How to Do More with Less – 5 Big Ideas for Smaller Congregations

Hillsong Worship says bringing big creativity to smaller services is always a challenge.

Have you ever found yourself saying, “We can’t do that”...

“if only we had more people/resources.”

“we don’t have enough budget.”

…”that would never work here.”

Bringing big creativity to smaller services is always a challenge. You might think that you don’t have enough people, resources, budget, etc. to achieve what you envision… if so, then you’re just like us!  As our Pastor Brian always says, “We’ll always have more vision than resources!

People often assume that in our worship team at Hillsong Church, these problems don’t exist and every weekend looks like a Hillsong Conference or album recording. We have incredible services and events in our larger campuses every week, and these run alongside many smaller services that carry the same heart and culture on a different scale. Like most worship teams, the challenge we face every week is how to bring thriving creativity and powerful worship to our church services, with much less resources than in a congregation of thousands. Fortunately, this challenge often becomes the breeding ground for ingenuity and resourcefulness.

So what does that look like? We definitely don’t have all the answers, but here are a few practical strategies that might be helpful for you and your team!

1. Work with what you have

What’s in your hand right now? 

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents, and teaches us the importance of doing the best we have with what we’ve been given.

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.” (Matt 25:21 ESV)

Looking to larger teams as an example is a great way to set goals and stretch, but there are times when smaller churches simply don’t have the same resources, so the final outcome will look a bit different. It’s in these times that you must consider what’s in your hand at that moment. For example, your team might not have any keyboard players, but you might have a great cellist or violinist. You might not have any electric guitarists, but you might have an incredible banjo player.

All this to say, your smaller team doesn’t need to look exactly the same as a larger one to carry the same level of excellence. When we allow creativity to overcome our desire to simply copy, we can shape unique, God-breathed services that outwork His specific purpose for each of our teams. Take a look at your own team. What are its strengths? Begin to build on those strengths and you will grow a stronger team. It sounds simple, but it is so easy to overlook areas that could be built on because we are trying to have exactly the same look and feel as another team.

Your team is unique, as is any other team. Allow God to work through youruniqueness to build a team that best serves your congregation.

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