expressive worship

A Little Risky

When I’m in the green room, hanging around or eating at the worship events where I teach, I often connect with many of the worship artists there. Some of them have been in my classes over the years, and some of them I’ve worked with one-on-one.

One particular artist I often see is one of the nicest guys I know! He knows what I do, but he hasn’t ever been in one of my classes. He says he’d like to someday, but I can tell there’s something holding him back.

He’s an excellent songwriter, has great verbal skills, plays with some of the best players, and overall does a really good job of leading people in worship. The last conversation I had with him was about some of his high energy worship songs and how they could benefit from some of the concepts and principles I teach.

But I sense he’s afraid I might push him into areas he is uncomfortable with. You see, it’s harder to keep the integrity of high energy songs than it is a ballad or a quiet, contemplative song. There needs to be more movement, the stage needs to be spread, and more is required of our congregation.

This artist is uncomfortable with that type of song. He performs them. But they lack the integrity they require, because he’s unwilling to take risks and try something that’s out of his comfort zone.

If you want to see a worship team completely connected emotionally and visually to a song, check out the youth worship team I worked with at one of my Expressive Worship events on Building Your House of Worship!

When this band first got on the platform that weekend, some of them were reticent, and others were terrified at what I might ask them to do! But by the end of the day there was freedom in the room, no one was self-conscious, and the Spirit of God moved in and through the song.

At the end of this worship song makeover, one of the young singers shared that he’d been afraid to sing with the worship team until that day because he hadn’t known what to do up on the platform. But after learning some of the concepts and principles of moving onstage he was starting to feel comfortable up there. He was really excited about being a part of the group on a regular basis after that!

It may feel a little risky at first, but when you learn how to move appropriately, keeping the integrity of the song, and practice the concepts at home and in rehearsal, you’ll begin to feel comfortable, too. And more importantly, you’ll be able to more effectively lead your congregation in worship!

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Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson, world renowned Live Music Producer, helps musicians and worship teams develop songs into “unique worship moments.” His Live Music Methods help create freedom in the room so your congregation can express their worship more freely and passionately than ever before! Tom has worked with nearly every genre from rock to pop to Christian Gospel, impacting major artists and worship leaders such as Jars of Clay, Casting Crowns, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, Chris Tomlin, Francesca Battistelli, Todd Agnew, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Parachute Band, The Martins, plus a multitude of independent artists.

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  1. I totally agree, Tom! It’s one thing to step outside your comfort zone, but it’s totally different to not only address those “movement” concerns, but also face down the stereotype of what we Americans have decided worship teams should act like onstage. But once you’ve learned the concepts and begin putting them into practice, the overwhelming response is more often “Wow, I don’t know what you guys are doing, but it’s working!” It’s a mostly imperceptible change to the audience, but they know it’s different!
    ENjoying working it out personally in what I do!

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