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Who's on YOUR worship team??
Topic Started: Aug 9 2007, 03:06 PM (1,403 Views)
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Resident Rebbi

A perennial question and point of discussion.

I like to think of a worship team (worship leadership team might be more accurate) as being comprised of components of leadership. Music team alone is the single most commonly perceived "worship team". And in some congregations, that's pretty much all there is. We can add pageantry or movement or dance teams to that, too. And mimes, drama, clowns, and a host of other visible teams

Think of some of the other, NON-musical components of even the one narrow view of worship leadership, the music only team. How 'bout your faithful overhead flippers or PowerPoint operators who provide the words to the People of the Pew? Do those folks attend any portion of the weekly rehearsal? Or at least the warm-up time before the weekly service? Are they made to feel included in praise or worship leadership? They may be more support than leadership, but if they're providing the visuals, it would be good for them to be well aware of what's being planned. At least the run-through lets them know the intentions and allows for some surety of having all of the slides at their fingertips. If they run in 60 seconds prior to the prelude and hope that someone has pulled the materials (including all four slides of that one wordy song), it's a snag waiting to happen. Projectionists should be virtually invisible and can be only if they are prepared. That means being familiar with the run list and which parts of what songs will be repeated or deleted. And it means making sure that the doggoned machine WORKS! Have you got at least one extra bulb for that projector on hand? Helena has also addressed some of this in the Video Jockeys post.

Now, another set of unsung heros or too well recognized goats, the sound and light techs. Are your techies considered as part of your team? Do they show up at rehearsals so that they can listen for weaknesses in the mix and be prepared to fix them. Same with lighting techs.

Sound & Lights are not things that are static. They change. Lights for most praise or worship times are not going to change a lot, but subtle changes can enhance the music. Sound, on the other hand, is a VERY dynamic issue. Unlike the Ronco Rotisserie, it is not a matter of "set it and forget it" to achieve optimal or even decent sound reinforcement. If it sounded good in practice, that's nice, but now two of the singers who were nicely blended are now very OUT of balance. Why? Neither felt well at rehearsal and suddenly one is now back to full strength and the other has gotten worse! Now we can't even hear the lead because the strong singer is overwhelming in the mix. Or the keyboard player switched patches and the newest one is LOUD(!!) in the mix "Well, it was okay at rehearsal" just does not cut it.

Good sound techs recognize that the sound desk is an instrument and must be played every bit like an instrument. And with 24 or 32 channels, that can be a LOT of fingers on the switches. :P Got a violin or flute or sax playing a little solo? It needs to be bumped up in the mix. Got a singer who is singing a "song of the Lord" or sharing a scripture? If you don't pay attention it will go unheard because the singers are often buried in the background mix. And once that singer has shared, the observant sound techie remembers to pull that mic down again so that it doesn't boom through the musical mix.

Add to that, your technical teams are tremendously valuable resources. They are your eyes and ears from the back of the room. If they are part of the team, the feedback they provide can dramatically improve what the up front people are trying to convey. That improvement can reduce or remove distractions to worship and praise that music teams can often provide.

It's good to have friends in technical places.

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