4 Reasons Why You Are Always Running Out of Thyme

running out of timeAlways running out of thyme?

Sorry, I meant Time.

Speeding down Fernwood Ave road at 60mph!

Heading towards the church for rehearsal. Since I was music director you have to set the example of being early. I drove up to the gate of the parking lot at 6:30pm barely made it. I opened up the gate and drove in the parking lot and parked my car.

No one was there yet. They should be arriving for practice in about 15 minutes.

I got the sound mixing board turned on ready to go, mic stands ready, instruments, etc. I started praying that this rehearsal would go smoothly.

7:00pm, no one arrives.

7:15pm, no one yet, not even a text message.

7:30pm, drummer texts, “Can’t make it, I’m playing at another church.” Since his bro plays keyboard and gets a ride from the him he can’t come either.

7:45pm, Sister Marta comes storming in and mentions the other singers are not coming because of some lame reasons. My head starts hurting.

8:00pm, me and sister Marta start vocal warm ups. Receive a message from bass player, “Can’t make it.” My head starts pounding.

8:15pm, finish vocal warm ups and decide to call it a night because of massive migraine.

8:30pm, I thanked sister Marta for coming and closed up the church went to CVS and got some Advil.

That was the biggest headache I ever had. Plus, I don’t usually get headaches.

Time was lost.

Time is our most precious asset.

Time well spent can generate great results.

Time wasted won’t generate diddly.

Time in music is everything.

Let’s talk about TIME, not thyme.

Foursquare of Time Management.

1. Vision Time: The goals of your team must be inline with the goals of your church. Casting vision is extremely important. Your team has got be reminded every now and then of what the vision is and the goals that need to be met.

Yes, I forget things too. A few years ago I started using iCal and it’s awesome. I can set automatic reminders and will never forget a meeting. If you don’t use Mac than I’m sure there is a PC equivelant to iCal. It can be stored and synced to your smart phone, tablet or computer it’s awesome.

“Where there is vision the people will perish.” Proverbs 29:18

No vision, no goals I personally think is a waste of everybody else’s time even though they don’t realize it. The fact is if you as a leader, singer, or musician, don’t know what you want, I’m sorry my friend but you’re going to keep fighting an up hill battle.

Rehearsals will drag and be very unmotivating because you just come in to go over a few songs and then it’s over.

There is no purpose or target to shoot for.

I know what you’re probably going to say, “But Roland, we’re there to serve God and worship him. That’s our vision and purpose!”

Dave Ramsey said it best.

“Be weird, not normal.”

“Huh? What does that mean?”

Well, we as Christians worship God, as we walk down the street, drive in our car, sing, take a bath. You get the picture.

Our Goals as a worship team is to worship God, serve others and make disciples. In the Christian world that’s common sense and normal.

“Well, duh Roland of course it is.”

Our culture has made it bland and unappealing, boring and normal. Which is why we drag our feet when we go to rehearsal.

This is where you come in. Be different, be weird!!

Set a vision, a clear specific goal for your team. Be creative on HOW your team is going to reach the community, the country, or the world!

At my church, Oasis. We have leadership meetings every other month. The pastor talks about the vision of the church and where we are headed it gets really exciting and refreshing. Vision time is time well spent, don’t waste it.

So, what are you waiting for? Cast vision! Move it or lose it!

2. Prep Time: I have insane stories of being invited to play bass for many churches and end  up arriving at rehearsal or they don’t even have rehearsals to begin with. But if they did nobody knew what tunes to play, they would spent an absorbant amount of time on vocals of one song.

While I’m sitting there picking the dirt from under my if fingernails I pray, “God? What am I doing here? I’m here to spend time worshipping you and this rehearsal is going nowhere. I think we should leave together God, because they’re wasting both our time!”

Jesus has left the building! Haha!

Pretty please with sugar on top. Make sure everyone and including yourself is prepped before practice starts.

That includes:

  1. Everyone should know the set list.
  2. Everyone should have practiced their part at home not at church.
  3. Emails and reminders should be sent out way ahead of time.

Time has to be set aside prepping for rehearsal and Sundays service. This would be the job of the music director or worship leader.

It’s also funny that we spend so many hours practicing for just 15-20 minutes of worship on Sundays. That’s just the natural order of things in this world.

Prep Time is vital for your success. So, get the preppin

3. Team Time: John Maxwell author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, talks about the 5 Levels of leadership. Read more on it here.

Level 1: Position

This is the lowest level where people follow your lead because they have to, not because they want to. Many leaders stay at this position because they don’t create Team Time.

Time to build relationships with their members and find out what their needs and wants are. Maybe it could be they don’t know how, or they don’t realize they need to. Ignorance is bliss.

Don’t be the victim and say, “I didn’t know.” Cry me a river buddy, read the bible on leadership, or read leadership type books. Leadership can be taught, it’s not In your genes. You can become a great a leader.

In 2012, I served as a guitar player for a small community church and yes they were paying me. There’s nothing wrong with that! I gotta eat you know.

Back to the story, a well known Christian musician was going to be the new music director. There was no announcement, he just kinda popped out of nowhere. I’m not going to say his name or course, but he use to play with Marcos Witt.

I use to listen to these popular gospel choir albums from the 90’s when I was a kid and he was the main keyboardist and shredded on those ivorys. I kinda looked up to him.

We never had rehearsals at this church I just showed up before service, set up, and wung it. Yes, I know bad. I advocated we needed rehearsal but the Md (music director) had a million excuses. I gave up bugging him and went with the flow.

When the new famous Md came around he just joined in the services and served along side us. He was a great musician and at that time I didn’t know he took over the worship team and was on staff. I didn’t get the memo.

After several Sundays, I could tell he was in charge but wasn’t sure if he was. Finally, I asked him and he said, ” You didn’t know?” New flash, communicato please! He was a cool guy and could really wail on the keys and was a total pro. But as far as leadership there was still some things he was missing.

After a month or so we finally got actual rehearsals going on. We talked a bit but I didn’t really know him that well, nor did the others. Or maybe he didn’t like me, I dunno!

I ended up leaving because they wanted some commitments from me that I couldn’t keep because of other previous commitments that I had.

Here’s what I would have done if I was the new MD.

  1. Have an intro meeting with everybody and cast vision.
  2. Get everybody’s info. Numbers, emails, Facebooks, twitters, etc
  3. Set up Team Time to socialize and build relationships.
  4. Set up another Team Time meeting where you discuss the issues with the team and set goals to eliminate the issues and grow.
  5. From then on I’ll keep building relationships with each team member.

Everybody’s situations is different but these six steps are basic common sense leadership tips and can be applied pretty much in any situation. Hopefully, you don’t have 30+ team members like they do in Oasis. That would be pretty tough to get know everyone pretty fast. It will take time if you do it, but it’s doable.

It’s all about Team Time!

4. Music Time: My favorite part. Music is subjective, it’s all based on opinion right? There is always someone that’s going to like your music or hate your music. That’s the way the ball bounces.When you are playing together with a group, music is suddenly objective. You can’t play whatever you want in a group. Do what you want by yourself, but in a group situation it’s all about TIMING.

Without a drummer or rhythm there is no time. Can I hear the drummer please?

You could do the right things for the right reasons, with the right person, with the right feelings, but if you do them at the wrong TIME. Then everything’s going to be chaos.

It’s all about TIMING!!

If your drummer doesn’t rehearse with a metronome, ask him to go buy one. If he refuses, buy him one. If he refuses to use it and makes excuses and says, “It doesn’t feel natural and I feel restricted with the metronome.” If he says this, then he or she is an obvious amateur or is just lazy and doesn’t want to grow. In that case work on finding another drummer.

It’s all about TIMING!

A team that starts the tune on time and transitions to the next tune on time and ends on time is a team that has mastered time.

It’s all about TIMING!

A team starting rehearsals on time and works together in time and finishes in time. Loves time.

It’s all about TIMING

Master these ideas and implement them in your church band. You will soon have the A-Team ( I use to love that show) and not the B-Team.

Jesus resides in eternity and is not restricted with time. We on the other hand only have 24 hours just like everybody else on this planet. Let’s work together to make every moment we have with our team count. Because…..

It’s all about TIME!

And we’re running out of it. Let’s not waste it.

This was another long one for the books and I’d like to thank your for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment below and don’t forget to share, because sharing is caring.

Don’t forget prayer Time.

Roland

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