Worship Leaders - Why do we rehearse so long?

I have been running into more and more trouble over the lst 6 months in getting through rehearsals. I find us running for almost 2 hrs on our weeknight schedule, and nearly an hour and a half on Sundays. What is the deal? How can we be more productive with our time. Here are a few things to consider, things I plan to be very aware of in the next few weeks

Start on Time
It is real easy to talk about nothing for the first 10 or 15 min, but real difficult to get people to stay 10 - 15 min at the end.

Run your easy stuff first
As much as it helps to run songs in the order they will be played on Sunday, new songs can take up the entire rehearsal

Don't plan all new stuff
This is my own worst mistake. I am continually listening to music that I want to implement, but my tendancy is to add all of it all at once. For every new song, plan for a goldie oldie - this helps with rehearsal time. (And I'm learning that the people on Sunday morning want to sing stuff they already know - the whole service should not feel like a new music concert.)

Plan your services at least 2 weeks in advance
This allows you to keep your mind on the big picture. Think about they music over a month, or over a series rather than just the upcoming Sunday. By having the service planned I mean have lead sheets/music printed out, and audio CDs/MP3s available to everyone. I use a great resource called Planning Center that has made this incredibly easy.

Press your musicians to come to rehearsal prepared
If you have given out music a week in advance to your musicians (more than that is almost wasted effort - they won't look at it anway) pressuring them to come to rehearsal with music ready is not too much to ask. However, if you send them an email link on Tuesday, expect your rehearsal Wed night to be slow and sloppy. Again, Planning Center allows you to see when your musicians are downloading their music - and you will know who printed it off and threw it in the gig bag on the way to rehearsal.

Have a clock in view during rehearsal
This will be a new one for me. I expect my musicians to keep me honest if I say "give me 10 minutes on this song"

What do you have for me? Remember, this is not a list of "How to plan a worship set" that gets into all that Religious Christianny stuff. I'll save that for another post. This is pureley about rehearsal techinques.


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