Whether a church plant or a campus one of the challenges of starting a new congregation is putting together a music team. I saw this from Chris Surratt (my brother) on how to build a band and thought I’d pass it along:
We planted Seacoast Church in Greenville, SC just over 17 months ago. I have people all the time, after experiencing one of our services, ask me all how we put together such an awesome band in that short of time (and it is truly one of the best bands I have ever experienced in a church setting!). I usually just tell them that we offer half-off tattoos for new musicians, but I do think there are a few things that you can do to start strong with a band:
1. Find the connector. In every city, there is someone who knows all of the good musicians in town. He may not be the greatest musician or singer, but he has the gift of connecting them together. When we moved to Greenville to plant the church, we knew 2 people. I knew right away that I would have to get someone to help me find a band.
2. Don’t be afraid to pay. At least at the beginning, you will probably need to pay a few musicians to get started. This does not have to bust your budget. Most guys do not gig on Sunday mornings, so a small amount of money is a bonus for them. All of the guys that we paid at the beginning are now solid members of our church, and a few them won’t accept money for playing now.
3. Let them be musicians. All of us know that musicians are different. I know this because I am one! I have seen so many churches recruit guys and then try to conform them into what they think are proper church musicians. And then they ask me how we manage to have so many in our church! We happen to have guys who like to rock, so our music reflects that. Let your style of music be dictated by who you have, not by who you want to be. Once you get that reputation around town, you will attract more musicians. Good musicians attract good musicians. That is the stage we are at right now. It seems like every week I am introduced to a “new” hot guitar player in our church!
4. Buy a decent sound system. Good musicians love playing in a setting that does it right. That will be money that is well invested for the guys on stage – as well as the people in the audience. We have big speakers and big subs. We like to bounce baby!
5. Don’t forget to pray. We have purposely prayed for a new bass player before. No need is too small for our God. Actually, this should be #1. Nothing will happen without it!
If you are a multi-site church or church planter how do you build your worship team in the beginning?