Worship Rehearsal Stress: 10 Tips to Eliminate It

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Worship Rehearsal Stress: 10 Tips to Eliminate It

by Charles Bach

In 20+ years of being a believer, I’ve moved from state to state a bit, so I’ve been on several worship teams. Sadly, I’ve done a lot of things wrong. On the other hand, I've also learned how to do a few things right.

But many of the problems I’ve run up against are universal and not confined to just one church. “Problems” always turn into one thing: Stress!

So, with this said, here are 10 Tips to Eliminate Worship Rehearsal Stress

1. Worshiping During Rehearsal. I visit lots of churches and I always make it a point to go to pre-service rehearsal. On very rare occasions do I see the worship team—that is, the team who leads the congregation in worship—worshiping during rehearsal. When we worship, we get our eyes off of us, our problems and frustrations and refocus our entire being on God.

Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.
— John 4:23

2. Worshiping During Service. So many times, worship team members (especially musicians) feel that worshiping is the responsibility of the Worship Leader. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone in the building—including musicians—should be worshiping. It’s what we were created for. If you're not worshiping, you either (a) have a pride issue, or (b) a lack of preparation issue.

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.
— Revelation 4:11

3. Arriving Prepared. I see many musicians and vocalists arriving to pre-service rehearsal “kinda” knowing their parts; though they are fully relying on others to be prepared. Ask yourself this: “What if everyone arrived for rehearsal as prepared as I usually am?” Would your worship team sound and look like a well-oiled machine, or more like a garage band? Remember that when you’re prepared, the time you would have spent stressing on getting your part right can now be spent worshiping and stress-free.

Jesus said, “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”
— Luke 14:28

4. Know That Your Worship team is Not a Band. Many young—and even tenured worship team members—make the mistake of thinking that the rules which apply to a band, naturally apply also to a worship team. They don’t. A worship team isn’t a democracy, where everyone gets an equal vote. A worship team should have a Worship Leader (or Worship Pastor), who reports to their Pastor. These two are the sole decision-makers for your church's worship team. Everyone else's job on the team is to support the music (musical foundation) for the Worship Leader.

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
— 1 Peter 5:5

5. Appreciate Other Team Members. It’s easy to get a bad attitude when that one person on your team who always arrives late is late…again. Or when someone forgot their part. The more difficult thing to do is to have appreciation for their gift, their heart, and their commitment to the team and your church. If a team member needs correction, let their leader do that. As believers, we're sternly warned in James 4:12 not to judge our neighbor, but to love them.

Love each other with genuine affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
— Romans 12:10

6. Don’t Add Stress to Your Worship Leader Before Service or Rehearsal. Rehearsal or pre-service time is not the time to tell your Worship Leader that you need to be off for certain dates on the worship team schedule. Nor is it the right time to offload stress that your gear isn’t working properly. They are about to lead your congregation in worship, so they need to be as carefree as possible. Be an asset to them; not a liability.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
— Hebrews 13:17

7. See the Good in Every Song. So, there are two songs in your worship set this weekend that you can’t stand? Join the club; it’s just part of being on a worship team…or any music team. It’s easy to have a bad attitude about having to play a song you don’t like. It’s harder (and more rewarding) when you can find the good about a song.

...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
— Philippians 4:8

8. Remember that Your Gift is Helping People Get Free. As a member of the church body, your gift of musicianship is a blessing to your church. When a worship team comes together—united—with one voice, satanic strongholds are broken; allowing your church to get free from illnesses, bondages, sins, and other life issues that we all go through.

From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
— Ephesians 4:16

9. Implementing a “First Note” Time. You know the drill: You wake up early Sunday morning…hit the snooze twice. But if everything goes as planned…and all the stars align perfectly, you’ll arrive at rehearsal barely on time. Umm…that’s not giving God your best. If your team’s rehearsal time is say, 8am, everyone should be there—in their positions—ready to play the “first note” promptly at 8am. Remember, when you signed up to be on the worship team, you also made a vow to the LORD to be prompt and on time, because God says:

You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.”
— Deuteronomy 23:23

10. Arrive Prayed Up. When I joined my first worship team many years ago, I was under the misguided impression that my only responsibility was to know my musical part, and it was the Worship Pastor’s responsibility to arrive full of the Spirit. Ohhhh...how I’ve learned otherwise. So, what if the Worship Leader didn’t arrive full of the Spirit? What would that look like? Chaos…total chaos. Why? You have to remember that satan wants to disrupt your church service from the get-go. You can combat his plan by making sure you are prayed up by the time you drive onto the church parking lot.

Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.
— 1 Peter 5:8 (CEV)


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