expressive worship

Have Your Heart Right – But Do it Right Too

I’ve taught at a lot of worship conferences over the years. I love the desire of worship teams to learn!

One of my favorite worship conferences to teach at (besides my own) is the Christian Musician Summit. It’s held every year in Buffalo, Sacramento, Phoenix and Seattle. What I love about it is this: there’s real training going on at every one of them. People learn practical skills to make their worship team better.

I can’t say that’s always the case at every conference where I’ve taught. In fact, a huge theme at many of the others is “having your heart right with God.” Don’t get me wrong… I want you to have your heart right with God! In fact, you probably shouldn’t be on a worship team if your heart isn’t into it for the right reasons.

But I’m concerned about worship teams who exclusively have their heart right with God, but who aren’t striving to be excellent and using the musical gifts they’ve been given!

I think it’s important for us, if we’re on a worship team, to regularly spend a little time educating ourselves and working on our musical skills and our skills in leading a congregation:

  • Drummers, when was the last time you put on a pair of headphones, started the click track, and practiced on your drum pad? (Check out Carl Albrecht’s drumming resources for more help on improving your playing!)
  • Bass and guitar players, how much time do you spend trying to develop a great sound or tone out of your guitar and amp – really fretting over your sound just to make it as good as you possibly can? A great sound alone can raise a song to the next level.
  • Keyboardists, how often do you sit down and practice scales to keep your fingers in shape?
  • Singers, when was the last time you took a voice lesson, or that you did vocal warm-ups before you got to church?
  • Worship leaders, how long has it been since you read a book on leadership to improve those skills for your worship team?

This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip; I know we don’t have a lot of time. I know I don’t have a lot of extra time in my life! Fact is, it’s 8 o’clock at night and I’m writing this blog, which I’d intended to do yesterday. But “things” get in the way, don’t they?

However, I made a commitment to both you and the Lord to do these blogs. So, here I am dictating to my assistant when I would prefer to be watching the Lakers game. In some ways that would be easier. But it’s important to set aside some time (maybe turn the TV off) and do the work.

Whether it’s someone on a worship team, or a worship leader, or even a worship artist, one of the things I constantly run across is people saying “when I get the opportunity, then I’ll do it.” For example, they say they’ll wait to work on their singing until someone gives them the opportunity to sing.

That’s backward. I submit to you (at least it’s the way the Lord has done it in my life) if I work on something first, then He opens the door for me to do it more and more… for His glory!

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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. Batsirai says:

    Right on.

    I tell bands, and worship teams that I get to influence:

    Pray more than you practice – but practice alot. You know you are prepared when you can day dream thru a song – and do everything right.

    As another said: Pray as if everything depends on God. Work (practice) as if everything depends on you.

  2. Jim Drew says:

    If anything has risen to the top of the heap of truths over my years of worship and performance it is simply to get the stuff in shape first. WHether in rock or with choirs or whatever, it takes a good solid effort to do things with excellence. Not perfection, just the best we can do with the all the honest prep effort put in at any moment.

    I don’t see why football teams can beat the tar out of themselves to do their job and entrepreneurs can give up a ton of time and sacrifice to start their businesses and the list goes on; but if we sing for the Lord we just kinda let it happen? We need to be ready and be willing to do the work that supports the passion, both musically and spiritually. Scripture often speaks to us about the skill of different kinds of artists who served in buildings and doing music in the temple. The craftsmen were skilled, the musicians were skilled and yet we are gonna get up there and fake it?

    A word that I hated cuz,well, I was for too long is “lazy”.

  3. Christina H. says:

    Amen! Thanks for your commitment! It encourages me to hone mine! I for one believe you do your part in “equipping the saints for ministry”, and I’m grateful! Only eternity will show the lives you’ve helped us impact for His glory!!

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