Preparation has become a big part of our team over the last two years. Nearly everybody on the team is now practicing their parts at home and coming to rehearsal fully prepared, with everything mapped out specifically how they plan to play it.
I'd like to see this habit extend to the other ministries as well: youth band, marriage, women's, Spanish etc.
Preparation is good for several reasons.... Which I will outline in next week's Focus Friday...but today I just want to focus on one reason:
Preparing beforehand allows you to worship during the service.
I had two conversations in the past couple of weeks with people who said that recently they hadn't prepared for service and they were distracted and fumbling through the set. They said it was not a pleasant experience. And I assure you it also wasn't a pleasant experience for the congregation or the band either. When we don't prepare, everybody loses. But primarily the person who doesn't prepare misses out on being able to worship.
What we want to do in our preparation time is get so familiar with the songs and our parts that they get engrained in our muscle memory. Our fingers or voices automatically go to the right place. Our hands are on autopilot.
I heard a professional musician once say, that practice isn't playing it until you get it right...practice is playing it till you can't get it wrong.
When we prepare to this extent, our minds are freed up to engage with the Lord and with the church. We aren't distracted by our parts or by what chord is coming next.
Not having to mentally engage with the music allows you the freedom to emotionally engage with the Lord.
You are able to sing, and close your eyes, and worship.
This is the power of preparation, and this is why I want us all to prepare each time we're scheduled. It's not so we can execute the parts correctly, (although that's a side benefit). It's so that we can worship the Lord while still giving the church our best.
I know we are all busy and life can be crazy...but please make the time.
Be preparing at home so you can worship on stage.