Saturdays can be a strange day for worship leaders. It’s technically a “day off”, but often ends up the busiest day of the week. If you have a family, you know that Saturdays often involve housework or errands or running kids to and from as many locations as possible.
But it’s also the day before you stand in front of God’s people for corporate worship. It’s an important thing to lead worship and too often I end my Saturday having done nothing to prepare for Sunday.
Below, you’ll find a short checklist of things you can do on Saturday to get focused and prepared. Every Saturday is different, but trying to hit these consistently may just make your Sunday morning a little less stressful.
- Go to bed early. I’m a late-night guy. “Going to bed early” is not really my thing and many worship leaders feel the same way. (What’s wrong with us?) It may seem boring, but a good, long rest at night can definitely prepare you for worship leading. Better sleep makes waking up early a little bit easier and it allows you more time to pray and prepare for Sunday. But there’s also a third benefit – discipline. Going to be early is an obvious and intentional way to prioritize the importance of corporate worship. When I lay down on a Saturday night, I know that I’m doing something for the good of our worship service. And because it’s an intentional, disciplined act, I’m able to value it…even when I’d rather stay up and play video games.
- Look over your set. Some of you may make up a song list on Sunday morning, but I think that’s a small percentage. Most of us know what we’re playing beforehand and for some, we’ve even rehearsed it with our team ahead of time. Saturday is a great time to look over the set and think about how it all fits together. This is a great time to make notes on specific scripture you need to share or to gather your thoughts as to what you’ll be saying and praying. In my own life, some of the most beneficial, impactful worship moments have happened through a Saturday look-through and prayer.
- Be with your family. Take ’em to lunch. Let the wife sleep in. Eat donuts. Most of our families make big sacrifices every Sunday for the sake of our calling…spend Saturday goofing off.
- Don’t go to the church. This one is HARD for me. Every Saturday night, I’m sitting around thinking, “I need to run up there and burn those CDs so I won’t have to do it tomorrow” or “Did I make sure that monitor was moved?” At the core, this is actually me trying to lead well – organized, at ease, all that jazz – but it ends up totally messing with my Saturday night focus. Because I will inevitably spend way too long up at the church trying to make sure I’ve got control of everything. Which I never will. Unless you’re running down a crisis…don’t go to the church on Saturday night.
What about you? What helps prepare you on a Saturday night?