like the joint tax filing and baby-making stuff.
But what I’ve just described, taken out of a musical context, is also the workings of a great team. At the end of the day, you can’t really separate the two. But each side of the coin requires specific development to move to great.
So in this series, we’ll be diving more into the practical of turning your team into a band over the next weeks and months. In the meantime, here are a few things I’d love to hear from you:
Does the description of “seven people on the same stage playing the same song…” sound familiar with your past (or current) situation. How did you deal with it?
In your opinion, what are some of the marks a great band?
March 14, 2012Tweet