Church Communications resources and tips from Justin Dean

Developing More than the Musician

So much of being a leader is about calling the best out of the people with whom we work or serve. As ministry leaders, we have the responsibility to encourage the best out of our people. This includes helping them grow deeper in their spiritual walk with Christ.

It goes without saying that we want our musicians to continually grow, learn, and try new sounds or beats in order to have more tools in their toolbox. But sometimes we forget that?more important than a great sounding guitar player?it?s important to have a guitar player who is growing spiritually and transforming more into the image of Christ.

Spiritual formation is fundamental to our growth as believers. It is here where we get to participate in coming alongside our volunteers in their spiritual journey. Below are some steps we can take to help. We can also lead multi-directionally: down, up, horizontally to our peers, and also to ourselves. ?In other words, we don?t just lead the people who have to listen to us.[quote]We don?t just lead the people who have to listen to us.[/quote]

Developing through Prayer

Every Tuesday morning my team of creatives, producers, and musicians gather to share about our week and pray for one another before we get into the nitty-gritty of our upcoming services. For some of you, you may want to take the first half hour of band practice for prayer. For others, it may be an email thread of prayer requests throughout the week. Regardless of how it looks for you and your team, prayer is a fundamental tool in helping our musicians grow deeper in their spiritual lives.[quote]Prayer is a fundamental tool in helping our musicians grow deeper in their spiritual lives.[/quote]

I have also found that consistently praying together as a team ends up drawing us toward one another, and helps form a more unified and loving team. Our team has become more thoughtful and encouraging of one another. We know each other better because of our times praying. We think of each other more and feel led to pray for our teammates more frequently.

Developing through Practice

A while back, a group of us met every weekday morning at church for 25 minutes and started our day by participating in worship and prayer. This was a spiritual practice for us: setting aside the first half hour of our workday to pray, be still, read from the Bible, and sing together. We used the daily prayers of Shane Claiborne?s, Book of Common Prayer?as our liturgy.

Participating in spiritual practices is one way of helping promote more worshipful thought and theological depth within your group. Other practices you can participate in together are sharing in communion or fasting from something for a common purpose or prayer request.

Practice means to act with intentionality and repetition in order to continue getting better at something. In this case, the practice helps us in our spiritual formation, removing us from stagnancy and pushing us toward growth. In fact, I am a part of a new gathering at our church, which is doing just this on Sunday nights. Check out PracticeTribe?for a glimpse into what spiritual practices can look like as you help your team along in their spiritual journey.[quote]Practice helps us in our spiritual formation, removing us from stagnancy and pushing us toward growth.[/quote]

Developing through Sharing

Sharing comes in a variety of forms. One way of sharing is by participating in a Bible study together. If there is a spiritual leader in your group with wisdom in theological matters, consider asking that person to lead your team through a series of Bible studies for a few weeks. This is an opportunity to share in the Word together by asking questions about passages and growing in knowledge.

About a year ago, we had a series called ?Forward?, and the first few weeks focused on moving forward in our faith. One Tuesday morning we were asked to share about how we move forward in our faith personally. It was almost like a show and tell. People had a variety of different answers for what helps them move forward in their faith. From prayer walks around the city to serving the homeless on Friday nights, I learned so much from hearing how other people grow in their faith. It gave me new tools to continue my spiritual formation.

Another form of sharing comes in confession. Confession requires vulnerability, humility, and trust. When a team is able to confess certain things to one another in order to receive prayer or work out a matter of sin, there is deep reverence in those moments. Something holy happens, and must be respected. These moments of sharing draw a team closer, in a way unlike any other. Confession reminds us of our own humanity, being prone to wander. It brings us together in recognition that we all have struggles. And it cultivates spiritual depth when responded to with love, grace, mercy, and a reminder of God?s forgiveness.

The spiritual vitality of our team members is so important. And what an amazing thing it is to have a front seat to someone?s spiritual formation. So in the same spirit, it?s your turn to share.? What ways have you found helpful to growing your team spiritually? Let us know so we can all learn.

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