Fully Prepared

How do you show up to rehearsals?

Would you describe it as "fully prepared?" That’s a value embraced by one of the churches we’re coaching. I like it a lot.

What would "fully prepared" look like?

In our Five Faders system, I’ll answer for each fader.

The Artist would feel fully prepared if he had created an amazing riff loosely based on (but not exactly like) the one on the recording.

The Shepherd would feel fully prepared if everyone was in a healthy relationship and had been texting each other in the days leading up to rehearsal.

The Priest would feel fully prepared if they had been prayed up and had worshiped through the set, looking for the deep pools to play in.

The Educator would feel fully prepared if she had shared the "song story" video with the team for the new song they’re doing at rehearsal.

The Producer would feel fully prepared if the chord charts loaded into PCO a month ago would perfectly mirror the recording, which, by the way, is the way we’re doing them at rehearsal.

Now, this may resonate with you, or it might miss the target. That’s not the point.

The point is that there are many levels of preparedness.

You might have the music down, but your life is a mess, and your stress is way high. It’s going to take you a while (if you get there at all) to be fully present. You may be going through a tough time, so taking care of yourself is one way to show up more fully prepared.

Sometimes we show up week after week with many of the same people but have shallow or tense relationships with one or two of them. It’s unlikely you’ll make fantastic music if the relationships on the team aren’t fantastic. Many relationship problems begin to be mended by spending time together and learning to understand each other. Getting coffee with someone you don’t know well is one way to show up more fully prepared.

Or you may have been practicing for hours on the songs and can mimic the recordings with near perfection. And while that’s a significant first step, that can get in the way of actually making great music and leading a congregation in worship. So expecting the unexpected is one way to show up more fully prepared.

Or you may know the songs well and have several suggestions to "make the songs our own" at rehearsal, but your spiritual life is dry. Because we bring who we are to a moment of leading worship, staying spiritually alive by daily prayer, scripture reading, and worship is one way to show up more fully prepared.

Those eight minutes are important. When you rush in last minute, pulling into the parking lot at the time rehearsal begins feeling you just won the race because you made it "on time," you miss things. Little relationship chit-chat, helping set up something, reducing your leader’s stress, catching your breath from…whatever you just left, and getting settled in and comfortable. Arriving eight minutes early to rehearsal is one way to show up more fully prepared.

You may not like some of the songs the team is doing at rehearsal for one reason or another but is there a deeper meaning in the lyrics? Musical stylings are subjective, so you can be sure that you won’t love everything. But all the songs we do in worship have either a significant scriptural basis or a meaningful story behind the author’s writing of them. Digging in a little to those you don’t prefer to connect to the deeper meaning behind them is one way you can show up more fully prepared.

Don’t be lazy and gloss over the song "because you already know it." Take the time to pay attention to any production or arrangement notes in PCO and play through the song a few times, being careful to grow in the discipline of thinking in arrangements, not just generically. Tuning in to the details of the plan is one way to show up more fully prepared.

To recap:
- Take care of yourself
- Get coffee
- Expect the unexpected
- Stay spiritually alive
- Arrive eight minutes early
- Dig into the deeper meaning
- Tune into the details

These are all ways to show up Fully Prepared.