Ever wonder what it’s like for the worship leader BEFORE services begin? Well, wonder no more. For those of you who are worship leaders, I’m sure you can identify with this short chronicle of a typical Sunday’s pre-service drill.
The our before usually starts the night before. I think thru, walk thru, pray thru stuff that we’ve got to do. I’m usually a little nervous. I wake early and hopefully its less than 30 min before I’ve got coffee in me. I’m out the door, and when I arrive at the worship center I usually am the one that turns on lights and checks the AC units around the room. Pastor likes it cold. So do I. Some of our female singers hate it. I know I shouldn’t, but they shiver and I chuckle.
I will usually first spend a few minutes looking over our order of worship (for the 27th time) before I meet with the senior pastor about transitions and any parts of the service that we need to come together on. We always have a laugh or two, it’s a good relationship. By 7:30 I’m reading the Pastor’s sermon, using what he’s saying to lead our teams thru our material and leverage his message thru the songs. 7:50, I’m back in the worship center prepping my equipment; rechecking my amp/pedal board and in-ear monitor system. I’ve usually already powered up the house audio system and the stage lighting. By this time our technical team members are arriving (we call them our “Squirrel Team” because they’re so resourceful and at times look like a group of squirrels when they’re doing their thing) along with our musicians and singers. I bring donuts. They like that.
At 8:15 we begin our prep time by walking thru the day logistically. We talk about transitions and then we talk thru Pastor’s message. We plan and discuss how we’re going to leverage the pastor’s message thru the words and songs we’re singing. Every part of what we do has a purpose, and we talk thru it at length. Excellence starts by understanding purpose, and we have to be intentional about leveraging that purpose. We pray together, and begin working thru the music. My favorite part of the pre-service prep! I love working the music.
We rehearse for about 75 min, then have a break before the service starts. At 9:45 we have a Technical Meeting to do a last minute talk-thru of every part of the service. We make sure that anything and everything that has a “moving part” in the service is operational, secure and has no possibility for failure. Hopefully.
I take a few minutes to quiet myself before I meet with our band/choir/worship team back stage before service. We talk again thru the service, pray and then step out on stage. The count-down hits zero…and off we go.
We do it week in and week out, but it never gets old to me. I love the freshness. I love the anticipation of being with people as they are presented an opportunity to worship. I’m lost in the hope that a response, not necessarily my kind of response, will be made to this God we worship. I’m saddened to see people deluded by their view of being a christian, and I hurt for those who seem to have a distain for being at church during the music service.
Jeremiah 1:17 is my friend; “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.” NIV
Singing to an audience of one, a single purpose in worship and a heart pure before God are my goals for each day. I’m honored to do what I do.
To see MORE examples of ministry in The Hour Before, see Rob Rash’s blog, a GREAT place for inspiration and information. Thanks Rob, for allowing me to be a part of this post series! Check out these EXCELLENT blogs out!
Tyler Braun – is a seminary student, worship leader, and writer from Portland, Oregon who is passionate about worship within the context of the local church.
Scott Harrison – Leader of Adult Worship ministries, Communications, Technology Ministries and is a member of Senior Leadership Team of Midway Church.
Jeff Allen - is a blogger, songwriter, and worship leader at Christ Church C/M in Collinsville/Maryville, IL. He is married to Brittani and lives in Belleville, IL
Chris Vacher – is the director of worship at Orangeville Baptist Church just outside Toronto where he lives with his wife and four kids.He is also the founder of WorshipRises.
Ryan Egan – is a follower of Jesus, husband, father, musician, worship leader, and Free Lutheran. Ryan’s desire is to equip congregations and church attenders to live a life of worship.
Paulo Clayton – is the Associate Worship Pastor for Discovery Church in Orlando, FL. He’s married to Alissa and has served God’s Church as a worship leader and artist for over ten years.
Nathan Sutliff – is the worship arts pastor at Westminster Church of the Nazarene just outside Denver Colorado. He somehow convinced his beautiful wife Kelly to marry him, have no kids, but are the proud owners of two manly shih-tzus.
Conor Scholes – is the worship pastor at Noland Road Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri. He is married to Elizabeth, and has two energetic boys, Caleb and Jack.
Jon Wellman – is a Christ-follower, husband, father, and Minister of Music and Outreach at First Baptist Church Fairview Heights. He lives in Swansea, IL.
David Santistevan – is the Worship and Young Adult Pastor at Allison Park Church. He’s married to Emily and enjoys blogging, eating, and geeking out over music.
Mat Reames – is a seminary student who serves as part time worship leader with Eagle Rock, a church plant in Lawrence, KS.
Joel Klampert – is a designer of Art, Worship, and Community. His an avid blogger, social media ninja, Speaker, artist, worship leader (at Lifepath Church in RI), creative, conference planner (co-founder of The Forge Conference). Joel is married to the most beautiful woman on the planet and his soul mate. They have 3 amazing boys and one little princess