For the planning element, try to make sure each individual knows how to play the song before you start to work with it as a band. Don’t waste valuable rehearsal time by teaching the song and the chords. That should be done before you come together collectively in order that you can use the time to get the song to gel with all the musicians. Start with finding the right tempo and groove and then build the other instruments’ parts around it. Tempo often has to do with how comfortable it is to sing at a certain pace, so choose the fastest feeling part of the song, probably the chorus, and make sure it doesn’t feel rushed. Use a metronome in practice to help you remember the right tempo afterwards.
Don’t over-arrange a song with lots of clever changes unless you make sure everyone writes it down, otherwise they’ll probably forget it and most of the congregation won’t notice the detail anyway. But do over-practice a song. Rehearse it more than you think is necessary to get it into everyone’s memory. A good place to start is by copying the parts from a definitive recorded version and go from there.
[Full article from Andy Chamberlain]