I used to think that in order to develop healthy community on my team, I not only had to host a weekly potluck, but take responsibility for being the center of attention at all times.

Now, as one with a more introverted personality, that seemed like it was never going to happen. I am not a “life-of-the-party” kind of guy. My wife now calls me a “trained extrovert.”

Can anyone relate?

To be clear, I am not saying it is okay as the leader to use a more reserved personality as an excuse to sit in the corner while your team fellowships on their own. It is important to take part and lead the best you can during these times.

WORSHIP LEADERS: Don’t wait for the talkative, extroverted person on your team to establish that culture – you set the tone. Click To Tweet

As the worship leader, make a point of being the culture-setter on your team. Take the initiative to establish the environment that you want for your team. Don’t wait for the talkative, extroverted person to establish that culture – you set the tone. You have the power to lead by example and set a standard of honor and respect where everyone feels safe and comfortable to open up and share.

I have also realized that instead of putting all of the focus on that once-a-week small group time as my one opportunity to develop community, I can also utilize my band practice, Bible study, singer practice, briefings, debriefings, and sound-check times to further develop relationship and community with my team. For example, it is not uncommon for me to dedicate an entire briefing to talking about how people are doing personally. I don’t do this every time, but I try to do it on a regular basis.

You have the power to lead by example and set a standard of honor and respect where everyone on your team feels safe and comfortable to open up and share. Click To Tweet

My Journey with Community

In my early days of leading worship, I messed up horribly in this area because I had so many wrong ideas about the subject. \

For example, I rarely took the time to invest in the hearts of the people on my team and really get to know them. For me, my worship team was focused on worship, prayer, and going somewhere together in the Word and in the Spirit. I meant well, but I was so busy trying to do the first commandment well (loving God), that I didn’t realize that I was neglecting the second commandment (loving others) with the very group of people I was doing the first commandment with.

It sounds crazy, but it’s true.

If you focus only on building your ministry, prayer room, or even your church, without seeing people as valuable individuals, you are in danger of burning out everyone around you. Click To Tweet

Slowly, over time, I began to see that what I was doing, though well-intentioned, was not the full picture of what the Lord wanted for me as a leader or for my worship team as a whole. I needed to be investing in people and building them up in a tangible way. As I started making time for that, I saw my team thrive in a brand-new way. If you focus strictly on building your team, your ministry, your prayer room, or even your church, without seeing people as valuable individuals, you are in danger of burning out everyone around you. Build people. The rest will follow.

As I said before, leading worship was mostly a job to me back then. What we did on stage during worship was ultimately what mattered to me. Again, this is such a tricky thing, because I wasn’t just trying to perform on stage. I had a genuine hunger for God. I was worshipping Him and genuinly wanted others to as well. I was just so locked into that role that I couldn’t see beyond it.

In my early years of leading my mindset, coupled with the fear of getting too “off-topic,” made me unapproachable and even sometimes rude to my team. Click To Tweet

My mindset, coupled with the fear of getting too “off topic,” made me unapproachable and somewhat rude to my team at times. I left the community on our team up to chance. I assumed that community would naturally happen and that the team did not need me to facilitate it. If they all wanted to go out for coffee after a set, they could go. No problem. I had “more important” things to do. I didn’t see the value of building them up. Instead of trying to find a healthy balance between doing the job of leading worship and pursuing healthy community, I simply avoided any kind of community or relationship at all with my team.

Over time, I learned that people actually want to see their team members as friends and not just co-workers. I may give some effort for a boss or a fellow employee, but I will give exponentially more effort for a friend who I know cares about me even outside of the context of the team. People go the extra mile for those they care about.

Can you relate to this? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Neist Point, Isle of Skye. Check out more of his work here.


I’m Justin Rizzo. I’m a worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist. I want to help you achieve your highest potential and walk out with confidence everything you’ve been made for.









2 comments

  1. Norman E Peterson

    Very much needed focus’ for the leaders. If possible, on some briefs or debriefs to include fellowship and feelings about the sound with the “guy in the booth” Our teams are small and do not have the intensity of many sets per week as the GPR experiences. What about communicating and fellowship with other teams or sound techs?

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