by Cody Testroet
My dad was a military man, plain and simple. Hair never went below your ears, piercings were for your sister’s ears (after she was 14) and “on time” meant 15 minutes early. I've always hated that last one.
I used to like telling people that I was a musician because I thought that meant I could be as unreliable as I wanted to be. I was a band geek in high school, so "I'm a musician" was my go-to excuse when my homework was late. Honestly, showing up to Sunday morning rehearsals 20-40 minutes late was NEVER out of the question either. I never realized how irresponsible and rude those habits were until I led my own worship team in college.
Within the worship ministry at Evangel, we spend quite a bit of time together. Beyond weekly rehearsals and sound checks we also have monthly meetings and a myriad of special events to play. In this environment, there is no place for people to be habitually late or unprepared. Most of our worship team members work full-time jobs outside of the church. Everybody is busy, every person has a valid excuse to be unreliable, but if you are the only person not ready, you are disrespecting the Lord, as well as every person on the team and in the church.
Proverbs 10:26 hits me in the chest for the times I’ve been lazy and unprepared. “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to those who send him” (ESV). I hate smoke in my eyes; it’s terrible! To think I’ve been that much of an annoyance to people I have worked with is startling. Just as with learning an instrument (learning to sing counts too!), we are continually growing and adapting as people. If you sit back and take stock of your habits and notice you are continually rushing to church before rehearsal listening to the songs for the first time on your way there, you may need to change the way you approach your ministry.
When you show up to a rehearsal ready to play, on time, and knowing your parts, you honor everyone else involved.** You realize that being pro-active and working hard are more than just good traits, they are necessary for success. I’ve realized that my Dad didn’t make me live by tight regulations because he enjoyed it, but because he was a godly man who understood responsibility.
**Pro-tip: If you’re an instrumentalist, make all of your gear as “plug-n-play” as possible. If it’s easy for you to set-up, rehearsals and sound checks will be far less stressful!