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Worship Encouragement- Reinvent Worship Rehearsal

REINVENT WORSHIP REHEARSAL  Problem: People come into practice tired. They’ve been working hard all week. They show up. They didn’t have time to practice. They are a little stressed. You pull it together. You say a quick prayer at the end of the night. You go home and hope they work on it. Then on Sundays, we are expecting them to deliver an environment of encounter when, in reality, they perhaps haven’t even spent time with Jesus throughout the week. How do you provide that moment for people where they can take a breath, spend time with Jesus, get energized, learn their music, build community, and be prepared to deliver a high-impact weekend experience? Solution: Reinvent how we are doing rehearsals. Nic Payne, a worship leader out of Minnesota, created three phases to change the way they did their weekly rehearsals. Not only did it work, but he saw a positive shift in their culture and a knitting together of their hearts. (He explains his process and the phases in this podcast HERE.) Phase 1: Get people together, and feed them a meal at a table where they have to sit down and face each other and get to know each other. People think they know each other. But reality is, they don’t. Do they know their hopes and dreams? Biggest fears? When you are sitting down and looking across the table eating pizza with someone, there is a point where you end up asking, “What do you do? I don’t even know where you work.” Real conversation begins to happen without you forcing it. Something happens at a meal; walls are broken down.  Nic holds a practice just for those who are scheduled that week. An optional dinner is served at 6p for anyone on the team who wants to come. And how you know it’s working is that people show up who aren’t even scheduled for that weekend. They just want to come hang with everyone, and they leave once rehearsal starts. Goal: The people you serve with become a primary friend group (not in a way where you abandon other friends). They become the people you call when you get the promotion. The people who weep with you when your grandfather dies. Fridge rights. Phase 2: For the last 15min of rehearsal, circle up, lights dim, play music in the background, and pray for each other by name. There is an intentional period of time where we are focused on pouring into and ministering to each other. (This typically doesn’t happen in the rehearsal environment.)  The food addresses a physical need. Prayer addresses the intimate need we have for time with Jesus and connection with humans that push us towards Christ. Nic found that people took more advantage of the pre-practice dinner time. They wanted to know what to pray about for each other. There was intentionality during dinner conversation. They took a deeper interest in one another so they would have something to pray for each other. Phase 3: Worship through your setlist. The purpose of this is to minister to your volunteers. Dim the lights. Set the atmosphere. It is still rehearsal, so if they need to stop because it’s still settling in, it’s ok. This is their moment to worship Jesus. They probably haven’t had any time to sit and soak in the presence of Jesus. Just flow. Practice spontaneity. It’s a safe place to mess up. Sit on a chord progression. Let vocalists prophetically sing. You are also practicing flowing as a band. The spontaneous builds chemistry as a band, teaches us to follow one another. Something shifts in our hearts when someone breaks out in a melody that wasn’t planned. Something erupts in our hearts. The spontaneous is vital.  Practical Application: Nic found that introducing these in phases created wins instead of overwhelming the group by changing everything at once.  Weekly Practices: If you are having weekly practices, start introducing the phases. Start with phase 1 for a few months, then add in phase 2, and so forth. Monthly Practices: If you don’t have weekly practices, start with a monthly practice. Build the structure around the phases. You can do all of them if you are starting something new. If you do it, it will work.

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