O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon His name: make known His deeds among the people.
First of all, thank you for being a part of the worship team! We are honored that you are joining us on this mission to help others connect to Christ through worship. The NLC Worship Team aims to give thanks to God and provide an environment where people are receptive to Him in ways they haven’t yet experienced. We strive for growth in our pursuit of the Lord, His Word, and His calling.
We want to encourage and remind you that there is a place for you on this team and that many people are being blessed by your willingness to serve. This page contains some information that you may find useful, but as always, if you have any questions or needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us or any other team member. Thanks again!
Worship is our goal. Jesus teaches us that our ultimate purpose in life is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). When we express this love in word or action – this is worship. Worship is a part of our lives at all times, whether at home or at church, whether on the stage or not. Knowing this, we take the opportunity to be worshipers in our everyday lives. We take the opportunity to be worshipers when we attend services and are not on stage.
Worship is not just an exhibition; it is an encounter with God. We want to encounter God ourselves, and we want to help others encounter Him. Every service, there are people in attendance that need JESUS immediately, and we want to introduce them to Him in a personal and disarming way.
We realize that there are many people with different needs in every service and that we could never impact them all on our own. So we recognize the Holy Spirit as our Helper. We value His presence, His conviction, and His voice in our services as He leads many to salvation and restoration.
Our desire is to be healthy spiritually and personally and to continue to grow in our faith. We do this by having daily Bible study, prayer, relationship with other believers, and by living a Spirit-filled life. However, we realize that there are times when this is not the reality. So if you are struggling in any way, we want to help. Rather than staying isolated because you feel like you “just can’t meet the standard,” please take the lead by reaching out. We want to pray with you and stand by you through anything you may be going through. That’s what a family does!
It is important to be devoted to the house of God so we encourage regular church attendance, not just serving. Be a part of the congregation, not just someone on stage. While you’re in service with the people, remember that we want to help lead people in worship in every setting. Take the opportunity to be a “congregational worship leader” and lead the church in expressive worship even when you’re not on stage.
In addition, we strongly encourage getting connected in a life group. We hope that relationships within our team and church will extend beyond services. Life groups are a great way to further develop friendships, community, accountability and support in every day life.
Preparation is an essential value for us. We prepare our spirits, not just our craft. When getting ready for a service, spend time with God. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak directly to you.
We want to always bring our best before God because He Has given His best to us. Practicing our craft helps us bring our best, and it helps us maintain focus on what and Who is important. Preparation enables us to be more confident and sensitive to the Holy Spirit while leading the congregation in worship.
In preparation, listen to each song to familiarize yourself with a known song or to learn new material. You are responsible to know every song so please be intentional to review each song before rehearsal. Be mindful that most songs have specific parts for every instrument/voice. Sound files, chord charts, and/or tutorials are almost always available to you on Planning Center a little over a week in advance. SO PLEASE, KNOW YOUR PARTS!
In addition to preparation, excellence means always improving our skill. Improvement happens as we assess our strengths and weaknesses and intentionally take regular steps to improve weak areas. If you need help assessing areas for improvement, seek direction from stronger or more seasoned musicians.
Each team member plays a vital role, so it is absolutely necessary that everyone be on time for rehearsal. "Call time" is the time the team arrives and starts setting up for rehearsal; it is listed on Planning Center Online (the planning system that we use and is discussed below under "systems") as well as the time for sound check. If you need more time to get set up, you are welcome to arrive before call time. Just make sure you are plugged in, tuned up, ready to go with mic/pack and a basic ear monitor mix for sound check at the time specific to your campus.
If you are scheduled for weekend services, please participate in all services and rehearsals for that weekend. If you are scheduled at a campus that has Saturday and Sunday services, you are expected to be present both days.
A TIER-ONE event is an event that we consider to be highly important because it includes all campuses. Sometimes, it is an event where all campuses are coming together in the same location at the same time (e.g., Collide Student Conference or Woman Conference). Sometimes, it is an event that will take place at all campuses at the same time (e.g., Easter). At these events, we encourage everyone to be involved – maybe in the ensemble, maybe in some other area of NLC Creative. It is important that we are all working together during these times. There may be extra rehearsals or setup nights; so please, make these events a priority.
TEAM PRACTICES are important to us. It is a time when we come together to work on the things that we’ve been working on individually. Most rehearsals take place right before the service we’re about to do and will include departments other than worship. However, there are times when we have mid-week practices for the worship department only. These team practices focus on connecting newer team members and/or learning specific songs. Generally, these take place on Tuesday or Thursday nights. We will also have mid-week practices when preparing for tier-one events. Please, make practices a priority.
There are other times when we come together for a TEAM MEETING rather than a practice. We may hang out and have dinner in order to strengthen community within the team, or we may have teaching that encourages us in our calling. These meetings generally take place on Tuesday or Thursday nights. Please, value the team, your place on the team, and our growth by attending these meetings.
Be UNIFIED. Since NLC is one unified church with several campuses, not several separate churches, you can expect to be scheduled at any campus. Our language should reflect that we are one church and one team, and we should encourage each other in our value of unity.
Be RELATIONAL. Please, be welcoming of people. Whether you are new to the team or have been on the team for years, please make effort to connect with people on the team. Take opportunity to encourage and pray with each other. If you feel uncomfortable when meeting new people, follow these easy steps: (1) look them in the eyes, (2) introduce yourself, and (3) ask them three questions about themselves.
Be THANKFUL. Maintain an attitude that is thankful for the opportunities and provision that GOD gives us and for the people that He allows us to do life with and serve alongside.
Be TEACHABLE. Be prepared to take suggestions from the leaders and make modifications. This includes suggestions from the audio engineer who has the best interest of the service in mind.
Be HONORING. Always show honor and respect for your team leaders. They carry a lot of responsibility (spiritual and logistic) in leading our church in worship and in executing the vision and direction given by our pastors. Please, demonstrate a ready-and-willing attitude towards them at all times. If they ask you to do or adjust something, honor them by responding with eagerness rather than resistance. Please, don’t talk or play your instrument while they are talking. Pray for them in the days leading up to worship services: that they may be led by God’s Spirit, that they may be encouraged, and that they may have peace.
Be FLEXIBLE. We plan ahead but are ready at any moment for adjustments if the need arises. Be ready to make adjustments quickly and without personal offense. (There is no “song ownership” on our team. We reassign songs and parts all the time so don’t take this personally.)
Be TIDY. Please, be mindful of keeping the stage and green room clean. Throw away trash, water bottles, etc. Wrap up cords at the end of services. Turn off amps. Take equipment off of the stage because the stage is cleaned throughout the week and your equipment can get damaged and dirty.
Excellence doesn't mean expensive, but we are asking for our dress on stage to be at level above the dress of the congregation. If you lead worship in student ministry services and in weekend services, your definition of "excellence" may modify when leading adults versus students only.
In order for the stage to appear unified, we have a clothing color scheme each weekend. You can find the color scheme by looking at the note on the bottom left-hand side of the service plan on Planning Center. It may say something like “black/grey/color.” This means that everyone should be wearing some version of black and/or grey – color is optional, and any color is acceptable.
There are also certain times of the year when we wear “dressy” attire (e.g., Easter, Mother's Day, Christmas). However, our pastors may ask us to elevate our level of dress at different services throughout the year as needed.
The most important thing to remember with our appearance on stage is that at ALL times we aim for excellence – which we describe as a professional, current, classy look, but not too casual nor too flashy.
Everyone, please be gracious with our leaders if you are asked to change something about your attire on-stage. They are trying to protect the team and the congregation in the best way so that we can lead many to know Jesus better and to experience His love. If asked to change something, please be flexible and willing to do whatever is asked.
Stage presence is defined as a “quality that attracts attention on the stage.” As worship leaders, our goal is not to attract attention to ourselves but to direct attention to God. How we present ourselves on stage can either help or hinder that goal. So let’s replace the term “stage presence” with “engaging worship.”
We define "engaging worship" as a physical expression of worship that invites others to respond to God. This physical expression includes our countenance, mannerisms, and movements when leading others.
We must understand there is a distinction between private worship and publicly leading others to worship God. Since our goal is to worship God while leading others to worship Him, we may be asked to change personal mannerisms and movements that can impede our ability to lead others.
This section deals with some of our primary methods and processes in worship. Please, read it carefully.
We use an IN-EAR MONITOR system (Aviom, Allen & Heath, or MyMix – depending on the campus). If you need help with the monitor system, please ask! Other members of the team are more than willing to show you the ropes. Here are some tutorials that will show you the basics:
Allen & Heath Tutorial
We play with a CLICK TRACK that we can hear in our ear monitors. It may take some time to adjust to this, but it is worth the effort. Although the click mainly functions to keep us together, we also use it for entrances and transitions; so get very comfortable playing to the click. VOCALISTS may tend to think they do not need it as much, but it is important that you use the click so that you do not drag the tempo.
Please, accept or decline your scheduled positions in a timely manner, preferably at least a week before the service so that we can fill needed positions.
If you need to cancel for a service, we understand; we just need ample time to find a replacement. You can decline on PCO, or if you can only give a short notice (a day or less), please call or text the team leader rather than email in case they haven’t checked email. The team leader is notated on the service plan under VOCALS.
At the bottom of the last page of each chord chart, there is a “form” which is an overview of the song. It may look similar to this:
If a certain abbreviation is underlined, singers are in unison (unison can mean true unison or melody an octave apart) with the lead vocalist during that section of the song. If the text is bold, it means that singers will split into harmony (parts). If it is underlined and bolded, most singers will be singing melody while a smaller group is singing harmony. If something is in plain font, only the lead singer is singing.
In addition to slashes notating chord inversions (like C/E), slashes can be used to notate the number of beats that a chord will be played. So with "F//–G//," both the F and the G are held for two beats.
The actual chart will give you more information about the song. Both band and vocalists need to pay attention to the information boxes. Here's an example: