Yesterday I discussed the visual side of worship production. Today, I want to share with you what happens on Sunday before the service. I call it “Game day.” Pre-service preparation is extremely important because it is our last chance to make final changes and enhancements to the service. In this post, I will be explaining exactly what happens prior to service and what I do to make worship as impactful as possible. I would like to start off by saying that prayer is a big part of this process.
I want to say that there are a lot of people who volunteer a lot of their time to making worship as good as it is. If you see a band member, sound guy, or even the person who makes the coffee, give them a hug. We all do it for God’s glory, but a hug doesn’t hurt either.
We usually arrive about 2 hours prior to service to begin setting up. I usually start by assisting with some of the sound equipment and making sure the band has all they need to rehearse before service. Then, I will get the audio/visual stuff set up, including my computer, audio cables, and the camera. I make sure that I always have extra audio cables, connectors, and anything else we might need. I like to make one more run through all the slides to ensure that the backgrounds look good on the screen. Sometimes I may need to alter the exposure, brightness, or contrast to get the optimal quality for every slide.
Once the band begins rehearsal, I will sing, play, or run the slides, depending on what I am scheduled for that week. When I sing with the band, I am Peter’s assistant. One of the potential roles for assistant worship leader is to assist other band members with musical direction. For example, because I stand near the drums, I am able to give the drummer cues based on what I feel Peter is looking at that moment.
After we do a music run through, I double check the slides once more, and then move on to lighting. Some parts of service we want to be brighter, and other parts we want a little darker to create certain moods. Darker lights create a feeling reflectiveness, and can also allow some people to get into worship without feeling like they are being watched. Bright lights help people stay more focused and awake, and is therefore used a lot for sermons and announcement times.
At this point, I usually run through Tim’s notes for his sermon and make sure his slides are in the correct order. I also prepare a pre-service music playlist to help create a feeling of worship as people are coming into the building. I prefer upbeat songs because it can help keep the energy level high as people are arriving. To me, this is important because it really gives a good push into the first worship song we sing.
Finally, we do a final mic check with Tim, and I check the camera angle and sound levels so that we can get the best recording possible. Tim likes to move a lot on stage so it’s good to have him stand on stage and give him boundaries so he doesn’t wander off the video, which does happen from time to time.
During service, I am busy with the band or running the slides. During the sermon, I usually will stand in the back and make sure the lighting is good, double check the video and audio levels, and also make sure to assist with any distractions that might occur.
Tomorrow, I will be discussing media production and how it fits into the worship aspect. Again, please feel free to comment or use any of this information. God bless!