Preparation and execution are essential to effective worship leading. Part of preparing and executing well is having a timeline to complete tasks, as they need to be done. Worship leading is no different. Worship leaders ought to have a timeline for when tasks need to be completed.
Having a timeline sets you and your team up for success. Everyone has a chance to review the music, learn songs, rehearse, and become confident with what needs to happen and how it needs to happen.
Today I am going to submit a sample timeline for worship leading week. Then I will offer my rationale for the timeline. There are two reasons I am providing this sample timeline. First, this timeline may give new worship leaders a place to start in preparation and time management. Second, this timeline may offer some ways for worship leaders to reflect on their own process and maybe develop more efficient practices!
Here is a sample timeline I would recommend for worship leading week:
Select or create arrangements
Communicate decisions with team members
Play through music to ensure accuracy (coming back to the music the next day gives you a “second pair of eyes”)
Worship band practice (I prefer Thursday practices)
- Arrive 15 minutes before the band is supposed to arrive
- Pass out music (if necessary)
- Set-up microphone and instrument
- Greet band members as they arrive
- Start on time
- Finish on time
Rehearse songs one last time
Arrive 15 minutes before the band is supposed to arrive
Pass out music (if necessary)
Set-up microphone and instrument
Greet band members as they arrive
Your songs and arrangements need to be selected early in the week, preferably Monday. This simple preparation will set the tone for you and your team week in and week out. Your band has the better part of the week to learn and practice songs as needed, and you can spend more time preparing the songs and music.
I recommend waiting until the next day to actually print any music. Wait until the next day to give your eyes and brain a second chance to look offer your work. Mistakes inevitably arise, and this is your opportunity to catch them. Sit down with your instrument and work your way through the music. This is the best way to catch errors. If the music is right, go ahead and print the music. This way you are not battling printer issues before practice or before service!
Give your music a solid rehearsal before your mid-week practice, if you have one. This will ensure you are most prepared to work with your band. I gave some insights into running an effective and efficient team practice in the timeline, so feel free to implement them into your practices. I will write an article on leading worship team practices another day.
The rest of the week is your opportunity to really fine-tune your own musicianship. This way you do not have to spend all Sunday morning thinking about the logistics of what you are doing. You can worship along with your congregation. This gives you freedom, which in turn will give you confidence. This, of course, will make you a better worship leader.
As you can see on the timeline, the same principles that apply to an effective and efficient worship team practice apply to your warm-up and preparation before the service on Sunday.
This timeline offers a way to begin thinking through how you will manage your time as a worship leader and may offer new practices for your current preparation process. What practices or processes have you found helpful in preparing to lead worship on Sunday? Please share in the comments below!
Jason Palmer is the Administrator of TalkingWorship.com. Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Ministry with a Worship Arts Major and Music Minor. He has lead worship for evangelical churches for 7 years and desires to see worship leaders become confident in their calling.