Worship Leading and Planning

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The Six Must-Have Elements of a Team Scheduling System

The Six Must-Have Elements of a Team Scheduling System

By Jon Nicol   |  June 6, 2018

Let me give you an ulcer: You’ve just been asked to lead a worship ministry full of people who

  • Routinely "no-show" at rehearsals.
  • Give late-notice call-offs.
  • Don’t bother finding a replacement.
  • Don’t respond to scheduling requests.
  • Have availability issues. (Like, “I only can be scheduled every 3rd Sunday that falls immediately after a 2nd Saturday, and only in odd-numbered months...")
  • Require you to scramble for at least one last-minute replacement weekly.

A team with this much dysfunction is more common than you think. I’m amazed at what some worship leaders put up with from their team members. But even if your team only has a fraction of the above infractions, you still have some very real commitment issues.

It’s why you need a fantastic scheduling process. In fact, if you get it right, you can raise the commitment level of your team. More on that in a second.

[Video] How To Serve Your Team With Great Charts

[Video] How To Serve Your Team With Great Charts

By Brendan Prout   |  May 25, 2017

Want to make killer charts? Here's how...

How to Love Your Worship Songs (Even If You Hate Them)

How to Love Your Worship Songs (Even If You Hate Them)

By Jon Nicol   |  January 5, 2017

Every few months, I hear this from a worship team member:

“Omigosh—we’re doing this song again!?” Yes. Yes, we are.

I have to regularly remind my team (and myself) of this truth: When we start getting sick of a song, that’s just about the time the congregation is catching on. Between personal practice, rehearsals, soundchecks and multiple services, we sing and play these songs 10 - 20x more often than the average Joe or Jane in our congregations.

So that puts us in a predicament: We can continually introduce new songs to keep things fresh for us on the worship team. Or, we can stick with the same rotation of songs week after week and month after month (year after year), so the congregation knows them well.

How Do We Become More Honest In Worship?

How Do We Become More Honest In Worship?

By Jon Nicol   |  June 27, 2016

Giving voice to where your congregation is really at...

Six Sound-Related Terms That You Might Be Messing Up

Six Sound-Related Terms That You Might Be Messing Up

By Dusty Wallace   |  May 27, 2016

I Don't Think That Means What You Think It Means

You ever feel like your audio engineer has no idea what you’re talking about? Chances are, your audio engineer feels the same about you from time to time. That happens a lot when we mix-up definitions of often-used audio terms. It’s pretty inconceivable. (Yes…I had to make the Princess Bride joke. You’re welcome.)

Here are six terms (grouped in sets) that we get crisscrossed:

Define Loud: Three Things To Consider Before Turning It Down

Define Loud: Three Things To Consider Before Turning It Down

By Dusty Wallace   |  April 22, 2016

I don’t know if there is a single, more irritating critique to a worship leader or audio engineer than the “too loud” comment.

It’s just too loud.
Why does it have to be so loud?
It hurts my ears!
Do you think God can’t hear us or something?

Blah.

Now, here’s the problem with loud complaints. There is no universal standard for loud.

Let me give you a personal example…

A

A "Freak Out" Moment That Kept Me From Leading Worship This Past Sunday

By Jon Nicol   |  February 25, 2016

OK, I can’t NOT tell you this story that happened just this past Sunday. Here it is:

We often use the last five minutes of our pre-service time to play a new song that’s about to be introduced into the rotation.

(It’s more for the band to get comfortable with the song than the congregation. Let’s face it, most of the congregation won't arrive for another 15 minutes anyway.)

As the second service was about to begin, my three-year-old daughter, Cora, came into the auditorium.

She had been playing out with her older siblings and their friends while my wife manned a women’s ministry event sign-up between services. But she must’ve seen me on stage and decided to check it out. So she found a seat about six rows back from the front and sat down.

Four Simple Habits That Can Transform Your Rehearsal (Before It Even Starts)

Four Simple Habits That Can Transform Your Rehearsal (Before It Even Starts)

By Jon Nicol   |  December 2, 2015

Ever had a rehearsal tank?

I have.

I won’t bore you with the story right now. Just suffice it to say that most anything that could go wrong did. (Except an earthquake. I can thankfully say we didn't have a massive earthquake at that rehearsal.)

Doing a post-mortem on that rehearsal, and others like it, I can point to several factors that made things go sideways. But inevitably, I find that often it’s what didn’t happen BEFORE the rehearsal that contributed to the mess.

I’ve learned that four pre-rehearsal habits can make a big difference. They can redeem a sub-par rehearsal from completely tanking. And they can also elevate a good rehearsal into a great one.

10 Roles You Probably Didn't Sign Up For When You Became A Worship Leader

10 Roles You Probably Didn't Sign Up For When You Became A Worship Leader

By Jon Nicol   |  May 26, 2015

The secondary roles of worship ministry that can chew up your time...

Worship Service Planning: Five Rules of Flow

Worship Service Planning: Five Rules of Flow

By Jon Nicol   |  April 1, 2015

Bumps

Do any of these words/phrases describe moments of your worship service?

  • Bumpy
  • Choppy
  • Awkward Pauses
  • Unintended Silence
  • Confusion
8 Ways to Avoid the Capo Prayer

8 Ways to Avoid the Capo Prayer

By Jon Nicol   |  February 2, 2015

Are you guilty of this prayer?

How Music Theory Can Create A Worship Moment

How Music Theory Can Create A Worship Moment

By Jon Nicol   |  January 19, 2015

What chord do you use when you want to linger for a moment in worship?

[Video] An Overlooked Key To Great Preparation

[Video] An Overlooked Key To Great Preparation

By Jon Nicol   |  January 16, 2015

Great preparation isn't just about practice and rehearsal...

5 Reasons That New Song Tanked

5 Reasons That New Song Tanked

By Jon Nicol   |  January 12, 2015

When your congregation is looking at you like a deer-in-headlights...

How To Mess Up Worship (And Blame Others For It)

How To Mess Up Worship (And Blame Others For It)

By Jon Nicol   |  January 5, 2015

Ever planned one of those worship moments that SHOULD have been awesome?

[Video] How to Deal with an Overcrowded Monitor Mix

[Video] How to Deal with an Overcrowded Monitor Mix

By Jon Nicol   |  June 24, 2014

"I can't hear myself!" How do you deal with an overcrowded monitor mix?

7 Summer Tips for Worship Leaders

7 Summer Tips for Worship Leaders

By Jon Nicol   |  May 30, 2014

Seven ways to take advantage of the summer months...

When the Worship Leader Leaves the Congregation Hanging

When the Worship Leader Leaves the Congregation Hanging

By Jon Nicol   |  April 15, 2014

Four ways to keep the congregation singing...

5 Killer Distractions In Worship

5 Killer Distractions In Worship

By Jon Nicol   |  April 2, 2014

When good elements get in the way of great worship...

Should All Songs Point to the Pulpit?

Should All Songs Point to the Pulpit?

By Jon Nicol   |  March 26, 2014

An open letter to senior pastors...

5 Ways to Raise the Quality of Worship in a Smaller Church

5 Ways to Raise the Quality of Worship in a Smaller Church

By Jon Nicol   |  March 6, 2014

What I learned when I tried to make a Hillsong out of a molehill...

Why Won't This New Song Catch On?

Why Won't This New Song Catch On?

By Jon Nicol   |  February 24, 2014

A worship leader shares his struggle, "It seems to me as of late that any new song we introduce never catches on..."

What Pixar Taught Me About Worship Leading

What Pixar Taught Me About Worship Leading

By Jon Nicol   |  February 17, 2014

What John Lasseter said that is also true about great worship leading...

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