For each of us – our Jesus time looks a bit different. Ya know… that time we take to really connect with the Almighty.
I would so love to claim that time for me being in front of a piano or guitar during worship services – but the truth is.. during that time, I’m at work, albeit very wonderful, pleasing, & uplifting work…but still work. I’m totally focusing on chords, improvising, listening to the rest of the band, & occasionally transposing on the spot. I can’t even really listen to music during my time with the Lord – I end up analyzing too much of the compositions – BAH!
My real time chillin’ with Jesus looks something like this – I’ll usually have one of my several journals out at a table, with one of my favorite pens, next to my pocket Bible. And if I’m fortunate enough – I do get to enjoy a tasty beverage (usually a Black Tea Lemonade or a dark roast coffee) during an already sweet time journaling. Emotionally & spiritually, this continually strengthens my walk & I can definitely tell a difference between the days I take time for this and the days I don’t.
… but that’s just me – I know a lot of people who go out running, or listen to praise music, or even just find a quiet place. Everyone’s relationship with the Almighty looks a bit different.
What’s this time look like for you?
As a guitarist, it’s easy & quite likely to have malfunctions or surprises come Sunday morning – And it’s frustrating to be troubleshooting equipment problems & frantically running around looking for a quick fix instead of preparing for the upcoming worship service.
Photograph of Sound Recording Equipment from the Division of Motion Pictures, 1941 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)
Here’s a list of things I like to have on me every Sunday morning
- Pen – I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all musicians to have a writing utensil on them during rehearsal. It’s so important to make note of that upcoming key change or impending a capella section. Don’t be that musician.
- Staff Paper – Not a necessity for every musician, like those who don’t read music, but often I’ve had to transcribe something from a recording or from another musician to use during the service. So, to avoid the risk of forgetting the musical passage, the staff paper fixes all.
- Extra Picks – Kind of a no-brainer; however, you don’t want to find yourself bending & twisting your old university ID card in attempts break it & to turn it into a picking device. Yes… I’ve done it.
- Extra Cable – You never know when you’re going to get a short in that quarter-inch cable you’ve been using for the past 5 years. Best to keep a spare!
- Filed Sheet Music – If you serve at a smaller church, like myself, and are responsible for keeping up with your music. Invest a couple of bucks into an accordion style folder that has those alphabetized tabs – After being handed that setlist, it’s proven to prevent headaches!
- Extra Strings – Almost a no-brainer, but I’ve been nearly late to leading worship at Life Group because I had to run to Guitar Center to grab strings after breaking that high E. It’s best to keep a set handy at all times.
- Tuner – Not something I keep on me because my pedal board and acoustic guitar have one built in, but you should have access to one! Definitely have the pianist give you a reference E if you find yourself without a tuner.
- Batteries – Does any of your equipment run off these? Your pickups, wireless device, fx pedals, tuner? Better add this to the grocery list.
- Audio Recorder – For a while when I had borrowed one (from a friend…for a couple of years), I’d often bring the audio recorder to set up next to my monitor or amp for reference. While the Spirit may over come you during the service, it never hurts to check the audio recorder at home after the service for some things you can clean up in your playing.
- Extra Guitar – This is just something that I do that I thought I’d mention if you have the means. A lot of churches are made up of volunteer musicians, and often, I don’t know if I’m playing with an ensemble made up of ‘bass & drums’ or ‘acoustic guitar & djembe.’ So, it certainly makes a difference to have the option of my acoustic over my electric if need be for orchestration purposes.
- Worship – Not an item, but a way of preparing yourself. We’ve been taught to already be worshiping when we show up. Whatever that may be for you, get your heart there. Don’t forget, you’re lead worshipers; therefore, you should be worshiping first!
- Bible – Just sayin.’ For the King.
Are you a worship musician? What are some things you find essential for Sunday morning?