Our February worship team tune-up night is tonight at 7:30pm, and I’m looking forward to spending some time with the singers, instrumentalists, sound engineers, and lyric operators who will come.
There’s always some who have to miss for various (sometimes good, sometimes not good) reasons, but I try to remind the team regularly how important it is that they make a priority out of making these evenings. (So important that if a member regularly misses, it might be cause for me to ask them if they need a break from the team until they’re less busy).
Here’s how we’ll spend our time together:
7:30pm – 7:45: Pizza, cookies, veggies, and drinks.
– I’ll order five large Papa John’s pizzas (2 pepperoni, 1 Hawaiian, 1 sausage, and 1 green pepper and onion) and have them delivered around 7:20 for people who come early.
– I run to 7-11 in the afternoon and pick up plates, cups, napkins, cookies, and sodas.
– Some people bring home-cooked and healthy food to contribute.
– I put music on to make the room not feel so empty when the first few people arrive.
– We meet in a fairly small room. This helps it feel more familial and less awkward if there’s a small turnout.
7:45 – 7:50: I welcome people, introduce new members, etc.
– I always thank people for giving up an evening away from home, and for fighting traffic to get to church.
– I give a quick summary of why we have these monthly gatherings: “each person in this room is in a position of leadership in this church. It’s our responsibility to serve this church with humility and skill…”
7:50 – 8:15: Singing and prayer
– I lead from guitar plugged into a small guitar amp so people feel comfortable singing out. There’s a piano in the room, and I bring the djembe in as well. If someone wants to play along, they’re welcome to. It’s pretty loose.
– I have a handful of songs picked out (in my head) that I want us to sing, but we don’t project them or print them out, since I want this to be a time when we practice listening to and responding to the spontaneous leading of the Holy Spirit. If someone wants to share a passage of scripture, lead off on a song, or share an impression from the Lord, I want this to be a time where they feel comfortable stepping out.
– We just stand in a circle and sing and pray for as long as it feels we should. It’s great.
8:15 – 8:25: Announcements.
8:25 – 9:00: Teaching.
– I usually share on some aspect of the practicalities of leading worship. How can we improve? How can we be better musicians? How can we grow in humility? Each month it’s different. It’s just a chance for me to encourage our team towards growth, maturity, and vibrancy.
– Sometimes I’ll bring in a guest speaker.
– When we met in October I shared ten questions for the worship team, and in November I shared ten challenges for the worship team.
9:00 – 9:15: Wrap up.
– We’ll either sing some more, pray some more, or take some time to dialogue about what people think. Keeping it conversational is a great idea, since people will often have good things to add that you wish you had thought about.
9:15 – 9:45. People mingle and slowly filter out.
9:45 – 10:00: Clean up.
10:00: Go home.
If you’re not already, I encourage you to have this kind of regular meeting with your worship team. Yours might look totally different from ours. It’s taken me a few years to figure out the best way to lead and structure these meetings, and it will probably take you some time too. But it’s worth it!