VIDEO: What’s Your Backup Plan?
This post is practical advice for my worship leader friends. [See more posts in this series.]
At church this past Sunday the computer went down and we couldn’t project the lyrics. We were forced to interrupt our regularly scheduled programing.
Yet it was still a fabulous worship time.
In this video pastor Paul Roberts and I reflect on what happened. Later in this post I’ll share some practical ideas for contingency planning.
Ever had these “worship leader emergencies” ?
- Something breaks down …
- The drummer doesn’t show up.
- Your guitar string breaks.
- Your monitors go out.
- The projector won’t work.
I’ve had these and countless other potential ‘catastrophes’ in my worship leader history.
Let’s discuss what to do when “the projector won’t work.”
1. Don’t let “emergencies” freak you out.
Some suggestions to keep your head.
1. Expect the best. It’s a God thing.
2. Do not lose your composure. If you’re the leader, stay calm. Be confident. Trust God to work it out.
3. Keep your speech positive no matter what. Say this. “No problem. We can make it work.”
4. When you have lemons, make lemonade. Make light of the situation, do not vent your frustrations in front of others. Do not call out someone in public if they dropped the ball.
Besides a positive attitude, how can you practically prepare for this situation?
2. Develop a repertoire of “Go To Songs”
Memorize 3 to 6 or more, simple, familiar, easy to follow songs that you can lead without needing lyrics. Songs that either people may know or they can easily catch on. Some examples I use:
- Here I Am To Worship
- Open The Eyes of My Heart
- Come Now Is The Time To Worship
- Better Is One Day
- Holy Is The Lord
- Agnus Dei
- I Love You Lord
- Doxology (Praise God from whom all blessings flow ….)
- How Great Is Our God
3. Do contingency planning. Practice dealing with problem scenarios
Imagine yourself in a situation where no one has lyrics. This is common in informal situations such as retreats, small group or home groups.
How would you lead worship in that context? Pick a simple song like one from this list. Practice cue-ing the words before singing the verse. Also practice improvising with simple antiphonal choruses.
I’ll cover planning for other contingencies in a future post.