expressive worship

Take Your Time

On November 12, I’ll be teaching in Seattle at the Christian Musician Summit. I do a class to help worship teams emotionally connect with their congregation – it’s about one hour long.

Honestly, I can only get through about one-third of a song in that amount of time. I wish I could lay hands on people in the name of Jesus and have them instantly “get” the tools, techniques, and skills I’ve learned over the years to develop a great worship team.

But this doesn’t come quickly…it’s a process. And there are a few things I want worship leaders to understand about the process for their own teams:

First of all, you need to work with what you have. When I work with a world class worship artist or team whose players are stellar, it’s quicker than usual – but it’s still a process. We still need to go one step at a time.

I’ve learned through the thousands of rehearsals I’ve been a part of, we need to be led by the Spirit, even in rehearsal. We have to follow the instinct God has given us to make things better.

Another thing I’ve learned is to start with the songs that really move me. I need inspiration!

This has gotten me in trouble a few times, because an artist will come in and say “I want to work on this song today.” But I’ll have an idea for another song, a song that can get my creative juices going, one that can help me create some freedom in the room for the Spirit to move…sometimes I’ve batted heads with the artist about it!

They want to do specific songs; but over the years this is the way I’ve developed my work. The worship artists that trust the process receive the rewards for allowing creativity. God is creative, after all, and he wants to use us – and we need to let Him!

When I work with worship artists that aren’t world class, the process is exactly the same. The  only difference is that it takes longer.

If your’re a worship leader with a group that isn’t necessarily “stellar,” you will need to reconcile that it’s going to take some time. But if you learn the process, developing the arrangement of the song, leaving space for the Spirit to move in the song – you and the congregation you are leading will reap the rewards also!

I’d love to teach you the process – maybe I’ll see you at the Seattle event! You’ll get a little glimpse of what it takes to teach your worship team how to engage the congregation in worship.

But I won’t be able to develop the process as much as I’d like. That’s why we do a 2-day Expressive Worship Live event twice a year in Nashville. I highly recommend you attend not only the CMS events and others like it, but also take advantage of Expressive Worship Live.

Take your time, and learn the process of being a great worship team!

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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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