How to Prepare for Worship Team Rehearsal

If you serve on your church’s worship team, the tips in this post are going to help you use your time (and everyone else’s!) most effectively, and most importantly, help you to be a great team member! 

What do I mean by that? 

We’ve all heard that there’s no “I” in team, which is true. But… there’s a lot more to this than just showing up to a group practice and singing some songs together! 

Great team members are surrendered—to God, to leaders, to the team. 

Great team members sacrifice—willingly, humbly, freely.

Bottom line: great team members are servants. And what a wonderful role this is when we realize that our model is Jesus! The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served. He came humble and lowly, and He invites us to take His yoke upon us and learn His humble ways (Matthew 11:29-30). 

Remember what Jesus said—that if we want to be great, we must learn to be the servant of all (Mark 9:35). 

Perhaps you’ve been serving on your local church worship team for years, or perhaps you’ve just recently joined your worship team (or are thinking about it!)—in any case, the tips in this post are for you. Some of them, you probably already do, or they would be second nature to you if you were serving on a worship team. 

Others will challenge you. Stretch you. Perhaps convict you. 

I encourage you to embrace it! Embrace the call to be a servant of all… to be more like Jesus! Start thinking about what more you can do to truly serve your worship team. How can you change the way (for the better!) that you show up for worship team rehearsal?

Here are some ideas—and I would love to hear any others you have in the comments!

Show up prepared. 

Rehearsal is not the time for practicing. Rehearsal is a time for each person to bring their practiced parts together! Which means arriving to rehearsal having already spent time on your own doing the following:

  • learning all your melody or harmony parts as applicable 
  • learning the timing of each song
  • learning the lyrics of each song
  • working on any challenging vocal aspects (high notes, low notes, breath control, etc.)
  • working on stylistic elements (singing with dynamics, vocal blending techniques, creating a song journey, etc.)
  • thinking through song transitions (if you’re the worship leader)

Show up on time.

Even better, show up early! Don’t be rushing in the church doors at the last second or a few minutes late (but if you do once in a while, make sure to apologize to the team!)

I encourage you to leave yourself buffer time to get out of the house and to rehearsal on time. I heard someone say recently—and it’s such a good tip!—that if you always plan to be 15-20 minutes early, you’ll almost never be late! 

Show up with gas in your tank. 

Come rested and energized! If you know you have rehearsal on Thursday evening, go to bed earlier on Wednesday night. Don’t pack every minute of your schedule full up until the minute you leave for rehearsal. Don’t make that the day to cook a massive feast that’s delicious but leaves you exhausted from hours of cooking! Don’t run a whole bunch of errands right before rehearsal that leave you tired and stressed out.

And please don’t leave all your practicing until the day of rehearsal—otherwise you will most likely show up with a tired voice, mind and body. Schedule your practicing to happen on several different days of the week leading up to your rehearsal!

Show up having warmed up your voice. 

This is really important for both the short-term and long-term health of your voice! A good vocal warmup will prevent fatigue, help you hit the high notes, take strain and pressure off your vocal cords, and allow you to access more range, fullness, power and freedom! And most importantly, it will protect your voice from long-term damage. 

If you need a great warmup, you can use this one—it’s designed for the morning, but you can use it later in the day as well! 

Show up with positivity. 

I’ve been to countless worship team rehearsals where someone has walked in and immediately started venting about their day or about what’s happening in their life (and I know I’ve been that person in the past too!). Others enter into the conversation, and more complaining begins… about jobs, kids, spouses, sickness, the world… you name it. 

Let me be clear: this is poison to the practice. The atmosphere becomes heavy and it’s hard to shift it out of that place. Singing through the songs feels more challenging than it should. Trying to mesh together as a team feels clunky. 

Philippians 2:14 says, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (NKJV), and Jude warns of “grumblers and complainers, [who live] only to satisfy their desires” (Jude 1:16 NLT).

Paul also tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7 NKJV)

So instead of coming into rehearsal bemoaning your day, come in with thanksgiving! Come in with peace! Come in with a testimony to share! Come in with an encouragement for a team member!

And if someone else comes in complaining or sad, be the one who turns the conversation around—and do it quickly! The best way? Offer to pray for them right there on the spot! Speak the Word of God over their life. Sympathy and a “listening ear” have nothing on the Word of God, because the Word is “alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Heb. 4:12 NLT). Being intentional to pray and speak out Scripture will shift the atmosphere of the room in a powerful way and shut down what the enemy intended for evil at your rehearsal—not to mention that it will lift heaviness off the person who was feeling down! 

Show up with the technology and resources you need. 

Come to rehearsal prepared with everything you will need! Bring your in-ears, your device (charged up!), your lyrics, your instrument, your water bottle, etc. Make yourself a list to check off before you go out the door if you need to! 

Show up hydrated. 

Ideally, we should be taking in lots of water, herbal teas and electrolytes ALL the time—because it’s so good for our bodies—but especially for vocal rehearsals and worship services where you’ll be singing for long periods of time, make sure to hydrate extra for the 24-48 hours beforehand. 8×8 oz of water per day is a good rule of thumb! 

Show up nourished. 

In a similar fashion, aim to eat super healthy for at least 24-48 hours before your rehearsal! Filling up on fruits, veggies and whole grains will give your body energy and nutrients, which will enable your voice to function most efficiently. Sugar, gluten, dairy and processed foods tend to cause inflammation, create excess mucous and suck the energy out of your body—not what you want for singing! 

Show up with your heart prepared and overflowing. 

Spend time with Jesus before you go to rehearsal. Thank Him. Praise Him. Speak words of love to Him. Just be quiet with Him and let Him speak to you. Don’t rush this time—it’s not just “beneficial”… it’s essential. Everything we do on the platform as worship team members should be out of the overflow of our relationship with Jesus and our time with Him in the secret place. 

It’s important that we don’t show up to rehearsal (and/or the worship service) to be filled up as we worship—it’s not the time for that. Come filled! Come ready to pour out your gratitude and love on Jesus and minister to Him through the songs you’re singing that week. Come ready to be a blessing and an encouragement to your team members. Come ready to intercede for the upcoming service—for Jesus to encounter hearts, for people to be saved, for healings and miracles to take place. 

And finally… 

Show up surrendered to the team. 

Come to rehearsal knowing the plan but ready to change. Lay down your agenda. Lay down your ideas. Lay down your need to be heard. 

Be intentional about honoring and submitting to your leader. Encourage them and follow where they lead wholeheartedly—this means no rolling of the eyes, talking back (even in a joking way), or grumbling inside yourself. 

And that team member who is tough to be around? Come with a heart to serve them and love on them! How can you brighten their day? How can you build connection with them? Do you need to forgive and release anything in your heart towards them? 

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you surrender and serve—He loves to help us in this way, and we desperately NEED His help… this is not something we can do on our own! 

Can you think of other ways you can prepare for worship team rehearsal? Are there other ways you can serve your team? Let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments! 


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    1. Thank you so much!! This message is an answer to prayer….spending time with the Lord before rehearsal and not busying myself right up to leaving my home was something I needed to hear!! I so appreciate this wisdom truly led from Holy Spirit!! Praise God! I am very thankful for your hearts to serve and your obedience to share what the Lord is speaking to you! May the Lord bless you and your family ♥️

    2. A huge thing for me is preparing my own heart for worship, emptying me of myself. It has changed the way I approach worship and ultimately led me to this course! If I have not confessed my own sin, and asked the Holy Spirit to fill me, how can He flow through me to lead others? This, above all, has become my focus.

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