One of the best ways to set yourself up for a distraction-free Sunday service is to have rehearsals that allow for more freedom on Sundays. God deserves all glory for services that usher people into HIs presence, but he's all also called us to lead his church so there are steps we can take to steward that responsibility well as musicians. This will be a series of posts, as there many tangible things we can do as leaders of musicians in the church.
The first thing to do is ensure that your language is accurate by using the word band "rehearsal" rather than band "practice." Practice is something you do individually at home, rehearsal is something we all do together where each member brings their part. Using the word rehearsal itself implies there there has already been work done beforehand, whereas you can practice something without any prior history on the subject.
Think of it as actors in play...if they come to play rehearsal without any history with the script, the beats and rhythms of the play, how to act off of other people's lines, etc., then your rehearsal is going to be long, frustrating, and fruitless because you'll find that the actors will be individually working on the nuts and bolts of their parts. Individual preparation does not require meeting together as a group. It can be done individually!
The same idea applies to a band...each musician should respect the time and talent of their band mates by not using rehearsals as a personal practice time, but as a time to put their puzzle pieces together to create art. If you have people using rehearsals as practice time, then you're going to end up with frustrated band members who feel disrespected and don't trust each other. How can you expect to have the people on Sundays put their trust in the leadership of the musicians, if you the musicians on stage don't trust each other?. A simple adjustment of your language to calling it "rehearsal" and being consistent with explaining the vision of rehearsal time to your musicians will go a long in not only having efficient rehearsals, but it will also increase the capacity for trust, freedom, and creativity.
Of course, the leader has to lead the way. You can't simply adjust your language, and expect your musicians to understand. In Part 2, we will talk about the importance of preparation and how leaders need to go first.