Bruce Springsteen is the type of artist that I might pay good money to go see, but I’ve never really listened to his music. I can hum a few of his songs that are the most popular and certainly appreciate his art. He’s iconic but not a favorite necessarily.
Yet he taught me great lesson in preparation a few years back.
I remember seeing him perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. You can watch it here. And it was a “normal over the top” Super Bowl show. It was some months later that I was able to see the documentary “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to pull of the show.
I’m sure you’ve seen similar rock n’ roll documentaries, but what stuck out in this one was the length of time and investment that Bruce went through to prepare his spoken word at the beginning of the show.
They showed multiple clips of him working on the words, practicing the timing, and rehearsing the band over and over months in advance.
I was mesmerized as I watched Bruce work diligently on just a couple of sentences, while rehearsing those same 2 or 3 familiar songs over and over. My mind flashed back to how much effort I had not put in to writing transitions between songs or elements on a normal Sunday morning worship set.
I had forgotten the simple fact that I was preparing for way more than the 100 million viewers for a once-a-year Super Bowl. I was preparing for the King of the Universe, as well for those believers and unbelievers who were coming to have an experience with Him.
Do you struggle between songs to know what to say? Do you know how to move from one element to the next so that those in attendance can go with you? Take time to work on these.
Above all, I would argue that preparation is the key. Yes, the spirit is going to move, and you should be ready, but how much work did you put in to the moments that actually facilitate a great worship experience – the moments in between the songs?
My brotha from down undah, Tim Foot, is one of the best at transitions and has written about it here. Spend time in this area. God deserves it and so does your church.