Archive | June, 2008

Choirs in Worship

In an earlier post I mentioned a question left in one of the comments. Collin wrote: With my limited experience I am able to lead a full band on Sunday mornings but it stops there. Our church has many capable individuals that would be involved in a choir but my limitations keep me from taking the plunge and just going for it with some simple choir pieces. Do have any suggestions, for someone with my limited experience, how to go about leading a choir? Should I hold off and wait until I have proper training in leading a choir? I know a choir would serve our worship time so it is something I would like to see on occasion on Sunday mornings. In …

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Great Training Videos for Your Band

Zach Nielsen, whom I’ve only met once but felt an immediate kinship with, hosted a Church Band Seminar a while back for church musicians. He invited three Nashville musicians (Tim Rosenau on guitar, James Gregory on bass, and Scott Williamson on drums) to talk about and demonstrate playing music for congregational worship as part of a band. While the video clips aren’t the best quality, you can hear what’s being discussed, and both the content and attitude of the players are worth checking out. They cover topics including Listening to As You Play, How to Play a Chord Chart, Leading in Rehearsal, and much more. To check out all the videos go …

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How Does Music “Work” in Worship?

This is the third clip from a longer video in which Tim Smith, worship pastor from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA, asked me various questions related to worship. In this portion, Tim asked me about the relationship between music and worship. In it I talk about some of the factors that have made music such a volatile issue in the church today, and different ways that Christians view music. Just scratching the surface here…If you want to dig deeper, I’d highly recommend you read Harold Best’s Music Through the Eyes of Faith. I read it in the mid-90′s and haven’t found anything as insightful, helpful, and biblically faithful. …

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Encouraging Expressiveness in Worship When It’s Not “Cool”

This is the second clip from an hour plus interview that Tim Smith did with me when I was in Seattle last November. He’s asking me about an issue they’ve faced at Mars Hill Church, but one that I’m sure is common to many churches. How do you motivate people to physically express affection for God when they’re singing his praise, when their default attitude on hearing music is passivity and reservation? How do you keep from manipulating or commanding certain responses that are appropriate to biblical corporate worship? If you want to read more, I did a series on physical expressiveness a while back. You can find Part 1 here. …

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Worship Experiences and the Presence of God

Last November I was in Seattle at the Acts 29 Resurgence conference and had the opportunity to spend some time with the Mars Hill Worship Pastor, Tim Smith. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Tim and talking to him about topics including the Psalms, Jonathan Edwards, physical expressiveness in worship, and how to organize music teams in the church. I found Tim to be thoughtful, humble, and committed to searching the Scriptures to better understand what it means to worship God. While I was there, Tim took the opportunity to interview me on video for about two hours. Acts 29 posted a video on their site, but it’s over an hour long. I plan to …

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Spontaneous and Prophetic Songs

A week and a half ago I posted on some of the spontaneous songs I sang at the New Attitude conference. Aaron left this comment on another post about New Attitude: Regarding the spontaneous song(s) – could you comment or perhaps designate a separate post explaining the “prophetic song”. I thought the song was a sweet ministry to those under affliction & I thought you set it up well & carefully. However, those of us coming from a cessationist view would be interested in hearing you talk about this in more detail. I wrote about this in my book, Worship Matters, because it’s a gift I’ve been studying or exercising for about twenty years. …

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A Psalms CD, a Song Book, and a Few Other Things

I had hoped to post something on spontaneous songs and choirs this week but never got to it. That will be next week now. I’ve been working on a new songbook we hope to have ready by the WorshipGod conference. It will contain 71 songs from our last six projects. Unlike our downloadable piano scores, which are more like the studio arrangement, our songbooks contain simpler versions that are great for just learning the basic song. Roger Hooper, a member of Covenant Life and an amazing musician and synth player, sends me two staff versions of the songs in Sibelius and then I edit them. It can be difficult to reduce an entire band to a two staff piano …

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Three More Songs from New Attitude

Last week I posted a download and stream of Nail My Glory, one of the live songs from the New Attitude conference in Louisville, KY. I have three more for you today. Ransomed The first is the song Ransomed, written by my son Jordan, with original words by John Kent (1827). A number of people commented on the use of the staccato strings, aka pizzicato. It’s not something you hear often in corporate worship but seemed to work well. You can download the song by clicking here, or listen to it below. [Audio:http://sgm.edgeboss.net/download/sgm/na/2008/na08.4_ransomed.mp3] All I Have is Christ We also used a choir of about 70 folks this …

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