A Guide to Leading Charismatic Worship
Part II. Preparing for Worship (part 5 of 5)
B. External Preparation
3. Practicing Your Songs
Being present at practice is part of your commitment as a servant. Reading on, it will be easy to see why this is so.
We have said previously that whether God accepts our offering of praise ultimately depends on Him. This should not mean however that practicing or preparing for worship is futile. Our ministry’s namesake proclaimed that he will “not sacrifice to the Lord God burnt offerings that cost [him] nothing.” (II Samuel 24:24). In the same way, let us willingly sacrifice our time and energy in developing the gifts we have been given.
Before meeting with the ministry for practice, make sure you’ve practiced on your own, especially if you plan to introduce a new song for your lineup. See to it that you’ve prepared all necessary materials your co-ministers may need to learn the song (e.g. songsheets, mp3 copies of the song). Above all, make certain that you know the song by heart so that you can confidently and effectively teach it to others. All these steps are more useful if done ahead of time (i.e. before the appointed day of practice).
If you were able to do a worship “dry-run” during private prayer, now is the time to explain and instruct the group on all the special riffs, transitions and modifications you have planned for your worship songs. Close coordination with regards to starts and stops, order of verses, pauses, instrumentals, accompaniment build-up, planned spontaneous singing and others is tremendously helpful in making a seamlessly put together worship. Our goal is to bring people to worship, and the less they are distracted by our unsure entrances and confused singing, the better. (In other words, don’t let your lack of practice or coordination be the one that prevents them from having a genuine worship experience).
Lastly, constant practice is essential in making the ministry a unified worshiping body. Steve Pruitt speaks truly in saying, “Spontaneity is best when it is under girded with thorough preparation.” Sharing the same thoughts about how and when a song begins or ends, or how it segues to spontaneous singing, can only be achieved through regular practice over time.
As has already been said, you can only take others to places you yourself have been. So bring your level of private worship to your ministry practices, and subsequently, may the unified worshiping spirit you share during practice translate to worship in community.