After personal preparation and planning, the worship leader now has is the responsibility of running a productive and effective rehearsal. Everything you did while planning at home will be put into practice at your rehearsal. Your rehearsal will most likely be on a different day than the service, so it should be time well spent. Here are six things to prioritize at your rehearsals:
Make time a priority
As the leader, you want to really make sure that you lead by example in the area of timeliness. If you are consistently late or not ready to go by the time you set, then your team will follow. Set a time that you want to start and end by and stick to it. This will help the rehearsal be more productive and efficient. Create a culture of timeliness with your worship team.
Check in with your team
Take five to ten minutes to talk with your team, see how they are doing, and pray for them. Always remind your team why they are there and be intentional to encourage and build them up. This time at the beginning will set the tone for the rest of your rehearsal.
After you have prayed and talked with your team, you want to sound-check each person individually and then as a team. The sound tech should check the gain structure and level of the instrument but not get too caught up with making everything perfect this point, so try not to spend a whole lot of time on this. While you are rehearsing songs the sound person will be tweaking things, so focus on everyone being in the system and they can hear what they need to hear.
Rehearse each song
Play through each song individually as if it was the service and practice leading worship, not just leading the song. Once you are done, talk about it and point out any areas that need more work on the second time through. Giving your team the song arrangement before even starting the song can help things be more efficient, especially if you deviate from the recording order. Set the expectation that rehearsal is a time to rehearse the songs and practice leading worship, not a time to practice the songs or learn your part individually. Now, some parts in the song may need to be reviewed and looked at more closely, which is fine, but consider making it a goal to play through each song at least once without stopping before moving on.
After you have finished playing each song, ask yourself these questions:
- How was the tempo and rhythm of the song? Was the song the right speed and was everyone playing and singing on the right beat?
- How were the dynamics? Was the song loud and soft in the right places? Did the song get louder or softer when it was supposed to?
- How was the intonation? Was everyone singing and playing in tune?
- How was the team blending? Was your team playing what they needed to play? Were the parts fitting together, or were they sticking out?
Work on transitions
After playing through songs individually, work on any transitions that you have planned. Transitions help tie the set together, as well as eliminate any awkward breaks in the worship set. Make sure each person on the team is aware of how the transition is going to work, and that it is executed well. Transitions need to be rehearsed just as the songs are rehearsed.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Describe what it would look like to have the perfect worship rehearsal. Now, describe what it would look like to have the worst worship rehearsal. What are the key differences between the two?
- What are some traits of a good worship rehearsal?
- In your opinion, what is the most important responsibility listed above? Why?
- Do you feel equipped enough to lead others through a rehearsal? Why or why not?
- Are there any other responsibilities that you feel should be added to this list?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.