What does a worship team do in the hours before church starts.
Carlos arrives first. He unlocks a door for the others to slip through and starts turning on the lights. He goes to the back and turns on the audio equipment and works on getting the numerous dials to the perfect spot.
Patrick walks in at a fast clip with his guitar case and pedal board filled with his guitar effects. It always takes him the longest to set up with his electric guitar and pedals. The speaker isn’t working right this morning, so he plays with his guitar and volume until he finds the exact spot where the speakers will work for him, not against him.
In walks a new guy with his battered acoustic guitar case. Justin exhibits a laid back demeanor as he introduces himself to the others and begins asking the multitudinous questions that it will take to get him set up and ready to play.
Meanwhile KJ enters the back of the sanctuary with his bass slung over his shoulder. He talks with people and laughs as he wakes up and gets ready to play.
Carlos starts calling for mic checks as Richard enters. He walks to the front and sets down his breakfast, coffee , power bar and drum sticks. He yawns as he walks out the door to hang up his coat.
Cassie and Emily walk in laughing as they walk to the front pew. Emily pulls out her violin as Cassie prepares the keyboard. They continue to laugh together as they prepare their instruments and wake up more.
As the mic checks continue, the chatter slowly starts a crescendo. The air begins to fill in with instruments warming up, a cacophony that will soon give way to order.
Carlos steps up to the main mic, his own acoustic guitar slung from his shoulder. The instruments noises quiet down with short burst of the final warm-ups. Caleb goes through the order of the songs and last minute chord changes. He bows his head, along with everyone else as he prays to God that He would get all the glory; that their worship would bring a smile to the Almighty’s face.
As they play the first song, the yawns lessen and the eyes open a little wider. The protein bar has been consumed and the coffees are empty. The recently showered heads of hair have now dried. The team is looking sharper and chords are called out and debated as the practice continues.
The sun still isn’t up as the singers quietly enter. They are still in yawning mode. Kim quietly distributes the coffee that she has brought in to share. Sarah comes in looking awake and ready to go. They quietly pick up the mics and voices are added to the music. There is still 90 minutes until the service begins. When the congregation yawns in, the wide awake worship team has been soaking in praise for a couple of hours already.
Carlos finally declares them ready and everyone takes a break. They make last minute bathroom breaks and grab some water. When it is a little before nine, they are all on stage, ready to go.
Carlos begins with prayer and takes directs the focus of the congregation and puts it on God. The people join in with the worship team and the hours of prep brings the people into God’s presence quickly. Hands wave in the air and eyes fill with tears. A few people bow at the altar and some dance in the back.
The Holy Spirit seemingly flows out of the instruments and voices. There is no way to explain how this works. The glory and magesty of God become overwhelming to the hearts that are fixed on their Abba Father.
When the pastor takes the mic, he is ready to preach. This rides on the presence of God coming in like a flood during worship. He is strengthened and encouraged from the worship, and his message today will be strong and Biblically sound.
People will get saved today. Some will be healed or encouraged. All will receive Gods love. God isn’t just working through the worship team, but they certainly set the stage to get it all rolling.
These unsung worship heroes will be at church for a total of 7 hours. They will not have time to eat during until after the last service. They sit through two entire services. Some will fall asleep during the message from exhaustion and it will bring knowing smiles from the others on the team.
After the service, they quickly pack up their instruments and join in with the multitude of conversations taking place throughout the church. Ministry is still taking place as people discuss what God spoke to them during the service and others ask for prayer for difficulties they are going through. Even this is riding on the songs of the worship team.
They do not get paid for what they do. For many this is their day off. Some will leave and go straight to work, some will go play with their kids and the rest will hit the couch for a well deserved nap. They have pleased God greatly and have impacted lives not only in the congregation where they ministered, but in the lives that the congregation goes out and touches as well. Who knows, as they minister to people who in turn minister to others who in turn minister to others, they will be reaching around the world. But this isn’t what they are thinking about as they quietly and humbly go on with their day.