expressive worship

It’s Not a Stage, It’s a PLATFORM!

“We don’t entertain, we worship.” That’s the main resistance we get from worship artists and worship teams about Tom Jackson’s Live Music Method.

This is a pretty common concern — and valid. When it comes to worship, we don’t treat that “audience/venue” the same as a band out doing shows and entertaining an audience. But leading worship is still about communicating with people, and some of the same skills apply.

A comment came in on one of my blogs, from Dale, who leads worship at his church. He understands how Tom’s Live Music Method works for performing bands, and he understands that these things can be applied to worship teams. But his bandmates aren’t catching the vision. [Read more...]

Worship Set Week-to-Week

I’ve been talking recently with “Worship Leader Jay” about dealing with the simple ‘how-to’ of putting together your worship set and your team. You can check out some of what I learned from Jay in these blogs: Baby Steps and The Freedom to Disappoint

Now I want to share some of the things working for him since taking over as a new worship leader a few years ago:

The number of singers you have on your team is probably going to be determined by the style of music you do week to week, or perhaps the number of singers available. Smaller churches may have only a handful of singers to use, and larger churches – in order to get more people involved – use a rotation system so all get a chance to sing once a month or so. [Read more...]

My Heart Was Right

In my recent blog Freedom to Disappoint, I wrote about how it’s pretty impossible to keep everyone in one church happy. If you try to do this, I’m sure you’ll go insane.

Jim wrote in after reading that blog, saying how he cleared the stage one Sunday for a pared down acoustic-type set, and had sent an email to leadership letting them know what he was going to do.

Well, he got jumped by the sound guy, who was taught that no one messes with the sound board or stage between services, and ended up in a meeting with him and the pastor over it. Jim also stated he ‘disappointed’ people because the things he said and the way he expressed himself from the platform was too ‘polished’. [Read more...]

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 [Read more...]

The Freedom to Disappoint

My recent blog ‘Baby Steps’ looked at the role a worship leader at a new church, and what it takes to integrate new ideas into an old mindset. My friend ‘Jay’ helped me out by sharing his experience.

Since Jay was going into a traditional church making the move to a more contemporary music style, he had to be careful about not making changes too quickly or abruptly and took time to learn the songs the team was already doing.

Obviously change isn’t easy for most people and will typically be met with opposition. His first Sunday there, he got complaints about [Read more...]

Who Do You and Your Worship Team Reflect?

I’m sitting in my office, looking out a window. The moon and a big, bright planet right next to it looks awesome! My first thought is that it makes me realize how awesome God is. But truthfully, it only gives me a glimpse of how incomprehensibly awesome He is!

As worship leaders, we’re called to lead people into the presence of this incomprehensible God who is such a mystery. When we are in God’s presence and we’re leading people there with us, there is no better place. Not while we’re still here on earth anyway. [Read more...]

Baby Steps

Recently I posted a blog  (‘I’m a Worship Leader – Help!’) which addressed the unique issues that come along with becoming a new or transplanted worship leader.

I wanted to continue this discussion a bit, so I got on the phone with my friend Jay who took on that role at a new church a few years ago.

He was excited about this new position and had ideas for lots of change, but knew he would need to take baby steps. [Read more...]

7 Reasons a Worship Team is Different

Last week I told you about the many similarities between musicians of every genre, including praise teams. (See my post on “I See the Resemblance”)

But worship teams are definitely different than the average band in several ways, too. As I sat down to write this, I came up with 7 ways they are distinct and quite unlike many musical groups.

I’m sure it’s not a complete list… in fact, if you can think of other atypical traits, go ahead and weigh in below.

But these are the worship band differences I came up with: [Read more...]

I See the Resemblance

Whether I’m in Europe (as I am this month), or in Canada (as I will be next month), or in the USA, I find that there are similarities between musicians, singers, artists and bands everywhere!

I’m sure you think I’m talking about people being people – making mistakes, working through temptations, trying their best to do their best – and it’s true, we’re all alike that way.

Or maybe you think I’m talking about all of us being created by God and gifted to varying degrees in music and creativity. And that’s true, too.

But what I really mean is this: [Read more...]

Expressive Worship Team Training Idea

Let’s face it – there are dozens of things you’d like to do to train your worship team so they can do their best in serving and leading worship on Sunday mornings.

You’d probably like to teach them the best way to learn the music and be prepared when they walk into rehearsal. Maybe you’ve been thinking about helping some of them learn to play their instrument with more skill.

And there’s a whole list of practical things they need to know (cut offs, how to transition between songs, learning and following hand signals, etc.). Not to mention the whole “presence on the platform” and “emotionally connecting” thing that Tom Jackson teaches!

So where do you start?! [Read more...]