We all know that preparation has to precede good presentation.

If your presentation isn’t clicking well, then you need to take a few steps back to see where the process leading up to the presentation is failing you. [Here’s one good process to look at – 5 D’s of Worship Ministry]

One job of the worship leader is to help make sure the preparation is happening well, and here are five ideas for maximizing it!

Standing Meeting

Do you have regularly set meeting with your pastor or others on the planning team to talk through the order, flow and plan for worship? Do you have a regular system for checking in with your team? Does your calendar reflect an intentional time of preparation? It’s amazing how fruitful you will be when you have deadlines for music, planning and organization AND the accountability of meeting with someone else to make it happen.

Intentional Rehearsal

A well-prepared and efficiently run rehearsal honors everyone – the team, the church, and the ministry goals. If you are haphazard during rehearsal, it’s going to spill over into ineffective leadership and presentation when the church assembles. Have the tech ready, have the chords charts spruced up, begin and end with prayer and stay disciplined in your start and end time. If you take ten minutes out of rehearsal to figure out a little detail – tech, music or otherwise – you haven’t just wasted ten minutes, you’ve wasted ten times the number of people in your team! If you have eight people there, you have just used up one hour and twenty minutes that could have been invested! When you’re serving with volunteers, you must guard their time and maximize the effectiveness of their efforts. Keep building the culture of practice at home rehearsal together. And don’t forget, rehearsal is a contract — there are times when you need to make a last-minute change. But when you do, apologize to your team because you just broke the rehearsal contract for that week. Use that very sparingly.

Well Documented

Documentation may not be your gift, but you either need to learn it or delegate it. Here are some things you want to be documented: 1) How to get involved in the worship ministry- write out the steps, 2) The rehearsal flow 3) The weekend serving schedule 4) Expectations for your team members – dress code, social media, etc. 5) Your vision for the ministry in three years and anything else you can think of. You also want well-documented plans for worship – notes for flow, order, transitions. These are the details that may not seem fun, but have a big impact on Sunday morning!

Forced Creativity

Forced creativity is almost an oxymoron for creative people! You want to wait until inspiration hits, but there are ways to create conditions for it to hit earlier than later! As a creative thinker, I also always want to reserve the right to throw something out there anywhere on the timeline… but as the world of worship grows, your last minute creative ideas just aren’t going to have the punch, unless you’re going to do all the work and make it happen. These days, planning teams must be ahead of the game because pulling off really creative components in worship requires preparation time, advance planning, and others! Work hard to change your thinking… set deadlines for creative components, and think ahead. Trust that God is at work way in advance in your heart and life! Spend time in prayer about various things coming up. Set up times when you make yourself sit down to try to be creative. Doesn’t sound cool, but that’s a gift you’re giving to your church – forced creativity. [To get you started, here are some ways to come up with new ideas]. One last thought about forced creativity is in relation to people who serve on your team. When you see someone with gifts in a particular area, invite them to use their gifts! Find a place for them to serve! Build a culture of “giving things a try!” and see what happens together!

Constant Communication

Stay in touch with your team! Even the simplest of reminders can spur on connections and a feeling of belonging in your team. Update people of changes, song keys, big Sundays coming up, etc. Make sure people are scheduled in a timely manner and you keep others in the loop. Constant communication among your team will be the glue that keeps people growing, serving and enjoying it for the long haul!

And don’t forget to pray for your church and ministry. Call your people to pray and serve with a humble heart! As we’ve mentioned before, we often will list out the practical components of worship ministry leadership, but without desperate prayer and a humble heart for serving in God’s kingdom, the leadership will be hollow. This reliance on Jesus in our midst is foundational to all the other advice, suggestions and thoughts in this blog!