This is something I have had to learn over time to see what best fits our band or the youth ministry I am a part of. The way you plan and structure your rehearsal is different in every church, but it is extremely important. This is more of a practical blog for those of you that need some tips in this area.
I have found that more people want to be a part and come prepared when they feel that their time is valued and that they are part of a community, not just a “band”. Whoever the designated worship leader and youth pastor is should first begin by establishing culture and who you are as a worship team within your youth ministry. Here is a basic outline of our youth practice on Wednesday Nights:
- 3:00 - Media people arrive to make sure everything is set and ready to go on the stage
- 4:00 – Band arrives and plugs in
- 4:15 - Sound Check - Encourage your sound tech to lead this part. Having nobody else playing except the instrument he is sound checking. This will help everyone’s patience and help to utilize your time well.
- 4:30- Rehearsal Begins - Encourage everyone to know their music ahead of practice. COME PREPARED. EW usually run through the whole set and transitions at least two times without stopping.
- 5:30 - Pray - Put some worship music on and have a moment to set the tone for the night. Encourage some students to lead this part.
- 5:40 - Dinner together - This is something new we are adding, but honestly I believe it could be the most important after prayer. Community is everything.
- 6:05 - Service Run through
- 6:15 - Leader Run through of the night
- 6:30- Pre- service Prayer - everyone in the band should be at this.
- 7:05- Service begins
This is how we structure our worship time. Everyone does theirs different, but we have found that this works well for us. Make your rehearsals fun and encouraging. Challenge your students to learn new music and maybe do practices on the weekends for those that are struggling. Invest time into this, it will pay off and affect the whole atmosphere of your youth ministry as a whole.