Comparisons and Dirty Little Secrets

Are you trying to keep up with the Jones? The Jones that go to the “cool church” on the other side of the city. The Jones who go to the “artsy church” in the nearest urban center or college town? The Jones who go to the big, well known church in your tribe or denomination?

Well… Stop it. Stop it right now. Stop it right now, and here’s why…

Continue reading “Comparisons and Dirty Little Secrets”

The 5 Point Band

Let’s be honest about two things:

1. Church bands tend to “overplay” and step over each other on a regular  basis

2. Church bands are often a hodge podge of who’s available instead of who is needed.

What I’m going to suggest will hopefully unmuddy the waters sonically speaking and give structure to arranging and picking your church’s band for a worship service.

When I put a band together for a Sunday or Wednesday I first look at who is available. It’s all well and good to want a thick analog synth sound on a song but if all your keyboard players are on vacation, you’ll need to rethink your plans. Once I know who is available, I start to fill roles based on my “5 point band”. I admit that I don’t always do it consciously, because I’m so used to doing it. But it’s always there in the background of my mind. So here are the 5 points that I look for to put a band together. I’m going to write them in order of importance.

Continue reading “The 5 Point Band”

Does The Worship Leader Have To Sing?

For someone out there, this is going to be a mind blowing, revolutionary thought. So by all means, feel free to sit down for a moment and catch your breath.

For the rest of you, who hopefully get the playful spirit in which I wrote the above sentence, this is a valid conversation for us to have.

In some church traditions, this is a pointless conversation with an obvious answer: of course not. But for many evangelical churches, the question I posed would mean a complete paradigm shift. The worship leader is ALWAYS the person singing. Whether they sing on their own, or if they are also the piano player, guitarist, or even bass player, the worship leader always sings. I’m going to propose that maybe this thinking is why your church’s music ministry is struggling.

Continue reading “Does The Worship Leader Have To Sing?”

Can A Non-Believer Be On The Worship Team?

Someone is going to read the title of this post and think to themselves: “Of course not! Who would think that is a good idea”. While someone else will think: “Why not? I know someone who did this or that and it worked out just fine”. The answer to this question really does not depend on what you think, or what I think. As with all things, our answer to this or any question should be ‘What does God think?’ This is why having the Bible, God’s word to humanity, as our final authority is so important. So let’s talk about this. In a day and age when churches hire musicians from outside the church, some who aren’t even christians, does God have anything to say on the subject of Non-Christians and Worship Leading?

Continue reading “Can A Non-Believer Be On The Worship Team?”

“Let’s Sing That Again”: Vocals Cues In The Worship Service

Last week I was at a Pastor’s Conference where many different worship bands and leaders served leading us in worship before the sessions. Almost all of them fell victim to the trap of overusing vocal cues in their leading. What is a vocal cue? Why would someone use them? How can someone overuse them? Well, let’s talk about it.

Continue reading ““Let’s Sing That Again”: Vocals Cues In The Worship Service”

Leadership

Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “where there is no vision, the people perish.” In Mark 6:34 Jesus has compassion on the people because “they are like sheep without a shepherd.” Ephesians 4:11 tells us that it was God “who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,” and I feel safe in saying that worship leaders fall somewhere in their too. I could give more examples but the point is that the Bible teaches that godly leadership is a great thing but a lack of leadership is a very bad thing.

Continue reading “Leadership”

Think Outside The Box


One of the main reasons I started this blog is that other blogs about worship leading didn’t seem to cover the issues that I had dealt with over the years in ‘average’ churches. It makes sense. Most of the guys who put up these blogs have the time to do so because they are on staff at churches that are large enough to have a full time Worship Pastor, which generally means they are large enough to have more than one full band, and quite often have several fully staffed bands.

My background is both in large and small churches. I grew up at a church in Seattle that was around 2,500 people back in the 80’s and 90’s that (not surprisingly for Seattle) had an abundance of talented musicians (some of whom are in nationally known bands today). That church never had trouble putting a band together. Then when I was 18 in 2000 I was asked to leave Seattle and move to the UK to lead worship at a small church of 40 people. I was the only musical person in the church. Since then I’ve lead at churches of all sizes. Even at my last church which was around 800 people with a lot of musicians we often had trouble putting together a full band because of availability with work and we were sharing a lot of musicians with the youth ministry.

We can either see the challenge of staffing a full band as a problem but as an opportunity to think outside the box.

Continue reading “Think Outside The Box”