Dr. Tim’s Worship Tip of the Month – May 2010

Worship Tip of the Month | Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Where seldom is heard a discouraging word

LWF-Tim3Worship should always be one of the most exhilarating and uplifting things we ever do on this planet together! We gather to worship Jesus, not out of compulsion or guilt but in answer to His call ‘Come be with Me’. His ongoing passion to dwell in and inhabit our praises, to abide with us, is that which draws us to His presence.

So He doesn’t gather us together to begin His punishment of us or to start listing our faults or enumerating our failures. That was the whole purpose of the cross: to give us immediate and complete access to the Father ‘that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need’ (Heb.4:16). And neither does He want His leaders and worshipers being the fault-finders and exposers of those around them. His presence and worship is sacred and holy and everything we do and say should reflect His nature or Who He is!

We all know there are some things that need to be corrected and people adjusted at times, but that should be the exception rather than the rule. And specifically concerning the worship ministry, it should be the best place to display the heart of the Father not only on Sunday mornings but in every situation – especially the rehearsal! I have seen Christian leaders get red-faced and angry and even throw things at people who messed up a line of music or who weren’t listening when they were supposed to, or came to the rehearsal with a bad attitude, etc. It made it hard to come back for the next episode of ‘who get’s in trouble tonight?’ Every gathering should be eagerly looked forward to by all our people not dreaded.

So let’s talk some about establishing a positive environment in our worship, starting with the worship team and specifically during a rehearsal. Can we be positive, edifying and uplifting and still get anything done during a practice? Don’t you have to yell and scream at some people to get them to do want you want them to do? I taught Junior High music in the public schools for 8 years, and believe me, the temptation to let go and let them have it was overwhelming at times! So how do we accomplish anything and remain positive in our sessions together? How do we get there?

  1. A positive spirit always starts with youPhp 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Focus on the good things of your team, the worship, the music, the church. Refuse to entertain negative trains of thought.
  2. Be prepared for every rehearsalPreach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. 2Timothy 4:2 Let your group walk into a ready and restful atmosphere, not hurried and rushed. Music, stands, mics, sound, lights, chairs, cds, etc. everything ready to go! Know exactly what you are going to do from the very beginning.
  3. Pace the rehearsal – This works especially working with younger members. Keep your tempo up especially between songs. Know what you are going to say and do before a song ends! Interject an immediate positive response and excitement for what was just done or what you are about to do.
  4. Change your vocabularyProv.18:21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat the fruit of it. Start by learning to turn something negative (‘that was terrible’) into something positive (‘okay, let’s try it again and watch your pitch on the high G – I know you can do it!’)
  5. Ignore negative talk – Oftentimes, well-meaning members will try to give their opinion on a song or ‘help’ by correcting me or someone else, etc. First, I never take it personally, ever! Second, I try not to acknowledge the comment (if it’s negative or mean) and definitely I dont engage them or correct them back. If it’s somebody with an attitude and an on-going confrontational spirit, I take them aside privately after the rehearsal and address it there. If they can’t control themselves, they are gone.
  6. Find a way to compliment as many people as possible – I love the challenge of finding good things to say about people and still help them grow in their gift. I don’t believe in flattery and it doesn’t help anybody to tell them something that is untrue or silly. But to find that special thing that they did well in a single moment and bring it to everyone’s attention can sometimes change everything around. Try it!
  7. Stay focused on the goal – Remember your purpose in rehearsing – it’s not to get a great sound! It’s to glorify Jesus. To express His love and His beauty – you just can’t do that in a negative way. Imagine saying this to a worship band: ‘That was awful. Tell me how even one phrase of that song glorified Jesus?’ Tragic, and yet that is said many times in the context of excellence in music. Worship is first, music second. Maybe put your instruments down with no singing and then just have a moment of silence and reflect on His wonder. He is the goal!

You can make every rehearsal delightful, positive and something to look forward to. This will change your Sunday worship automatically!

Dr. Tim Smith

©2010 SongSmith Ministries

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