As leaders of a worship ministries and worship musicians, we’re often careening between leadership and management and shepherding and musicianship on a daily basis. It’s just part of the landscape. On our best days, we must move from visionary work at 30,000-feet to equipping our band at the most basic levels, and we must do this with no trace of motion sickness.
With that in mind, here are just a few up-close-with-the-paper-clips ideas to help your weekly worship band process go more smoothly. This isn’t rocket science. In fact, you’ve already thought of most of these things. But just in case you haven’t… read on:
1) PROVIDE BINDERS
If your musicians use printed music, provide 3-ring binders. If they use 3-ring binders, punch holes on both sides of the printed music so songs can be placed side by side for easier transitions.
2) TAKE INVENTORY OF ALL EQUIPMENT
Document and label equipment that is owned by band members, but which stays at the church most of the time. This is helpful in the event of damage or theft to said equipment, as well as finding what’s needed every week.
3) ADD SHELVES!
Organize the space you have for gear. Get crazy and install shelves, use plastic bins and label them. Give each band member a bin for their straps/picks/capos/music/sticks, etc. Yes. Just like kindergarten, everyone gets a cubby.
4) REIMBURSE BAND MEMBERS
If your budget allows for it, offer to reimburse band members for ‘expendable supplies’ like sticks and strings. But not like Marshall stacks. (You want to get band guys communicating? Send them an email that includes the words ‘reimburse’ and ‘band gear’.) I’ve found that most band members won’t actually take advantage of this, but they are profoundly grateful for the offer.
5) HAVE MATERIALS ON HAND
Store pencils and paper clips at the rehearsal site. (I know. The mind reels at such innovation.) We roll out a rehearsal cart on stage every week containing chord charts & cue sheets, pencils, markers, highlighters, paper clips, three hole punch, gaff tape, an extra capo, water bottles, AND the special water pitcher for adding water to the piano humidifier. AND sometimes snacks. (Trivia: we use an old hymnal cart for this. Repurposing is good.)
6) PLANNING CENTER ONLINE
And finally, it bears repeating that Planning Center Online is the most valuable tool I’ve found for planning worship, scheduling and communicating with team members, as well as distributing resources for songs. It’s not actually magical… but I still call it that.
Again, this isn’t high level innovation. Whatever we can do to help our worship band members do their part more smoothly on a weekly basis communicates that we value their time and their effort. Systems that work and are reliable allow all of us to focus our energy on playing, singing, and leading well.