Most worship teams will make time to get together to play through the songs before they lead a worship service. The questions is: Is your team coming together and practicing or are they coming together and rehearsing?

Let’s look at a brief scenario of a worship team gathering to work on the songs together:

Everyone is there on time, they set up the stage, they pray as a team, they soundcheck, and now they are ready to start playing. They start the first song and it is a disaster. The drummer isn’t sure of the tempo, the electric guitarist doesn’t know his intro, the bassist is playing the wrong notes, and the keyboardist is playing on an accordion setting. Now this may be a bit extreme, but similar situations like this happen all the time on worship teams. Here is the problem: the worship team doesn’t know the difference between practice and rehearsal.

Here are two things every worship team member needs to know:

Practice Is What We Do To Prepare For Rehearsal

We practice at home on our own time. Practice is choppy because we start and stop constantly, working through the difficult parts of the song as we go. This is important to get out of the way before the band comes together because if just one person on the team doesn’t know their part, it can slow down a rehearsal tremendously. Every person on a worship team, regardless of their skill level, should be practicing their part throughout the week to some degree. We want to always look for ways that we can grow in our gifting and stretch ourselves in our times of personal practice.

Rehearsal Is What We Do To Prepare For The Service

After each individual has practiced and learned their part to the best of their ability on their own time, they bring their parts to rehearsal and put it all together as a team. We want to use our rehearsal time blending as a team, not practicing individually. Rehearsal is a “run-through” of how the service will flow, so we should aim to make it as seamless as possible; which is very achievable if we all know our parts. When everyone knows their parts in rehearsal, it also serves the critical purpose of the band practicing actually leading worship, although no other people are yet present. If they can get into a space where they are worshipping God as a band without distractions and imagining themselves leading others in worship, they will be prepared for when the service starts.

Ultimately, if we commit to practicing by ourselves, our rehearsals will be more timely and focused on practicing leading worship. In this we will exemplify what it means to be excellent in our preparation and execution both individually and as a team.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Has there been a time in your life where you were unprepared? Explain.
  4. Rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on how well you prepare each time you play.
  5. Why is it important to be prepared when you are working with others?
  6. Describe the perfect worship rehearsal. How do you think a team could get to that point?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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