May 03, 2019
If you have ever been moved by a powerful
church music presentation, you may have sat
there thinking, “Wow! This must have taken an
incredible amount of planning and rehearsing
for everything to ‘come to life!’ ” As a viewer,
we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of
what it takes to put together a successful
presentation. One of the keys to having
a successful music event is planning and
preparing effectively. Here are a few helpful
ideas to consider when planning for a church
BEGIN PLANNING WELL IN ADVANCE.
Make sure that the event is put on your church
calendar and communicate “early on” with your
music planning team, music teams, stage crew,
and other support staff and volunteers. Let
everyone involved know the purpose of your
event and how their helping with the event will
benefit them, the rest of the church family, and
PRAYERFULLY CHOOSE APPROPRIATE
For many music directors, Christmas starts
in the summer months, and our preparation
for other music events are in like vein. Begin
choosing songs that balance challenge and
capacity. Keep in mind the capability of
yourself and the musicians you lead (talent,
rehearsal time limits, and practicality) ,and do
not be afraid to stretch yourself. Do not choose
a song just because it makes you feel good. Pray
about it! Get several opinions and do your best to reflect your pastor’s heart. Find out how long your pastor
wants the program to be, so that he has adequate time to
speak in the service. If there are activities following the
service, keep this in mind too.
STUDY TO KNOW THE PURPOSE OF THE EVENT.
Set aside a time of planning and brainstorming to capture
key ideas for your event. Is the primary purpose of your
event outreach, a type of vision-casting event, or seasonal in
nature? Ask your pastor what his heart and vision are for the
event. Define what success is for your event. Ask other music
directors for insight and have an open mind to try something
fresh. With these key thoughts in the forefront, put together
a plan to present to your pastor and/or pastoral team of
everything you would like to accomplish in your music event.
You may start by presenting your plan to someone close to
you, then a few people with whom you will work closely with
for the event, and then your pastor. After receiving feedback,
polish your plan and present it to your choir, orchestra,
drama members (if applicable), and technical support
team. It is usually a great idea to present an overview of
the presentation to your musicians on the same day that
you pass out music and being rehearsing for the event.
Prepare outlines and scripts for video and drama ready to
be assigned, giving plenty of prep time to those who are
creating videos and memorizing lines. Try to spread around
the administrative workload of your areas of presentation so
that more people can be involved and so that your event can
be more organized and well-prepared.
Communicate with your music groups well in advance
about the event and how each person can be a part.
Quality attracts. Schedule weekly rehearsals, sectionals,
and some additional rehearsals to ensure that your
musicians are well-prepared. Remind your musicians to
be faithful to attend rehearsals and to practice on their
own. It may help for you to record piano and parts of each
choir song for your choir members to rehearse at home or
while they commute. Make sure that you order an adequate
number of books and anthems for your choir and that each
instrumentalist have his own binder of sheet music that he
can take home to practice during the week.
ADVERTISE THE EVENT WITHIN YOUR
CONGREGATION AND ALSO IN THE COMMUNITY.
The goal of any church music event should ultimately be
to point the viewers and participants to Christ. Personal
outreach, door-to-door canvasing, scheduled social media
posts, commercials, ads, bulletin ads, church announcements,
and your church website are several ways that you can
advertise your event. Ask local businesses to hang flyers for
your event and invite the owners to attend your event. (For
some of our music events, we give invitations to local high
school band directors to invite their students to attend. We
encourage our choir, orchestra, and drama members to
invite co-workers, neighbors, and friends to come hear them
perform.) Involve the entire church in inviting people to
attend your event! They will appreciate the service more if
they bring visitors to church for the presentation.
Work with your tech support team to have the right
lighting, sound, screens, and materials for advertising.
Prior to the final big rehearsal, give copies of the script
to your support staff (lighting, sound, screens, livestream,
etc.) and walk through light cues and songs. If you are able
to create presets for sound and lights, this is very helpful to
maximize efficiency and consistency for the final rehearsal
and the presentation. As you prepare brochures, posters, ads,
and commercials for advertising, take the time to meet with
team members who are helping you in these areas. Come up
with a list of benefits of attending the event, so that you can
more effectively advertise to your community.
WALK THROUGH YOUR PRESENTATION SEVERAL
TIMES PRIOR TO THE PERFORMANCE.
Make sure that your support staff and all musicians are at
your final rehearsals prior to the performance. Usually, we
have one big rehearsal on the Saturday morning before our
music event if it is a weekend event. Videos are prepared
and ready for cue, and musicians and drama members are
all present. (At LBC, our final rehearsal is usually a dress
rehearsal. We go over each song with instrumentalists, do
final sound checks for soloists and groups, and also rehearse
with choir and orchestra together. We walk through the
entire program once or twice on the final day and include
drama and video as applicable to our presentation.)
PRAY FOR GOD’S BLESSING ON YOUR EVENT AND
EXPRESS THANKS TO THE LORD AND EVERYONE
Pray daily for God to bless your event as you prepare. As you
pray, ask God to bring to mind anything that you need to do
or change. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Have faith that
God will use your event to bless Him, to encourage others,
and to see the lost come to Christ for salvation. After your
presentation, remember to thank those who have sacrificed
time and energy to make the event a success! Give God the
glory for everything good that happens!
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