expressive worship

The Main Focus

Recently I was asked to sing alto on worship team, along with our worship leader, a tenor and the band. When we walked out on the platform for second service, I scanned the congregation and noticed some high profile faces in the crowd.

Now in Nashville it’s pretty common to see stars here and there, but typically you don’t see them all in one place at one time (unless you’re at an awards show). Well, there sat a multiple Grammy and CMA-winning country artist, a Grammy and Dove-winning gospel singer, a long-time female country legend, and worst of all…Tom Jackson!

I quickly processed all this and was glad I’d spent quite a bit of time rehearsing on my own, trying to memorize lyrics and get my parts down so I didn’t have to think about that. I knew I wasn’t going to impress any of these people with my vocal ability nor was I trying to put on a show for anyone, so I instantly forgot about the ‘big deal’ of those celebrities and knew they were here to worship like everyone else.

Some time ago Tom wrote a blog titled Stop Thinking and Start Loving that addresses how we spend too much time thinking onstage and not enough time loving our audience. We’re thinking about our lyrics, what to say after the next song, who’s in the audience and a whole list of other things.

All this thinking distracts us from our main focus: engaging the crowd in worship.

Now, we’re human – it’s inevitable that occasionally my mind will float to an acute self-awareness, worrying about whether my pants are too tight or my skirt is too short, or whatever. [Side bar: Our worship leader says, “Pretend you’re standing on your kitchen table and 80-yr-old Pastor Buck is sitting in a kitchen chair a few feet away. Ask yourself if you are comfortable with what you have on." Seems to paint the picture!]

My job on the platform that morning was to lead people into a place of worship to our Godstars and all! So I focused on looking people in the eye, physically poured myself into the lyric to convey what I was saying, smiled when it makes sense with the lyric, and moved and worked my angles to be able to address different parts of the crowd. Oh yeah, and avoided looking at Tom!

What issues are you and your worship team dealing with?

  • Are there some on your team under the false notion that rehearsal’s no big deal and that you’ll be ‘led by the Spirit’ once you get in front of the congregation?
  • Are your song arrangements without dynamics and don’t take you anywhere?
  • Do you have players that just sit and play and don’t engage with the crowd because they’re so afraid it will look like a ‘show’?

All these questions and misconceptions will be addressed at our next Expressive Worship workshop the end of October!

Bring your team to Nashville and experience freedom in worship like you never have before! AND get practical help with rehearsal issues, dealing with attitudes, working with volunteers, etc. Not only that, but you’ll come away with two song arrangements that you can take home and rehearse with your team right away!

If you can’t bring your team, bring yourself at least. At the last workshop we had people in tears worshiping after seeing and experiencing the difference Tom’s Live Music Method made with our guinea pig teams.

This is not your typical worship conference!

Free to Be...Like Everyone Else?

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Amy Wolter

Amy has vast and varied experience in music, from keyboardist to lead singer, from songwriter to producer. She fronted a nationally touring Christian rock band that garnered some top 10 CCM hits. Playing in a variety of venues and churches gave her a real understanding of what audiences and congregations connect with. As a member of her church’s worship team, Amy understands the challenges that come with this, and enjoys helping Christian artists and Worship Teams create freedom in the room to truly express their worship.

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  1. Rudy Neuman says:

    Awesome! It’s always a nerve wracking thing but portraying the heart of the worship in the songs is the big thing. Pouring out your heart out to god and the audience to take them to the place of worship that the song takes you to

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