Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Worship Wednesdays - The Start of a "New Year"

Let's face it - January 1 is the start of the calendar year, Advent 1 is the start of the Church year, but for most of us, the Tuesday after Labour Day is the real start of the new year.

Teachers and students return to their classrooms. Churches go from "summer" schedule to "regular" schedule. Bible study starts up again, and music groups of all types begin their new rehearsal season.

As we begin September, 
here are a few thoughts for kicking off the "new year":

Gather The Troops
Even if your music program continued over the summer, chances are numbers were slim and rehearsals pared down as members traveled and enjoyed a season of relaxation. Host an informal get-together so everyone can share stories from their summer adventures. You will never waste time building community within your band and choir!

Assess Where You Are
Now that you've got everyone together for a BBQ, potluck, or Chinese takeout (a personal favourite!), take some time to brainstorm about the upcoming year. As leaders, it's important to come to your music team with a vision for worship and special events, but don't forget that open communication with your singers and musicians leads to their personal investment. Get their thoughts about the team's needs, strengths, and challenges, and where they feel God is leading both the congregation and the music program.

What Did You Learn This Summer?
Remember the classic "How I Spent My Summer" essay? Sit with your music team and ask about their summer experiences. Did they visit different churches? Maybe they heard a great new song or discovered a new worship artist? Share stories, photos, and playlists and see what new ideas might be a good fit for this year's worship plan.

Welcome New Members
Other than New Year's resolutions, September is the time of year when people start new things. Why not encourage them to give the music team a try? Host a sing-along or jam night for new singers and musicians. Have a special welcome session after church. General announcements are good, but remember that most people respond best to a personal invitation. If people are shy, you could invite them to "try us until Christmas," just to see how they like it.

Communicate With The Congregation
With the physical separation of musicians and congregation during Sunday worship, it's easy for a subtle distance to grow between the two groups. Reach out to your community using via newsletter, social media, or Sunday morning announcements. Ask for their prayers as the music program begins a new season. Share your vision for their worship music. Give them a way to request new and favourite songs. Let them know about upcoming special events so they can participate and invite their friends.

How are you kicking off this new season? 
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section!

Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!

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