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Monday morning is one of my favorite times of the week. On Monday morning I close my office door, pull out my guitar, turn up my iTunes, and begin to process the final tweaks for this the worship set for our student ministry and the plan for next week. I’m not a worship leader but I am a worship planner. I am a worshiper and when I plan worship sets I’m always thinking of the audience and where we are taking them…where are we leading them…what message are we sending them…what will connect. Sure I have been a worship leader before and I loved that season of student ministry but when I served in Virginia Beach a few years ago I discovered my passion for empowering worship leaders and producing worship environments. For all of you planning worship environments for student ministry here are a few ideas that guide me as I plan week to week…

  • Know the strengths of your worship leader // it is important to know your worship leaders strengths and weaknesses and then build accordingly. We make sure and listen to our worship leaders about what works and what doesn’t but we also push our worship leaders to try new songs. Many times worship leaders do not get what will or will not connect with teens. Listen to them and push them also.
  • Manage songs intentionally // you have to protect great songs so you can keep them in your flow for longer periods of time. When a song hits you better pace it or you will soon have to take it out of the rotation. We work hard to space songs out after we know them so we can keep them in our rotation for the long haul.
  • Worship sets have the power to communicate powerful truth // never forget music can communicate doctrine. The words you are singing communicate as much truth as the spoken word.
  • Always be listening for new expressions of truth // be on the hunt for new stuff…I am amazed at how many worship leaders are continually behind the new music curve. When it comes to finding new stuff we have to always be looking and listening.
  • Have a starting SONG PLAN and build for an entire year // Nate Edmondson helped me discover this plan. Start the year off with 10 songs you will implement in your song rotation and help the band perfect them. After those 10 start building your song list for the year slowly. Also never forget to look back at older songs you can reformat and bring back.
  • Take risks // with teens you never know what might connect. You have to take risks. Sometimes your plan will work and sometimes it will fail. Risks lead to great rewards and failures. Embrace experimentation and keep it fresh.