I think most worship leaders have the same outlook on midweek practice:

“I don’t want to, but we probably should.”

That’s not to say we don’t benefit from mid-week rehearsal or that it’s not a good thing. But there is a value to “taking off” from time to time.

It’s not a good to NEVER rehearse, but there are some real benefits to canceling your mid-week rehearsal and just surviving on an pre-service run through.

In my experience, skipping mid-week rehearsal causes the musicians to become better at musical execution. As much as we’d all like to have a set band of four professional grade musicians each week, that’s not the case for most of us. The majority of us have rotating groups of players made up of varying skill level. Playing with just a Sunday run through will build the ability to “perform” when needed. The second benefit is that it creates better listening in your team. Admit it – you’ve always got a couple of folks who don’t listen to their music until they’re driving to rehearsal, right? So your mid-week rehearsal get tied up in just making sure everybody knows the song before you start playing it. No mid-week rehearsal will put a good, healthy pressure on your people to be prepared when they walk in.

I’m not advocating killing all mid-week rehearsing forever, but I will say that removing that from the “lives” of your musicians has a strange effect on their overall attitude toward ministry. By minimizing the necessity of rehearsal, you make room for your musicians to realize an important lesson – MUSIC IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE CHURCH.

We’ve got too many people who think once they knock out five songs, they’re done. Downplaying rehearsal will give you the platform to talk to players about other ways they can serve the church. Ways that don’t involve songs.

Don’t you hate it when you walk in your house and say, Hey, gang, I cancelled rehearsal for tonight and your whole family moans and your spouse pulls you aside and says “Are you sure you shouldn’t go? I’d rather you go up there.”

Doesn’t happen that way.

Think about how happy YOUR family is to have you on a rehearsal night, then multiply that by 100. That’s how much the spouses and children of your team members will feel. Why not give your people the gift of a free night now and then?

A friend of mine was just sharing that he was about to play a gig with no rehearsal. I loved how he put it: “Makes a man feel alive.” Rolling in cold to a Sunday service will definitely amp up the excitement. The next time you start feeling like Sunday is just one long, boring event, cancel a rehearsal and show up on Sunday. That’ll do it.

When you know you’ve got some weeks with no rehearsal, you’ll plan sets differently. You’ll work harder to find stuff that’s more familiar and you’ll be protected from overstepping and throwing too much at your congregation on a Sunday.

That’s not to say you can’t do new songs cold – there is a way to do that – but you learn a lot about yourself as a worship leader when you take away the TRY NEW STUFF option.

What about you?
Do you like mid-week rehearsal or hate it?

One comment

  1. Pingback: 5 THINGS I THINK ABOUT DURING REHEARSAL « toddwright

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