I feel so sorry for my first praise team.
I was in my early-20s. I had been playing and singing since junior high and leading worship on Sunday seemed like the next logical step. My music pastor asked me to start leading, so I showed up to rehearsal, plugged in my guitar, and started singing my guts out.
All by myself.
I looked around at my team (drums, piano and bass, at the time) and was met with stares. They were great musicians, they had charts - why weren't they jumping in?
"Everybody okay?" I said.
They nodded and then one of them was brave enough to ask a question: "What's the order of the songs?"
I told them, and after a minute of shuffling charts, another player piped up.
"When do you want the drums to come in?"
I answered that one, too. And then another question. And then another. Slowly, it became clear to me: I had just jumped on stage and start blasting away. I hadn't told them anything about the plan. Because I didn't have one.
I was used to getting up there and just "feeling it" and here were these very kind, patient people who had no clue how to help me. It was a hard lesson - one that I'm still learning to this day, in fact.
I'm a messy guy. I'm clumsy and forgetful and I can't find my keys most mornings. But I'm also creative and funny and pretty good with a guitar and a microphone. As I began to lead that team that year, I started to realize that the blend of chaos and creativity might be connected.
I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. I don't think worship leaders are all the same. I'm I sure there are some worship leaders who are naturally gifted at administration.
I’ve yet to actually meet any, but...
See, most of us would rather wing it than make a spreadsheet. And I think it's that ability to be spontaneous and present that makes us so good at what we do.
But when you’re in charge of people, you have to realize that not all of them are like you. Some of them can't just roll-with-the-punches. As a leader, you've got to grow and lead well, and that means being organized. That freaks a lot of us out, because we're not naturally gifted in that way. But here's the good news about organization.
IT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.
Think about it. Your Type-A, hyper-organized, analytical team members are going to love it. They're going to feel prepared and relaxed and maybe just a little bit special that you're thinking about their needs....and your crazy, spontaneous players are too flighty to even notice you changed anything.
Don't believe me? Give it a shot. Make one or two changes this week to add some organization to your set list or rehearsal. Then see how your team responds. Even if they don't say anything to you, they'll play better and have more fun doing it.