Now EVERYONE Likes the Worship Team!

by Jackie Hall
(Gainesville, Florida)

When our United Methodist church came to the realization that our worship services were too traditional, that we were too set in our ways and we weren't growing (and there was mostly gray hair in the congregation), we set out to achieve a blended worship service - that glorious middle ground that many strive for but few achieve.


First order of business - form a Praise Band. We had an applicant for our accompanist job who couldn't read music very well (so he didn't get the job), but he liked us and still wanted to be involved with our church. He DOES, however, play beautifully by ear and from a lead sheet.

We also had a burgeoning bass player who had come from another church and was eager to play again. But we had no guitarist. And guitar seems to be pretty critical to a good Praise Band, so we tried to recruit a guitarist - without success.

Also in our congregation we have an excellent flute player and a former professional jazz band drummer, both of whom are in their 60's. And we have a 27-year-old who used to play the tenor sax but hadn't played since high school.

We have two established members who have been serving as Praise Singers for several years (singing along with worship DVD's - yuck), and we also have two teenagers and a middle-aged couple interested in singing.

So let's give it a shot with what we have - piano, bass, drums, flute, tenor sax, and SIX singers. Well, our first "rehearsal" was pretty sad, but we kept at it, trying to learn a song the bass player (who doesn't read music) knew from his previous church.

As the music director, I have learned a lot in getting our fledgling group up and running. The first thing I learned is how to write out a bass chart (just the words with the note he should play written above). Well, we can't have the flute and sax play the melody line all the time, so I have to write out harmony parts for them (good thing I'm also an arranger).

One of the toughest things is figuring out what key to play a song in so the singers can sing it and the poor tenor sax player doesn't end up playing in six sharps. Fortunately, CCLI (with their upgraded package) allows you to print lead sheets (or hymn sheets) for any song in any key you want.

Now we're faced with three weeks to practice and then we have a WHOLE service to do since our regular accompanist had plans to be gone for a week. That's 10 songs, including some contemporary songs and some traditional hymns. Even the Doxology. Yes, my computer music program and my printer were working overtime getting ready for that.

THE RESULT - EVERYBODY LOVES THE NEW PRAISE BAND. The younger folks like it because it's upbeat and it's the kind of music they like to sing and move to. And the traditionalists (of which I am one) like it too because we have shown them that we can play their favorite hymns as well.

The best part - because of the varied ages of the people in our Praise Band (we're not a Worship Team yet) - everyone in the congregation can find someone "up front" with whom they can identify.

So my "tip" for you is, look for the established members of your congregation who can play an instrument (ANY instrument) and include them. You'll have to write parts for them (or pay a lot of money to buy the full orchestrations), but it's worth it.

Our church now has a TRULY blended worship service that offers something for everyone. The older folk get to hear and appreciate the newer music, and the younger ones are exposed to the old hymns, many of which are beautiful and have amazing words, especially in the inner verses. And we have a repertoire of about 15 Praise and Worship Songs (mostly from CCLI's "Top 20" list.

Our church is growing by leaps and bounds, and I believe the Praise Band is ones of the reasons for that growth. Everyone who comes in the door finds something in the service that they like, so they keep coming back. And they bring their friends.

We are now in the planning stages for a second Sunday morning worship service (because our sanctuary is overflowing). And both services will be blended because of the success we've had with it. To God Be The Glory!

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Don't allow anyone to put the band in a pre-defined box.

by Smitty
(Houston Texas)

THE SUPREME RULE ----- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, Pray hard as a band before and after rehearsals and have 10-15 minutes of Bible study before you begin to practice.


RULE #1:

If at all possible have a separate place to practice other than at the main Church sanctuary. Conflicting Church activities in the main Church sanctuary during special holidays and alternate programs keeps the band from having un-interrupted Rehearsals on a pre - set schedule.

Rule #2

Singers must be able to sing songs that the band chooses to play and in which the band plays well as a group. When singers are allowed to drive the band song selections and the band has trouble playing the Singer/s specific song selections it can present major problems (Frustration)for the band and its members if left unchecked.

Rule #3

If the Singers in the group are convinced in their own minds they can sing when they really cannot, then the band must be truthful about the situation and do everything possible to relieve the singer/s of their self/mis appointed position. All Singers must have the gift to sing with excellence the songs the band plays well or find another way to serve the Lord. This includes self/mis appointed Pastors who choose to lead worship with their singing but cannot hold a tune.

Rule #4

If at all possible engineer your PA and sound system to compliment the band. Too many times great talent is wasted by poor sound equipment and an untrained, un-talented soundman. Please serve God with excellence in this area.

Rule #5

Make sure everyone in the band including the singers are aware of this rule " MISSING PRACTICE MEANS NO PLAY ON SUNDAY"

Rule #6

Do not sound like every other worship band or play just cover tunes. Pray that God will help you to find your own unique sound and songs as a band.

Rule #7

If no one in your band or Church body can sing then learn to play background music for your Pastor so he can minister to the body thru scripture reading, prophetic words, prayer, and words of encouragement as well as rebukes/correction.



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Keep it simple, give it to God

by PK
(Ireland)

My philosophy is keep it simple & primarily, hand it over to God. It's His work, for His glory, not yours.
The standard of playing & singing must good, but over-do the technical side & it can distract more than do good, for both leader & congregation. The Leader can become preoccupied & it can crowd out the Holy Spirit rather than lead people to meet with Him. I love good music & the big band feel but it's not all necessary.
One guitar/piano, one voice & a heart both prepared & willing to worship is all's needed for leading, everything else is a nice bonus.
So prepare well, pray through & trust that, if you were left alone at the front, the Holy Spirits moving, His presence & His leading in the room would be enough to dive into the depths of worship & bring the people into praise to Him. Everything else then will add to that, instead of being a vital piece.
Remember it's His desire to be praised & to meet us in worship. He "inhabits the praises of His people". Amazing. He's ready to help you lead.
God Bless

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Waiting on the holy spirit for every song

by Patrick Khan
(Georgetown, Guyana)

During the time of worship i usually wait on the Holy Spirit for every song. it is important to wait on the Holy Spirit for every song instead of having a list of song before you to guide you during worship.

Further, worship is practised beyong the walls of the church.As a worship leader, your life style is an act of worship.

In addition, worship leading is not entertaining, but it is bringing the congregation to a place where they can worship God as individuals.

Finally, WOrship is from the heart, so unless we reach that place of worshipping in spirit and truth, we still haven't started. God bless

Patrick Khan

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Don't take that job unless...

by Pastor Dan Leavitt
(The Gathering in Denver)

I have been a worship leader for many years and many church styles. One thing in common with all churches, if the Pastor doesn't worship during your first visit...RUN. You will never teach your church to worship if the head Pastor does any of these things instead of worship.
1. reads sermon notes
2. talks to neighbors
3. walks out of the worship service for any reason
4. drinks coffee.

Please do yourself a favor and reject a worship leadership position in any church where the head pasotor is not a true worshiper.

You will never "fix" a church lead by a non-worshipper.

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KIng Jehosaphat's dilemma

by Raymond S. Farese
(Middlesboro, Kentucky, USA)

KIng Jehosaphat defeated the enemy by putting the praise singers out front leading the way singing a song very similar to Israel Houton's "You are good". Read all about it in II Chronicles 20:20.I prepared a short study of this story and presented it at rehearsal. It effectively gave everyone a new perspective as to the importance of praise and worship to plow the ground to make it fertile so the Word and ministry can come forth with no hinderances.

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Bass player for hire

by Trell Williamson
(Hattiesburg,Ms)


Seeking a church that is needing a bass player to complete the band. Contact Trell @ 6014102249 or 6014105388

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Rehearse solo first

by John
(B.R. La.)

enjoying a delicious dinner.

enjoying a delicious dinner.

Before you begin rehearsing with your whole worship team, if possible let them alone and run through the songs yourself while they listen.

This gives them the opportunity to get to know what the song sounds like, the key, tempo, time signature,and also gives them a "feel" for the song and how it should be played.

If you are willing to go through a new song 4 or 5 times so they can "get to know the song" you will see how quickly they will pick it up and get the "feel" for the song.
They will learn their parts more quickly and rehearsals will flow more smoothly as a result.

2.Worship songs:

This pertains more to worship leaders who play guitar for praise and worship, but could also be applied to piano and keyboards as well.

When you get to the worship phase of praise and worship guitarists, drop your tuning one whole step down on your guitar, or have another guitar available with that tuning.

Another words instead of being in "standard" tuning "E", drop your tuning on all strings one whole tone down. What this does is that it causes you to sing in a lower key or tone and "opens" your being and "heart" to the Spirit of the Lord. It causes you to become more sensitive to the song your playing and to the Holy Spirit, then you will see the Lord fill your being and come mighty in your midst.

If you don't think so or believe it, just try it on your guitar when you will be in private worship. It opens your heart and allows the Spirit of the Lord to flow in such a way that higher keyed or pitched songs will never achieve.

Just try it for yourself and you will see.

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be a worshipper

by LeNnY
(philippines)

...As a worship leader, you yourself must be a worshipper.

Before you can lead the congregation to worship,
you should be the first to worship God...
prepare yourself spiritually..and prepare your
heart.
Have a devotion time with the Lord...read your bible daily before you stand in front, ask first cleansing from the Lord..

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Relationship

by Gioms Real
(Kingston)

a worship leader must have a relationship with God. relationnship requires communication and communication lead sto intimacy. communication must be constant and must be growing.

some of us went with our lecturer on a missions trip to a particular subculture- the maroons. much hospitality was extended to us because our lecturer who was a missionary to the culture was considered a part of the culture.

worshipers operate in the capacity of priest: they take the congegation to the place they have been. hence as they grow they can take the people further and further.

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On Assignment

by Joel Soto
(Glendale ,Az, US)

If we can stay focus on our divine assignment which is to "Go Ye Therefore" we can eliminate more than half the problems that attack the Music Ministry.

It's all about Him.

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Worship Article by Leon Potgieter from pluckandplayguitar.com

by Leon Potgieter
(USA)

I believe that the primary reason many Christians experience their faith as a dreary and dull affair, has to do with an inability to worship their maker. In our day and age, Christianity has been degraded to a confessional system whereby one becomes a ‘Christian’ by simply adhering to a select few intellectual doctrines and praying a sinners prayer. In reality, the Bible makes it clear that Christianity is much more than a ritualistic and religious experience. It is in fact a vibrant relationship with a Person, the Person of Jesus Christ. Worship helps us to transform our faith from a mere religious observance to a living relationship.

The average definition of worship may sound something like this: Worship is that part of church between the greeting and the sermon where we stand to our feet and sing a few songs. What a sad and deprived definition! Worship is so much more than singing a song from a church pew. Thousands of Christians all over the world are stuck in this religious definition where worship has been turned into another ritual we go through along with announcements and incomprehensible sermons. Thousands of believers believe that worship is nothing more than another ‘church activity’ when in reality true worship is a life altering event that will transform you from the inside out and never leave you the same way you were before…

Why? Because true worship brings you in touch with God. True worship may bring you into the tangible and fearfull presence of Christ, a place that no man or woman can leave unchanged. True worship, that event when your innermost feelings, desires, dreams and passions are laid bare before Christ and your spirit touches the Spirit of God, will probably do more for you than a thousand sermons will ever do.

Worship is also a lifestyle. It’s an integral part of your Christian life. It’s the ability to magnify the works and name of God from early in the morning when you wake up and the rest of the world is still sleeping, until late at night before you go back to bed. Only by turning worship from a Sunday ‘event’ to a lifestyle experience can we really deepen our relationship with the Father and remain in constant fellowship with him.

Music plays an important role in worship, but again, worship is much more than singing songs. Forms and rituals could never bring about true worship – our churches may have the best musicians, techniques and liturgy, but worship still only takes place when spirit touches Spirit. When we open our hearts and souls and point a magnifying glass to heaven so that a lost world may see how GREAT our God truly is.

Have you ever felt the touch of God that sets you free from addictions and unwanted habits? Have you ever experienced the holiness of God in such a way that with the prophet Isaiah you wanted to cry out “I'm doomed! Everything I say is sinful, and so are the words of everyone around me. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD All-Powerful.” (Isa. 6:5). If your faith has been nothing more than a religious observance you adhere to out of tradition, then I encourage and urge you to use worship as a vehicle to turn it into something more.

Dedicate a certain time of the week to God, a time set apart where you can be on your own without interruption. Then use this time to truly open your heart to Him, while at the same time thanking and praising Him for His goodness and mercy in your life. If you feel you have nothing to be thankful for then thank Him for what He has done through the cross. Ask Him to touch your spirit and transform you into the image of His Son. Ask the Holy Spirit for an infilling of power to help you be a better witness for Him. Being natural and honest before God often has amazing and unexpected result and you may just stand in awe at the way He responds to you.

May God give you and I the grace to experience the fullness of His presence and the power of the Holy Spirit through worship!

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Always looking

by Samuil Yukhimchuk
(Clearwater, Florida, U.S.A.)

With every instrument you play doesn't matter whether its drums or maybe just a percussionist. Always Look for God, while you worship. When your playing or singing always "worship" God with all that He has given you! And when you and your band play with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength... you will see blessings in your band.

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For His Glory

by Mike C.
(Lewiston, NY USA)

To steal a phrase from a famous baseball player:

" I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" to able to have the opportunity to lead worship in a setting of a body of believers.

My encouragement is to always remember that it is God who gets the glory and not the talented musician or gifted vocalist. These talents are used for His Glory with the goal of pointing believers toward "the heavenlies" so that the One who deserves all the credit (and glory) truly gets it.

I do not consider myself someone with a ton of musical talent. I'm actually one of those "3 chord" guitar guys who has some rhythum, who is sensitive to the worship setting but is not afraid to try this or that. I'm also not afraid to take the lead, as needed..

But the real blessing is that I get to play with a group of very talented people, whose heart is in the right place, and who I encourage to keep me in line when I get the tendency to take it to a place where we may not belong - Or if something appears to be "dragging" a bit and needs a little more...kick.

Remember to lead gently, in a loving and caring way, with the Good Shepherd as our example, not only with those in the body or congregation, but also with those who feel called to play along side you. They are there for a reason too - God knows what He's doing.

In His Name,

Mike C.

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The Heart Exposed

by Matt Klimis
(Tarpon Springs, Fl USA)


I am worship leader in the Tampa Bay area and the one thing that led me to where I am today is knowing one simple thing. When we, as Worship Leaders, are in front of others, our personal relationship with God is on display for all to see.

Who we are in private and the way we worship God in the secret place is what is on display when we lead worship. If our personal relationship with God is deep as the ocean floor in the secret place, then that relationship will be a thing of beauty and will inspire all who witness it. Your words and notes will come out of your mouth and sink deep into the heart's of all who receive it.

If your relationship with God is shallow, your words and notes will fall dead to the ground as soon as they come out of your mouth, whether you "sound good" or not. Your worship will be dead and no one will remember it.

The rest of the stuff you can figure out in time. If you can get step one down, it is all downhill from there.

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