Worship Musician Magazine November 2021 | Page 42

Each worship set - and really the entire service - should flow in a way that tells a story and invites the gathered Body of Christ into that story . The story of love , hope , and death-into-life that the Spirit invites us into .
Speaking of flow ...
RULE # 3 : CREATE INTENTIONAL TRANSITIONS Nothing distracts en masse like a lousy segue . But , on the other hand , good transitions help move the congregation from one worship element to another without drawing attention to how we ' re doing it .
Poor transitions stop the flow and leave worshipers in an awkward moment of confusion - what should I do now ? Sit ? Stare ? Look at my phone ? Check the clock ?
If you want help with your transitions , yep , there ' s a handy book for that , too . Worship Flow : 28 Ways to Create Great Segues is also on Amazon . ( Note : all book sales go to feed starving children in Ohio , particularly those located in my house .)
RULE # 4 : STOP PRACTICING AT REHEARSALS This is my culture-changing shorthand to tell worship team members , " Show up to rehearsal with your music learned . We ' re not learning the songs here . We ' re supposed to do that in our own personal practice time ."
Solid preparation is a critical key to being exceptional every Sunday . When each team member knows their parts for each song , you ' re 90 % of the way to an excellent-sounding Sunday . And preparation also helps them ' look good .' That is , your platform team is more confident and expressive when they know the music . songs more often ). When you follow that rule , your team doesn ' t have to practice as much . They ' ll be playing and singing from the heart , not the chart .
# 5 : PLAY PURPOSEFUL PARTS " We don ' t do it like the recording . We like to create our own arrangement ." Translation : everyone just sings and plays whatever the heck they want . ( And then expects the sound tech to make a pile of sonic rubbish sound like audio gold .)
I don ' t have time to dig into arranging here , but each team member needs to understand how to ...
• respect the sonic and rhythmic spectrums ,
• create dynamics ( which sometimes means not playing or singing ),
• and listen and complement the other musicians on the platform .
Average musicians who ' ve prepared purposeful parts will create an exceptional sound every week , even if it ’ s just a simple arrangement . ( In fact , most of the time , simple is far better !)
Now , to get your team to practice and play purposeful parts , you need the next rule .
RULE # 6 : CREATE CLEAR EXPECTATIONS You can ' t hold your team to standards that don ' t exist . So to make every Sunday exceptional , you have to be clear on what you expect from your team .
And it ' s not just musical expectations . You need standards for responding to scheduling requests , attending rehearsals , showing up on time , assuming the best in each other , developing their craft , growing as worshipers , and on and on . a jerkface ). And when your team rises to those new standards , they ' ll get a little better every Sunday .
Once you have those clear expectations , you can implement the following rule .
RULE # 7 : AUDITION FOR WHAT YOU WANT ( NOT WHAT YOU GOT ) I once had to tell an auditioning vocalist she didn ' t make the cut . Why ? She couldn ' t harmonize and was somewhat pitchy . After a moment of awkward silence , she quietly said , " But Andrea ' s on the team , and I know she can ' t harmonize ."
Oh , crud .
Conversations like that are tough ! But you have to invite new people into your team who can take you to where you want to go , not keep you stuck where you ' re at . And that ' s not just looking at musical talent - you need to factor in relational health and spiritual maturity , too .
Once you raise the standards for your current team , you have to audition to those standards , even if it means saying ' No ' more often .
RULE # 8 : PLAN MORE SUNDAYS IN LESS TIME I ' d only been in ministry a few years when I learned the magic of ' batch processing .' I had a busy few weeks coming up , and , going against my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants leadership style , I planned out the music for the next four Sundays and sent them out to the team .
They loved it ! ( They also wondered if an administrative alien had taken control of my body .) I also discovered this truth : It ' s quicker to plan four Sundays at one time than four Sundays at four different times .
And by the way , excellent preparation is given a superpower boost by Rule # 1 ( rotate fewer
When you clearly spell out expectations , you can hold your team accountable ( without being
To be honest , I struggled with applying a productivity tactic to worship planning . Partly
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