Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

Worship Leading Philosophy

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I think it’s important for the philosophy of the worship leader to match the philosophy of the pastor and the philosophy of the church service on Sunday. Here’s something I wrote and sent to all of our worship leaders, not as a response to anything, but as a reminder.

– I like upbeat and celebration rather than intimate and thoughtful.  It’s okay to do these kind of songs, but make them the spice rather than the meal.

– I like to get up right after a rockin’ song, not after some prayerful meditation. I typically start pretty light and funny and conversational, so a slow song doesn’t set that up well.

– I love ending the service with something loud and memorable. either a performance tune or a rockin worhsip song. get people leaving on a high note.

– We love opening the service with a popular cover tune. That kind of stuff unfolds people’s arms. If a guest is there and he hears a popular song, he will relax and be more receptive to the message. this isn’t a stand up and sing song.

– We need to program and pick songs with the unchurched in mind. If it would sound confusing to someone who hasn’t grown up in church, we probably shouldn’t do it.

– We like songs for dudes. not necessarily love songs to Jesus about how beautiful he is or how intimate we love him.  That may be true, but most guys don’t talk like that.

– We are rock and roll, and we like it loud

– I like a mix of songs that people will sing and maybe one new or newer tune each week.  If it’s all new, then we will lose people.  if it’s all old, then we will become boring.

– I don’t like it when worship leaders set up songs for 2-3 minutes. The little sentences during intros or quoting a verse during a guitar solo is very cool, but in general, I’ll do the talking and you do the singing.  I promise not to pick up your guitar during my sermon and lead 10 extra minutes of worship if you promise not to preach a sermon setting up a song.

– A worship leaders job is to lead people in worship, not just worship personally.  If a singer has his eyes closed, he’s not engaging the crowd.  you’re a worship LEADER.  if nobody is following, you’re not leading.

– Think of how the words would sound to unchurched men. that’s the filter. If a song has a confusing lyric, we need to explain what it means or skip it.

– It’s nice when the songs fit the theme, but we connect those dots way more than our people do. there are some awesome songs that are just awesome to sing. the song right before the message and right after the message should fit the best…some of the other songs can just be great songs. if they all fit the theme, then that’s great…but an unsingable song that fits the theme doesn’t do much for most people.

– It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s not…old hymns redone are also connecting points. People in Cartersville have some church background, so reaching back and pulling something that they remember and updating it is a great way to make a connection.

Bringing in Bands

We have six people on staff, but we do not have a worship leader.  For our first ten weeks, we’ve been bringing in bands like Tenth Avenue North.  We’re doing this for a many reasons.

1. It allows us to have high quality from day one.  Excellence is a value.
2.
It has allowed us to focus on overall organization, children’s ministry
and getting volunteers into key places.  I think this showed at our
first preview service.
3. It has given us time to find out what kind of equipment we need and want in the theater. 
4. It is giving us time to develop our own internal worship band.
5. It will show our people and our community what kind of music we are going to have
6. It’s going to let our people assume leadership without a deadline, so when it happens, we will be ready.
7. Good music attracts good musicians.

I know a lot of church planting stuff says find a worship leader
right away.  And while this might be true for some, it’s not true for
all.  For us, the only other full time person we have on our team right
now is  overseeing small groups.  We’re going
to have systems in place to connect people…this is important to us.
We can buy quality music for a while, but you can’t buy that.

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