So, you made it through Thanksgiving (sort of), dealing with the fun family issues that always arise right before you sit down at the table to enjoy that day as a family. Or if you are like me you are trying to figure out how you are going to make sure all the grandparents see their grandbabies in the matter of two days that you actually have off without making anyone mad.
Anyways enough of that, you made it, you are now fully entranced in Christmas, Christmas production final rehearsals, your kids Christmas productions at school, Christmas eve service planning, and let’s not forget you have to find time to still prepare for the three or four normal Sunday services in December. Oh wait, there is also the aspect of finding time for CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!
One of the craziest parts of leading worship during the holidays is dealing with your ministry team members being hit or miss, so let us sit on this for a few moments… guess what IT’S GONNA BE OK!
Here are a few ideas:
Try and get everyone to put their leave into your worship planning system before you start November so you have an idea of who is available, and when.
As a music director or worship leader, think about the essential elements in your worship band – do you really need a keyboard player, guitarist, drummer or bassist to make things sound good? Could you cut down and have a purely acoustic set? Remind yourself worship is not dictated by the instruments and singers you have on the platform.
Adjust the songs on your setlist – many songs can be done with only a few instruments and still sound great, but others can be a disaster. Remember the people you are leading, Christmas carols with just a piano makes everyone smile and remember their childhood thus recreating a joy in worship. I know it is not the popular thing to do, but you could also use an app like Autopad and an acoustic guitar and basically do any song you desire.
Talk to your community! Often there are other churches nearby who have “spare” musicians who don’t mind playing in neighboring churches. Talk to your band members, they may “know a guy who knows a guy”. Of course not throwing just anyone on the platform.
Now that we are done freaking out over the lack of musicians on the platform we will have during the month of December let’s talk about how to lead spiritually through the chaos of the holidays.
- Stay Committed to the Word.
- You are going to get tired, frustrated, and the first thing that goes is your quiet time and prayer with Christ. We know the people we serve with will get under our skin and frustrate us as we prepare for the holidays … “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). Stay Committed to Him and allow Him to use and strengthen you.
- Stay Committed to Family
- The next thing to go in the chaos is family time. Extra rehearsals, late nights, and exhaustion set in and we think “my family understands, it’s my job, and I will make it up to them” Wrong – biblically speaking they are our responsibility FIRST the church and her ministries are SECOND. If you are not taking time to disciple your family through the month of December, your family will begin to resent that time of the year instead of rejoicing in the birth of our Savior. Stay committed, guard your home FIRST.
- Stay Committed to Excellence.
- If you stay committed to the Word, and Family, He will honor that and will bless you for the hours and energy you have put into striving for excellence throughout the many things happening. But be careful, so many times we find ourselves striving for excellence only for the production when there are 3 or 4 services, Christmas Eve, and other ministry events happening. “…In whatever you do, do it for the glory of God” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Lead Graciously – Lead Humbly – Lead Patiently
Prepare For Worship. A resource provided to you by WorshipTrac.
Thank you to Shawn Smith for contributing this post. Shawn is the Worship Pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. You can learn more about Shawn’s ministry HERE