WORSHIP CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK: REHEARSAL

Hey gang! This week, I'm giving you a worship challenge. Obviously, every church is different and there's no guarantee these tips will help, but what's the harm in trying, right? And who knows, the list below might just be the perfect fit for you and your team.

For this particular challenge, we're focusing on REHEARSAL. These tips are great for a mid-week rehearsal, but they'll even make an impact on those quick pre-service runthroughs some of us have. Five simple tips that just might make your rehearsal more efficient and fun. Try these at your next few rehearsals and see what happens.

1. SPEAK TO EVERYONE

This may seem simple, but I'm constantly surprised how easy it is to get distracted and delayed at at rehearsal. Without even thinking about it, we can start song #1 without taking time to welcome players and technicians before we begin. People are going to be late and sometimes you have to start rehearsal, but I'd suggest that it's worth starting five or ten minutes late in order to speak to folks one-on-one.

*If you aren't able to speak to everyone and your realize it during rehearsal, don't stress it. Just make an effort to thank that teammate or talk to them some after the runthrough.

2. MAKE COPIES

I'm baffled more worship leaders don't do this. It's an easy way to bless your volunteers at rehearsal. Take a few extra minutes and run copies of the charts for them. It's a small gesture, but it's a blessing to your people to know that you're considerate of the busyness of their lives and you understand that meetings go long, traffic is unpredictable and printers run out of ink.

*If you're a stickler about the band bringing their own charts, it's still a good idea to have a stack of backup charts just in case somebody needs one. And isn't that way easier than stopping rehearsal and having someone run back to the copy machine?

3. EAT TOGETHER

Even if it's donuts in the Green Room, find a way to hang out with the team. A sit-down meal or party at somebody's house is awesome, but even a cup of coffee or some snacks backstage gives you the chance to hang with your team. In addition, it gives them a chance to hang out with each other. You'd be amazed at some of the stuff they talk about if you just listen! And believe it or not, hanging out together will make you a better band than practicing for an hour-and-a-half before service.

*If you do a mid-week rehearsal, planning a meal after practice is a great way to hang because it forces you to wrap up practice so y'all can go hang out!

4. COMPLIMENT ON THE MIC

If you hear a band member play something great or notice the tech team operating at peak excellence, SAY IT! Don't wait until after practice. Say it in the microphone - right there in the middle of the song! "Yes, Ray! Great riff!" or "Awesome drum roll." If this is too much for your brain to process, compliment after the song is over. Pick somebody to praise. Specific encouragement is so much more powerful than y'all-are-awesome. (See SNL's "Chris Farley Show.")

*If you're not skilled at compliments, there's really no shortcut. You kinda' have to figure out how to do it anyway. Remember, when you're gone, they won't talk about the songs you played. They'll talk about what it was like to be around you.

5. PICK SETS EARLY

The farther out you plan songs, the better your team will be. It gives them time to rehearse - or even just to listen to the songs - which will definitely help them to show up prepared. Worship leaders who choose songs close to the actual performance date can survive that way, but not without becoming either a frustration or a joke to your team. The songs you sing are so important to worship on Sunday. Your team will definitely appreciate the time you put in to pick them early.

*If your schedule is what's keeping you from picking sets early, see if you can rework your day-to-day stuff and carve out time for set planning way earlier in the week (or maybe even the week before!) It will be worth it!

Okay, there's your challenge. Try one of these (or all 5) for the next few weeks! And let me know if helped your team!