In a way, leaders don’t just enforce the standard, they define the standard.
Think about it. A school teacher not only grades the test, often times they write it. Not only do bosses may hand out bonuses for employees who reach goals, they also determine what those goals are.
It’s a heavy reality. As a worship leader, many of you are also band leaders. As a band leader, you have the power of defining the standard the band must reach and the responsibility to help them meet that standard.
It’s not something to be taken lightly.
As the old Spiderman-inspired, cliche goes: with great power comes great responsibility. So what do we do with this “great power?” We set the people up for success as much as we possibly can.
Here are four things we can all do to help set the musicians and worship leaders around us for success.
1. Lay It Out For Them
Make songs, set-lists, chord charts and recordings available as far out in advance as possible.
The more faithful you are at getting the information and songs out to you band in advance the more faithful they will be to practice them.
My favorite way to communicate set lists and songs is through Planning Center Online. I’m sure many of you use it too. If you do use PC make sure to post songs and accurate chord charts far enough in advance to give your team plenty of time to review the martial.
It won’t always be possible to put everything out in advance. Sometimes the pastor gives you a phone call right after your first rehearsal with song ideas. Because of factors outside of your control the band may be required to play some songs with minimal preparation. But don’t let the things you can’t control be an excuse for not following through on the things you can control.
2. Talk Through Songs
When we are running rehearsals, we often just tell the band what song we are going to play, then we address any issues, mistakes or problems that reveals themselves.
To a certain degree, this approach has failure built into it. It requires musicians to “fail” before problems can be addressed.
Although this may not be 100% avoidable, in the spirit of setting your team up for success try to anticipate and address problems before they happened. The best way I know how to do this is to talk through the song before the band plays them and highlight any difficult parts, unexpected chord changes or “hiccups” that might happen in the song.
This gives your team a fighting chance to run through the song perfectly the first time, giving them the confidence to think more about worshiping rather than simply playing the song correctly.
Talking through the songs may seem like your boring your team, but in the long run it will help them feel comfortable and confident.
3. Give People A Standard They Can Reach, Then Raise It.
Maybe you have 16 year old playing drums for the first time on a Sunday morning. Or maybe a middle aged father of two who is picking up the guitar for the first time in almost a decade.
We can’t always choose our worship team, but we can choose how we develop them and encourage them to progress.
Don’t be afraid to adjust the standard to fit your team. When they do meet the standard you give them let them know it.
Use little milestones to create momentum to achieve bigger ones. This will give your team a confidence in their ability to meet the standards you give as well as help them feel comfortable to under your leadership and direction.
4. Celebrate Their Success
When they do meet the standards you placed in front of them, let them know it.
When a teenage drummer plays a whole set to the click for the first time, let them know how proud you are of them. When your guitarist nails a Brewster solo, celebrate it with them.
By celebrating their success it helps communicate that you don’t want something out of them, you actually care about them as a person and you are excited to see them develop as musicians, vocalist and worshipers. If you are excited about their development, so will they.
What It’s All About
When you think about it, all of these ideas require the same thing from us as worship leader: we must know our team, know the destination our team needs to go, and know how to get them there.
This requires spending time strengthening our relationships with our teams. So if you want a place to start, start with getting to know your team better.
So what do you think? What rehearsal strategies do you use to help set your team up for success? Put your thoughts in the comments below.
Till then, keep sharp,