How to Get Through the "Summer Slump"

Worship Leaders, don’t you just pull your hair out in summer time? People take off for vacation and you’re left scrambling for players and vocalists. What to do?

Problem: I can’t schedule praise team singers for rehearsals.

Solution: Cherry-pick the favorite, familiar songs that you’ve been learning and using all year. Meet a little earlier than usual on Sunday morning for an extended rehearsal (instead of trying to get them together one evening during the week.) Your singers should know the songs and you’ll be able to coast on auto-pilot for a few weeks. Get a few more vocal/instrumental solos lined up to fill in the holes (it’s easier to rehearse with just one or two people.)

Problem: My band falls apart during the summer.

Solution: Plan to do a stripped down, more acoustic coffeehouse type set with fewer players. Believe it or not, you can worship without screaming guitars. If you need a big sound, shop for praise and worship CD tracks at your local Christian bookstore. You’ll find tracks of popular praise songs, often in high/low keys. Try doing two or three upbeat songs with tracks, then do a ballad or two with keyboard and/or guitar. You can also find downloadable tracks at

Guest worship leaders are another wonderful solution. There might be an aspiring Christian artist in your town who would be available to fill in on a Sunday morning for a small honorarium and the permission to sell CDs. At my last church, I’d call on a folky female duo (kind of like a Christian version of the Indigo Girls) who had made a custom CD and performed regionally at youth camps to lead worship when I was out of town. And in today’s economy, you might be surprised how inexpensively you can book a fairly well known Christian artist.

Bottom Line: Go easy on your volunteers during the summer. Avoid rehearsals if necessary by using familiar songs and use technology to fill in your missing instrumentalists.