How to not be OK with mediocrity.

There’s a few things that we’ve taken note of about the churches that we’ve attended, a whole host of catchphrases that are bounded about everywhere, particularly when it comes to being in a worship band. We’ve noted several in this blog but we’re sure there are others. Here are our top three.

3. “It’ll do” and/or “That’ll do”.

CONTEXT

We’ll put the new song in next weeks service after that one rehearsal. It’ll do.*

*(Sometimes this is alright, but sometimes, it just isn’t)

Apathy is everywhere. It plagues our efforts to do anything substantial. The secret to bringing God’s kingdom to earth is not hidden in the depths of mediocrity, but centered in the pursuit and desire of excellence. If we perceive something in a way that it will ‘just do’, then it doesn’t convey that we’ve done it to the best we can, or to the standard it should be. When completing any task, we should aim for nothing short of our greatest efforts.

Whatever your hand finds to do, verily, do it with all your might

– Ecclesiastes 9:10

2. “It’ll be alright on the night.”

CONTEXT

“Can we do that 2nd bridge just one more time, just to make sure we’re all coming back in on time?” 

“No, it’ll be alright on the night, we’ll just do it.”

Here’s a fact. It won’t be.

If your church is anything like ours, then chord charts are prevalent and only a handful of musicians have the sheet music, relying on just a band rehearsal and listening to the CD in the car.

This is what happens. We skip 2 minutes of running over a bridge in a song in a rehearsal, meaning the members of the band are skeptical of how many bars are in the build up.

Drums believe there are 4 bars. Keys and guitars believes there are 8 bars. Bass thinks there are 2 bars and the Worship Leader and singers want a full heavy 16 bars before crashing back into that powerful chorus.

The band in turn can’t let go in worship because each of them is slightly concerned about where the stop is coming. Everyone is slightly dubious and can’t relax into the moment with the congregation. Everyone is on edge and when the build up does come, its awash with uncertainty and leads to an inconceivably long build up while the band wait for “the signal”.

Alternatively, the band stops at various intervals, leaving the worship leader to awkwardly play 8 bars on his own before starting that chorus. NOTE: This actually happened.

To avoid unnecessary and often really awkward moments, take the time to revisit anywhere in a song that the band are unsure of during rehearsal. Go over starts, stops and endings of each song, even if you’ve played the songs 100 times before. Everyone needs a refresher to sound competent and on the ball. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. It’s much easier to relax and gel as a band when you all know what’s going on. It’s much easier to go with the spirit and worship if everyone is on the same page.

1. “I just don’t have time.” and / or “I didn’t have time.”

CONTEXT

“I was going to forward song charts for the new song we’ll be learning, but I didn’t have time.”

Time is an unusual concept. Sometimes it goes too slowly, or way too fast. A lot of the time (excuse the pun), it’s gone before we know it. The key to unlocking the power of time, is to prioritize it. Make lists. Know what you need to do in your 24 hours (make sure you build in time for sleep and food) and plan the rest of your tasks around this.

If it’s your responsibility to organise things for the band, then build this time into your day. It’s a difficult task to organise multiple people, especially volunteers who have a hundred things going on, but putting in time for making sure it’s sorted before a rehearsal makes things so much easier for everyone.

If it’s your responsibility to learn the songs that were sent to you, then build this into your day. If the beat, melody or solo is difficult, then find time to sit and practice before the band rehearsal. A room full of people sat learning the parts to a worship song is not a rehearsal. Especially if the excuse for doing this is ‘not having enough time.’

Thoughts…

Many times in life, things become an excuse. There are no excuses for lack of excellence, attention to detail or good time keeping. Of course, we all fall short, but our excuses barely stand up.

These skills are essential in the building of the Kingdom, and once we master these, we become much better equipped to deal with the world. We take steps in the shoes of Christ, and we move ever closer to the world we are promised and that we cling so dearly to.

#TFWB

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