Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category

I read two quotes this week that have continued to play in my mind like a broken record.  This first is a contemporary quote from Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, CA.  It was this, “I never study to teach.  I study to learn and teach out of what I’ve learned.”  This really spoke to me this week.  I love to study God’s Word and read about the deep things of who God is.  I love to study theology and seek out the mysteries of God.  The quote from Pastor Bill Johnson really inspired me to continue to study with no agenda except to know God more.  As we study and meditate on scripture, the message becomes a part of us.  It gives us something to say.

The second quote is a classic from Jonathan Edwards.  He said,”A person who has knowledge of theology and doctrine only – with no religious affection – has never engaged in true religion.”  As a worship leader, I absolutely love this statement!  It is a great reminder to us as we study.  If we don’t allow what we study to flow from our head to our hearts then we are really missing the mark.  We need to get in and study with our heads but we need to let that information penetrate our hearts and bring us closer to God.

My encouragement  to you is that as you read the Word and meditate on who God is, let that understanding drive you to a new place of worship.  Let’s study and learn and grow in our understanding of who God is and let’s worship with all of the passion we have!


Song Leader, Lead Worshipper, Music Minister, Worship Arts Director, Worship Leader, Worship Pastor…  These are just a few of the titles given to the person that leads songs on a Sunday morning in local churches.  The title is usually given based on the denomination of the church or the culture of that church.  Each of these titles are good but I have a feeling that each one says something a little different about how the position is viewed or rather what is required of the individual in that position.

I am doing a little research and I would love to hear from you!  Worship Leaders/Pastors, I would love to hear from you.  What is your job description?  What do you feel like your main responsibility is?  How do you see yourself changing as you serve in the local church?  Senior Pastors, I would love to hear from you as well.  What are you looking for in the person that leads the songs in your church?  What do you feel like the greatest challenge for them is?  I would also like to hear from local church people.  What do you want from your worship leader?  Is leading songs enough?

I am not looking for a right answer or a wrong answer.  I am looking for YOUR answer.  I want to hear thoughts and opinions and I want my own view to be broader.  Thank you so much for your participation.

The day after Christmas.  What an interesting Sunday to try to plan a worship service!  Who’s going to come? How many people are going to come? How long should it last?  These are just a few of the questions that run through the heads of a church staff as they plan for a service on December 26th.

Here at Metro we decided to make the service a review of some of the amazing things the Lord has done in our body this year.  We wove worship in as we testified and had a wonderful time giving God the glory for a wonderful 2010.

I didn’t schedule a full band to play with me, I did an acoustic set.  We had two acoustic guitars, a mandolin, and a djembe.  We had a lot of fun together and made what could have been a throw away service into a memorable one!

Here is our Set list from Sunday:
Beautiful One – Tim Hughes
Desert Song – Brooke Fraser
Look What the Lord Has done-not sure who wrote it, but we did it as bluegrass and had a ton of fun!
None But Jesus – Brooke Fraser
Psalm 126 (You have done great things) – Charlie Hall

What was your experience of the Sunday after Christmas like?  What did you do in your Church?  It is always fun to hear what is happening in other churches.

This has been a part of The Worship Community’s Sunday Setlists.

I have been playing on worship teams since 1993.  That equals a lot of Christmas seasons and lots of Christmas Carols done in many, many ways.  Over the years I have had conversations with several worship leaders about playing Christmas songs in contemporary worship settings and most of those conversations have not been positive.  It seems  that a lot of worship leaders have a hard time translating some of these old, traditional songs into contemporary versions that fit with full band worship music.  I am not saying that all carols should be turned into rock songs.  There is a lot of power in doing the songs in the way that they were written.  What I am saying is that you can only play “Joy To The World” as a bad blues song so many times before you never ever want to hear it again.  That is the moment that Christmas Music becomes no fun for Worship Leaders.

I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE Christmas music.  As a worship leader, it is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love the challenge of keeping Christmas Carols fresh.  I love the challenge of helping people to engage in true worship with these songs and not just singing them to sing them.  The lyrics are so powerful and well written.  These are incredible WORSHIP songs, not just feel good seasonal favorites.

So, what is the point?  My point is to encourage leaders to accept the challenge that comes with the season.  This is actually a great opportunity for us.  Usually we can only introduce about one new song a month. This time of year all the rules change.  You don’t have to do all of the normal songs that you do, you can play songs that you haven’t played in a year.  You can do a brand new version of “Angels we have heard on high” and treat it as a brand new song, yet everyone already knows the lyrics and the melody.  This is like a Christmas present for worship leaders… Oh, wait, IT IS CHRISTMAS.

There are lots of new resources available to us.  Chris Tomlin’s “Glory in the Highest” is a fantastic new record with lots of classics and some wonderful new congregational worship songs.  Bebo Norman also has a great Christmas record.  He has redone “Angels from the realms of Glory” and titled it “Come and Worship”.  This has got to be my favorite Christmas song and favorite to lead.  Let’s remember that this is a season to truly worship God and what he has done.  Let’s keep that spirit of worship fresh in our Christmas music.

What are your thoughts?
(The picture is just because I thought it was funny.)


This year at Metro our theme for the Christmas season is “My Soul Magnifies The Lord”.  This is a theme that I am particularly excited about.  It relates directly to worship so it should be no surprise that I have a special connection with it.

I was looking at my calendar this afternoon and was slightly overwhelmed by how full it looks from now until Christmas.  I know that mine is not the only one.  It seems that in the business and stress of this time of year we can often forget that Christmas is truly a time to worship!  It is not only to think about Jesus being born and coming to live as a man.  It is a time to worship the fact that God would choose to walk the earth both fully God and fully man, choose to be the ultimate sacrifice, and choose to make a way for you and me to spend eternity with Him.  I can’t help but think of what the Angel said to the shepherds that night Jesus was born.  “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

I want to encourage you as our schedule fills up to remember that we are celebrating the fact the the Savior of the World has come!  That is truly a reason to worship.  My Soul Magnifies The Lord.


I want to give a brief illustration, one that has been told many time, But I saw it first hand yesterday and I feel like it is a good reminder to us all.  I was at a garage sale and I was picking up this old, beat up hutch.  The handles were falling off, the veneer was peeling, there were water stains all over the top.  It looked like a piece of trash.  But this lady walked up to me and said oh my, what a beautiful piece of furniture.  The grain is amazing.  You know with a little sanding this could look absolutely beautiful.  I know it cracked and peeling in some places, but you can just leave that just like it is.  It adds so much character.
So I took it home and I started stripping that old varnish away, and as I did it was like I was wiping away 60 years of abuse, 60 years of mistreatment.  All of the stains started to disappear.  The wood started to look as if it was brand new.  I could begin to see the potential.
I believe with all my heart that God sees us the way that lady saw the hutch.  He sees what we could be, if we would only allow Him to wash us clean and wipe our stains away.  He wants to do that for His.  He stepped down off of His throne in Heaven and walked this Earth to be crucified so that we might have life everlasting.  It that one moment where He said “It is finished”  He proved to us how He sees you and me.
So with that in mind, I can say Yes! God has been so good to me.  The circumstances around me may stink right now, but God is so good.  These things happening right now are just those things that add character. Like it says in James 1.
So this today I say, I love you Lord, because you first loved me.

Last night the National Worship Leader Conference ended with a bang.  Scotty Smith spoke a great message on the “New Song” of the Gospel.  Then Israel Houghton closed the night out with one of the best acoustic sets I have ever heard!  That dude can PLAY.

So now the question is how to process all of the information I received this week.  I heard so many great teachings and the Lord spoke to me in worship in some awesome ways.  It’s going to take some time to work through everything.  I’m Glad I took some good notes!!

May You sing a New Song to the Lord!