Mindset by Carol Dweck is a really interesting book!  The point behind her theory is that some people are wired to accept a challenge for the sake of learning. These types of people have a growth mindset. The challenge, whether they are successful or not, will help them if nothing else but to learn – and in many ways they may even enjoy it.

Fixed mindset, on the other hand, doesn’t want to experience failure. They would rather stick with something they know and do well in order to not be labeled a failure. In fact, they will choose the less challenging path so they can continue to support their own notion of “being good” at whatever it is. A person with a fixed mindset would rather not take a risk at all than look like a failure to the outside world.

Of course, a person can begin to change this about themselves, but it’s not easy.

I wonder if worship teams and ministries can fall into this category. I wonder if it’s why leaders and teams stick with what they know worked years ago. I wonder what it would take for a church body to develop a growth mindset.

I think the Great Commission is one of growth.

Jesus’ invitation to “follow me and become fishers of men” is a growth mindset. It was new stuff. It required some new ways of operating. Those first disciples didn’t know if they could do it, if it would work, or what the challenge fully meant.

The parable of the talents is also a growth mindset parable. The challenge of taking something and working with it to bring increase requires some risk.  The one who was chastised by the master was the one who wouldn’t take risks with what was given to him.

Pastors and church leaders: where are you? Does the challenge to try, learn, fail and keep trying cause you to become stoked or stalled?

How can a worship team develop a growth mindset? Here are six thoughts (below):

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Trust In God’s Power

People – and churches – are terrible at estimating their own abilities and potential. Typically, a growth mindset will be more accurate than a fixed mindset in terms of understanding potential. A worship ministry should trust God’s power and presence with them. The Holy Spirit is at work, Jesus is always with us, the word of God will never fail.  This alone should cause us to move into a growth mindset.

The Church Belongs to Jesus

Thankfully, we don’t own the church. It belongs to Jesus. We are managers, stewards and shepherds of the church, but it’s ultimately God’s. In several different ways throughout scripture, Jesus teaches that those who do not bear fruit are cut off.  We must have a growth mindset as we work and serve on behalf of Jesus in his kingdom.

Put In The Effort

A fixed mindset assumes that you are all you will be, that you can’t change, it’s just who you are. A growth mindset is all about believing you can change. But becoming better requires action and hard work. It requires time. It requires effort. Work to change your own mindset and that of your congregation. [Read: When the leader gets better, everyone wins.]

Know You Can Change

You may listen to or read about all the worship teams who are wildly successful in creativity, engagement, tech and musical ability. But your church may not have those budgets or set up and they certainly don’t have those particular leaders… they have you. Your church isn’t located there, it’s located in your community for this time in history. Don’t wait to get to your next place, change the one you are in now!  Your church is where it is for a reason. You are leading your ministry for this season because you’ve been called. Know you can make a difference.

Ask The Right Question

Don’t ask, “How can we grow?” rather, “What is keeping us from growing?” One role the leader has is to help remove barriers to growth. Often, these barriers can be overcome with some small successes, and invitation to try something new, or anything to do with a heart totally sold out and focused on God’s great love for us. [READ: Growth Barrier? Ask This Question.]

Invite People

On a practical level, how are you inviting people to engage in worship in your church? What are you doing to reach out to the community? Who have you talked with this week?  Who have you invited? Invitations are simple, but staying intentional is backbreaking work – it takes time, diligence and a heart for your church and the potential. Rick Warren once quipped, “It’s easy to grow a church, you just have to get people to show up.”  Lots of internal issues can be solved simply by getting new people involved. Do you need new people in your worship ministry? Invite them.

Join us on The Worship Leader Toolbox Podcast wherever you listen!

Apple | Spotify | Radio Public | Google | Website