The Effective Worship Rehearsal
Featuring John Telman Posted on October 13, 2008
Rehearsals can be a great time of growth in skills and abilities, but they can also be times of frustration. Most worship bands have a wide variety of skill levels in their musicians and singers. The wise band leader/worship leader will recognize this fact and have a strategy to deal with it. The following are some tips to unify the team under the pressures and grow in strength as a team.
For Highly Skilled Musicians and Singers
These people will need challenges. Otherwise, they may become bored and disinterested.
1) Turn their attention to Jesus and not the music. Privately mentor them in their depth of relationship with God.
2) If they have leadership skills, give them opportunities to train others, but be careful to prepare them. To give leadership, they must be guided to serve with patience. Some may not understand why others do not pick up on things as quickly as they did.
3) Privately, give them more music to work on for various church events.
4) Have them search out potential songs for the church. Again, make sure they understand how to consider others' skill levels in their selections.
5) Challenge them to write songs. Tender leadership will be needed to help them with any submissions. They need to understand that not every song will end up sung by the congregation but that should not stop them.
For Growing Musicians and Singers
These people will face different challenges than the skilled ones will. They will want to do better and could get frustrated.
1) Like the skilled ones, keep their focus on Jesus.
2) Be highly patient! Resist telling. Show them how! Be careful not to flaunt your skill. It could get "wow"'s but result in intimidation.
3) Set them up to succeed. Introduce easier songs and then add the more complex. If a song added to your list has a difficult section and a significant portion of the team struggles with it, leave it out initially until you can work it up.
4) Educate your team by examining songs and ministries. Even go to a worship event together. However, avoid making comparisons resulting in unrealistic expectations of your team.
Rehearsals will be positive and enjoyable by all if a spirit of love and affection is felt. A strong leader will have a sensitive eye. He or she will watch and care. People are important. Sundays will come and go but people are precious to God.
The best rehearsal will begin with a recognition of why we meet. Pray and read a verse of scripture that talks about who God is. Continue the rehearsal with an initial song that the band can "nail". Set up the new song(s) with an introduction. You might want to pray for the writer. End the rehearsal with a unifying "we" song.
Though people may come tired after a long day at work, rehearsal can be invigorating. Over the years, I have heard some say, "I can't wait for rehearsal"; "I won't miss rehearsal"; "rehearsal is a highlight of my week!". Instead of a task or a required meeting, rehearsal can be enjoyable and worthwhile!
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