How do you prepare for a Worship Set? In this post I will focus on preparation for leading worship as it pertains to the Band members.
Pray! Pray for your church’s pastor and leadership (elders, overseers, other pastors) as they lead the church. Pray for your worship leader as he or she works with the leadership and seeks God’s direction. Pray that God gives you wisdom in how to approach the next week’s set list. Pray. Pray more. Pray often.
Not sure about something? Ask. In the short term this could just be a question about this weeks set list. “How are we doing this song?” or “what’s the feel you are going for” etc.
In the long term it may be questions about the vision of music ministry. About how you fit in with the band. Etc
There’s nothing worse than good questions that go unasked. Good communication and a good understanding between the band and leadership is more valuable than a 1,000 band practices.
Does your worship leader send out demos? Listen to them.
Does your worship band tend to have a country/folk influence but you like jazz? It might be time to get on Spotify and listen to some Johnny Cash, or Brad Paisley.
The more music I listen to the better musician I am. I’ve found techno music influences hymns and rock has influenced country, and hip-hop has influenced pop. It can all cross over.
A problem I often find is that church bands don’t speak the same musical language. Listening will help you get on the same page.
There are people who are good enough to just “wing it”, but the chances are that you and I aren’t one of them. Even bands like The Rolling Stones who have been playing together for 50 years still practice.
Practice is different than rehearsal. We rehearse as a band together. We practice by ourselves at home. When I practice I dial in pedal settings, work on riffs, etc. Rehearsal with the band is the time I show up with all of that dialed in.
As a member of the band in hear to serve. In an intellectual way I serve by figuring out what the band leader wants and making that happen. I don’t care for Hillsong’s music generally speaking, but if that’s the sound that the band leader is going for then I’m gonna dial my delay in to get that U2 delay. If the band leader is shooting for country then I’m bringing my Telecaster instead of my Jaguar.
In a practical way I serve by helping the sound guys and the set up crew get the stage ready and help the tear down. I try to be focused. What’s going on? Where are we in the set? I’ve had too many band members look surprised when the song ended or the next song started.
This is a marathon not a sprint. There are times when things get crazy and not everything goes right, but if we are hitting these goals 8 or 9 times out of 10 then we are doing ok.