The Worship Ministry Handbook
Thank you for your interest in the Cross Kingdom Worship Ministry. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with this handbook. Our prayer is that it brings clarity as you prayerfully consider joining this vital ministry.
Our Foundation for Worship
Worshiping in Spirit
At Cross Kingdom, corporate worship is highly participatory. We invite our people to worship with passion and energy. We don’t want to be lazy or lethargic when it comes to worship. Instead, we want to be enthusiastic and demonstrative. Scripture allows for a great deal of freedom in worship (clapping, kneeling, dancing, raising hands, etc.), but we should never lose sight of the object of our worship: we worship God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Emotions are an expected part of worship, but should never be manipulated or fabricated. Healthy and appropriate expressions of emotion are part of what it means to worship genuinely in the Spirit.
Worshiping in Truth
The Bible is the ultimate authority when it comes to worship. At Cross Kingdom, we strive to worship in truth: the truth of who God is as revealed in Scripture. It is our aim and intention that every lyric that is sung, every word spoken, and every art form expressed is biblically sound and supported. We also look to God’s Word to discern how God desires to be worshiped rather than follow the words of man or the latest cultural fad.
Worshiping in Wholeness
Finally, we are committed to being “true worshipers,” worshiping in spirit and in truth together. If we want to commune with God, we must use all of our being to connect with all that He is. When we are not diligent, truth can become a truth-only exercise. To engage with God, that truth must flow through our total person, into our emotions and will. It is the whole-person communion that God desires.
At Cross Kingdom, we aim to deliver a high-impact service that helps people connect with God in deep and meaningful ways and facilitates authentic life change. We pray that as we worship through song, we would offer God the praise and glory He inherently deserves, respond to His character and promises that He reveals to us in His Word, and encourage one another to attain a greater understanding and awe of our God. This is a high calling. It should never be taken lightly or gone about haphazardly. Achieving a service like this takes a great deal of forethought, dedication, prayerful planning, and hard work, but the reward is great, and we get to be a part of it!
It is a great privilege to be a part of this ministry and takes a significant commitment. I want you to go into this with eyes wide open. It is important to count the cost before committing. More than musical ability, this ministry is founded on servant leaders whom the Lord has specifically called; individuals who have abandoned their egos and desire to humbly serve the church in any capacity.
As you prayerfully consider joining the Cross Kingdom Worship Ministry, please understand that it is a high calling to lead others in musical worship, a calling that we take very seriously before the Lord. In order to determine the best fit for each applicant, we require all to go through an audition and interview process.
This Worship Ministry Handbook has been developed to give productive structure so that God would be honored and that you would reach the full potential of your calling as a worship leader. These guidelines are not meant to be legalistic, but rather to clearly communicate what is expected of those who are part of the ministry.
Basic Participation Guidelines
- Worship Ministry members must be committed disciples of Jesus Christ, live a lifestyle of worship, and display an ongoing, growing relationship with Him.
- Worship Ministry members must be committed to a Kingdom mindset that seeks to serve our region with humility and honor.
- Worship Ministry members must interview and audition before being permitted to serve on the team. This process will be organized and coordinated by the Worship Director.
- Worship Ministry members must demonstrate community involvement and interest within Cross Kingdom.
- Be on Time - All Team Members are expected to arrive with enough time to set up their gear before practice starts unless a prior arrangement has been worked out with the Worship Leader. As a people of honor, we choose to intentionally respect each other's time and investment. Practicing with an absent team member puts the rest of the band at a disadvantage, and it’s not as much fun.
- Sound Check - Before rehearsal begins, a brief sound check is conducted on each instrument and every mic. Volume levels, EQ, and processing are dialed in over the front-of-house speakers. This portion of our rehearsal is led by the audio tech who directs the proceedings from the sound booth. Communication will be done through in-ear monitors. During this time, follow the audio tech's directions and do not play unless directed to do so. Please respect this time.
- Come Prepared - All Team Members are expected to arrive adequately prepared for rehearsal and ready to be a contributing member of a team, both in ability and attitude. You should be familiar with the song and know your parts before arriving to rehearsal.
- Mark Your Music - Come to practice with a pen or pencil to mark down all structural elements, dynamics, and changes in the setlist. Sometimes writing it out is what ultimately locks it into your mind.
- Late or Absent - All musicians scheduled are required to be at all rehearsals. If you will be unexpectedly late or absent, contact the Worship Leader as soon as possible.
- Personal Comfort Breaks - If you need to use the restroom or grab a drink during practice, we are happy to oblige, but please wait until the team has completed the current song being practiced. Walking off stage and disappearing while the rest of the team is practicing is not only distracting but borderline rude. Please let the worship leader know when you need to take a break.
- Minimize Disruptions - During rehearsals, minimize distractions, irrelevant side conversations, and extraneous playing to maximize our team rehearsal time.
- Equipment - Team members are expected to set up their own equipment, microphones, and in-ear monitors. Our audio tech is available to help as needed but needs to be available to the entire team. If you are unsure of how to set up or tear down, feel free to ask for help.
- Earphones (IEMs) - Team members are provided with in-ear-monitors. but it is recommended to purchase your own. Inexpensive earbuds are not recommended as they do not produce the proper frequencies for a good mix. IEMs start at around $100 and the old adage is true; you get what you pay for. Recommended brands: Shure | 64 Audio | Ultimate Ears | Westone
- Worship Auditions - All individuals seeking to be a part of the Cross Kingdom Worship Ministry will need to go through the audition process. Visit the Audition Details page for more information.
- Worship Interview - Upon completing the audition process, applicants will meet with the Worship Director to conduct a one-on-one interview.
- Children at Rehearsal - We encourage you to leave your kids at home during rehearsal but understand if this is not possible. If you bring your kids, please express to them the importance of honoring the facilities and being respectful of the rehearsal process. It helps if you bring something to occupy them. Also, please communicate that all equipment on the stage is off-limits unless permission has expressly been granted.
- Nursing Mothers - Nursing mothers are welcome to serve with us in our services. Be sure to plan as best as you can to nurse between rehearsals and services in our provided cry room.
- Planning Center Online - Chord Charts and rehearsal media will be made available on Thursdays, 10 days before the scheduled Sunday in Planning Center. Knowing how busy everyone is, we aim to give enough time for each Team Member to adequately prepare. Worship Leaders are responsible for providing charts. Team Members are responsible for their preparation. Digital rehearsal files can be viewed online or downloaded. Audio files can be streamed on iOS or Android through the Planning Center app.
- Planning Center Requests - All requests should be responded to in a timely manner. It is better to accept a request that you are pretty sure about and, then, decline at a later date than to not respond to it until you know for sure one way or another. Once accepted, you may log into Planning Center through the link provided in the request email. There, you will be able to see the order of service, and rehearsal and service times, download and print the chord charts, and play audio or video of the scheduled songs.
- Special Accommodations - Team members who do not have sufficient access to the rehearsal files may request hard copies from the Worship Leader.
- Song Changes - In the event a song is changed or added to the plan, the Worship Leader will notify the team of the change. The Worship Leader will have reasonable expectations of the team’s level of preparation of newly added songs.
- Dress Intentionally - We have no dress code, but we do have a request: be thoughtful and remember that we are serving the room when we are on stage.
- Leaving and Entering the Stage - Please enter and exit from the stage sides to disrupt the service as little as possible. When entering the stage during prayer, please do so quietly.
- Be Supportive - Please give attention to whoever is presenting on stage. It is very distracting to the congregation to be trying to pay attention to someone addressing them when there is a musician who is tuned out, talking or practicing some line in the background.
- Music Memorization - Though this is not currently mandatory, this will greatly increase your ability to worship and connect with one another and the congregation. Commit to it one Sunday. You’ll never want to go back!
- Keep Visual Contact with the Worship Leader - At times the Worship Leader will need to give visual cues to the team.
- Tempo - If we are not using a click, by default, the drummer will be the primary tempo keeper. Unless specified otherwise, follow the drums for tempo.
- Mistakes - Play with confidence and intention, and if you make a mistake, don't worry about it. Press forward like it didn't happen. I know it can feel like a big deal in the moment, but it just isn't. You are among family. Jesus regularly works through us in spite of our mistakes and imperfections.
- Keep Tidy - Please help keep the stage free of extra equipment and wires, cups, wrappers, etc. Water and your caffeine vehicle of choice are welcome, but please make sure that they are not in a distracting vessel, in a publicly visible place, or somewhere that it could be easily spilled.
- Don’t Forget to Worship - This is why we are here. Not only do we have the privilege of worshiping through music and song, we have the privilege of serving the room and helping to bring breakthrough in the atmosphere. What you do affects the the room. Pursue excellence, play and sing with your spirit, heart, soul and strength. Memorize your music. Remove the hurdles and roadblocks that keep you from being fully engaged. We, as worshipers, need to get out of our comfort zone and bring energy, passion and courage to the stage.
- Practice Hospitality - While off the stage, greeting people, pitching in where you see a need, and engaging in church body life is encouraged. We want to be worshipers both on and off of stage.
- Come to Church - Though our Sunday mornings are not the main vehicle for personal discipleship, it is a beautiful part of the life of our church for corporate worship, teaching, vision casting, etc. Whether you are scheduled to serve or not, you are encouraged to regularly attend as a part of the church family.
- Debriefing - As we grow, we will be including times of debriefing and evaluating our worship sets. During this time the positives should be highlighted and celebrated. Improvements and changes should be communicated, discussed, and implemented. The intent is to improve the service where needed in order to bring Jesus and the congregation our best efforts. Suggestions and critiques ought to be communicated openly and honestly, wrapped in humility and love. Regular evaluation improves quality both for you and for the congregation. We all want to grow.
- Hang Out - Take time to get to know your teammates and their families. Building these relationships will help both on and off the stage.
- Contribute - If you have ideas to improve our ministry, speak up! If you have a creative idea that you would like to try, make a suggestion! We welcome productive ideas and suggestions.
- Recruit - As stated above, we are always looking for talented servants to worship on our team. If you know someone who you think would be a good fit, please have them contact the Director of Worship.
- Replacements - If for some reason you are unable to follow through with your Team commitment, it is your responsibility to contact the Worship Leader as early as possible and offer to help find a replacement.
- Blackout Dates - Take time each quarter and as necessary to update your "Blackout Dates" in Planning Center. This helps the Worship Leaders adequately plan ahead and built their teams accordingly.