Having clear expectations and communication is important within any team. The following expectations apply to everyone in our church ministry area regardless of specific role. Committing to being on a worship team entails a commitment to these expectations.
Planning Centre is our primary means of communication regarding scheduling, events and corresponding about week-night practices. Invitations for playing on specific Sundays are sent out every four months(approx). It is important that you respond to these invites as quickly as possible. This allows me to know who is available for the scheduled dates and have time to make changes around date conflicts.
Everyone has access to their own planning centre profile settings. This allows you to keep your contact info up to date and to select the manner in which you would like to be contacted. Planning centre also has a mobile App the allows you to see and respond to invites, and see your current scheduled dates.
Personal Rehearsal Time
Musicians and vocalists are expected to spend a minimum of one hour in personal rehearsal before the week-night band rehearsal. There are two primary resources for this rehearsal time:
Planning Centre- In the service order view on planning centre there is a rehearse button that gives you access to all the music sheets for that service as well as audio and/or video files for all the songs in the service.
The Worship Initiative- This is an online worship resource that includes training/practice videos for a lot of the songs that we regularly play for Sunday services. Each song includes videos for acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, drums and keys. There are also playback options for vocalists that bring the harmony parts up higher in the mix in order to hear them more clearly.
Between these two resources musicians and vocalists should be able to become very familiar with their parts for most of the songs in the set before the week-night band rehearsal.
Week-night Band Rehearsal
Every worship team chooses a default night of the week for their worship rehearsal before Sunday morning. When responding to service invitation on planning centre it is important to consider the week-night practice date connected to that Sunday service. If you confirm for your scheduled Sunday service, you are also committing to the default rehearsal date.
Regular Church Participation
Church membership is not a pre-requisite for playing on a team or serving in other capacities in the church, however, we expect that people serving regularly on a worship team consider Ross Road their church home and are actively engaging in the broader life of the church. This includes regular participation in Sunday morning worship even when not serving on a worship team.
RRCC Worship Course
The worship course provides a comprehensive philosophy of worship ministry that reflects the stated approach and goals of RRCC worship ministry. Completing the course is required for everyone serving on a worship team, however, it can be completed while already serving on a team.
Conclusion- Why does this stuff matter?
When it comes church ministry work it is very important to be clear about our motivation for pursuing certain goals like this. The motivation for these changes is not just to have better sounding music on Sunday mornings, it is not about conformity or administrative efficiency. These things by themselves are not worthy goals for a church worship ministry.
What I have discovered, however, is that if there is clear communication and everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, if everyone on the team for a Sunday service is prepared and comes to the band rehearsal, if the rehearsal is managed well then the team feels more comfortable and confident about the music. This allows the worship leader, musicians and vocalists to focus less on the mechanics of the music itself and focus more on being present for worship themselves and engage with the congregation more fully. That means a potentially richer and more intentional time of worship together and that is a worthy goal. That is a my motivation for instituting these expectations and I hope that can be your motivation for serving with me accordingly.
God has blessed our church with a love of music and worship and many people with musical gifts and passion. I am continually grateful for the opportunity to provide leadership and direction to our worship ministry, but above all, for the opportunity to work together with all of you as we seek to love and worship God together with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Yours in His service