Should We Ban The Music Stands?

 

This has become a conversation over the past few years in worship ministry. Possibly, it’s even become a battle in some chruches. Should we allow music stands on the stage?

For some, this will seem like a ridiculous idea; how can we know what songs to play without the music? What’s the big deal? Why is this even a question?

While others might say: “yes, and if you don’t get rid of the stands, you’re doing it wrong!” or some other hyperbolic rhetoric.

For this post, I’d like to address the reasons someone would want to ban Music Stands, the pros and cons of those reasons and some practical considerations for you to take into account. Maybe you’ve been wresting with this idea. Maybe this has been an issue in your ministry. Maybe you’ve never heard of such a thing and you can’t understand why someone would do it; but you are going to keep reading to find out.

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Thoughts About Credit Cards and Purchasing Equipment

Can I Buy Equipment With A Credit Card?

I see this question a lot. Mostly on forums and gear groups but sometimes I’ll get an email or something about it. With the cost of musical gear and accessories such as PA or computer equipment being so high, doesn’t it make sense to use a credit card to make purchases on high cost items? Won’t it be too late to use it by the time I save up for it?

Sadly, the answers people give are often over-simplified or limited in their scope. People living in one context might not see that the person asking the question might exist in a different situation then they do. In this post I hope to address the central question and give some perspective that might be helpful, not only in deciding when or if to use credit, but how we buy our equipment in general.

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Backing Tracks: What I use and How I Got There

What I use and How I Got There

Multi-tracks, Backing Tracks, and Pads have become more and more mainstream in music in recent years. It’s not just in the church, but its not uncommon to go to shows and concerts and see well known bands with Pads or Backing Tracks going on in the background. I remember 2004 hearing it with Coldplay and over the next few years later I started noticing it with smaller bands in at clubs in the Seattle area.

Programs like Abelton and the easy of Apple’s Garage band have put this technology in the hands of church musicians as well. But it’s not just the mega-churches that are doing this. Walk into churches of ranging in size from 50-150 and you could easily hear some form of backing track going on.

I started using ambient Pads in the background about 6 months ago. I want to walk you through my process, how I got here, and why I use what I use.

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Spring Q&A: What’s the Best Thing and Other Questions

Every so often I look over the search terms from engines like Google and Yahoo that lead people to this blog and turn them into a sort of Q&A. This one is pretty guitar and musical gear heavy but hopefully it’s helpful to someone. (warning, if some of my comments seem like I’m being snarky, it’s because I am 🙂 )

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Codes and Keys (How To Dress For The Modern Church)

CODES AND KEYS

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 4 years and this is the first time I’ve addressed how we dress on stage. The Bible has things to say about how Christians should present themselves. The Church Culture has things to say about how Christians should present themselves (not necessarily the same as the Bible). Even the Secular Culture has ideas about how Christians dress, or how everyone else should dress too.

So why should I add my thoughts to the mix? That’s actually not my goal. Of course I have opinions on this subject, but my goal isn’t to give you a list of things I think you should do. My goal is to break down some general keys to follow as you try to figure out what’s right in regards to you, your church, your cultural context and your convictions. As always, while our basis for these things must be found in God’s Word, working these things out can feel at times like a moving target so I’m going to try and focus on Dress Keys than Dress Codes.

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4 Reasons To Avoid The Imitation Trap

WHAT IS THE IMITATION TRAP?

I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.

The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.

The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings. I want to present four reasons that we as worship leaders should avoid this trap at all costs, and a positive alternative to imitation that might just be a way forward for you, and your ministry.

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Fall Q&A. Effects Pedals. Acoustic Worship, and Three Headed Delays.

Once a season I look over the Google searches (and the 1 Bing search too) and see what brings people to this blog. I then take the themes or direct questions from those searches and form a sort of Q&A. While the Fall 2014 edition will be a little effects pedal heavy, I think there’s some take aways that non-pedal using worship leaders will find helpful.

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