Sundays come around surprisingly often! If you are leading a worship team that leads weekly, you know the fast pace of planning, prep, arranging, organizing, rehearsing, creating and pinch-hitting that goes into nearly each week. Here are some ways to help set your team up for success on a regular basis.
Focus on Jesus
Leading worship isn’t a new modern thing, but something that has been happening since God initiated a covenant with people. We must help our team and the church understand this whole idea of worship is bigger than any of us, any of our ministries or any of our churches. Worship is mystical, in many ways, and Jesus is the ultimate worship leader. If we put our focus on the music, the band or the stage, we’re missing it. All those things are there to focus on Jesus. Modern worship leaders are usually equated with musicians and modern worship with songs, but worship leading comes in many forms. Anytime we are helping people focus on and give praise to Jesus, we are leading worship.
Sunday is game day for ministry leaders in the church. Though you may have services at other times, Sundays are still the prime time that people resonate with and think about attending worship. Sunday mornings are still the largest, most popular time slot for worship attendance and the prime times are between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Worship teams should love Sundays – be prepared, get a good night’s sleep and just see how God will use your team during worship!
Pray With and For Your Team
Don’t miss the sacred opportunity to pray with your team before and after each rehearsal and before worship on Sundays. As the worship leader, you also need to pray for your team during the week.
Congregational worship songs have a ratio of about 18 to 1. For every one time a congregation sings a song, the worship team has done it about 18 times. No wonder we get tired of songs. Be sure to remember that though the band might think we have sung it too much, there’s a good chance the congregation is just getting into it. However, thinking of something fresh your team can do – a new arrangement, a new instrument, a guest instrumentalist, etc. will help provide the energy needed for weekly excellence.
Back To The Basics
Each week, we try to plan something that brings a sigh of relief. An old favorite song, a hymn, or something else with which the congregation is familiar, can help round out the time together. It might be a song, a special piece we did a a while back, and now we’re doing it again. On a day when you’re stretching your team with a more difficult song, you can also put in some basic song that will happen well either way. Insert a “classic” component each week.
One of the best ways to set your team up for success on Sunday is advance preparation. Know the music, the chords and the arrangements, as much as possible, early enough so people can practice. Advance prep isn’t always easy or fun, but it’s a loving act on the part of the leader. Delegate what you can of this, carve out time in your schedule and pray that God’s spirit will use your advance preparation in helping to lead your church.
A good rehearsal will do wonders for your team on Sunday. There is a direct correlation between the Sunday stress level and the effectiveness of the mid week rehearsal. Encourage your people to practice alone and rehearse together. Then do your best to begin and end rehearsal on time, keep the songs moving, practice transitions between songs and be encouraging with your team. Think of your rehearsal like a contract between you and the team.
Our current Wednesday Rehearsal Schedule looks like this:
6:45 pm – tech set up
7:15 pm – band arrives to plug in and set up
7:30 pm – circle prayer
7:45 pm – begin rehearsal with a quick monitor check, then move through songs.
8:45 pm – end promptly, wrap up and head home.
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