Archives For Training

This is going to be a tough post to write.  Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday, and what I took away from it was disappointment.  Instead of joyously celebrating the most important event in the history of time (and non-time, for that matter), I performed, and poorly, at that.  I put pressure on myself to perform in several ways and didn’t deliver the results that I expected.  Thankfully, God doesn’t care about my performance but cares about my heart and gave me a good gut-check this Sunday.

However, there are several things I learned yesterday and wanted to pass them along: Continue Reading…

Image from Living Word Free Lutheran Church's 2010 Resurrection Service

Worship leader and blogger Chris Kuti wrote a fantastic article yesterday entitled 22 Habits of a Highly Effective Worship Leader.  I’m in full agreement with all of them.  Here are some highlights:

1. Hang Out With Your Pastor God is using your Pastor to lead your church somewhere, and picking up on this direction is only going to come by spending time together.  So often Worship leaders get their marching orders and hide till Sunday.  Don’t.  Your effectiveness, in the context God has you in, is in the balance.

3. Encourage Your Musicians Call them, get them gifts, have a monthly fun night. Don’t talk about music when you’re spending time together, get to know them and what interests they have besides music.  Do whatever it takes to let them know they’re appreciated.

8. Fast and Pray I always remind myself that “you can’t worship a God you don’t know.”  This needs to be your most guarded habit of the day.

13. Watch Yourself Record every service and watch yourself back.  You are your best critic.  Don’t just watch yourself, this is a great time to assess your other players and vocalists.

20. Memorize You cannot lead people effectively staring at a music stand the entire set.  I often use small “cheat sheets” on the ground to help me remember verses to new songs, but I’ve even noticed the negative effect they have on my confidence.

21. Lead Another Leader to Lead Your effectiveness is not measured by how much the music ministry needs you.  Rather, how are you equipping younger worship leaders to do what you do better than you?  Your goal should be to go on vacation and not have to book a guest worship leader if you don’t want to.

I’m in full agreement with his whole list with one addition:  I would change number 15 to “Read and Study.”  It is so important to read.  Read all you can.  Read the Bible especially, and read books on philosophy, theology, leadership, and more.  But don’t just stop at reading the Bible.  Study it.  Memorize it.  Meditate on it.  By doing so God’s Word will naturally pour out of you as often as you lead worship.

What habits have you formed as a worship leader or church leader that have had lasting, positive impact in your ministry?

This past weekend we enjoyed spending Saturday morning at our Living Worship worship team workshop.  It was a very fruitful time and made me value even more the opportunity to provide training for our ministry team.  Some things we covered were:

  • Why We Do What We Do – an overview of the purpose of our Music and Worship Ministry
  • Vocal Blending
  • Instrumental Blending
  • Audio issues
  • Video issues
  • Putting it all together

I share some thoughts in the video above of a major freeing moment I had at the workshop as well as the importance of training our teams.  Be sure to take a look!

Photo of a Hymnal

Do you have a process that you utilize to chose the songs and hymns you use for a worship gathering?  Or is your decision-making arbitrary or based on the fact that you just “like the songs?”  It’s very important to have solid reasons for choosing the songs that you choose. Here is my process:

First and foremost: Is God, in all of His nature, revealed clearly?

The most important criteria when choosing a selection of songs is that God is represented clearly and accurately. This includes:

  • His grace (He has offered this help to us freely)
  • His wrath (songs we pick must help drive home the point that we are sinners in need of His help)
  • His triune nature (try to make sure the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are represented)
  • His attributes (we obviously can’t mention every single one of His attributes in song every gathering, but songs must clearly show one or more of them)

Are the Songs Singable?

  • Is the key appropriate and attainable for the average singer?
  • Do the rhythms work well in your congregation’s demographic?
  • Would the lyrics take too much time to explain or are they self-explanatory? (“Here I raise my Ebenezer” or “like a sloppy wet kiss” being examples from both traditional and modern music that would need to be explained)

Will the Songs be Sung by all Generations?

In our case, we have a very multi-generational worship setting. I want the songs that are picked to be able to be sung boldly by both the seasoned and the youth of our congregation.  Youth should be expected to have an appreciation for hymns and, in the same manner, the older generation should be expected to have an appreciation for the modern music of our culture.

As I pick songs for worship gatherings I want them to give an accurate picture of God’s entire nature, be singable, and be proclaimed by every generation.

What is your process for choosing songs for worship?

(photo by MissBee on Flickr)

I run into many musicians who are classically trained and aren’t sure how to read lead sheets. I wanted to post a series of videos that teaches you the basics of reading lead sheets as well as learning how to play the chords written on them.

Check out the video below (Email readers, you’ll need to visit I am an Offering to see the video.)

The lead sheet I used in this video is Jesus, Thank You from Sovereign Grace music and can be downloaded for free here.