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How much prep time?; How much time do you put into planning?
Topic Started: Feb 10 2007, 10:29 AM (1,947 Views)
sonworshiper
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I just finished putting the finishing touches on my worship (song) list for tomorrow. Caused me to wonder just how much time other worship leaders--or those who plan the "song" worship part of your church--put into planning, choosing, praying. . . .

For me it varies. There are times when I get this clear idea in my mind of where or how the list should work. Other times, I struggle and can't get a clear picture at all. Sometimes, I start on Monday already looking toward the next Sunday. Sometimes, it's during my own worship times during the week, when I get a sense of some songs to use. Still other times, I have no idea until even Sunday morning!

How about y'all?

Blessings!

Moe.
:crooner:
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Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 63:7

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DeanZF
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You're right. It varies widely. Those who plan 2 or 3 songs have a much different curve than those whose worship song services are 45-60 minutes. Or if you're doing a 3 hour time of soaking worship.

It also depends a lot on how big your repertoire is and how large your vocabulary is! It may well also depend on your team, including your overhead flipper or your computer/video projector operator. If you're fluid (and your team, too!!) with 150 songs in a couple of keys each, you can look at the theme for the service, maybe get a sense for where you want to start and where you need to end, and let the Spirit within you be your guide.

I've spent as little as 10 minutes prepping for a service of a couple of songs, and as much as 10 hours preparing for several hours of soaking worship. I'm not a keyboard player and not a very good guitar picker, either. I have to depend on others for that, or I am severely limited as to what I can lead. If I'm alone and a capella, that's a different thing altogether. I'm not afraid to do that myself, but in today's media dependent world, many congregational people are reluctant to sing without some sort of instrumental help.

I hope that Helena will weigh in, too. I know that sometimes she spends hours looking for just the right piece on CD to do with the pageantry team for a few minutes of offertory time. Heck, we spent hours and hours and hours over a period of weeks, picking through 6 or 8 different recorded versions of Handel's Messiah to find just the right interpretation, the right tempo for the choreographies, the right mood, etc. We were part of a company that produced a visually interpretted version of Messiah. It was a wild experience, artistically. And even after all those hours and options, we had to cheat some of our own choices! We had to slow one down; it was the closest in timbre and mood for the choreography, but it was still just a bit fast. Had to slow it and thus "de-tune" it. We had to rewrite our script so that there was a narrative before and after the piece so that the 1/4-tone pitch change would not be shocking to the ears. The things we do for art!

And if you had a request from the speaker for stuff that reflected a certain obscure theme or verse, you could spend a LOT of time on it. Been there, done that!! :blink:
Blessings!

Dean
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DeanZF
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And not only that, some people would tell you that it often takes MORE time to prepare for a shorter worship set! Finding music where the keys are compatible or where changes between can be smoothly accomplished, music that fits the theme, fits the voices and instruments, and so many other variables.

Kind of like making a 2 minute speech is harder than making a 20 minute speech. MUCH harder to make it short and punchy and pertinent and powerful. IMO.
Blessings!

Dean
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HelenaZF
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"more is more"

Planning a service can take me from 10 minutes to many hours spanning several days. It depends on the inspiration level, and of course the scope of the service.

As Dean said...if you are planning for a 3 hour worship "course", it's a whole different ball game than if you are doing a 3-song set.

It's always easier if there is a jumping off point...say a sermon theme, a set of proscribed scriptures....and certain song that is "alive" to you at the moment. Then you can easily weave other complimentary songs around your "inspiration point".

What's difficult is if you have nothing to lead you in any particular direction and have to pull a theme out of your....er...hat. If I find myself in that situation, and it is a feasible way to proceed, I might not make a plan at all. Just gather up a sheaf of good songs, and wait until something happens to spark a direction. Possibly pick one generic song as an opener an opener and hope that will bring inspiration for what follows. Not always possible, but preferable to putting something lifeless together.

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