Worship: Rock the Choir

Today worship was awesome!

Set List for Chase Valley Church March 9th, 2008

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • King of Majesty – Marty Sampson
  • Made to Worship – Chris Tomlin
  • Wholly Yours – David Crowder
  • Hear I am to Worship – Tim Hughes
  • Psalm 103 – Billy and Sarah Chia
  • The Heart of Worship – Matt Redman

We had a lot of music today.

Highlights & Lowlights

  • The hour time difference threw lots of people off. Half the team showed up late. Really late.
  • The Choir sounded phenomenal! (More on that below)
  • The band was super tight. Everyone worked hard on the music this week and it really showed.
  • I put so much into it I was pretty drippy with sweat when I got off stage.
  • No One Like You rocked. This is a brand new song for the congregation. It’s also a tricky one to learn in typical Crowder fashion. We did it pretty close to the CD version so there was a lot of nuances the people had to pick up on. Everyone worked hard and we nailed it.
  • King of Majesty – Not my favorite song, although a lot of people around here like it so we may be doing it again. I’m not a fan of lyrics like “These words are from my heart, these words are not made up.” They’re just a little trite for me, but I know some of the songs I like lyrically are too convoluted for some people. Being a worship pastor is not all about picking only the songs you like.
  • Made to Worship – tough song to sing. I even brought it down to A and it was still hard. I liked being able to play a lead line on this one.
  • Wholly Yours – I totally messed this one up. This song has a progression. The lyrics take you through a story of being broken and then finally giving your all to God. Well I showed up today ready to worship. I didn’t want to wait through the whole song. When we should’ve gone into the bridge with says, “But the harder I try the more clearly can I feel the depth of our fall and the weight of it all.” I shouted out “So here I am” and tried to go into “here I am finally all of me everything!” Apparently I was too excited and didn’t want to have to wade through “depth of the fall” to get to “all of me wholly yours.” Fortunately the choir was rock steady and went the bridge when they were supposed to. I fumbled a few chords and got back on track thanks to the choir.
  • Here I am to Worship – went well the first time.
  • Psalm 103 – I didn’t plan on doing this song. We front loaded a lot of music today and then band sat down and we went into offering. Normally the congregation sings a full song during offering, I haven’t really done “special music.” I came back up and started finger picking to give some back ground music while the offering was being collected. When I looked at my pastor to give him the cue that offering was done and he could come back up, he simply had his head bowed in prayer just vibing a spirit of worship so I started singing. It felt well received.
  • Hear I am to Worship (take 2) – I finished Psalm 103 and Fred gave me the cue to do another song. So we sang another verse and a few choruses of Hear I am to Worship. (The theme for today’s sermon was “Worship.”) I stopped playing guitar, and while the crowd sang acapella I put down my guitar and left the stage then joined the crowd to sing. So we sang with no one on stage but God. I didn’t plan this but I was hoping to underscore the notion that worship is not about the music or the band but it’s all about God.
  • The Heart of Worship. Didn’t quite have the punch I thought it would. Fred told Redman’s story of how worship had gotten stale and routine and that his church stopped using a band for a season to focus on what worship was really supposed to be. During this season Redman wrote Heart of Worship. I thought after the message this would really hit home, but perhaps the fact that this song is so oversung it may have felt like the stale, routine worship that Redman was trying to avoid the first place. (I’m just speculating at this point, really the whole day was amazing and I heard tons of great comments about both the music and the message today. Really every other song went spectacular and this one was not bad, but simply average.)

How to Rock the Choir

We don’t do choir the same old way at Chase Valley. Instead of a feature act, the choir sings once a month as the “back up” singers. They learn all the worship songs that we do for the day and sing on each one. They sing mostly melody but throw in a good mix of harmony as well. It has several benefits:

  • Having 10 – 15 extra people on stage leading really helps to draw people into worship.
  • The sound is really full because we use condenser mics and run them through the mains
  • They stay on track when I don’t!
  • There are tons more that maybe I’ll do a post on in the future.

I love doing Choir this way. It has it’s challenges and perhaps in the future we’ll do some special music but today I was really excited to being doing choir this way.

So there’s a lot there to comment on. Let’s keep a conversation going on this post (or other past ones) next week while I lighten the blogging and celebrate the best 2 years of my life.


11 Responses to “Worship: Rock the Choir”

  1. 1 Trey McClain March 10, 2008 at 9:36 am

    So did you do the guitar thing? Any comments?

  2. 2 Sarah Chia March 10, 2008 at 11:02 am

    So…did you get any comments about the guitar being too loud? 😉

  3. 3 worship1 March 10, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I totally relate to your gaff with getting ahead of the song. Been there, done that, keeps me humble. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your sets with the “play by play”

  4. 4 Fred McKinnon March 10, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Cool about the choir – we are using our first ever “C3 Choir” (Community Church Choir) on Easter Sunday – will feature them for 3 songs … should be 50-60 voices, maybe less since some will be volunteering in other capacities during some of the services.

    Sounds like a fun service to be in!

  5. 5 Peter Park March 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    I wonder what our church will be like a in a few years. Maybe we’ll have a choir too. Your blog really encourages me man. Rock on!!!

  6. 6 brunettekoala March 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

    “I was drippy with sweat”

    Thanks for sharing that part Billy!! TMI perhaps?!

  7. 7 worshipthruitall March 11, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I have also had those sweaty Sundays! You just get so passionate about what you are singing about.

    Also you mentioned getting a full sound from using a condencer mic. what is that?

  8. 8 Billy Chia March 11, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Trey and Sarah,
    Yes, I received several comments on the guitar…they all said it was great! (What can I say, my church knows how to rock.)

    Laura Anne,
    Thanks I try to keep it real 🙂

    Well, the mics themselves didn’t really produce a “full” sound. I just mean that we mic’d the choir as opposed to simply having them sing with out any kind of mic.

    We used 2 pencil condensers (normally the kind of mic you’d use as an overhead mic on a drumkit) if you set them up far enough back then they’ll pic up a broader range.

    The “full” sound came from having many voices rather than simply one or two back up singers.

  9. 9 brunettekoala March 16, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    I’m very glad I don’t get drippy.

    Although people have commented that you know I’m working hard if I frantically tie my hair back before going into a worship set?!

  10. 10 Billy Chia March 17, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Larua Anne,
    That’s fun. Here this entire time I had no idea that you you were a worship leader. I think we’d all like to see you bust out the video camera and do a worship confessional (with frantically tied hair of course!)

  11. 11 brunettekoala March 17, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve not lead worship for 2 years so that’s probably why 🙂

    It’s a bit of a long story why I stopped, but it resulted in me continuing to hide behind others as a BV. I’d started to work up the courage to go back to a leadership role but then I went to Australia and moved to Edinburgh!

    One year after leaving Aberdeen, I’m beginning to get back into music stuff again but just as a BV. I’ve been asked if I’d like to lead worship at my ‘new church’, but not sure if I will be or not.

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