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"If you can win with people - you can win. Our people skills determine our potential success" - John Maxwell

After the better part of 10 years of working with and managing creative people, not to mention being one myself, I have made enough mistakes to learn a few things about how to bring out the best in artistic people.

Anyone considering music ministry needs to first have a passion for people. If your passion for music outweighs your capacity for loving, managing and shepherding people, vocational church ministry will not be a fulfilling role for you long-term. Music may be the common unifying expression you share with creative types, but it is your ability to love, train, and 'do life' with them that will secure any longevity you experience in music ministry.

Here are some things worth considering as you seek to realize and release the potential of your creative team:

1. Let them own it. As a control freak, I spent too many years pressing for my own way and agenda. When you let others take ownership of a service, a set, or a production you win with people because they gain a sense of ownership of what you are doing. The results are worth it. People prepare for, play better, and promote your vision when you share your vision. Take the extra time to let your creative team in on your planning meetings. Learn to ask the question "What do you think?" and be willing to take the risk of doing things differently than you would.

2. Create a 'safe' environment. It goes without saying that creative people are exactly that - creative. They thrive on their ability to create, construct and convey their talent. If your vision or philosophy of ministry does not leave ample room for creative people to create, you will eventually squelch the creative spirit in your group and run the risk of making them feel like your puppets. You win with people when they feel like they have 'space' to create and a voice to contribute. Effective music ministers not only let their creative types own the ministry, they add value to them by creating a safe place for them to express their thoughts and ideas.

3. Your people are your identity. We spend far too much energy cultivating and forging a creative identity based on trends and style instead of embracing the identity God has given us in the people He's provided. You win with people when you add value to their gifts and expressions and use them as the foundation for your style. So many churches are having an identity crisis when it comes to their music ministry. We find out who we are when we release people to be who they are. The church is the people, not a carbon-copy of some other worship team you saw on YouTube. Be who you are and let your 'style' reflect the people God has given you.

4. Timing is everything. Artistic people tend to be more sensitive than others - they often don't have a reputation

Travis Doucette




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