Last week, I talked about planning a worship experience. Once you have planned the elements and flow of the service, it is so important that you produce a written, detailed plan of the service to give to your musicians and technical crew.
As worship leader/planner, you (and your worship planning team) are responsible for orchestrating the service from start to finish, not sectionalized. Too often, our services are made up of disjointed pieces that offer no flow or direction. Once you have determined those connecting pieces, whether a musical connection, a Scripture passage, a spoken word, or a prayer, then you need to outline the details in a worship plan to be published for the entire team.
The worship plan should minimally give the following information for all songs:
- The name of the song
- The key of the song (be sure to note beginning and ending keys, if applicable)
- The expected sequences of the songs (i.e. song map–order of verses, choruses, bridges, etc.), such as CCVCCT.
- The planned introduction of the song (a written introduction, certain measure numbers, what kind of instrumentation, etc.). If the song is not the first of a set of songs, then you should describe how you will bridge from the previous song to this song.
This written plan will alleviate potential confusion in rehearsal and will aid the computer operator in making sure the right sequence of the song is properly entered into the software. It will also insure that you have thoroughly thought through the connections of songs and their sequences before the rehearsal. The more that is worked out and in writing ahead of time will save precious rehearsal time and problems of miscommunication.
Of course, the plan can be altered in rehearsal as the need arises. I would often find that my instrumentalists may have some great ideas about bridges between songs or other things that we would change in rehearsal and update before the worship service.
Bottom line: Plan your worship service thoroughly including flow from one element to the next before your band rehearsal. Make the plan clear in written format. Adjust as needed.
Next week: more on the worship plan format.