Worship Leader Fall Checklist

Worship Leader’s Fall Checklist

  • Update your calendar with major events, regular rehearsals, and admin tasks (stay organized!)
  • Evaluate your song repertoire and rotation for the season ahead (freshen things up!)
  • Check in with your worship team members on availability and roles (get on the same page!)
  • Inspect your musical equipment and tech capabilities (address issues early!)
  • Make time for personal spiritual refreshment and rest (don’t burn out!)

by Don Chapman

Leaves turning. Pumpkins everywhere. Football season starting up. Yep, fall is right around the corner!

For worship leaders, the arrival of fall brings both excitement and just a touch of panic. It’s an energizing time as your congregation shakes off their summer doldrums and gets back into a rhythm of meeting faithfully each week. But it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed trying to get your ducks in a row for all that comes with the busy fall season.

Over the years I’ve learned that the key is getting ahead of the game. Take some time now, before the craziness starts, to prayerfully evaluate your plans for fall. Here are some key points for your worship leader fall checklist:

Update Your Calendar

Grab your calendar and start penciling in any major events between now and Christmas that will impact your music planning. Consult with your pastor and administration – are there any special services, outreach events, conferences, retreats, etc. to schedule? Don’t let them catch you off guard!

Then block out your typical weekly worship team rehearsals. If you had an “as needed” rehearsal schedule during the summer, now is the time to resume regular weekly team practices. Your band will need time to knock the rust off and newcomers will need to learn arrangements. A consistent rehearsal schedule brings stability amid all the busyness of fall.

While you’re at it, get any personal administrative items on your calendar too – budget reviews, volunteer recruiting, planning meetings, equipment checks, etc. Put it all in your calendar now before a last minute crisis pops up. Your future sanity will thank you!

Evaluate Your Song List

Early fall is a great chance to prayerfully evaluate your current repertoire of worship songs. Have some tunes gotten stale after playing them for months? Are there other songs your congregation just hasn’t connected with? Consider temporarily “retiring” these and replacing with some fresh options.

On the flip side, are there songs you’ve recently introduced that have really resonated with your church? Make sure to keep these in regular rotation.

Also spend time listening to new worship music and think about what songs would be a good seasonal fit for your services this fall. Themes of thankfulness, God’s faithfulness, the beauty of creation, and the changing seasons can inspire your music selections.

And don’t forget to start brainstorming songs appropriate for your Advent and Christmas services. You’ll be singing carols before you know it!

Check In With Your Team

One of the biggest challenges of fall is getting your worship team back on the same page after summer shake ups. Key players may have shifted their commitments or availability. Make time to sit down with each regular worship team member and get a pulse on where they’re at.

Are they ready to resume their previous role or do they need to pull back a bit this fall due to other commitments? Have any talented guests or volunteers emerged over the summer months that you can begin incorporating into the team?

Also use this time to clarify expectations, roles and responsibilities. Touch base on the worship format, new things you hope to implement, and any improvements you want to target. Provide training for those willing to step up into new opportunities.

Most importantly, work to foster a sense of community and chemistry among your musicians and vocalists. Spend time together in fellowship and make spiritual encouragement a priority rather than just focusing on music.

Update Technical Needs

Fall is a great time for a thorough check of your musical equipment and tech capabilities. Break out the cleaning cloths and guitar polish to give all your instruments a sprucing up. Change strings, cables, and drumheads as needed. Make sure everything is in reliable working order.

If you need to bring in pros to do repairs, tune pianos, etc. schedule that early before their fall calendars fill up. Update any patches, software or subscriptions. Check bulbs and monitor/speaker connections – nip nagging issues in the bud.

Review your audio, visuals, and computer capabilities. Do your volunteers need any additional training? Do you have the right personnel in place to handle the technical aspects each week?

Finally, are there any gear upgrades you’ve been putting off that it’s time to finally invest in? Maybe you saved up a budget through the summer that you can now use. Don’t let lack of quality equipment hold your team back.

Refresh Yourself Spiritually

Amid all the fall planning and busyness, be sure to take time to refresh yourself spiritually and combat fatigue. Make a point to attend a  worship conference or worship-focused training if possible for inspiration. Or even just read an encouraging book on worship or leadership.

Set aside time to meet one-on-one with your pastor to get aligned on vision and direction. Stay accountable to him for your own spiritual health and growth.

Carve out time in your schedule for more regular personal worship and devotional time. Don’t let your own spiritual reservoir run dry – make deposits of time in God’s presence to carry you through the hectic season.

Fight against burnout by building regular Sabbath rest into your routine. Say no to nonessential commitments. Limit work email and social media. Guard time for hobbies and family activities that recharge you.

Bottom Line: The turning leaves of fall signal a turning point for you as a worship leader. Use this transitional time between summer and the holidays to look ahead and get strategic. Follow this fall checklist to evaluate your songs, schedule, team, equipment and personal spiritual health. When you stay grounded in Christ and organized in the details, you’ll breeze through fall refreshed and ready to lead your people into His presence!


Essential reading for worship leaders since 2002.


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