If you are in a leadership position, you know that a leader dies and lives by his ability to organize and plan. No matter what you are leading - choir, worship team, or small group, being organized will help eliminate a host of problems. I have been on staff in the church for almost twenty years. I have learned that in every area of working with people, being prepared is the answer!
As ministers and leaders, one thing we tend to forget is, most of our people work. They have jobs and lives outside of the church. When they come to a rehearsal or training event, it is valuable time that they are giving up to participate in ministry. We need to be conscious of their time in all we do. It is very valuable and a precious commodity in these days of stress and over-scheduling.
How can we better help manage their time and ours? Be organized. It's a simple solution that is hard for many. As musicians we tend to wing things. Why? Basically, because we can. However, some things that we do should be thought out in advance and show previous preparation. When we plan our services, we need to know exactly where we are heading. We need to be open to the Spirit's moving, yes, but we better have a plan for our people.
I learned the hard way the value of organization. I thought I had it together pretty good, but I found when I asked for outside opinions during practice, that I wasn't as prepared as I thought. From that moment on, I began to work on being totally prepared for each event and rehearsal. At least, as much as is possible.
What has it done? People appreciate the shorter rehearsals. No one likes to waste time waiting on the leader to decide what's going on. Second, it has forced me to know my stuff. It has helped with my confidence in leading. I know what I want and don't need four-hundred opinions to find that out. I come up with a plan and move forward. Lastly, people find it easier to follow when they are confident that the one they are following, knows where he/she is going.
In short, think through everything. Know what you want to do before you step in front of people to lead. Keep the rehearsals moving with a well thought through plan. Communicate where you are going and have the confidence to see it through. You will find people less opinionated on what you are doing, and they will hopefully see you as one who respects their time and busy lives.