[Repost] The Best of 2011-12: How I Got My Team’s Attention

Just over a year ago I began blogging.  This is the third of five posts that will be re-posts of the top five blog posts this past year.  Thanks for making this year great by reading what I have written and commenting.  I appreciate it!

Have you ever talked to your team about a concept until you were blue in the face and still got the feeling they were miles away?  I have, and I have not always been able to get their attention focused where it should be.

Today, however, I want to share an example of something that did work.

Last year I was working with my music team at a Saturday gathering specifically focused on connecting more deeply on a personal level with each other, and on digging into the preparation aspect of being part of the music team.  In the past month I have been posting excerpts from this time.  This past Monday I posted 5 Steps to Improve Your Preparation.  Wednesday we toyed with the question, What Are Your Goals?

Today I want to give you the illustration that helped the team to get involved in the discussion.

After discussing what our goals in practical preparation should and should not be, I introduced the 5 Steps.  If you remember, the 5 Steps were

  1. Listen – spend time with the example recording
  2. Read – spend time reading the music while listening to the recording to make certain you fully understand the piece
  3. Feel – listen through the set of songs without distraction and get a sense of where the songs want to go and how they want to flow together
  4. Worship – get beyond the notes and rhythms and be able to worship individually to the music you will be leading
  5. Lead – be past the rudiments of the music so that you can focus on God and the congregation while you lead.

The Illustration

In order to illustrate the steps and where we were or were not adhering to it, I drew a timeline representing the week a team member would be volunteering to lead worship.  On the right was the Sunday for which they were volunteering, and on the left was the Sunday prior.  In the middle I made a mark to represent the mid-week rehearsal.

Then I asked the team to help me note on the timeline where they thought we presently accomplished the 5 steps.  As expected, steps 1 and 2 were clustered right around the mid-week rehearsal, and 3, 4 and 5 were right on or close to Sunday.  In fact, some of 1 and 2 were also happening Sunday morning, where we were supposed to be simply running through music rather than rehearsing.

Next I graphed out where I felt we should be accomplishing the 5 steps.  We should be completely through the listening and reading stages early in the week.  We should be working through feel and worshipping at the rehearsal.  Finally, we should be completely ready to lead on Sunday at the first service, not the last one.  The Sunday morning run-through will naturally including more time of getting our feel together and preparing our hearts well for worship, but it should not be a rehearsal.

What followed was a lot of meaningful conversation about schedules, what I needed to provide for them so that they could improve their preparation, and many other things.

What successful methods have you used to get your team’s attention in regards to preparation?

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How I Got My Team’s Attention

Have you ever talked to your team about a concept until you were blue in the face and still got the feeling they were miles away?  I have, and I have not always been able to get their attention focused where it should be.

Today, however, I want to share an example of something that did work.

Last year I was working with my music team at a Saturday gathering specifically focused on connecting more deeply on a personal level with each other, and on digging into the preparation aspect of being part of the music team.  In the past month I have been posting excerpts from this time.  This past Monday I posted 5 Steps to Improve Your Preparation.  Wednesday we toyed with the question, What Are Your Goals?

Today I want to give you the illustration that helped the team to get involved in the discussion.

After discussing what our goals in practical preparation should and should not be, I introduced the 5 Steps.  If you remember, the 5 Steps were

  1. Listen – spend time with the example recording
  2. Read – spend time reading the music while listening to the recording to make certain you fully understand the piece
  3. Feel – listen through the set of songs without distraction and get a sense of where the songs want to go and how they want to flow together
  4. Worship – get beyond the notes and rhythms and be able to worship individually to the music you will be leading
  5. Lead – be past the rudiments of the music so that you can focus on God and the congregation while you lead.

The Illustration

In order to illustrate the steps and where we were or were not adhering to it, I drew a timeline representing the week a team member would be volunteering to lead worship.  On the right was the Sunday for which they were volunteering, and on the left was the Sunday prior.  In the middle I made a mark to represent the mid-week rehearsal.

Then I asked the team to help me note on the timeline where they thought we presently accomplished the 5 steps.  As expected, steps 1 and 2 were clustered right around the mid-week rehearsal, and 3, 4 and 5 were right on or close to Sunday.  In fact, some of 1 and 2 were also happening Sunday morning, where we were supposed to be simply running through music rather than rehearsing.

Next I graphed out where I felt we should be accomplishing the 5 steps.  We should be completely through the listening and reading stages early in the week.  We should be working through feel and worshipping at the rehearsal.  Finally, we should be completely ready to lead on Sunday at the first service, not the last one.  The Sunday morning run-through will naturally including more time of getting our feel together and preparing our hearts well for worship, but it should not be a rehearsal.

What followed was a lot of meaningful conversation about schedules, what I needed to provide for them so that they could improve their preparation, and many other things.

What successful methods have you used to get your team’s attention in regards to preparation?

What Are Your Goals?

What are your goals when you prepare to lead worship?  Stop and think about it.  If you are unsure, look at how you prepared and led worship the last week you were on team; those are your goals.

We can talk about preparation all we want, but goals turn talk into reality.

Our goals should not be

  • to learn our part at the mid-week rehearsal
  • to play or sing for the first time that week at the mid-week rehearsal
  • to play or sing for the second time that week on Sunday morning
  • to catch up with friends at the mid-week rehearsal
  • to rehearse some more on Sunday morning
  • to finally “get it right” in the last service
  • to let our minds wander throughout Sunday morning

Our goals should be

  • to learn our part securely and confidently before the mid-week rehearsal
  • to play or sing regularly in the days before the mid-week rehearsal and between the mid-week rehearsal and Sunday morning
  • to use the mid-week rehearsal to make adjustments and put the big musical picture together
  • to begin to worship together at the mid-week rehearsal
  • to end the mid-week rehearsal with a good musical product
  • to reconnect spiritually, musically, and emotionally during the Sunday morning run-through so that we can focus completely on God and the congregation while we are leading worship

What are your goals?