A Fresh Perspective on Rehearsals

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One of the things I really enjoyed from my time at Arrows College was hearing Ray Badham’s fresh perspective on things I had already known and read copiously about.  Such as how we approach rehearsals.

I come from a background where “worship” (in the narrow sense) was the primary call of the worship team: which means (for want of a better term) the worship team must learn to practise the presence of God before they practise music.  So for me, a good rehearsal means one where the musicians and singers at some point will “lose themselves” and “just worship”. (Actually for a team of musicians with varied skill levels, it’s ironically quite difficult to achieve this without the musicians flowing together, which in turn takes practice!)

Ray Badham’s perspective, on the other hand, is that if worship is all encompassing (as it must be), then our rehearsal is our worship. Put another way, our investment in getting the technicalities right (even at the cost of “losing ourselves in worship”) is our offering to God when we function as musicians.

Similarly on a Sunday, when we lead worship, “losing ourselves in worship” shouldn’t be our priority. We should be completely aware of the congregation, what is happening on stage and be continuously communicating with our fellow band members. Because in our function as worship leaders, our leading worship is our worship.

Presumably (and this goes for everyone, whether you are on a worship team or not), we can get lost in worship on our own time, rather than on the time of our team members or on the congregation’s time.

So do you agree? Is there a place for musicians to “get lost in worship” on a Sunday?



  1. Sadly no, im going to be a kill joy and say: You have to concentrate on playing in beat and in a team, remember the key or change of key, rest, repeat, hold, change tempo etc. it is rather complex. Sounds better, how the composer writes it then making it up myself others get mad that ‘we have to do this again because ‘so and so’ stuffed up.’ HAHA

    I took ten years of music this way concerts, musicals, exams, competitions, compositions. Won some, didn’t win some. Purhaps i am scarred for life and is why I am not on the music team 😀

    I think I am happiest ‘watching’. God Bless and thanks for the ever inspiring blogs.

  2. I actually think that there IS a place for musicians and worship leaders to “get lost in worship”. One Facebook commenter had observed that our “getting lost in worship” can inspire others in the congregation to do the same! But there is a balance to be struck. We need to achieve a level of competence which allows us to stop needing to concentrate and just enjoy the moment. Until we get there, I often encourage my musicians to “do both”, i.e. keep their eyes open at crucial moments and feel free to “lose themselves” in between those moments since a worship leader doesn’t necessarily have to overtly communicate to the musicians throughout every part of the song.
    The other observation I have is this: whenever you watch something like “X Factor”, the judges often say something like this: “you really connected with the song; we can sense that you are at one with the song and your mean what you sing”. Getting to that place of “ownership” is important. We can’t concentrate so hard all the time that we become all about the music and fail to “breathe” the song, to connect with the song. All of this takes great skill and practise!

  3. Hey Lester,
    I totally agree with practice. When you know your stuff you can relax. I can relate to that. Music is a fun thing. When you are good at it, it attracts others, it also takes time. Therefore is a sacrifice. Im thinking.. maybe I will try do worship for cell. 😀 Thanks big bro!!

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