Communication is vital to form a Good Worship Team – Worship Central Conference Malaysia

Pastor Stew Mcllrath

30 Mac 2015 by Joycelyn Loh CM –


Pastor Anna Hellebronth started the session of the “Team Dynamics and The Band” workshop in Worship Central Conference Malaysia on 21st of March, 2015 at the Alpha Hub, Bukit Bintang.

She shared about the four characteristics that make a good worship leader. Firstly, a good worship leader honors people’s time. Secondly, good worship leaders have a vision for their team members. “Without vision, the people perished.” Thirdly, good leaders harness a caring relationship with their members. “We have to know more about the people in our team.” And finally, good leaders develop a culture that rests on the identity of who we are not what we do.


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Pastor Anna Hellebronth


“Everyone needs encouragement. You will never overdo it. And encouragement doesn’t mean being nice all the time,” said Anna. “Of course, do not be afraid with giving feedbacks as well. If we are not giving feedback, we are not giving others chances to grow.” Start with encouraging others before giving constructive feedback.

In terms of technique, Pr. Anna shared that rehearsal is not a time to learn new songs but for the band to get the arrangement together. Hence, each member should learn and master their part before coming to the rehearsal.

“If you want to see the fruit, preparation is important,” stressed Pr. Anna. For an effective rehearsal, reference tracks can be sent to the band beforehand and a clear goal can be stated for the rehearsal.


Pastor Anna Hellebronth
Pastor Anna Hellebronth


Pastor Stew Mcllrath continued by sharing about four key elements in arranging music based on the book of Psalms. Firstly, the drummer and the bassist have to work closely to create the groove in the band, which is the backbone of the song. Secondly, we need to harmonize the song from its chords progression. Thirdly, we want to create the hook of a song or a motive, which is a signature line or riff that brings people to immediately recognize the song. Lastly, we want to form the dynamicity of a song. In church worship, we normally would use either linear, whereby the whole team build the dynamic together, or terrace, whereby the team build the dynamic by layers with different instruments.


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Pastor Stew Mcllrath


“Remember! Less is more. Less is always more,” said Pastor Stew. “But communication comes hand-in-hand. Worship leaders will need to implement signals within your team. A good worship team needs to have communication.”

In terms of transitions between songs, Pr. Stew defined a transition as the process or theory of changing from one stage or condition. And the transition of worship is basically the change from one song to another. Little did we know, transition actually place a big part on the worship flow. Pr. Stew and the band demonstrated the importance of transition by playing two songs with a transition in between.


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Demonstration by the band


Joe Loy wrapped up the workshop with his sharing about being a good music director. A music director plays the role in assisting the worship leader to lead the band with the direction and flow of worship. A music director helps to communicate to the band members, to ensure clarity and synchrony.

“I will tell you that it is not easy at the beginning but it is worth a try,” said Joe who remember misreading the worship leader’s instruction and giving the wrong instruction to the band. “But we learn in a constructive way.”


Joe Loy
Joe Loy


The workshop session ended with a quick and short Q&A session.

“Will the worship leader be distracted by the in-ear monitor (IEM) of the music director’s voice and directing?”

Anna shared that worship leader may get distracted at first, but communication is vital in the worship session. Joe also shared that IEM would help the band to communicate with the sound engineer during worship. Stew added that as we get used to the IEM, we would be able to adapt to hearing it without distraction.


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Joe Loy


How do we bring in new musicians into the team?”

Joe shared that a band is usually made out of people from different background. To bring in new musicians into the band, we need to be simple on arrangement and set a short-term goal for the musician. The music director should also use simpler and directive words in directing new musicians.


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