Hi, and welcome to the Harvest Bible Chapel - Spring Lake Worship Team. What follows are some general guidelines to help you quickly get acquainted with the details and preparations of a weekend service. Let’s dive right in!
After your audition and acceptance to the Worship Team, you should get a login to Planning Center. This is where the bulk of the communication, scheduling, and resources are located. Make sure you login, fill in your profile and contact info, and get acquainted with the interface. Feel free to look at the video on the main page of the Worship Training Portal.
This is a good time to enter any Block-Out dates that you have in the near future. Read the documentation on how to do that, and fill out anything that you know of coming up in the next few months. As best as you can, try to keep your Block Out dates up to date, to help the Planning Team in scheduling.
You will receive email updates when you are requested to serve for a given weekend. In that email are links to Accept or Decline the request. If you do Decline a request, please include a reason why. It helps the planning team to know what is going on in the team’s lives as to offer possible solutions to issues that occur frequently.
Once you have accepted a request to serve on a given weekend, it will appear on your Planning Center calendar. Clicking on these events will show you a detailed listing of the intended schedule of the service. Depending on how far away the date is, the details of the service may be incomplete or may change. Check back frequently to see if there are updates or changes. Usually, any changes made the week leading up to the service will be accompanied by an email, notifying you of a change.
If there are songs on the schedule, you will see the key in brackets after the song title. Be aware that nothing is set in stone, and keys may change at any point, even during practice, or between services! Most of the time, the key that is listed is the key that the song will be performed in. Guitarists may want to transpose to a more comfortable key, or a key that they would prefer to play in, and capo accordingly. The goal to give the best gifts we can to God, so do what you can to help the team produce the sound and lead the congregation in the best way possible.
There are attachments for each song. Usually one or two MP3s, and one or more sheets for vocalists and instrumentalists. Planning Center now has a “Transpose” function, so you can print off sheets in different keys, if you would like. Frequently, the MP3s are not in the key that the song will be performed in. The MP3s are there to provide you with a general understanding and familiarity with the song. When the team executes the song, there may be changes to dynamics, structure, tempo, or any number of other musical components. Please be flexible in your practices and delivery!
Now is the time to be practicing your piece of the puzzle going into the weekend service. Practicing with the MP3s is very helpful, but be aware of the differences there may be between how the MP3 sounds and how the team will play the song. Whatever practice technique you use, be sure that you are practicing in a way that you can adapt to those potential changes easily. As a rule of thumb, practice your instrument’s part for each SECTION of the song, i.e. Guitar is palm muting on the verses, and full in the choruses, and even louder bar chording in the bridge. Then you will be able to know each part of the song, so that if the worship leader changes the order, you are just putting the same pieces you know already in a different order. Remember this phrase: Prepare for the SONG not the ARRANGEMENT.
What should you bring to Saturday Service? Anything you need to fulfill your role in the worship team. That includes sheet music, tuners, ear buds (if you prefer to bring your own), an instrument, etc. You’ll also want to bring your bible and anything else you need for service.
Saturday practice begins at 3:00pm. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to church, set up, and be ready to serve in your role at 3:00. Issues do come up, and if you need to be a few minutes late, please call the producer or the worship leader for that weekend.
On Saturday, when there are generally fewer attendees in the congregation, feel free to park in the church parking lot. Make your way inside and you can either begin setting up immediately, or make your way to the green room (the first doorway down the hall off stage-left) to meet with people, grab a coffee, hang your jacket, or what have you.
You will set up on your own, prior to 3:00. If you didn’t bring your own earbuds, you can grab some from the cabinet in the back of the green room. Your spot on stage will be set up for you. All you will need to is set up your instrument, plug in your earbuds to the Aviom, and set your levels on the Aviom. (view the Aviom Tutorial HERE).
The Worship Leader for the service will run through the songs and focus on any new songs to the team, working out tough parts, etc. At this point, keys may change, songs may be switched out, or rearranged. Be prepared for last-minute changes and roll with the punches! Being flexible is key to not getting frustrated serving in the Worship Ministry.
After the focused practice time, the Worship Leader will do a full run-through of the service, minus the sermon. This is a “dress rehearsal” in that there should be no stops or breaks unless something needs to be addressed immediately. Focus on transitions between songs and helping the service to flow well.
Once the run-through is completed and nothing needs to be addressed further, you will be free to do as you please until 10 minutes before the service. At that point, everyone meets in the Green Room for prayer, and prepping to kick off the service.
After prayer, everyone makes their way to their places and the service begins.
Once the first music set has finished, everyone exits the stage and stops in the green room to see if there is anything that needs to be talked about. During the Saturday night sermon, the worship team members are asked to sit in the congregation, as there usually is a private meeting that will happen in the green room with the worship leader(s) and the producer and other pastors.
As the sermon is wrapping up, you can either make your way to the green room and join the majority of the team, or you can stay seated until the pastor calls up the Worship Team. Either way, at that point you’ll make your way back to your position for the final song/set.
After the service, you are free to leave at any time. You can leave your instrument on stage if you choose, take it with you, or leave it in the green room.
Make sure you are at the church on Sunday morning ready to play by 8:00am. Just like the Saturday service, this means being on stage, tuned, with music in order and plugged in to your monitor.
Parking for Sunday is across Savidge St, in the parking lot of the funeral home. This is done to alleviate parking for the two services.
When practice starts at 8:00, the worship leader will talk about how the service went last night, and start running through any points that need some work. There is no complete run through during this practice time.
The service structure is the same as Saturday, although this time, you are welcome to relax in the green room instead of sitting in the congregation.
Once the 11:00 service finishes, you may pack up your instrument and leave at your leisure. We are blessed with an amazing production team that makes sure you have everything you need already set up when you arrive, and they tear down your gear after you leave. Make sure you say thank you!
Make sure you are at the IA Campus at 7:30am to make sure you have enough time to plug in and adjust your aviom monitor for our 7:45am rehearsal START time. Parking for IA volunteers is around the back of the building- this will alleviate parking for the people coming.
Rehearsal will begin at 7:45am with a sound check, and then the worship leader will lead the band through each of the songs. At this point, keys may change, songs may be switched out, or rearranged. Be prepared for last-minute changes and roll with the punches! Being flexible is key to not getting frustrated serving in the Worship Ministry.
At 9:00am there will be a complete run-through that will be identical to the service. At 9:30am rehearsal ends, and please help yourself to anything in the green room or cafe, take a rest, use the restroom and be ready to pray at 9:50am in the green room and head out onto stage a few minutes before 10:00am.
After the worship set the band is expected to sit in the service, unless you had attended the Saturday night service at Main. After the service ends you may pack up and leave at your leisure. Our amazing production team will set-up and tear down everything else!
It is our hope that serving in this worship ministry will be a blessing to you as much as it is a blessing to the leadership and the people of this church. If there are any concerns along the way, please don’t hesitate to write Chris and work through those concerns together. This is a fast paced ministry, and it can be overwhelming at the beginning, but our prayer is that you would step up to the plate and reap a harvest of blessing in participating in leading in the one thing that will last for eternity: Worshiping Jesus Christ.
Thank you for being a valuable member of our team!
Christopher Moeller and the other members of the Worship Ministry at Harvest Bible Chapel Spring Lake.