Hello to the Music StackExchange community!
Pardon me if my post is in the wrong place. I have studied classical piano since I was six years old, and it has been fifteen years since. I have taken RCM examinations for close to ten years now, and have now reached the ARCT Performer's level. Therefore, I have become accustomed to the styles of the great 19th-century masters like Brahms and Chopin.
But as the title of this post says, I am an aspiring Christian worship pianist, and have recently joined such a band at my church for about half a year as of this writing. During this time, my worship leader keeps on telling everyone to "focus on the worship". In a recent open worship session, I played and sang "10,000 Reasons" by Matt Redman. Here I was a soloist, much like how I play solo classical piano pieces. As I was the only one actually involved in leading the worship, I could spontaneously arrange the song (structure, chords, and the such) to my own liking.
I realize, though, being a worship musician rather than a worship leader, I would have to work as a team and learn to follow the actual leaders. This would require more advanced planning and a sense to closely observe and adapt to instant changes (for example, repeating a bridge section multiple times while building up to a climax).
I know that there are bound to be worship musicians and leaders among this community who could offer some advice to me and anyone else in my shoes. My question to you is this: How should I learn to get along with my bandmates and what should I do to prepare myself for the unexpected?