Orchestrating an Effective Rehearsal

August 13, 2008

Rehearsals are one thing that every single worship leader in any capacity cannot get out of. If you are on staff, you lead rehearsals. If you are a volunteer, you need rehearsals. If you are a tech guy (or gal), you attend rehearsals. And since we all can’t get away from them, we should take a look at how to make rehearsals effective. Effective rehearsals lead to encouraged and motivated teams.

Let’s look at 5 things that can be done to make rehearsals more effective:

1. Preparation.

The rehearsal leader should be adequately prepared. Here are some things that cannot be compromised when it comes to the leader’s preparation:

* Prayer. Never forget to pray for your rehearsals. Pray during the week, come before and pray over the spot you’ll be rehearsing. Pray for each team member by name.
* Having an “agenda” for the rehearasal. Know what needs to be done and carry it out.
* Any chord changes, charts or arrangements. The leader should be able to hand these out to the team before the team even comes to rehearsal so that they are already familiar with these things.
* If it’s absolutely impossible to get your team members the music before hand, have them ready for each member as soon as they arrive. Don’t waste time having people pick up and sort their own music.

Not only is preparation vital for the rehearsal leader, it is vital for each team member as well. How can team members prepare?

* Pray. Pray for your leader. Pray for each member of the team that you’ll be working with. Come early and join your leader in prayer.
* Assuming that your leader has been diligent in getting you the music before the rehearsal – practice. Learn any new chords you might not know before the rehearsal. Listen to various versions of each song if they are available. Play with any ideas you might have for a song’s arrangement.
* Be ready to go by the time the rehearsal starts. If the rehearsal starts at 7pm, get there at 6:30 so that you’re gear is in place and you’re in tune by 6:45 so you can spend some time in prayer before the rehearsal starts. Drummers, get there at 6:15 if you set up your kit weekly.

2. Have the right people in place.

Be sure you invite your sound and video people to the rehearsal and stress the importance of their involvement on the team. Encourage them and be sure to let them know how important it is that they attend.

At a church I was serving at there was more than one occasion where I would have to stop the rehearsal and run back to the sound booth to adjust some monitor issues because we hadn’t asked the sound tech to come to the rehearsal or because the sound tech had neglected to come. I was thankful that our sanctuary wasn’t too large! Even though it didn’t take too much time for me to get to the back, adjust the monitors and come back, it still disrupted the rehearsal greatly.

3. Proper use of time.

Have you ever been to a rehearsal, knew there was a trouble spot in the music and had someone say, “Well, let’s just do the whole song over again.” Many people think that will solve the trouble spot. As rehearsal leaders, we need to learn to isolate any spot that is giving the team trouble and work it out. Work through it as much as it takes to fix the spot, then move to the next song. If the rest of the song is sounding great, there’s no need to go though the whole thing again. Plus, by going through the song over and over without focusing on the trouble spot, the trouble will never get fixed. You’ll spend less time going over the trouble spot five or six times and fixing it then going over the whole song three or four times and never fixing it.

4. Respect each other.

There are several ways that we can respect each other that will all lead to a more effective rehearsal:

* Listen to the rehearsal leader. Always bring a pencil and write things down so that things don’t have to be repeated.
* Don’t play while people are talking. Creative types like us love to just “mess around” on our instrument. While your leader or anyone else is talking is not the time to do it.
* Turn your cell phones on vibrate and don’t answer them unless it’s an absolute emergency.

5. Leaders – lead. Followers – follow.

I have been to several rehearsals where I wasn’t officially asked to be the leader. I assumed that the person who had lined up the musicians and scheduled the rehearsal was the leader. When we got there, the leader didn’t lead but rather told us which song we were doing and then looked around, waiting for someone to “do something.” I wasn’t sure if I had the authority to lead, so I didn’t do much but give some gentle hints, but it was a bit of a painful experience.

If you are the rehearsal leader – lead! Understand how to count off a song, how to isolate the trouble spots. Know the basic terms for each instrument. You don’t have to know what a hammer-on or a flam is but you should know what clean as opposed to overdrive sounds like and what each part of the drum kit is.

If you are a team member – follow. Unless you’ve been given specific permission to lead, respect the leader and submit to them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give suggestions for arrangements or sounds in the song, but it does mean that you shouldn’t dominate the rehearsal.
What It’s All About

These five things should help your rehearsals immensely. Ultimately our rehearsals are about glorifying and exalting Jesus Christ and leading others to do the same. Remember that in every interaction you have, whether in rehearsal or outside of it.

Written by Ryan Egan

Ryan Egan writes for iamanoffering.com, and offers sound advice for worship leaders. I encourage you to visit their website. You will be blessed by it!


Our Daily Bread devotional – True Trust

May 14, 2008
True Trust

READ: John 9:1-11

Neither this man nor his parents sinned,
but that the works of God should be
revealed in him. —John 9:3

If you didn’t know him, you might think Nick Vujicic has everything going for him. Nick has never had a sore arm. He’s never had knee problems. He’s never smashed his finger in a door, stubbed his toe, or banged his shin against a table leg.

But that’s because Nick doesn’t have a shin. Or a toe. Or a finger. Or a knee. Or an arm. Nick was born with no arms and no legs. Before you begin to feel sorry for Nick, read his words. “God won’t let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of 15 after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was ‘so that the works of God may be revealed through him.’ . . . I now see that glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can’t be used.” Nick travels the world to spread the gospel and love of Jesus.

Nick says, “If I can trust in God with my circumstances, then you can trust in God with your circumstances. . . . The greatest joy of all is having Jesus Christ in my life and living the godly purpose He has for me.”

Can we say that? Can we look beyond our limitations and have the same trust in God that transformed a man with no arms or legs into a missionary for Jesus?

Dave Branon

Lord, shape my life as only You can,
Guiding each day by Your loving plan;
Take what You need and give what You will;
My life is Yours to use and to fill. —Branon

Trusting God turns problems into opportunities.

The Nevertheless Of Obedience

By Mark Rutland

We often labor under the burdensome illusion that all obedience must be joyful. “Be crucified upside down? Oh, thank You, Lord. Gladly, Lord. Ha, ha, what could be better?”

Don’t be absurd. There are places to which He leads or calls us, burdens He may ask us to heft and obligations so strenuous that they make no more sense to us than fishing in the daylight did to Peter.

It is, despite what they say, permissible to explain things to God. Apparently Jesus did not understand the situation, and Peter took pains to clarify it for Him. You can, too. God will let you talk.

“Lord, I know You said to invite my neighbor to church, but he is an atheist–a very disagreeable atheist.”

“Lord, I know You said to forgive my mother-in-law, but You have not met my mother-in-law.”

“Stand up and walk? Can’t You see, Lord, that my legs are twisted and useless?

“God is big. He is neither destroyed nor dissuaded by our objections, complaints and explanations. Tell Him all about it.

When you are completely finished, however, and He just sits there in the other end of the boat staring at you, a decision must be made. God will listen, but He will never argue. He just sits there trailing His finger in the water while He studies your face. He has told you what to do. You have told Him why it makes no sense. Now, what do you say?

The bridge between our discouragement and God’s will is “nevertheless,” and on the other side are the bulging nets of His bounty. The “nevertheless” of naked obedience unlocks more miracles than we can imagine.

When Peter pulled up the nets, they were miraculously filled. This is not to say that we should try to hold God to a bargain. “All right, I’ll obey, but these nets better be full!”

Nonsense! He speaks; we obey-period. Having said that, however, it must be added that obedience unlocks miracles. Frequently, the more unlikely the command, the greater the miracle.

Do not look at the sun on the lake or at the improbability of the catch. Look beneath the surface. See with the eyes of faith, and throw out the net. First comes “nevertheless.” Then comes the miracle.

There will come a point, sometimes an excruciatingly painful point, where we, in one end of the boat, will stare into the steady eyes of Christ as He sits calmly in the other end and summons us to acts of obedience, ministry or sacrifices that fly in the face of all natural reason. These will never be the mad impulses of the emotionally unbalanced. Some misguided soul with a religious spirit will occasionally wade out to his death and leave a note on the shore claiming God told him to walk on water. That’s the nevertheless not of faith, but of presumption.

When mature, seasoned saints have wrestled through and gotten a word from God, when they have said it all, argued with God, offered up all their objections and God is still steadfast, then only one word will serve to move from reluctance to action. Remember, you do not have to understand it or relish it, or even like it. You just have to cast the net anyway.

Been hearing from God for a tough and seemingly unrealistic task? Be of good comfort. You are in good company.

Moses was a speech-impaired octogenarian when God called him back to Egypt where there was a price on his head. Abraham was a married man with obligations when God called him to leave it all without even knowing the destination. David Wilkerson was the pastor of a rural church with no inner-city experience when God called him to work with gangs in New York City. And no one, not even a nun named Teresa, wanted to care for the filthy, terminally ill of India.

“Lord, Peter was different from us.”

“No, he wasn’t.”

“What about Joshua? He was different, right?”





“Just like you.”

“Well, why did they get all those miracles?”

“Because when I commanded, they answered.”

“What did they say, Lord?”


When you are too tired, too old, too young, too impoverished, or too bound up by obligations to obey a calling of God, let Him hear all about it. Tell Him about your long, dark night of fruitless fishing. Tell Him that your back hurts and your arms are sore, and that, anyway, fish don’t bite in the daytime on your particular lake and that you are surprised He doesn’t know that. Tell Him all that.

Then look into His wonderful, calm, unruffled eyes and say:

“Nevertheless, at Thy word…”

Our Daily Bread – Daily Devotion

April 25, 2008
It’s Not A Game

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow Me. —Mark 8:34

My former neighbor often talked about “the game of life,” and I can understand why he did. It’s part of human nature to approach life as one big game made up of a lot of little games. Competing can be fun, exciting, and stimulating.

But life is a whole lot more than a game—especially for a follower of Jesus Christ. When a believer needs to own the biggest house, drive the largest SUV, get the promotion first, and win every argument, something’s terribly wrong from God’s point of view. It’s not right to run over people’s feelings, bend or break the rules, and gloat over victories.

To approach life as one big game that you always have to win is to live in hopeless delusion and fantasy. While material possessions, professional success, and personal victories are enjoyable, they last only for this life. Then they’re all left behind.

Jesus instructed His disciples to deny themselves, identify with His cross, and follow Him in self-denial, and for some that even meant death (Mark 8:34-35). He made it clear to His disciples that artificial victories in “the game of life” don’t count for much. What really counts is what’s done for the Lord.  — David C. Egner

If I have but Jesus, only Jesus—
Nothing else in all the world beside—
O then everything is mine in Jesus;
For my needs and more He will provide. —Olander
© 1950 Baptist Conference Press

Those who live for God are the real winners in life.

Our Daily Bread – Daily Devotion

April 21, 2008

Long before the US professional baseball season begins each spring, team owners and managers are busy negotiating trades and contracts. They’ll pay large sums of money to get the athlete who will help them win the championship. When the season starts, all eyes are on the newly acquired talent to see if he was worth the cost. The ultimate measure of the player’s success is whether his contribution to the team is a good return on the investment.

In 1 Corinthians 6:20, Paul reminds us that we too have been “bought at a price.” The context paints a compelling picture of Christ’s great sacrifice. He liberated us from the cruel slavemaster of sin by buying us with the high price of His own life.

Getting a grip on God’s great and loving investment in us should motivate us to gladly consider making His sacrifice rich in dividends. How is that return on His investment measured? By living to bring glory to Him! Our eyes, hands, feet, thoughts, dreams, and desires have been purchased to reflect the wondrous glory of God’s will and wisdom. In other words, we are no longer our own.

Paul concluded, “Therefore glorify God in your body” (v.20). Living to reflect His glory is the return on investment that makes the Owner of our lives look good! — Joe Stowell

Redemption’s price our Savior paid
When all our sins on Him were laid;
He took our guilt, He bore our shame
That we may glorify His name. —D. De Haan

Our choice to bring glory to God yields a great return on Christ’s investment.

Our Daily Bread – Devotion

April 11, 2008
After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. —Acts 16:7


On Friday, my day of rest as a pastor, the Holy Spirit prompted me to call a young single mother in our faith community to see if her car had been repaired. I had some reservations about making the call, but I obeyed.

Little did I know that my obedience would help save her life. She said later: “Friday at work I was planning on taking my life; but in a time of need, I believe God was there for me. He had Pastor Williams call me, and just by listening to his voice, I knew that God loved me.”

The apostle Paul must have had reservations when the Holy Spirit prompted him and his team not to go into the provinces of Asia and Bithynia. Instead, they felt the Spirit’s call to go into Macedonia to preach the good news. In each situation, they obeyed the Spirit’s promptings. As a result, Paul and his team were instrumental in giving birth to a new faith community in Philippi (Acts 16:11-15).

As believers in Christ who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:22), our desire should be to please Him. May we not grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) by ignoring His gentle promptings. When we obey Him, we might be used by God to lead someone to Christ, to disciple new believers—or even to help save somebody’s life. — Marvin Williams

Holy Spirit, we would hear
Your inner promptings, soft and clear;
And help us know Your still, small voice
So we may make God’s will our choice. —D. De Haan

Make the right choice: Obey the Spirit’s voice.

Warren’s challenge to pastors: ‘What has God put in your hands?’

by Michelle A Vu, US Correspondent
Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008, 7:26 (BST)

'What has God put in your hands?'

Best-selling author of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ Pastor Rick Warren speaks at the 19th annual National Conference on Preaching in Woodbridge, Va., on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.
(Christian Today)

Internationally revered Pastor Rick Warren slipped into the conference hall unnoticed Tuesday night, comfortably mingling with the hundreds of pastors gathered at the 19th annual National Conference on Preaching, before stepping on stage to deliver a sermon that reminded the audience why Warren is one of the most popular pastors in the world.

In his sermon entitled “Growing Spiritually,” Warren recounted the runaway success of his book The Purpose Driven Life – the best-selling book in history behind the Bible – to the audience gathered at Woodbridge, Virginia, in the US. The sermon was based on the story in Exodus 4 about the scene where God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground and it transforms into a snake.

“That question, ‘What is in your hand?’ is one of the most important questions in life. What is in your hand?” Warren asked his audience, citing God’s question to Moses in Exodus 4:2.

God tells Moses to throw the staff in his hand on the ground and “something that was dead comes alive”, Warren emphasised. The pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California then made two points: God never does miracles to show off and God never asks questions that he does not already know the answer. God asks questions for our benefit, said Warren.

He went on to explain the significance of the staff which represented Moses’ identity as a shepherd; symbolised his income because wealth was tied to livestock back in those days; and symbolised his influence – Moses used the staff to pull or push his sheep.

“‘Lay it down and it will come alive, but Moses every time you pick it up it’s going to die,’” said Warren. “That simple little experience was the turning point in the history of the world.”

After that scene in the Bible, it was never again referred to as Moses’ staff but always called the Rod of God. The Rod of God was used to part the Red Sea, to turn the Nile River into blood, to perform miracles in front of pharaoh and to make water come out of a rock.

“It was just a simple stick. There was nothing magical about it, but once Moses surrendered it to God, it became the Rod of God,” Warren noted. “Pastors, what is in your hands?” the speaker challenged.

Courtesy of Christian Today

It Was A Glorious Easter Sunday

The day was fabulous. Started off the day by leading worship for our Youth Group at Church. Came home and put the finishing touches on the feast our family had for Easter dinner. Family all came to our house. Honey baked ham, garlic potatoes, deviled eggs, salad, dinner rolls, vege tray for snacks, Strawbooty cake (as my two year old affectionately calls it), key lime pie and Turtle pie. We’re all fat and sleepy.

But seriously, I praise Jesus today. It seems I’ll never fully understand the fullness of the price He paid for my sins on that cross. But I am so very thankful for Him. He is worthy of our praise. Praise His mighty Name!

God bless you all on this Easter Sunday evening…


Little Things

Luke 16:10
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

How do I convey this to a 16 year old who knows everything? Better yet, how do I learn this myself? It’s so simple, yet so vital. And it is a spiritual truth that God acts on without fail. If He can not trust us with very little He can not trust us with much. It’s right there in black and white. If you are struggling with anything in your life, and I’m saying this to myself as I sit here and type… this is a good place to start to look to understand why you may be struggling.

Now back to my 16 year old…

Pray for me!