Monday, December 27, 2010

Your (After) Christmas List

Hey, worship leaders...

Well, Christmas is over and you're probably sitting in a chair smiling because it's over. You made it. You survived the new songs and the long hours and the special performances. You're either glad it's over or proud of how stuff went, but either way, you're resting.

Resting is good. We need it. But let me suggest this. Before you dive into the next setlist or the video or the new sermon series, take 15 minutes to make a list for NEXT Christmas.

Not a gift list. A "what to do" list. A list of lessons learned - what to do the same, what to change, songs that worked, etc. Store that list and when October 2011 rolls around, pull it out to remind Future You what Present You has learned.

And since I can never remember where I put stuff, I'm going to do my list right here on the blog!

  1. Teach new songs earlier. This year, I found a fantastic Advent record from Sovereign Grace called "Savior: How God Became A Man." They were great songs that beautifully celebrated the theology of God's redemptive work through the birth of Christ. However, I got to the record too late and was able to include only 2 of them in our seasonal singing. In 2011, I'll teach a couple of those songs in November to solidify them in our catalog. Because they're not carols, they won't feel out-of-place in our pre-Christmas singing.

  2. Find good performances. I'm a huge fan of of Andrew Peterson's "Behold The Lamb Of God." This year, we included three of those selections as special performance pieces. Since our songs were a bit more traditional carols, this "new" performance stuff was a nice compliment.

  3. Don't neglect scripture. This year, I was so blessed by scripture mixed into our Christmas singing. Worship leaders sometimes forget that reading scripture is a great way to encourage our people. Reading from the Bible seemed to help us see past nostalgia and truly celebrate the miracle of Jesus.

  4. Put on a (little) show. I tend to shy away from "show." But a little bit of preparation, narration and performance during the Christmas season does seem to make it special.
I encourage you to grab a pen, open your laptop and make a note on your phone while Christmas is fresh in your mind!