6 Principles to Make Rehearsal Relational

I had originally wanted to call this “6 Principles to Make Rehearsal Efficient,” but though these principles will absolutely do that, it’ll help our thinking and implementing to think about it in terms of being more relational.


I’m not talking about making a rehearsal into a small group, where you share your deepest needs and spend half the time… not playing music. But at some point, every leader realizes that you are making music WITH PEOPLE and that changes everything!


This just might have been your lightbulb moment. :)


Choose our Hills

Don’t “die on every hill.” Not everything is life or death. Choose wisely. And don’t let things escalate unnecessarily. This means you may have to choose to keep it cooler than your uncontrolled soul wants to. The Holy Spirit will help you - just cooperate.


And avoid harsh beginnings. “Ugh! That was terrible!” will start you on a different road than “Something about that didn’t seem to work well…can we try it again?” Kindness counts.


Direction is a GIFT

For a long time, I lived under the assumption that if I gave my team suggestions or told them what to play/sing, either they’d get mad or I’d get frustrated feeling that I was doing their job for them. Sheesh, talk about an infantile perspective!

Granted, if your relationship is either strained or nonexistent, of course your working relationship…won’t. And yes, there are insecure and immature musicians who won’t accept direction. But since self-ego and God-worship are opposites, they aren’t currently qualified to serve in worship and may benefit from some mentoring while taking a break from the team.


But NORMALLY…your team craves good direction! Any team-minded musician will welcome a collaborative approach where people can speak into what each other is doing since it affects the whole. And less-experienced musicians especially long for direction.


I remember times in the last 5 years (after leading for almost 30) where I was playing drums. Even though I started on drums, I haven’t played regularly for many years and feel VERY insecure on that instrument. Before or after each song, the cry of my soul was for the leader to tell me exactly what he wanted. “Did that work? Was that what you were hoping for? Do you want me to change anything?”


Our teams need direction.


Take it to the Bank!

Believe each other when you say “I got it.” There’s something vulnerable about playing music together. You can really feel hung out to dry if someone on your team doesn’t play their part. But a mistrusting and negative attitude toward your team will kill the music (not to mention the spirit of worship!) Hey, there’s room for mistakes, for forgiveness, for trying again. Just not for mistrust and suspicion.


Give each other the gift of “I’ve got your back!” Or as my friends Trent and Siobhan say Trust Fall.


Pull Together

We each need to let go a bit. Some of us just go with the flow. Others of us make the flow. We’re a gift to each other and our various perspectives make us stronger. My parents had this book called “Incompatibility: Grounds for a Great Marriage.” Our differences make us stronger. To borrow a marriage phrase I heard from Bruce Lengeman, we need to get on the same end of the rope.


So rather than pulling against each other in a tug of war, how can our team get on the same end and pull together?


Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps?

We’re both wanting to go the same place, but we not getting there the same way. Some of us have our “avoid highways” filter on and just opt for the most scenic route. Others of us are practical and efficient and want to make the best time…without any bathroom breaks, please!


But if we forget that we’re all headed the same direction and want to get to the same destination, we’ll miss the joy of making space for each other and learning new ways!


Believe the Best

One of the deadliest things to any relationship is: CONTEMPT. It’s “the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.” Nothing makes a person feel less loved, valued, or welcomed. And it will kill your team, rotting it from the inside out. You might roll your eyes, be passive aggressive, or gossip. Rather, set your standard from Romans 12.


So my hope is that you can implement these principles in the “real world” of your team, as you rehearse and lead together each week.