As a worship leader, one of the most important things you can do is streamline rehearsal time. There is nothing more frustrating for a worship team than to go to practice after practice, and get nothing accomplished.
In my late teenage years, I participated on a worship team as a vocalist. I can remember going to rehearsal, working on the same song for the fifth time, and the band still wasn’t ready to introduce it to the church.
The vocalists would argue about what part to sing, when most of them didn’t even have the lyrics memorized yet. We would get lost on the roadmap of the song almost every run-through, and everyone was ready to pull their hair out.
Have you ever been in this situation? Well, I have since found the way out.
Step One: Improve Communication
We all know that communication is important. However, it is extremely easy to let communication failure continue week after week.
Ask yourself these three questions to find out how good or bad your communication is as a worship leader.
- Are band members asking for copies of music and lyrics on rehearsal day?
- Are you providing MP3s and chord charts of new songs less than 3 days in advance?
- Do you have band members missing rehearsal because they didn’t know what time it started?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to improve your communication.
I recommend using an online tool, like Planning Center or WorshipTrac, to get your worship team on the same page. This enables you to easily provide chord charts, lyrics and MP3s, and make it all available to your band 24/7.
The worship team can then pull out their phone or computer and have access to everything they need to practice on their own before rehearsal.
You can also schedule each service, giving scheduled team members the opportunity to either accept or decline so you know if they are going to be there or not.
Planning Center can improve your communication tremendously, so don’t be afraid of the learning curve. It will take about 1-3 months for your team to get used to the new system, but it is well worth the time invested.
Step Two: Turn Up the Heat
We all work with volunteers, but this is no excuse for them to be lazy. It only takes one lazy team member to kill the motivation of the rest of the team.
Be very clear that it is expected of every team member to hold their own weight. This means that everyone should learn their own part, on their own time, before rehearsal.
It only takes one lazy worship team member to kill the motivation of the rest of the team. Tweet Quote
Rehearsal is not a time to learn individual parts, but a time to put parts together. It is a time to work out the kinks, and smooth the transitions. A time to work with the sound tech, and pull together a powerful and anointed sound.
If your team members are not learning their part before rehearsal, either you have not provided them with the tools to do so, or you have not communicated the expectation.
You see, I thought that I had clearly communicated this with my band, but week after week, they came to rehearsal unprepared. It wasn’t until I adopted Planning Center, and turned up the heat by only allowing one rehearsal for each new song, that things began to turn around.
Actually, it’s pretty funny how the team responds when they know that a song will be introduced the same week we rehearse it for the first time.
Even when they don’t learn their part before Thursday rehearsal, its like something magical happens on Friday and Saturday, and they show up completely ready for the song on Sunday. I suppose they just don’t want to be embarrassed like they were at rehearsal, when everyone else knew their part.
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from discovering something great.
There are many things that make rehearsal better, and I am still learning myself. However, most of them will be specific to your situation. So, don’t be afraid to step out and try something new. If it doesn’t work, admit it, and then try something else.
You might also enjoy: How to Increase Productivity During Worship Team Practice