Worship Planning & Organization

I’ve just posted a blog entry at my blog with tips on being organized for worship service planning. Decided I’d share it with all of you as well. Hope that it can be of help!

I’ve only been leading worship for a short time, but I’ve already learned that being organized makes worship planning much easier! Some things that have worked for me that fellow worship leaders may find useful:

#1. Use dry-erase boards.

A good way to keep post-its & such from cluttering your workspace! Use it to write down song ideas for upcoming worship services & even use magnets to hold chord charts for quick review. When ideas for services other than the one being planned come to mind, this is where they can be written them down for your next planning session.

#2. Keep your sheets organized.

Keep chord & lead sheets in a filing cabinet or binder sorted alphabetically for quicker access. This can also save printing from CCLI (or other services) when you can access sheets printed for prior use.

#3. Utilize spreadsheets.

Our previous worship leader had a great system for keeping track of songs by title, hymn # (if applicable), key, dates used, & CCLI number. You can even color-code for things such as tempo, seasonal, song prospects, or to note which instrument you play on certain songs. (Be sure to make a color key though!)

#4. Make use of document templates.

Another idea I’ve inherited from our previous worship leader: Make a layout for the service or services you plan, then save as templates in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. When planning services, you can simply open the template & enter the song or hymn titles for that worship service. Copy/paste into email for your worship team & you’re ready to go!

#5. Stackable documents trays = less clutter.

Many already use these for filing papers & such, & they are great to prevent paper clutter on your desk. You can use more or less depending on your need. I use 3-4 stackable trays in this way:

  • 1: Current week’s music on top (for both Sunday & Wednesday choir rehearsal)
  • 2: Music for future rehearsals/Sundays
  • 3: Song prospects for review
  • 4: Miscellaneous (upcoming conference/festival literature, music to purchase, etc.)

Did this help you to become more organized or give you other ideas? Share some tips of your own in the comments!

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What Are You Doing for Easter?

What are you doing for Easter & during this Easter season at your church, with your small group, or even with your family to honor Christ & worship Him during this time?

What music or drama specials are planned, or special events or services at your church?

Print Music Resources?

So, this is a question for any worship leaders & ministers of music out there.

What resources do you use to get printed music for your ministry (printable via online sources or not; chord charts, lead sheets, choral arrangements & anything else)?

I know many use CCLI, as does our church, but want to know what other resources are used by those of you either instead of or to supplement it.

I look forward to your input!

Service Music Styles

For those of you who lead worship or participate on a worship team or in a choir, what type(s) of music do you use during your church services?

I’ll go first. 🙂 We have two very musically different services: A traditional service with the usual hymns, a choir, & special music for offertories. Our second service is contemporary in style (Hillsong, Matt Redman, Vineyard, etc.) consisting of a praise team that includes guitars, drums, keys, flute, singers & also interpreters for the deaf in our congregation. Occasionally we do a blended service with both groups that is usually blended toward more contemporary styles, usually for a special Christmas concert or at the Easter services.

Share your own answers & comments!

who are we? amy h.

Well, so, I am introducing myself!

My name is Amy, I happened upon this blog through Facebook, and I am so glad I did! I just think it’s so great that women, involved and passionate about worshipping, can come together and share/support each other, so I wanted to be involved.

I’ve been involved in worship (@ church singing, on teams) for about 4 years. I didn’t even realize the contemporary worship music existed until that time ~ I was not raised in a church background (I accepted Christ when I was 17, I am 29 now) so alot of the church stuff was weird, and I have grown ALOT in my faith and my understanding of what worshipping God actually means. My husband and I made a BIG move almost 1 year ago to San Diego from Edmonton, Canada (I know, COLD!).
We’ve moved here to pursue music and our dreams and calling. It’s been hard and amazing all at the same time. A little about me: I am a graphic artist by day (which explains why I am attached to the computer, most of the time). I like to write songs, sing, frump on guitar and do pottery when I can. I live 365 steps away from the Pacific Ocean and as often as I can, I go there and just sit and look out across the water ~ I always feel like I can see glimpses of God there.

I wanted to share the story of how I came to find this blog. When we first got here, I was able to be involved in a church on the worship team, where I served for about 7 months. I was asked to be in leadership/leading a team of musicians in the church body (which was on the smaller side) and through the experience (which was challenging to say the least) we ended up moving and leaving, but the reason’s for leaving, were not just moving (does that make sense?).

I love God ~ I mean LOVE Him, I long to serve Him with my whole heart. I believe that each of us has a gift that He’s given, and we’re called to serve His body, and the world with our talents. What I experienced in the last half a year frustrated me, challenged me and made me, NOT want to be involved. I was even MORE impassioned to worship Him, and yet, I felt like people were NOT getting it, that it was a struggle for People to engage, (which, I know could be a number of things) Working with the staff was frustrating too, communication was really fragmented and sometimes non-existent. At the end of the 7 months, I felt very frustrated, and drained emotionally, however, spiritually, I felt more deeply seeking than ever before. I was burdened for the church in prayer and worship and yet I was being pulled away.

Worship is NOT supposed to be complicated, it’s not supposed to be a show ~ it’s supposed to be simple, beautiful, praise to God, right? But how do you (for lack of a better phrase) “teach people to worship God?”

So, trying to keep this short, as I was looking for answers, for what was going on in my life, and how to grow from my experience and learn from it, as opposed to becoming a victim of it. I found this community of women, who are the position of leading worship and are sharing their journeys ~ Praise the Lord!

I want to learn so much from those who are more experienced than me. I want to grow in my walk with God, and worship Him more, every day, in every way, not just music, (altho, I do feel like that’s my love language with Him) but through life.

And that’s me =)

from Jan’s blog: A Painful Joy

One of our fellow women in worship, Jan Owen has recently written an entry at her blog in response to her experience of being a part of the ordination of a fellow woman in ministry.

In it she also talks about some of her own experiences of being a woman in ministry & hearing God’s call for her life.

An excerpt:

This event affected me in a very deep way. I received my calling into ministry at the age of twelve and really didn’t know what I was called to exactly, just that God had something special for me to do. As I served in youth ministry I truly loved that and enjoyed our kids so much. But it was in worship ministry that I felt my truest sense of calling confirmed. When I lead worship I feel a great peace and joy that THIS is what God created me to do. As I direct others to focus on God I know that “yes, this is what I was made for”. But acceptance in that position as a woman has not always been a given for me.

Check it out for a thoughtful & uplifting read!

Book Recommendations

So, this is a question for all those out there, mainly in worship arts, but anyone who can offer suggestions! 🙂

I’m trying to expand my resources & knowledge on worship, particularly relating to leading worship & working with worship teams, choirs, musicians, & so forth. Would any of you care to suggest some must-haves for my bookshelf, good resources, good reads in general on such topics…??

(Don’t be afraid to suggest the obvious ones even if you think I already know about them or have read them–it’s good to see others’ confirmation of must-have books as well!)

I’ll soon enter a new chapter of God’s will for my life, & I’m looking to do my part in some of the preparation as well, but want to spend wisely when it comes to books & other resources with the small salary I currently make!

Also, if anyone wants to review books (or a few books at a time with even just a sentence or two about each!) feel free to contact Mandy or I so that we can share this with the other women in worship here.

Thank you all tremendously!

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