The old 80/20 rule applies here. If you can invest a little time in these three basic aspects of worship ministry, you will find the reward and fruit will far outweigh your investment! These are the three basics you need to do well each week:
>> Good Scheduling
>> Good Charts
>> Great Rehearsals
It may take some effort to get the system going, but once you’ve got some structure, these things will become a natural part of the flow each week!
Scheduling your team in advance is one great step toward effective ministry. If you rotate your team members, you want to give them time to commit and work out their own schedule. By scheduling in advance, you’re building a culture of expectation. You’re helping your team plan ahead and opening up space in the busy lives and calendars to have a chance to rehearse and make it great. Scheduling your team members also requires a personal touch – if you know someone is dealing with a major life issue, give them a bit of a break. Talk with your team and know their stories – are they wanting to serve one time a month? Twice? Three times? There are certain seasons when it’s easier to commit more time and other seasons of life when volunteers have to throttle their involvement. You need to know people enough to help them discern those times. Scheduling well prevents burnout and dissatisfaction.
Chord charts and song flow are crucial ingredients to making the band sound good and have fun at the same time. When you have to try to weed through poorly written chords, it makes it seem like work. Good charts, in the right key, with the right transposing and with the proper flow, will help your team practice on their own to be ready to rehearse together. It will also help prepare the rest of the service – from the sound and lights to the lyric presentation operator. One great thing about good chord charts is that once you’ve done it well, you never have to do it again! It’s worth the investment to do it right the first time. We use PlanningCenterOnline.com to help us with chord charts, keys and scheduling as well.
Running smooth rehearsals helps accomplish several things: 1) lessens the stress on Sundays, 2) it helps build the group in community, 3) it helps create great moments in worship, 4) it helps your team feel comfortable on stage, 5) it allows musicians an opportunity to keep growing in skill and raise their level, and 6) it lessens the hindrances to a worshipping congregation. Our team used to rehearse on Sunday mornings only, and I know several churches that utilize that time slot. However, a midweek rehearsal is really where you begin seeing the benefit. Once you have a culture of your team showing up to rehearse together, so much more can happen musically. You’re able to work on the flow, encourage others to help lead, and make it easier on the sound team and other volunteers. Leaders need to make sure they are utilizing their team’s investment well by running smooth rehearsals. Use your time wisely, be prepared and help your team be the best they can be so you can all help the church sing and worship together in mighty ways!
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