Worship is a key aspect of any conference or church service. Not only can people encounter the freedom and presence of God in the midst of worship, but we also know that worship prepares the way for the Holy Spirit to minister through the word. As speakers are brought in with a specific, God-given word for our conference, we need heaven-drawing worship that will set the stage for the night and conference. Here are a few ways I make sure our worship teams are prepped and ready for our conference sessions:
The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Firstly, our worship teams need faith filled hearts. With all of the preparation and practice in the world, our worship will still not reach heaven and draw on the Holy Spirit without real faith.
As a worship leader or team leader, speaking faith into your team is the building block that all other preparation/practice rests upon. Your attitude, posture/demeanor, texts, social media posts, emails, and interactions with your team are all ways you can intentionally sow faith and excitement for the night. Determine the atmosphere of the worship service before the first chord is struck.
As worshippers, the book of Psalms tells us to “play skillfully” before the Lord. God is pleased when we have perfected our craft and skill and we bring our very best unto Him. I made a decision that I will be the very best guitarist and worship leader I can be. I don’t want to be okay with coasting or riding my “talent” – I want to always be pushing for my very best. Why does the world seem to have better musicians than the church? Their music serves themselves, ours ministers to the King of Heaven, and He is much more worthy of excellent music and praise.
Demand more of yourself, more of your team, and watch as together you rise to the challenge accomplishing more than you initially thought possible.
Excellent and skilled worship music frees people to set their minds on God and His presence during worship. It is difficult to focus on the Holy Spirit when the guitarist keeps hitting wrong notes and the pianist is playing sounds that belong in a circus. We want people who are coming into our church to not be hindered or distracted by what they’re hearing, but rather have their minds free to be ushered into God’s presence by music that is anointed and skilled.
Unity commands a blessing. In disorder, disunity, and strife, God cannot and will not move through our teams. Staying unified is about keeping the vision, maintaining and building friendships, being quick to forgive, and working together for one goal. I always want to make sure our worship teams are unified going into conference – what God has in store is too needed and urgent for us to distract with our sore attitudes or arguing. Always be on the lookout for division or disunity, especially during times of special events. The enemy will seek every small opportunity to sow discord, because there is power in our unity. Every seemingly small comment or situation that breaks unity needs to be quickly rectified and realigned so we can stay unified and serve God as a solid unit.
Preparation is when the team is ready for every possible set change, obstacle, malfunction, in-set flow, and addition that could happen. In our rehearsals, we practice songs in multiple keys, came up with multiple possible transitions and practiced more songs than we needed. We started with a master list of over 35 songs that we learned, rehearsed, and for which we created transitions so as to never stop the flow of worship. Through this we were able to play them at our youth services to get a feel for how they would go over in our conference sets. Needless to say, not all of them worked, and we had to be flexible and prepared enough to get rid of one and replace it with another. With set list and song changes (key changes, structure changes, transition changes, set list reorders, etc.) months before, weeks before, and even the day of conference our preparation allowed us to be flexible, unified and ready to go. We found it is better to have more songs in our repertoire than we need than not enough, and there is no such thing as too much preparation.