1. I listen to the whole song WITHOUT playing (so important). I listen to see how many sections are in the song, and how many sections actually change chord progressions. If there are 4 sections, but only 2 of the sections have different progressions, then my mind automatically flips from " I gotta learn a whole song" to , "I gotta learn 2 sets of chord progressions."
2. I learn the first section until I can play it all the way through at least 85% flawless. Then I learn the 2nd section the same way. After I learn the 2nd section, i play section 1 & 2 back to back until its 85% flawless.
3.I repeat this process until I learn all the sections. Once I learn all the sections and can play the whole song with the cd, then I go back and learn the lyrics. Not ALL the lyrics (you can if you want), but I learn the lyric transitions. Basically, I learn the lyrics that take you out of and into the next section. This is very important for church music because the P&W leader may not stick to the record format.
4. Finally after I learn the whole song and lyric transitions, I play the whole song by myself without the cd. When I can do that, then I know (I KNOW) the song.
* Side Tip: If you have problems learning complicated licks in a song, try this. Think of every complicated lick as 1 complete song. Lets say the whole phrase consist of 13 notes. Treat those 13 notes as if that were the whole entire song. If somebody came up to you and said, "I need you to learn this song by next week. Its only 4 seconds long, and only has 13 notes," you would think "piece of cake!" Not so hard now huh?
Hope this helped!