Last week, we talked about the beautiful chaos of The First 10 Minutes of a band or choir rehearsal.
(On a side note, this past Sunday, we were at church, and the first 10 minutes of our rehearsal was exactly as I described - chatting, laughing, and tuning. In the midst of the noise, two of our musicians turned to each other and said, “I just love the start of rehearsal. This is the best time.” I smiled as I thought about last week’s blogpost!)
So what do you do with all that joyful noise? How do you bring it all together?
For me, there’s just one answer: Prayer.
I can’t imagine starting our rehearsals without prayer. It seems like a simple and obvious choice, but surprisingly few groups actually use it on a regular basis. If we are indeed worship leaders, then let’s start our rehearsal with an act of worship.
There are as many ways to pray as there are worship teams. Some read from a prayer book. Others allow a freeflowing time where each member can contribute. The style you choose really just needs to reflect your group. I’m reminded of this beautiful verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…”
Let’s use this verse as a guide for praying with our music groups:
I love to start our rehearsal with praise! If the band has been cracking up and telling jokes, we give thanks for laughter and friendship. We offer praise for our house of worship, our talents, and the opportunity to offer those talents to God and His people.
Gerald and I attended a Break Forth workshop by Paul Baloche where he spoke about the power of personal worship. He said that our worship leadership will be authentic only if it’s an extension of our private worship. The same goes for our rehearsal prayers. Pray for your singers, your musicians, and your own leadership throughout the week. Whether your prayer is extemporaneous or selected from a prayer book, allow it to flow from your daily prayer life. I generally lead our opening prayers, so before we arrive at a church, I take a moment to quiet myself, call out to God, and listen. Through this, my heart is open and ready to pray when I stand in front of the team.
Give Thanks In All Circumstances
Thanksgiving is a huge part of our prayer life. We give thanks for everyone on the team, the tech, the ability to gather safely in worship, and the leadership of the church. But the tricky piece is “in all circumstances.” Personal pain is one example, but churches can have a particular kind of pain. Politics, budgets, and personal agendas can make even the best of churches seem very un-Christian at times, and there will be times when your musicians and congregation will be suffering. Pray through it. Be there for each other. Remember the beauty and honour of your position as worship leaders. And in all things, give thanks that God is eternal, loving, and always in control.
I’d love to hear more about how you pray with your team!
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below...
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