Worship Well

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Art of Worship series


What exactly do we mean by practice?

Is it a simple jam session where we play our favourite tunes, or is it a means where we can have fellowship, pray together, and also to learn to play together as a team. As a Worship team the Lord has given each member particular gifts in music, whether it be playing an instrument or just using your voice. A lot of these musical gifts come from a foundation of natural ability, which God has chosen to use, in order to bless fellow worshippers.

In practising together you need be disciplined, because when you get together you will learn from each other, in the way you approach the playing of different songs. Musically it helps you to get to know each other abilities and gifts, and recognise those who are really anointed by God. You also start to build relationships outside the Church services which leads to a greater mutual respect for each other. You can encourage each other as well, as you learn to play together in serving the Church and the Lord.

Here are some guidelines, hopely that will help you as a Worship team.

[1]. Commitment !

There can be no half hearted response to serving the Lord in the Worship Team. In the past I have found to my cost, what it is to have a half hearted attitude to being in a worship team. I did not build relationships or really fulfil my potential at that time as a musician. Even now as a Worship Leader, I have the responsibility to show commitment in the way I manage the team. So be committed to the team, it will bless you, it will bless the other members and also it bless you musically as well, as you learn to worship the Lord together.

[2] Time?

This is what I call the million dollar question. We are all well aware that there never seems to be enough hours in the day and never enough days in the week to fit everything in. You have the weekly prayer meeting, the weekly house/cell group, then thereís the Alpha meeting, the youth meeting, and if your on the Church Council, you have those meetings as well. If you belong to a small Church, you will notice that several people will not only have one job within the Church but several. The most important thing about this area of time is be realistic, and plan the practises accordingly. Ideally once a fortnight, even better, once a week if you have the facilities to do so. However you work the timing out, please do it, because your congregation will notice if you donít!

[3] Agreement

Agree on what songs you are going to practice. Work out introductions and endings for particular songs, which can be easily done if you have a pianist. If you have a large worship team, try and work out arrangements, discuss ideas, involved everyone in the process, it will encourage them to be creative. But most of all be in agreement, so that everyone knows what they are doing.

[4] Keys

Make sure that everyone is aware of the right key for each song. For guitarist, capoís are useful for those who have difficulty with bar chords. Encourage those who are lacking in experience and ability to press on and develop their skills in whatever instrument they have chosen to play.

If you have people going to the practice meeting to develop their skills, and feel unsure about playing in the services, still encourage them and when the time is right, encourage them to play in the services.

[5] Secret Sign Language

Most Worship Leaders, as they start to build a worship team, begin to develop what I call the secret sign language, signs that only the worship team know the meaning of. This can lead to having some great fun as well. These are the signs from the Worship Leader to the worship team, of his intentions, so they will be able to follow him without getting loss and interrupting the flow of the worship.

For instance, a sign for repeating a chorus, playing softly in the background when a prophetic word is given, or a bible verse is shared. A sign to finish a song, or to play a instrumental during a song. This can be great fun to work out, and the trick is not to give the game away to the congregation. The whole purpose of secret sign language, is to keep the interruption to the flow of the worship to a minimum, and so keep the continuity of the worship time.

[6] Tempoís

The speed in which you play songs can either make them or break them. Songs are written for praise and worship, not for the Grand Prix circuit. Donít play songs too fast that you canít sing them, or play them to slow, unless they are really worshipful ones, so that people will not get bored by the 4th verse.

A lot of things that we have talked about are common sense things, that any anointed Worship Leader or team member would be aware of. Practising together is also worshipping together as a team and enjoying fellowship with one another

Author:Paul Unsworth

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