Five Simple Rehearsal Ground Rules

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Rehearsals are contracts.

You’re combining a group of musicians and tech folks with a list of songs, a series of transitions and some various impromptu arrangements and putting it all down in concrete for your weekend worship. That’s why rehearsals are so important.

There are many ways to have and lead these time slots, but here are five basic rehearsal ground rules for any worship team:

Be on time.

This common courtesy is important. When you’re punctual, it helps the rest of the group feel like they are important. It also helps rehearsal go smoothly from the start. An added benefit is time to connect before the rehearsal. It’s good to visit and talk with team members before the evening begins.

Be prepared.

Practice on your own, rehearse together. Listen to the music, memorize if you need to, and in general be prepared. The rehearsal is only but a few precious moments in everyone’s schedule – so you want to be ready.

Be helpful.

There’s always something to do when the worship team meets up for rehearsal – moving a keyboard, changing batteries, finding a guitar stand or whatever. Get your stuff set up and then try to be helpful. What else is needed? How can I help?

Be edifying.

Anybody can be sarcastic. It takes a pro team to be edifying and uplifting. Encouragement can take a worship band a long way. Celebrate the good things, encourage your team members and lift up the group. You’ll then earn the right to speak up when something needs to be changed or improved.

Stop playing.

One key component to the rehearsal is the conversation, instruction and questions in between songs. If someone is still playing their instrument, it’s not easy to discuss things. I know it’s a hard habit to break – I’m a culprit myself. But, one great ground rule is to stop playing when the music stops. On a side note, this also applies to the time frame before a worship service begins. We don’t need noodling, tinkering or jamming as people are arriving.