Worship Music Directing Community

Over the course of the last year, I’ve become somewhat active in multiple different Facebook groups for worship leaders & church musicians. In this time, I’ve been surprised by how many posts there are asking the same questions. Simple questions like, “what key should I sing this song in”, or “what are some good songs that focus on the heart of God”. It seemed like every time I looked at one of these groups, a similar question was being asked. This showed me that many people are looking for guidance when it comes to worship leading.

If there are 20,000+ people in a group asking questions and seeking to learn more about their craft, there must be a few music directors like myself that have some questions, or desire to get better at their craft. Right? Continue reading “Worship Music Directing Community”

Post-Christmas Exhaustion

Exhaustion for worship teams after the Christmas season is a very real thing. I was inspired to write this in the middle of a serious season of burnout I have been walking through. I’m a strong willed person with a high tolerance for pain and exhaustion so I usually approach burnout with the attitude of “I need to suck it up and keep moving” One of my goals for 2019 was to expand my blog and increase the content I put out. I truly believe that I have something unique to offer the Praise and Worship community and I want to be consistently offering up something new for my readers.

Right after Christmas, I decided from Dec 26th-Jan 1st, I would do nothing but rest.  Well that resting attitude has rolled right into the 3rd and 4th week of January and has turned into laziness in my leadership. I am at a point where I need to get things in motion and start writing some blogs.  The problem is, I genuinely have no desire to.

Its my passion to help equip others to lead their churches to the best of their ability. Yet I sit here with absolutely no desire to do just that. I could work harder and listen to some podcasts to gain inspiration, but something deep down inside of me tells me that’s the wrong way to go about this.

Its good to take time to rest in Christ. However, in that season of rest, it’s important to rely on him to rebuild your strength and passion. Sometimes when we rest, we forget to seek God for his strength in the coming season. Paul Miller speaks to this best:

If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You’ll always be a little too tired, a little too busy. But if, like Jesus, you realize you can’t do life on your own, then no matter how busy, no matter how tired you are, you will find time to pray.

My season of burnout came from relying on myself to get things done rather than leaning into Jesus and finding rest in him. Living in burnout is not a life that I want to live and in order to move past it, I need to rely on God to bring me through it. When I  really don’t want to get up on Sunday,  when I don’t want to send out encouraging texts to my team, when I don’t want to work on set list details for this week and all of the other weekly activities of a church leader, I know I need to be spending more time in prayer.

Its not the action of prayer alone that feeds us. Its the expectation and faith that God will step in and give you the energy you need to make it through this day. Not this year, not this month, not this sermon series. This day. We need to pray every morning we wake up that God will give us supernatural strength to get thorough this day. Without him we can accomplish nothing of any true value in this world.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Serving the Moment

the heart of God.

If you’ve been serving in worship ministry for any length of time, you’ve experienced what God can do when we trust him to move in our services. Watching how the holy spirit moves during a time of worship can be the most fulfilling thing. We all strive for this atmosphere in our churches every week.

Sometimes these moments are more powerful than others. When we do our part to be ready for them, the potential for greatness increases dramatically. But how do we prepare for them? How to we know when they’re happening? And how do we respond to what God is doing in the room? Continue reading “Serving the Moment”

IEM Mixing Tips

steps to achieve a great monitor mix.

If you serve on a worship team in the local church, chances are that you’ve either already switched your team over to In Ear Monitor’s (IEM’s) or you’re considering doing it in the future. IEM’s give your team the advantage of a more controllable house mix with lower stage volume. Of course the most desirable perk to the worship team is that each musician and singer gets their own personal monitor mix.

There is a learning curve to using IEM’s that most users never get proper training on. Without any training, learning to use them becomes a frustrating experience.  They can be an incredible tool for your team when they’re used properly. A good in ear mix can also aid to perform better while playing live with a band. However when they’re used improperly, they can cause confusion and even hearing damage.

How do I know my ear mix is a good mix? What should it include?

Continue reading “IEM Mixing Tips”

Productive Practicing

creating a practice schedule that works.

I know I’m not the only musician to have an extremely busy schedule. I need to make time wherever I can. Sometimes it feels like trying to move a mountain just to get 10 minutes a day to play guitar. If I’m not careful, I can go all week without touching a guitar. At first it may not seem like that big of a deal, but this can be detrimental to improving your skills. Louis Armstrong says it best:

“If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.” ~ Louis Armstrong

It doesn’t take long for a lack of practice to affect your ability to play your instrument. Rehearsing not only makes us better at our craft, but it makes playing more comfortable and enjoyable. If you want to be the best you can be, it’s necessary to follow some guidelines to keep you on track with improving your skill set. Continue reading “Productive Practicing”

Focus & Anticipation

Keep your mind on the goal.

Anticipation is an absolutely necessary trait for a Music Director. For some it is natural, and for others not so much. Even if its a difficult thing for you, it is something worth improving on.

When you’re MDing a service live, it is crucial to pay attention non-stop from beginning to end of the service. This is a difficult task. It means you cannot completely let go and just worship. This seems like a very negative thing, but what you’re doing makes a much greater difference when you look at the big picture.

Continue reading “Focus & Anticipation”

Reflecting the Sounds of Heaven

more than music.

As a worship guitarist, I have two options when I play at a church service.

1. I can come prepared, play my parts well and finish the service.
2. I can come prepared, come full, hear from God and change the atmosphere in the room.

Both options are good but one is truly great.

But wait… shouldn’t I be changing the atmosphere merely by playing my parts? Is there really a difference between the two?

Coming prepared for a worship experience should be in the top category on our priority list as musicians. However, causing a shift in the atmosphere of a room takes a bit more attention. Continue reading “Reflecting the Sounds of Heaven”

Avoiding a Train Wreck

powering forward.

Let me walk you through a situation that I encountered earlier this year..

Church pre roll is on and as a band we’re waiting back stage to come out onto the stage and start our service. We usually have about 1.5 -2 minutes to get tuned up and prepare for service while pre-roll video is finishing up. In that time I make sure the team is ready and call for the drummer to prepare to start the track. At this point we have about 7 seconds before blackout and start of the service. I call to start the track so its playing by the time pre roll is over.

The next thing I see is one of the worship leaders who happened to notice there was something wrong ran over to me and signaled the computer isn’t working and we don’t have a track. We were playing Real Love by Hillsong Y&F so obviously we cant play that without a track considering there are approximately 14,586 synth layers and drum effects we would be missing.

Its go time. What do I do? We have a back up song but this is a very young & new drummer and he might not know how it goes. Another second goes by. We have to get going. I need to make a call.
Continue reading “Avoiding a Train Wreck”

Why Your Church Needs a Music Director

don’t miss “the moment”

You’re playing through the final chorus of your church’s favorite song. Usually you’d bring it down at the end but the congregation is worshiping powerfully and you know God isn’t done with this moment yet. You take a step back in between lyric lines and signal to your drummer to go back in to the bridge.

You sing out the last few words of the chorus very strong and prepare to keep things going. You take it up to 11 and really power into your churches favorite bridge. Anddd….. the band ends the song… But you’re still going and man are you ever committed. You’re already 4 words into the bridge and strumming your acoustic guitar like you’re trying to kill it. Sometimes these “failed” moments can be powerful but the way this one unfolded it was far from powerful. Powerfully awkward is more like it.

What happened?

There was a breakdown in communication.

Your team is great. Its not their fault. You’re great. Its not your fault. It just so happens the drummer wasn’t paying attention when you made a call. And its not his fault either. Its probably the 50th time he’s played this song and you have never gone back into that bridge.

I know… you know where I’m going with this… “Every church needs a Music Director.”

That’s not what I’m saying.

But what I will say is that I believe that moment was supposed to happen. You were sure of it. God was taking your church somewhere.

Continue reading “Why Your Church Needs a Music Director”

A Music Directors Purpose

Leading with purpose… not power.

To be a successful music director you need to understand the purpose of what you’re doing. First and foremost, you are not a MD so that you can make all the decisions and tell the team what to do. This tends to be a common misconception. You, along with the rest of your team, are there to serve. That is the ultimate goal. You have been placed as your teams MD because you show the skills needed to lead a team. So lets talk about how to move forward in this position.
Serve your Worship Leader’s Vision
As the MD, your first goal is always so serve your Worship Leader’s vision. When you put this at the top of your priority list, it creates a cohesive and positive experience for the rest of your team. A trust is developed when you work with your WL at all times and never against them.


Continue reading “A Music Directors Purpose”