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.
Want to make killer charts? Here's how...
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.
Giving voice to where your congregation is really at...
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:
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?
Now, here’s the problem with loud complaints. There is no universal standard for loud.
Let me give you a personal example…
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.
Ever had a rehearsal tank?
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.
The secondary roles of worship ministry that can chew up your time...
Do any of these words/phrases describe moments of your worship service?
- Awkward Pauses
- Unintended Silence
Are you guilty of this prayer?
What chord do you use when you want to linger for a moment in worship?
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A worship leader shares his struggle, "It seems to me as of late that any new song we introduce never catches on..."
What John Lasseter said that is also true about great worship leading...