There are several key elements that go into putting together a good rehearsal. Below are five areas that are important to consider in your worship planning process.
1. Prayer – OH SO IMPORTANT! If you aren’t spending time in prayer then stop leading. Get your heart bare and open before God, you’ll be amazed at what HE will do. There is not a lot to say here, we have to be in prayer!
2. Songs – Picking songs can and should be a delicate thing. Knowing your audience is important, who are you leading, when and where you are leading are important influencers in our song choices. For instance I lead worship next weekend at my home church in a set of services that are very much cutting edge. So I pick songs that make sense for my audience. Probably won’t be doing “As the deer” in this service. GREAT SONG, but wouldn’t be appropriate for that setting. However, there are some other older songs that might fit this service and picking a set of songs that are older for familiarity sake is good, but adding some newer material is good as well. My general rule of thumb is to add one new song in a set list, sometimes as many as two. I don’t want to overwhelm my audience with unfamiliar material and distract from their worship experience. Our job as worship leaders is to create space for all to worship HIM. If we are clogging up the space with too many unknowns then we aren’t leading people to a good worship experience.
3. Musicians – We are very fortunate in my home church to have many musicians to choose from. But I want to address matters of the heart here. I believe we need to be musicians second and worshippers first. We cannot have hidden agendas, a secret mission of our own. We as worship leaders/musicians need to be in close communication with our leadership and we must be subject to their direction. That’s a hard thing sometimes, but I believe its biblical for us to do so. Spend time with your leaders, go to lunch with them, hang with them, be honest and transparent with them. Tell them when you disagree (RESPECTFULLY) and be open to instruction. Your not always right and neither are they, but wrestle with truth and honesty and see what happens. God will honor that!
4. Devotion – We always spend time, not much — usually just about ten minutes or so to talk about God. A lot of time its something from the Psalms. Sometimes it very serious and sometimes its really funny. But the point of the devotional time is to get ourselves in a mindset of worshipping God. Many of us come right from work to rehearsal and a time to just chill and focus is always a good thing.
5. Rehearsal – Our rehearsals are anywhere from 1 – 2 hours. We use Planning Center Online which allows us to learn the material before we get to the actual rehearsal itself. Coming prepared is a must in our worship ministry. If you don’t come prepared, it will show and you won’t last long if you continue to come unprepared. My idea of a rehearsal is not to learn songs from scratch, but to have a dressed rehearsal if you will. It’s a time to actually worship our God. To work on our transitions between songs, and to hear from God regarding the upcoming services. Some of the best transitions have come because we were letting God lead us because we were worshipping HIM. Also, sometimes God will give me direction as to what to say between songs in a transition time.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this worship planning tip!