Tag Archives | worship-team

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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Encouraging Spontaneous Singing on Your Team

I received this question from Steve: In the past year or so I’ve been encouraging the vocalists on our Sunday morning worship teams to feel more freedom to sing spontaneously between verses or musical lines. They hear me speaking or singing during a song and a few of them are beginning to grow in freedom. I think it’s generally been a positive contribution to our corporate worship. However, on a few occasions it’s misfired: we’ve spoken/sung over the top of each other, what they contribute wasn’t clear, or it wasn’t musically fitting. And on at least one occasion a vocalist’s contribution had the effect of momentarily blurring …

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How Do You Manage Membership on a Worship Team?

Recently I was talking to Jon Payne, the worship pastor in the Sovereign Grace church in Gilbert, Arizona. He brought up a question he had been asked about how to handle membership on a team. The particular issue was managing how long people should be on the team, given changing church size, addition of new members, seasons of life, and other factors. I thought his answer was worth sharing here at Worship Matters, so I’ve adopted it here. Each fall we have a meeting where I “fire” everyone. I want them to know I don’t assume they should automatically continue serving on the team. I give them several weeks to pray about their decision, …

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Are We Responsible for Musical Literacy in the Church?

I’m getting questions every week now on topics related to worship and music. I wish I had time to answer each one, but I can’t get to them. But thanks so much for writing and assuming I might have an answer to your question. I received this question from Stephen: What effect do you see the “PowerPoint driven church” and American pop culture having on the musical literacy of your instrumentalists, and potentially on the future of the church? Being a worship pastor in a somewhat “emerging” church (AKA rock band and candles with historic Christianity), I am beginning to see the great need for “reproducing” musicians who are musically literate. …

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When Feet Want to Be Hands

Two Sundays ago I had the privilege of preaching at my home church, Covenant Life. We’re in the middle of a series on 1 Corinthians and I spoke from 1 Cor. 12:12-31. Paul has been answering the Corinthians’ questions about who is “really” spiritual. They were under the mistaken assumption that certain gifts, like tongues, were a sign of true spirituality. Their attitude was dividing the church – the exact opposite of the unity the Spirit wants to bring. Paul presses his point home by using the analogy of the human body. In preparing for the message, I did a little research on the body and learned some amazing facts. Our liver performs …

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Who Pays for Music Equipment?

Justin wrote me and asked: How do you handle the purchase of instruments, equipment, and supplies for your musicians? Does the church purchase all instruments, some instruments, or no instruments? What about supplies (e.g. guitar strings, picks, drumsticks, batteries, reeds, etc.)? Or effects pedals, percussion pieces, etc.? We’ve done this different ways over the years. In general, we’ve learned that people tend to take better care of instruments and supplies when they own or purchase them. For that reason, we typically expect musicians to use their own instruments and purchase their own accessories. We’ve tried to avoid a mentality of …

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What a Savior Free MP3 and Chart

I’ve received a number of e-mails asking for the new version of the hymn “Hallelujah, What a Savior,” that we taught at the New Attitude conference, music and chorus written by my son, Devon. I promised a while back that I’d post them, so here you go. The original version was by Phillip Bliss, an American hymn writer who died at the age of 37 in a train accident. Devon’s version is called “What a Savior.” It keeps the reflective sense of the verses, but adds a celebrative chorus that expands on Christ’s work and expresses our desire to offer our lives to proclaim how great our Savior is. We’ve sung it on Sunday mornings at Covenant Life, and …

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What About “Me” Songs?

Matt wrote in to ask: What do you think about singing songs that have a lot of me/we/I content. Is it wrong to sing a lot of songs that talk about us? A couple come to mind right now: “We stand and lift up our hands…” “I love you Lord…” etc…I think there’s value in having some songs with personal language as we sing/speak to God, but is there a balance that we should seek in using songs that speak of we, me, or us? Great question. Lyrics in worship songs can be generally categorized as objective, subjective, or reflective. Objective lyrics tell us something true about God that helps us know him better. Most, but not all, hymns …

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Worship Team or Songleader?

I received this question from Dennis: What would you say are the benefits of a “worship team” (several singers leading at the front) as opposed to one “songleader”? From what I can see, at least one major benefit is, to have many voices projecting the volume of a song *AT* the congregation, to help them catch on to it. This has been especially helpful when learning new songs. Are there other benefits of a worship team, in your opinion? No church ever needs to feel as though their corporate worship is less biblical, authentic, effective, or genuine because they don’t have a “worship team.” God doesn’t give us specific direction in Scripture …

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Preparing for and Evaluating the Worship Service

I received this question a while back: Do you happen to have anything that you have given out to worship leaders as far as a check-list of items to review as they are preparing for a Sunday morning? The simple answer to this would be “no.” However, a few years ago C.J. Mahaney and I put together ten questions for evaluating corporate worship, which might serve as a memory jogger. 1. Is our Savior’s substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross clearly and repeatedly presented through song lyrics and exhortations as central to our worship and the means by which we approach God? 2. Is it evident to the church and guests that all we do is rooted …

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Hymnals or Screens?

A while ago, Richard wrote in to ask: “Do you think there is an advantage one way or the other for a congregation to sing from a hymnal and songbook/sheet (so that they are all looking down), or singing from the words on a large screen in the front of the room (where they are all looking up and facing the same direction)?” First, I think that people can sing from hymnals and still be “facing the same direction,” and that you can sing from a hymnal and still be looking up. However, I’m not making a case for using hymnals. Or not using them. Actually, I’m surprised at how strongly people defend one position or the other in dealing with this …

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