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How To Have An Amazing Worship Rehearsal

How To Have An Amazing Worship Rehearsal

You arrive at your worship rehearsal.  Your volunteers begin showing up, excited to get started.  You begin on time and sound check takes only 5 minutes.  As you begin to rehearse, each musician is playing the right part.  It’s clear they’ve been practicing.  Over the next hour you cover all of your songs and you’re feeling very confident about Sunday’s service.  

Does this describe your worship rehearsals?

Does this sound like an unattainable dream? 

Rehearsals are a tricky thing.  They can be fun and inspiring.  They can be painful and dramatic.  It’s really in the hands of the worship leader.  Are you drudging through rehearsal or is it a place of joy and excited anticipation?

Here are 9 ways to make sure you have amazing rehearsal.

1. Invite The Right People

A great rehearsal hinges on the people involved.  If the people are lazy, inconsiderate, egotistical or contentious no amount of planning or preparation will help.  Prayerfully consider who you invite on to your worship team. 

2. Cast The Vision For Your Team 

Each musician, singer, and tech team member should know and understand their role on the team.  Clearly communicate that we’re all working together.  We’re serving one another.  We’re here to honor God first and foremost.  

3. Communicate The Expectations

If you don’t clearly communicate your expectations you’ll be disappointed every time.  Here’s a portion from our volunteer handbook on how to prepare for rehearsal.  

Being prepared for rehearsal is very important.  The set list is made available several days in advance to give you the most time possible to prepare.  Although everyone prepares differently, your preparation should look something like this:

- Print the appropriate charts from Planning Center

- Listen to each song, taking notes on parts and dynamics

- Spend time working out your specific parts

- Organize your charts in a binder

- Work towards memorizing songs 

Even for experienced musicians and singers this process can take about 30 minutes per song so please plan ahead.

When arriving at rehearsal you will be expected to bring your charts and have your parts worked out.  Not coming prepared wastes the time of the team and decreases the quality of the music.  

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before rehearsal begins to get set up and prepared.  We’ll begin promptly at the rehearsal time.  For example please arrive at 6:35am for a 6:45am rehearsal.” 

4. Share The Set List Early 

Nothing will advance the quality or your rehearsal more quickly than volunteers arriving prepared.  Share the set early, 4-7 days in advance to give everyone plenty of time to get ready. 

5. Prepare Specific Notes

Sit down and listen through the songs before rehearsal.  Not for your personal practice but to take notes of key elements.  Share these elements at rehearsal.  Things like “We’ll have the synth play that lead line”,  “Make sure the drums come in strong on Verse 2”,  “The BGV goes from unison to 3 parts on the second bridge.” 

If you can communicate these notes when you share the set list, even better.  

6. Set The Stage / Test The Channels

Few things can derail a rehearsal and send everyone into frustration like a long, confusing sound check.  Be sure to set the stage ahead of time.  Test ALL of the channels before the team arrives.  Make note of where everything is and let the team know.  Invited your sound tech or another volunteer to come early and help. 

7. Cast The Vision For The Rehearsal

Okay.  Everyone is there.  Everything is set up.  Let’s get started! Clearly share what you’re hoping to accomplish in your rehearsal time.  I’ll say things like “We’ll practice each song once, then run the full set from start to finish”.  “We’ll run through this new songs 3 or 4 times to really get comfortable with it.” “We’ll be done by 8:30” 

Set a time limit for your rehearsal and stick to it.  Let people know at the beginning what time you’ll be done.  

8. Model The Behavior

Do you want volunteers to arrive on time?  Be Prepared?  Have a good attitude?  Model these things.  It starts with you.  

9. Love Your Volunteers

People who are cared for, considered, and appreciated will serve and follow in all the ups and downs.  Be quick to encourage and support your volunteers.  Be gracious and patient.  Invest heavily in them.  This will not only make a huge impact on your rehearsal but your entire worship ministry.  

The truth is, a rehearsal like the one described above doesn’t materialize over night.  It takes work.  But it may be closer than you think.

Which of these steps can you implement right away to make an immediate difference?  

What has made your rehearsal especially effective or ineffective?

Share in the comments below!

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