Posts Tagged ‘Worship’

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.


Posted: December 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I just read a blog post from The Resurgence.  Great reminder for me this Christmas Season, how about you?  Check it out…

I have not participated in’s Sunday Setlists in quite some time.  I keep getting the reminder emails each Sunday but for whatever reason I keep putting it off and then I don’t get to it at all.  As I have blogged about before, I really love Christmas Music and I love the challenge of keeping it fresh each year.  With that in mind, I thought it would participate in Sunday Setlists and share what we have been doing at Metro this season.

Our theme this year is “My Soul Magnifies the Lord”.  This morning Pastor Jim spoke about the Magi and how they magnified the Lord together.  It has been really fun to continue to remind people that this is a time to really worship Jesus for all that He has done.    Here is our setlist from this morning:

My Soul Magnifies the Lord – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest
Magnify The Lord – Bobby Taylor, Ian Wolstenholme
Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy) – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest
Greatness of Our God – Ingram, Morgan, We do the One Sonic Society arrangement
O Come All Ye Faithful – Chris Tomlin, Glory in The Highest

As you can see, we did quite a few off of the Chris Tomlin Christmas album.  I really enjoy that record and feel like it really gives a fresh perspective on classic Christmas songs.  I also really enjoyed playing an original song this morning.  I thought it came off pretty well.  I went ahead and posted an mp3 of the board recording for you to listen to.  I would love to hear your feedback about it.  I am so proud of our team.  These guys put this music together every week in about an hour on Sunday mornings.  We do not have access to our building for midweek rehearsals so everything we do is before the service.  I am so amazed by what they do!  Hope you enjoy the song.  Blessings!

Click Here to listen to “Magnify the Lord”

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about Christmas Eve Candlelight Services.  When I was growing up our church always did a candlelight service at 11:00pm.  When I was very young my sister and I would go in our pajamas and usually be asleep before we got home (even though we only lived a block away).  As I grew older this became one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  We would sing some carols, have some special music, have some elements of a live nativity, and have a short message.  We would end the night by receiving communion as families and then ringing our Church Bell at midnight, declaring that is was Christmas Morning.  I have very fond memories of handing out Christmas Cards and receiving them, and ringing in Christmas morning with family and friends.

What are some of your Christmas Eve traditions?  Do you attend a Church Service?  Is it a candlelight service?  I would love to hear your feedback and ideas.


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.)