Posts Tagged 'Worship'

I Love My Team

Schedule’s change – it’s unavoidable.

I love when the people on my worship team call or email to let me know if they will be late or if they can’t make it to practice.

Keeping your worship pastor in the loop creates an environment of trust.

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What makes Worship Remarkable? 1 of 4

Thank you to everyone who left comments on this post! They were very helpful. I’ve started to move past the question

Should worship be remarkable?

and started to ask

What makes a worship service remarkable?

(Although you are still welcome to add your comments here.)

As I’ve thought, conversed and prayed over this I’ve realized that in the last year there have been 2 Sunday morning experiences that I tend to talk about all the time. I asked myself, “What was different about these experiences that caused me to tell the story over and over again?”

When the answer came to me I realized that both of these services were remarkable for 2 very different reasons. I’ll tell you why in my upcoming posts.

For now,

What do you think makes worship remarkable?

The Newsprint Connection and Remarkable Predecessors

Here is my Worship Text-fessional for March 30, 2008

Set list for Chase Valley Church

  • God of Wonders – Mark Byrd and Steve Hindalong
  • Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
  • Light the Fire Again – Brian Doerksen
  • Hungry -Kathryn Scott
  • Evermore – Joel Houston

Highlights/Lowlights

One of our singers brought in a Newspaper today dated 8 years ago. She had forgotten about this news clip and just found it today by happenstance. It was from the first day Chase Valley Church worshiped in this building when it was newly constructed. There was an article about CVC and large picture taken during the worship service. The lyrics on the screen in the photo were

Clothe me in white so I won’t be ashamed. Lord light the Fire again.

Also by random chance I chose Light the Fire Again as a song for today. It was awesome to do that song and feel that deep connection to the past.

Practice was amazing this week. I had high hopes for today. I was a bit disappointed. Our execution was decent but not exceptional.

I have a deep longing to worship God in a way that is remarkable. Read: I want things to be done in a way that they are worth remarking on. I want people talk about worshiping God to their friends. I’m not sure that right now people are so excited about our worship service that they are compelled to talk about it. I’m wrestling with the notion that God could be calling me to simply be faithful and not worry about being remarkable.

Evermore. Great song. I love my predecessor. She was in love with Hillsong and as a result the congregation knows TONS of Hillsong songs. I’ve never done Evermore before this week, but chose to learn it based on the church’s familiarity. I love this song. All week long I was singing these lyrics into my heart:

Even if my world falls I will say, ‘Above all I live for Your glory.’

For that matter I love both my predecessors. I’m Worship Pastor #3 for Chase. It’s a big honor to follow in their footsteps.

What do you think?

“Being remarkable” should or should not be a goal within the worship ministry?

March (Holy Week) Maddness

For most of us who work in the church Holy Week can be busy enough to drive you mad. Extra prep for Easter as well as additional services can shoot the stress levels through the roof. It can be maddening to keep up with everything, but by simplifying you can work smarter and not harder to pull off an awesome celebration of our awesome Lord’s resurrection.

Here’s how I’m keeping things simple to lower the stress and maintain the sane for Holy Week:

Ditch the Band: For our Thursday and Friday services this week I’m going acoustic. Thursday will be a solo show, and I’ll have some additional singers for Friday. It’s more work for me but it frees up the band to focus all their time and energy on perfecting the music for Easter rather than dividing their effort across multiple unique services.

Extra Rehearsals: Our team normally holds one rehearsal a week, but this week we are doing two. Again it’s a little more work for everyone involved but extra rehearsal time ensures that we can nail down difficult elements and go into the weekend services feeling confident and stress-free about our leading.

Leverage your team: I schedule the same singers for Good Friday and Easter. We have enough singers that I could’ve put separate vocalists on each service – but more teams equals more separate scheduled rehearsals. Rather than having two rehearsals for two teams we’re doing two rehearsals for one team. It’s fewer people to coordinate and communicate with throughout the week and the end result should be less confusion and a tighter sound.

Leverage your music: We’ll be singing “Were you there” on both Good Friday and Easter. Not only does it fit thematically with the mood and flow we are trying to accomplish for each service (It’ll close Good Friday and open Easter) but it means that time the singers spend practicing this piece gets to pay off double with two opportunities to lead the same song.

Do less music: A standard week around here includes 6 songs. Because I’ll be opening Easter acoustically with 2 songs this leaves 4 songs for the band to learn. 4 songs means more time focused on each song.

Any thoughts? How do you maintain your sanity during Holy Week?

Palm Sunday Recap

Set List for Chase Valley Church for Sunday, March 16

  • The Happy Song – Martin Smith
  • Hosanna – Paul Baloche
  • Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche
  • Hosanna – Brooke Fraser
  • Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin

Highlights/Lowlights

Singing with the children – for the last 3 weeks I’ve skipped out on the sermon to hang with the kiddos and teach them Hosanna by Paul Baloche. All the kids from k – 5th grade came walked in with palms and then came up front to lead this song. We had them piled on each side of the stage and they did sign language for the chorus. It rocked.

Simple Band – We scaled down to one vocalist (besides me), and only one guitar, bass and drums. It worked AWESOME.  The music was tight and we reached a new level today musically.

My voice didn’t quite “wake up.” It was tough to sing the whole set. We did Holy is the Lord as a response song after the sermon. Then as people are leaving we sing the chorus again. My voice finally felt ready to start as we were singing that final chorus.

2 Hosannas – Yeah it’s Palm Sunday, of course we’re gonna sing multiple versions of “Hosanna in the Highest.” They both went great.

Electric – I played my electric on the Fraser Hosanna. (I played acoustic on everything else.) I wanted to get the delay and cool riffs into the song. The bass carried a lot with out the acoustic so it still sounded pretty good with only one guitar.

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.

Worship Confessional 03.02.08

Set list for Chase Valley Church:

  • O Praise Him – David Crowder
  • Everyday – Joel Houston
  • Famous One – Chris Tomlin
  • Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
  • Be Unto Your Name – Lyn DeShazo and Gary Sadler
  • We Humble Ourselves – Paul Baloche

 

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