“We Talkin’ Bout Practice?” Thoughts From A Worship Pastor on Practice and Preparation

“We talkin’ bout practice?” Those words were spoken by former NBA star Allen Iverson back in 2002. He was being questioned by a reporter for missing his team’s practice. It was quite a rant, one that has gone down in recent sports history as an example…and not a good one at that. He went on to say:

“We not even talkin’ bout the game, the actual game, when it matters.  We talkin’ bout practice.”

guitar playerOne of the passions of my life is preparation. No matter the application (sports, music, study, operating technology, professional endeavors, etc…) preparation is a good thing. Preparation helps, it doesn’t hurt.

As a Worship Pastor, I am always trying to find ways to keep our team motivated and engaged in preparation. They know that their preparation begins long before they arrive at rehearsal. It is my sincere hope that it begins weeks in advance of their arrival. I love this quote:

“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.” – Ann Voskamp

We should always be working to stretch and grow. Practice and preparation are essential to growth both individually and collectively. Why are preparation and practice important?

  • In The Bible, we are encouraged to offer our very best giftWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24 
  • Being prepared individually serves your team well. Academy Award Winner Sir Anthony Hopkins’ method of preparing for a role is legendary. He reads each script 250 times, out loud, before beginning a film. He not only wants to know his part but everyone’s part so that it becomes second nature.
  • Practice isn’t just about knowing your part. This echoes a little bit of the previous point; but, to elaborate, if you don’t attend practice because “you know your part” how does that affect everyone else? They are forced to prepare with a missing piece, which can throw off the balance of the team.
  • We’re never above practice. I once heard a church musician say that he doesn’t practice anymore and hasn’t in years. He felt that he had developed everything he needed to develop and no longer needed to practice. This is going to sound very harsh, but that viewpoint is all about ego and a sole focus on an individual, rather than the team. In Psalm 131:1 we see a much better target for us as we prepare: My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
  • Repetition. As a musician it is important to work songs into your voice, fingers, heart and mind. It becomes a part of you…a natural expression. This goes beyond the ability to sing or play a note. Music isn’t a mathematical equation. Practice allows us to fully express an idea or our worship to God, from our hearts and not just our minds.

This list isn’t meant to represent every reason that practice and preparation are important; but, it’s a place to start. What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave them in the Comments section.

Let’s connect on Twitter: @BrianLTabor

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  1. […] Brian Tabor shares five reasons that practice is an essential discipline for worship leaders: […]

  2. […] music from a wide variety of bands and artists. God deserves our best efforts in planning and preparation and so does our […]



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