- Start and Finish on time – and don’t waste any.
Be stubborn about this. The most valuable resource your people give you is their time. Even if you have to start by yourself, start on the dot of your announced time. Very quickly, your people will adjust and begin arriving on time. You know that soloist you have that is always late? Rehearse her song first and then move on – she won’t be late next time.
Also, nothing will endear your people to you more than using the time well and stopping when you say you will – even a couple of minutes before.
- Plan your work and work your plan.
Spend the necessary time to develop a plan for the rehearsal and stick to it. Your people will admire your organization and appreciate your professionalism. It will make the entire rehearsal better if you have a plan. I also recommend publishing the plan ahead of time so everyone can be informed about the rehearsal. It will cut down on wasted time.
- Think about pacing.
As you develop your plan, think about how songs flow together – much like you would a worship set. Vary the tempos, difficulty, and styles through the rehearsal. Don’t do your hardest songs early or late – do them in the middle when everyone is focused and not too tired.
- Feed the flock.
The question I always asked myself, “Why would a member of my team leave their office, drive through the fast food place, eat in the parking lot, and come into my rehearsal?” Well, the answer had to be, “Because they were accomplishing something they cared about and were being fed by the experience.”
I prayed this for every one of my rehearsals – “Lord, refresh these people tonight. Give this time back to them in rest and strength for their bodies and spirits. May they wake up in the morning feeling energized for their day because of what they experience in this rehearsal tonight. Feed your flock.”
And then, I asked the Lord to help me feed them spiritually – with a scripture, a word, a prayer time – something.
Never forget… we lead spiritually first, musically second. Be a student of the Word that enables you to shepherd the people you lead.
If you will do these four things, you will grow your ministry and people will trust you with this investment of their time. This will be the best recruiting campaign you can ever have in your church.
Mike Harland is the Director of Lifeway Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.