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February 17, 2017
September 26, 2023

The Saturday Habits of a Worship Leader

Aaron Ivey walks through his rhythms on a typical Saturday and how they play into his leadership on Sunday.

Here are a few of the main points:

  • “Sometimes the best thing is to go to sleep early.”
  • “I needed to change. My rhythms needed to change.”


Aaron Ivey: I have two days that are “off.” That’s Monday and Saturday. Normal human beings with a normal job usually have Saturday and Sunday off, so we make sure our team has a sabbath day of rest and then usually another day that counts as a Saturday or something like that. My two days are Monday and Saturday.

Saturday is primarily spent with my family, and Saturday early evening after dinner around 6pm is when I’ll do any sort of last minute preparation for Sunday. That’s usually where I’m nailing down the call to worship.

For me, planning the worship liturgy happens earlier in the week. We ask our whole team to do that early in the week so it’s set. But there’s always something stirring in me up until the last day, Saturday. That seems to be where God usually refines what Sunday is going to look like. There’s a plan, and sometimes he’ll change it. Sometimes he’ll bring something really fresh for the call to worship, so I’ll focus on that.

My wife knows that, so it’s not like this weird thing where I go into another room and “work.” She knows it, she gets it, and she believes in it and supports it.

Then I spend time getting my kids in bed and spend time reading whatever sermon we have for that Sunday. I’ll read it again and go to sleep.

Sometimes the best thing is to go to sleep early. We have to be at the church at 7am for load-in and stuff. I’ve found that I naturally love to go to sleep at 11:30pm. That feels right to me, like, “Okay, now is the time to go to sleep.” But on Saturday, it’s a discipline. If I’m not in bed on a Saturday night by 9pm then something is wrong. It’s the discipline of going to bed so that I can be fresh for four services on a Sunday and not resort to, “Man, I’m tired so I can just be a jerk to people today.”

I wish I would’ve done that a long time ago. Back in the day, Saturday night was just like any other night. We’d watch movies and stay up till midnight, and I would just dread waking up Sunday morning, driving there thinking, “I hate this job. This is dumb. Why does anybody worship in the morning? We should only do it at night.” All those thoughts. But no, I needed to change. My rhythms needed to change.

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