Greetings Church Musicians,
Spring is here! School will soon be out and summer schedules in full swing. It's good to have a plan beforehand. I've been surprised over the years at how it creeps up on me. Some summer Sundays have been great learning times as I've purposed to plan better next time.

I hope you'll have a chance to pause over Memorial Day, even for a few moments, during a parade, or at a cemetary, to thank God for the brave souls who have sacrificed so much for us to enjoy our freedom, under God.

Thank you for your faithful service in your local congregations - may you be encouraged as you continue to hope in God.

Enjoy this month's issue.

Newsletter Topics

Church Musician Tips
Upcoming Events
Church Musician Jobs Updates
Featured Article
Pass It On

Church Musician Tips

One of the greatest benefits of this newsletter is learning from each other.

Please sign up to share a tip with this growing list of church musicians. Just something practical. Think of what is working where you are. Write 250-300 words about it.

Please send your ideas to:

This Month's Tip
Do you have a plan for summer? People tend to get hazy, lazy and crazy when summer roles around - it seems the smaller the church, the harder it is to stay on task.

So this year I'm offering options to our music team. We will attempt to plan ahead, in fact we will be meeting over lunch one Sunday to decide whether we will have:

    no band,
    a one hour weekly rehearsal,
    a 3 hour monthly rehearsal,
    or just show up 30 minutes before the service starts on Sunday morning.

Regardless of your situation, I have found that May is a great time to rally the troops before summer and catch up on various communications. People love information, so make sure you pass it on. This can help the team feel connected and aids ministry ownership.

Maybe, for a surpise, you could print up a Certificate of Accomplishment - one for each team member, and include a few special ones for efforts recognized above and beyond the call of duty. The point is to have fun with your team and celebrate all your hard work together.


Upcoming Events

I hope you were able to "celebrate" the National Day of Prayer, recently, on May 5. I have a friend who does open-air preaching on college campuses throughout the US. Here is an excerpt from his recent newsletter.

I urge you to join with me and with millions of other Americans in sincere prayer to God on this day. I have copied President Bush's proclamation of prayer at the end of this letter, but first, let me mention ten things you might pray for.

    1) America would have strong churches: growing churches, holy churches, churches built on God's word and led by God's Spirit.

    2) Godly leaders in our churches: pastors who are bold, filled with faith, love and wisdom; who lead in the fear of God rather than the fear of man.

    3) Stable families: The family structure in America is under attack and is crumbling. Pray for godly husbands, wives, mothers and fathers to love one another and to love their children with the love of Christ.

    4) The youth of America: They face so much pressure to be ungodly. They are the unwitting victims of a radically secularized education and society. Never forget that these are the future of the church and of the nation. Pray for a mighty revivial among our youth.

    5) Our entertainers: Hollywood, TV, sports and music have a dramatic impact upon our culture. Much of the entertainment we are given is vulgar and wicked. Pray for Christians with a love of God and upright standards might emerge as leaders in the field of entertainment.

    6) Our educators: Those entrusted with teaching our youth have a tough job. Many get discouraged at the work. Pray for many teachers to know Christ and to have wisdom in how to share His eternal truths with their students.

    7) Our governmental leaders: Washington and each state capitol is a battle ground in the "cultural war." Over the past 25 years, many believers have answered the call of public service. Pray that they be innocent as doves and wise as serpents as they make laws designed to restrain evil and promote the good in our culture.

    8) Our judges: that they would rule justly, protect the oppressed and innocent and not give in to bribery or the pursuit of personal power.

    9) Our military: There are thousands of our finest young men and women serving in harms way. Undoubtedly, they are lonely, scared and often serve in the worst of conditions. Pray for their safety, courage, wisdom and that many of them would find Christ during this time of their lives.

    10) Finally, pray for many, many people throughout America to find Christ. With this, pray that we believers would be bold in sharing our faith. And remember to pray for your favorite missionaries -- including (if I'm on your list) -- me!

I'm sure there are other things to pray for as well, but these ten come to my mind as I write.

God bless you and fill you with faith, courage and love,

Tom Short

National Day of Prayer, 2005

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Since our Nation's earliest days, prayer has given strength and comfort to Americans of all faiths. Our Founding Fathers relied on their faith to guide them as they built our democracy. Today, we continue to be inspired by God's blessings, mercy, and boundless love. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we humbly acknowledge our reliance on the Almighty, express our gratitude for His blessings, and seek His guidance in our daily lives.

Throughout our history, our Nation has turned to prayer for strength and guidance in times of challenge and uncertainty. The Continental Congress, meeting in 1775, asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a new Nation. Throughout the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued exhortations to prayer, calling upon the American people to humble themselves before their Maker and to serve all those in need. At the height of World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt led our citizens in prayer over the radio, asking for God to protect our sons in battle. Today, our Nation prays for those who serve bravely in the United States Armed Forces in difficult missions around the world, and we pray for their families.

Across our country, Americans turn daily to God in reverence. We ask Him to care for all those who suffer or feel helpless, knowing that God sees their needs and calls on us to meet them. As our first President wrote in 1790, "May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths . . .". As we face the challenges of our times, God's purpose continues to guide us, and we continue to trust in the goodness of His plans.

The Congress by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to honor the freedom of religion by recognizing annually a "National Day of Prayer."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2005, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the liberty and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance and protection. I also urge all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty ninth.



Church Musician Jobs Updates

Since the last newsletter in April, I added some information on songwriting for church musicians and updated the free music downloading page. Check out SongSource, which is a great place to share songs you may have written for your church. I have a song there called "Every Good Thing" I wrote for a friend's wedding a few years ago. The lyrics come from James 1:17. I hope you like it.

Free Music Downloading

digital sheet music hardgoods (music books)

Searching for sheet music you can download? Just click "Find It!" above, after what are looking for to see what offers.

Installing the download program couldn’t be easier. When you sign up, you barely know anything is happening and then

Wha – la

It’s done – and your sheet music appears on your screen, ready for printing or saving to your computer hard drive. Here is a virtual storehouse of all types and styles of Christian music. It is the best! Read more

Learn Songwriting

Church musicians - have some of you have found a creative outlet for your songwriting in your local church that keeps you going when the going is tough? And why not?

Scripture is filled with stories of how songs and singing have been an important part of every God-happening in all of recorded history.

Anything you can do to learn how to write songs that help people live closer to God brings Him pleasure. There is a verse in Zephaniah 3:17 that says God sings over us.

If you are a church musician, worship leader, or someone who aspires to be, songwriting is something you should pursue with all your heart. There will never be too many songs expressing the greatness, magnificence, mercy, power, forgiveness, wisdom, and love of God.

But – where to start is a fair question. Read more


Featured Article

This month our featured article is a covenant established for an event celebrating 25 years of intentional living. It reminds me of events like the dedication of Israel's temple, in the Bible, where great statements are made setting in motion entire generations to live and promote God's honor.

I hope you'll read it and be energized all over again to keep on keeping on for a cause that is larger than any one of us - yet provides us all a meaningful destiny and purpose.

Try reading it out loud - it is very worshipful. Each time I do, my eyes fill with tears, and I'm inspired to do my best for One who gave all for me.

April 17, 2005

Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!

I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.

Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying. Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.

Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, "we" over "me," character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.

I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me. When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.

I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.

To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway. Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes! I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"


This covenant may be reprinted for non-profit use as long as the following tagline appears:

"This article is printed from the website Copyright 2005 by Rick Warren. Used by permission. All rights reserved."


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Until next month, may grace and peace by yours,
Jim Snedeker
church musician jobs