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Author Topic: Preparation makes better......  (Read 13614 times)

Offline sjonathan02

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Preparation makes better......
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:11:50 AM »
......because no one's perfect, 'cept Gawd.  :D


From Worshipideas.com



WorshipIdea: Preparation Makes Perfect
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by Don Chapman

I received an email a few weeks ago from a woman who complained that my WorshipIdeas emails were worthless to her because I often talk about what I'm doing at Brookwood Church as well as what other megachurches are doing. Since she was in a tiny church she assumed nothing applied to her.

If you've read my emails for any length of time you know I started writing them back in 2002 when I was the worship director at a church of around 200 that set up each week in a public elementary school cafeteria.

I was watching our Brookwood Christmas Eve and Easter services online the other day and had to chuckle - what I'm doing now at Brookwood is nearly exactly what I did in a church of 200 - the same music and order of service - except now I'm doing it for 10,000 people and have more help.

Before I did everything myself - writing and charting, making notebooks, scheduling and running rehearsals, selecting music, creating the PowerPoint slides - because we simply didn't have the staff at a small church to help me. At one point I didn't miss a single Sunday over a 2 year period (this is all a recipe for burnout, by the way!) One difference, and the luxury of being in a larger church, is that there are people to do each of these jobs.

But besides the staffing issues, the worship's basically the same. The basics of a good worship program are the same for large and small churches. For instance:

1. Plan ahead. I can't believe it when I hear of worship teams that meet thirty minutes before the service and throw together a song set.

The more you plan, the more people can be involved. Flying by the seat of your pants (or skirt) can often result in a musical train wreck. Multiple train wrecks tend to make your congregation think you don't know what you're doing. If the service isn't worth planning, maybe it isn't worth attending.

Planning ahead gives you time to work out your praise set like a puzzle, fitting songs together in a perfect flow. It also makes your rehearsals more efficient.

Use one of the many online planning websites to schedule your worship team. Have your songs charted and online so your musicians can at least be familiar with the music before rehearsal.
Despite our communication technology, no invention is as effective as the sound of the human voice.

Offline rayjohnson83

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 09:16:03 AM »
this is good

Offline Bro Lou

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 08:28:30 AM »
Yes, this is good stuff ;).  We wonder why folks (the congregation) can't get with us during P&W ?/?; it's because of our microwaved preparation. 
Give Him & others the Gift(s) He's Gifted you...
I TIMOTHY 4:14

Offline 2blessed

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 10:22:32 AM »
I agree 100%.  I just became MOM in July and I have been in a planning and preparation mode.  Every Thursday I send out a memo to the music ministry and leaders regarding our plan for practice and Sunday.  I even record the parts and send to those who have email (very time consuming) but, for those that listen it helps practice to run smoothly.  They have a Calendar for the remainder of the year so they are well informed.  This is new for them for the last 34 years they have been flying by the seat of their pants on practice.  The majority love it but, you know a couple haters have said, "why are you sending me all this stuff... I don't need all this paper. etc... I would be interested in being added to your email list.  I am open to enhancements.           

Offline demusicman

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 06:30:46 AM »
Ive been MOM for about 2 years now and I learned the hard way that planning and preparation are not only important it is essential if you anticipate any growth in the ministry. I'm much like blessed, i send out weekly emails to my leaders, record tracks, chart music, rehearse musicians, then rehearse the choir by the time Sunday comes it just flows. Even though its alot of work to prepare and plan its well worth it. Even if the spirit leads us into a different mode for some reason it just seems to flow better. When I got to my current church they had a precedent of just flying by the seat...and failed to see the many problems that theory had.

Planning and preparation has also helped to get me to a point to be able to take vacations. Even in a small church I have been entrusted with a staff of musicians and directors who could carry on the service in my absence because of effective planning and preparation.
Daniel E. Smalls, Minister of Music & Worship Arts
Heaven Bound Ministries Worship Center

Offline kmccray

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 12:33:09 PM »
I agree that prepartation makes better.......... I think I brought this up in another thread how a young lady on the praise team felt that we were having "programmed" church because we were practicing and knew which songs we would be singing for church. She felt that if the "spirit" moved, she should be able to sing what she wanted.  Needless to say, we still practiced but I have worked with several praise teams and preparation has always been the key.  I was a little confused with her take on practicing. ?/?

Offline demusicman

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 12:48:01 AM »
I agree that prepartation makes better.......... I think I brought this up in another thread how a young lady on the praise team felt that we were having "programmed" church because we were practicing and knew which songs we would be singing for church. She felt that if the "spirit" moved, she should be able to sing what she wanted.  Needless to say, we still practiced but I have worked with several praise teams and preparation has always been the key.  I was a little confused with her take on practicing. ?/?

Amen! To that...we have to be prepared...just as the Pastor must prepare a sermon...just  because it is prepared doesnt mean that the spirit is not there. What would we say if our Pastors, Ministers, Evangelists, and Sunday School teachers just got up on Sunday morning and said whatever came to their head? Is the spirit in that? The Saints need to realize that SPONTANEOUS doesnt equal SPIRIT!
Daniel E. Smalls, Minister of Music & Worship Arts
Heaven Bound Ministries Worship Center

Offline vwebster

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 10:03:37 PM »
Well, said...and, definitely, I want to be on any email lists that keeps me educated. I'm personally the planning type. When I was doing this, I liked to make certain that everyone had the lyrics, the music, and encouraged everyone to listen and prepare before stepping into practice. Some took advantage of this, but I am still shocked that many didn't. Of course, I was dealing with a youth choir. Lots of teenagers...but still. Interestingly enough, some of the same people who refused to touch the lyric sheets or music before practice, were the same ones who came late and wanted to leave early. But, when they were willing to do this prep work with me, our practices were much more efficient. Go figure.

Offline RWILLIAMS3000

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2010, 09:56:13 PM »
I agree that prepartation makes better.......... I think I brought this up in another thread how a young lady on the praise team felt that we were having "programmed" church because we were practicing and knew which songs we would be singing for church. She felt that if the "spirit" moved, she should be able to sing what she wanted.  Needless to say, we still practiced but I have worked with several praise teams and preparation has always been the key.  I was a little confused with her take on practicing. ?/?



I Mostly agree with this......My P&W Team at my church alone practice 2-3 hours a week....we have a set agenda for a Sunday Morning Worship Service but at the same time my worship leader has the understanding that if after one song or watever and the Spirit leads them to go in another direction away fromm what we rehearsed, they know that they have the freedom as THE worship leader to let God use them and go off the agenda.....however we learn so many different songs and become familiar with them so that in the case something like that happens it will more than likely be a song or songs that my praise team have already learned....... so it's not what was on the agenda for that service but we make sure it still flows.........
Please give me input on the way we flow....... i'd love to hear from anybody with suggestions or anything that could make us better

Offline starpod77

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 01:56:26 PM »
I completely agree that preparation and commitment make for a better praise and worship team and choir.  The music ministry of every church should remember that they are providing a ministry as part of the service and not just giving a performance before the sermon.  Our praise and worship team is trying to focus more on our role as ministers for the people. We started doing a bible study before our rehearsals which I believe is taking us to another level. We are currently studying the book "The Worship Warrior" by Chuck D. Pierce which discusses the role of the praise and worship team at church.  We are studying the entire book, however, chapter 8 is the best chapter in the book which explains what we need to be doing in our own lives as well as music ministers during the service.  I think that this study is changing us individually and as a praise and worship team, and we are noticing a change in the congregation as we make changes to how we set the tone for praise and worship during service.

Offline mizpac76

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 09:16:39 PM »
Awesome post and right on time for me!  I am not the MOM at the new church I attend, I'm the organist and I know how things should flow and it's not happening.  This is so frustrating for me because we sound like garbage when Sunday morning comes.  Any thoughts on how I can get this across to the MOM without offending them?  Help!!

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 10:15:54 AM »
Awesome post and right on time for me!  I am not the MOM at the new church I attend, I'm the organist and I know how things should flow and it's not happening.  This is so frustrating for me because we sound like garbage when Sunday morning comes.  Any thoughts on how I can get this across to the MOM without offending them?  Help!!

What are some of the things that are occurring?
Despite our communication technology, no invention is as effective as the sound of the human voice.

Offline Docdb04

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2010, 02:32:41 PM »
I couldn't agree more, with everything that is said.  Preparation is definitely the key.  Even the bible tells us that we should study to show thyself approved.  I believe it is the same with any type of craft.  You can't expect God to pull something out of you that you never deposited.  You can't expect to follow God during praise and worship, if you never spend anytime with Him.

I've noticed that the more I prepare for Sunday worship, the more of a flow I have.  I have a very spontaneous Pastor.  He will wake up Sunday morning, with a song in his spirit, that goes with his sermon (one that we have done before), call me and ask for that song to be ministered.           

 

Offline mizpac76

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2010, 05:21:39 PM »
What are some of the things that are occurring?

The most frustrating thing is that we have a full band since I've joined and we NEVER have band practice.  We have had about 5-6 actual band practices in the past 6 months.  None of them have been productive because no one even bothers to practice the material before we get together.... so they stumble through the 1 hour band practice (which in no where near enough time because none of us are professionals).  When it comes time to play the MOM just starts the song and we all have to fall in because we haven't even practiced how to start/stop the songs, breaks, NOTHING. 

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 09:14:12 PM »
The most frustrating thing is that we have a full band since I've joined and we NEVER have band practice.  We have had about 5-6 actual band practices in the past 6 months.  None of them have been productive because no one even bothers to practice the material before we get together.... so they stumble through the 1 hour band practice (which in no where near enough time because none of us are professionals).  When it comes time to play the MOM just starts the song and we all have to fall in because we haven't even practiced how to start/stop the songs, breaks, NOTHING. 

Uh, yea, that's an easy fix. Have longer band rehearsals or ensure that folks know the music before they arrive to rehearsal. If they can't meet that expectation, something has to give. *kanyeshrug*
Despite our communication technology, no invention is as effective as the sound of the human voice.

Offline johnniesmith

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 03:42:41 PM »
Uh, yea, that's an easy fix. Have longer band rehearsals or ensure that folks know the music before they arrive to rehearsal. If they can't meet that expectation, something has to give. *kanyeshrug*

EXACTLY!!! This is an issue the M.O.M. needs to be aware of. For some reason they do not feel there is a problem with the sound so either the M.O.M. is tone deaf or the person with the problem with the sound needs to re-adjust their point of reference when they say "Sounds like garbage".

As an M.O.M. there are times when you have to let the willing hearts sing... even if they sound like horrible, its that place of being unabashed and unafraid before the Lord that allows a fresh anointing to flow and for healing to take place... NO hands layed & No prayer Lines!

But about the rehearsals... um... yeah... you might want to devise a clear-cut suggestion for rehearsals format and expectations and give it to the M.O.M. maybe they dont KNOW there is a more efficient way??

<Throws his 2 cents on the altar and walks off...>

Offline gtrdave

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 11:40:52 AM »
The rule at my church (99% of the time) is 'you don't rehearse, you don't play on Sunday'.
It's a rule that I got very lax on for a while with a couple people on our team and it really showed on Sunday morning.
Then late last year I stepped up and reinstated the rule.
In doing so, I lost a drummer (who REALLY needed to rehearse, imho), had one of our singers cut back and he still joins us when his schedule allows him to be at Thursday's rehearsal, and got a bassist who has committed to once-a-month rather than never being there, but I gained the respect of my team, many of whom were starting to inform me that they didn't feel it fair that they had to be at rehearsal while so-and-so did not, and overall we have become so much tighter. Those times of "free worship" flow more easily now because we've rehearsed the basics, the arrangements, the dynamics and all that.

Worship of God, whether it's done in music or by any other means, is what God deserves from us. It should be a priority, not just another thing that we try to fit into our already busy schedules. That means that we take the time to make the time for it.
Music theory is not always music reality.

Offline MsHutchison

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2011, 04:21:07 AM »
Some people just don't realize the simplicity of this.They are looking through negative eyes and maybe even jealous ones instead of taking what they have and doing their best and watchong God as he blesses them with more.A lot of churches may never reach their full potential in the music program unless they are willing to work with what they have first and be willing to take advice on how worship leaders of larger congregations are doing it.(bc obviously they made it there for a reason,they were doing something right!)I am glad you made this posts.

-little is much when God is in it!
-When he sees youve been faithful in the small things-he will bless you with more!


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Offline MsRo

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2011, 06:50:32 PM »
This is an excellent post. I'm a major planner when it comes to getting material ready for choir rehearsals as well as Sunday morning service.

Question though- what would you all consider a good time to prepare is (meaning- how many days in advance should I send out material for choir reherasal)? I always cover songs for Sunday on reherasal nights.

My choir rehearses on Tuesday nights- and I send out lists as well as tracks (for new songs) of what I plan to go over usually on the Thursday or Friday before practice to try to give everyone time to do their thing at home....is this enough?

 

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: Preparation makes better......
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2011, 10:21:04 PM »
This is an excellent post. I'm a major planner when it comes to getting material ready for choir rehearsals as well as Sunday morning service.

Question though- what would you all consider a good time to prepare is (meaning- how many days in advance should I send out material for choir reherasal)? I always cover songs for Sunday on reherasal nights.

My choir rehearses on Tuesday nights- and I send out lists as well as tracks (for new songs) of what I plan to go over usually on the Thursday or Friday before practice to try to give everyone time to do their thing at home....is this enough?

That's a case by case scenario.  If it works for your group, don't change anything.
Despite our communication technology, no invention is as effective as the sound of the human voice.
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