The Great Rehearsal Debate: Finding the Sweet Spot for Your Worship Team

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Rehearsals! It’s the mainstay of creating and building a powerful worship team.

But let’s be real – it’s not always easy!

Busy schedules, limited time, and competing priorities can make it feel like an uphill battle.

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to rehearsals. And I’m here to share some insights that just might help you find the best time to have them.

The Magic of Mid-Week

I’m a firm believer in the power of a good old mid-week rehearsal.

Sure, some churches have shifted to only rehearsing on Sunday mornings. And I get it – it’s convenient and efficient.

But here’s the thing: when you only practice right before church, you miss out on the opportunity to build real community within your team. It’s all business, no bonding.

On the other hand, when you gather mid-week, something special happens. Your worship band becomes more than just a group of musicians – it becomes a small group, a family.

You share life together. You pray for each other. You laugh, you cry, you grow. And maybe, just maybe, you grab a slice of pizza together after rehearsal.

That relational glue? It translates to a tighter, more connected sound on Sunday morning.

The Thursday (or Wednesday) Night Sweet Spot

So, you’re sold on the idea of a mid-week rehearsal. But what does that actually look like in practice?

In my experience, 90 minutes on a Thursday evening is the sweet spot. I like Thursday better than Wednesday because it 1. gives your team more time to practise and 2. it’s closer to Sunday and they won’t forget… what they just have practiced!

Start at 6:30 or 7:00 PM, giving people time to get home from work and grab a bite to eat. Then, break your rehearsal into three distinct segments:

7:00-7:15 PM: Hangout, announcements, and opening prayer (15 min.)
7:15-7:35 PM: Split rehearsals (vocals in one room, band in another) (20 min.)
7:35-8:30 PM: Full band rehearsal, focusing on transitions and trouble spots (55 min.)

If you don’t have leadership to split rehearsals or don’t have vocal-heavy teams, you’ll have more time for the full rehearsal.

REMEMBER: worship team rehearsal is NOT the time to learn the music! Each team member should come prepared.

By wrapping up by 8:30 PM, you respect people’s time and leave space for those who want to stick around and socialize afterward.

Sunday Morning Run-Throughs

Now, just because you have a solid mid-week rehearsal doesn’t mean you can slack off on Sunday mornings.

But the goal here is more of a run-through than a full-blown practice.

I recommend having your team arrive 60-90 minutes before the service. Start with a focused 30-45 minute run-through, then take a short break before circling up for prayer.

This allows you to iron out any last-minute wrinkles and make sure everyone is spiritually centered before leading worship.

Tech Tools for Better Prep

Of course, like I said, the success of your rehearsals depends on everyone putting in the work ahead of time.

That’s where technology comes in! Tools like Planning Center, Multitracks’ ChartBuilder, and the Playback app let you distribute song resources well in advance. That way, your team can learn their parts at home and show up to rehearsal ready to rock.

When your musicians and vocalists are already familiar with the material, you can spend your precious rehearsal time fine-tuning rather than starting from scratch.

Bottom Line: At the end of the day, there’s no perfect formula for rehearsal schedules. What works for one church might flop for another. The key is to experiment, get input from your team, and be willing to adapt until you find a rhythm that feels right for YOU.

Whether you opt for mid-week rehearsals, stick to Sunday mornings, or find a hybrid approach, the goal is always the same: create a culture of preparation, community,  musical excellence and spiritual growth. When you strike that balance, your worship will soar to new heights and your team will thrive both on and off the stage.

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This Week’s Top Songs

Keep track of the top CCLI, Praisecharts, CCM and Hymncharts along with lyrics! There’s nothing like this list on the Internet! Go to the Top Songs page.

Find Hymns That Match Your Favorite Worship Songs

Which hymns go well with Bethel’s Goodness of God? Search at HYMNDEX.COM.

YouTube Worship Playlists!

From Worshipflow editor Don Chapman:

I like to listen to Youtube videos/podcasts as I drive around and have wished I could find a good, current playlist of all the top worship songs.

I can’t find any! So I made my own on the Worshipflow Youtube channel!

You’ll find playlists for the top CCLI, Praisecharts and CCM radio hits updated every week.

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