Few things frustrate volunteer musicians more than arriving to rehearsal on time – only to spend an hour or more waiting for the worship leader to find, copy, and organize music. It’s even worse when the music has wrong/misplaced chords, missing verses, wrong keys, etc. This not only leads to long (way too long) rehearsals, but to volunteers who are reluctant to commit any time to serving on the worship team since their time doesn’t seem to be valued.
I try hard to have the music printed out, correct, and organized for the worship team when they arrive for rehearsal. Whether I’m leading with a large team or just one other person, my goal is to have everything ready for them – not so that they’ll be impressed – but because I’m asking them to give up time away from their families, homes, and other responsibilities.
I encourage you, if you’re a worship leader in your church, to develop the habit of having the music ready at least a day before rehearsal. Whether you’re full-time, part-time, or volunteer, don’t procrastinate (even if you can justify it) and tell yourself it can wait. Usually that will mean your worship team will end up waiting – and that’s usually not a good thing.
Have the Music
Even if you encourage your musicians to bring it with them from home, it’s still a good idea to have music ready just in case they forget it. A ten minute run to the copier is a waste of everyone’s time. My guess is that my bass player would rather be at home with his wife than waiting for me to copy music for someone.
Have the Music in Order
Make it easy on you and your team and have everything in order. Having nine stacks of different songs lying around, yelling out the order numerous times, trying to find a song that got hidden under another song, etc., are all completely avoidable time-killers.
Have the Music Right
“Oh wait – that should be an A minor, not an A major.” “Which A major?” “The A major on top of the word ‘sing’ in verse three.” “Where?” “On top of the word ‘sing’ in verse three”. “Oh. In the first line or fourth line?” “Oh. I didn’t notice there were two A majors. I guess both times.” “Are you sure?” “Yes – both times.” “Oh, I was looking at verse two. Never mind.” “Here – bring me your chord chart and I’ll fix it.” “Ok, let me unplug my guitar and come over to you.” “It’s OK, I’ll come do it.”
If you had noticed the A major before you had copies it fifteen times, you would have saved everybody two minutes of confusion. Make sure the words and chords are correct, and make sure the right chords are on top of the right words!
Have the Music Ready
It’s probably not a good idea to be picking music the day of a rehearsal. I try to have my draft song list done by Tuesday, come back to it and finalize it on Thursday, get the song list and charts to my team that afternoon, and have a rehearsal on Saturday. There are times I change songs last-minute, but the bulk of them are chosen two days before rehearsal. Everyone’s timeframe will be different, of course.
Your worship team will thank you, their spouses will thank you, and you will notice a difference in morale at rehearsal.