Playing For The Prodigal

I’m not sure how helpful this post will be. It’s not even something that I do intentionally anymore. But maybe, somewhere out there, this will help someone out.

Every church has prodigals; people who once professed Christ and dwelled with us in community but who are now wandering, rebellious, and living wild in the world. Several years ago I was leading worship at a church where I did not have a long history, but almost weekly I would hear someone mention a prodigal son or daughter of the church who had “popped in” out of nowhere. Some of them stayed, some of them did not. After a while I realized two things. First, for whatever reason, in that season of the church’s life there was a returning generation of those who had wandered. I didn’t know why or how long it had been happening or it would last, only that it was going on. The second thing I realized is that not every prodigal was being recognized. If this many were being noticed (and hopefully embraced and ministered to) how many more were slipping in and out (it was a fairly large church).

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Q&A

Every so often I like to look over the Google searches that bring people to this blog. It’s interesting what people look for, and what brings them my way. There are a few great questions, and a few ridiculous questions. What questions are people who stumble upon this blog asking? Let’s find out.

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Worth Your Time

I have a great love for the folks at Calvary:The Hill. If you live in the Seattle area and are looking for a church home then check them out.

One of their main worship leaders Riley Taylor recently put a post up at their blog about his struggles with music and worship leading that I think it worth your time to read.

Riley says:

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The Electric: Leading Vs. Backing

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about leading vs. backing with the Electric Guitar. How the two are similar, and how the two are completely different.

One Guitar. One Rig. Two Purposes.

My guitar rig is set up for versatility. I’ve talk a lot about this before in this series of articles. But I haven’t really touched on the versatility between leading the band and being in the band. What’s the difference. Is there a difference? And is it a big deal? Let’s talk about it.

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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.

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The Electric: The Best Overdrive Pedal For Worship

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about overdrive and gain pedals worship bands.

 

What is the best overdrive pedal for a worship guitar player?

The question is asked constantly on Google searches, blogs, forums, and even people who find their way to this blog.

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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.

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