Four Ways to Improve Your Worship Team by Sunday By Laura Cooke

Four Ways to Improve Your Worship Team by Sunday
By Laura Cooke

Laura Cooke’s travels have taken her to 26 countries and to many states leading worship, teaching on worship, and helping churches. During her years as the Worship and Creative Arts Director at ORU, she not only led campus worship and coordinated bands, but she also trained and sent over 250 students on worship mission trips to 25 countries. Currently, Laura is obtaining a Masters’ Degree in Business and travels independently as a worship consultant, leading worship and helping to train worship teams across the country.

Laura Cooke WorshipIt takes ten miles – ten – to turn a cruise ship around. And while you may not equate your worship team with a giant boat, you cannot implement long-term goals and thoughts of change – ahem, you will not be Hillsong by Sunday… And that is quite alright.

What to do in the gap between now and ideal? Maybe your “right now” is your ideal – and if that’s the case, great! But if not, here are a few thoughts to encourage your team and yourself in the overall experience of corporate worship…. In the most practical of senses.

1. Stop Being Angry at Jesus.

Working with worship teams, based on their collective countenance, I have often wondered who they were angry at during a service. Since worship is all about, directed to, and focused on Jesus – I could only conclude that they must have been angry at Jesus. But why would a worship team be angry at Jesus? It makes no sense!

While you may not know of what I’m speaking- you know what I’m talking about. The angry worship team, the so-called bleeding worship leader. You know, the team who looks mad – all the time, the worship team who begrudgingly lags in to soundcheck and carries their perceived entitlement to any negative attitude they would like to attach to team dynamic all the way through service. While there is great value in approaching the throne of God with honesty – and the Lord never asks us to put on a show of perfection for anyone – there is much encouragement in the word about worshipping with gladness, and the joy and peace that comes from spending time in His presence.

The practicals? Decide as a team – that regardless of the week preferring the time of worship – the whole team will agree to a joyful and happy approach to corporate worship. You will be amazed at the ease of the congregation when the team leading them into the throne room is at ease themselves. Relax worship team – enjoy each other and enjoy Jesus.

2. Lay Off a Little.

There is quite the difference between casting vision and micromanagement. I have worked with many pastors in 10 years of leading worship professionally, and the leader who detaches his personal identity from everyone and everything that happens on the stage is REFRESHING for anyone who works under him. The empowerment for a team to do what you have hired them to do – to lead- and be trusted with the presence of God without a nervous leader meticulously critiquing every move will inspire not only loyalty, but also a whole and healthily functioning team. Nothing being suffocated can breathe properly – and a healthy worship team should worship as easy as breathing.

How is this achieved for you the pastor or the leader of the worship? Cast your vision, instill whatever guidelines are needed, and then trust your team to rise to the occasion. They will never rise higher than the ceiling you set for them – so give them room to excel!

3. Listen a Little Longer.

Nothing creates stress in a worship team like a frustrating soundcheck. Strife can develop QUICKLY when someone feels un-heard, or overlooked. A quick-fix to this solution (note: not a lifetime solution) is to schedule 20 minutes earlier soundcheck, and go one by one, through every instrument – give them a little longer to adjust their sound. Maybe your church has the perfect sound system and balance- but if not – this 20 minutes can cool jets like none other!

4. Lay on a Little…

Gratitude encourages servant-hood. Pop in to your teams soundcheck and verbally acknowledge their commitment to the house, to the team, to worship, to Jesus. You can’t say thank you enough – and a word of gratitude and positive affirmation goes a LONG way with volunteers. They are sacrificing their time for the encouragement of the congregation – you therefore can sacrifice a few minutes of pre-service prep to say a genuine THANK YOU for their commitment!

While these 4 steps may not engage a life-time of satisfaction for you or your team, the absence of attitude and micromanagement, and the presence of feeling understood and heard as well as positive affirmation from leadership will increase the experience by this Sunday! Try it out… and let me know how it goes! Would love to hear from you and learn about your experience… Also, if you come up with any other “quick-fixes” – please share them! Grace & Peace to you all…

To book Laura Cooke (and her band, if desired) for your worship service, special event, or worship training, please visit and fill out the reservation form on the "Contact" page.

To listen to the songs on Laura’s worship album, Zion, please visit and click on “Music.”

To purchase Laura’s worship album, ZION, please visit iTunes at

To purchase physical copies of the album for your church or bookstore: email