Francis Chan sharing a challenging message at Passion Conference 2015
Francis Chan sharing a challenging message at Passion Conference 2015
This song has quickly become an anthem that many churches have started singing during their weekend services. Are you leading it at your church?
Wishing you and yours a wonderful celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas to all!
Serving with you,
The crew at worshipplanning.com
For seven years (and running!) we’re honored to be selected and featured in Worship Leader Magazine’s 2014 Editor’s Pick Awards, under the Planning Software Category. Thank you to Worship Leader Magazine for this notable distinction.
Congratulations to all the Worship Leader victors! worshipplanning.com is humbled to be in your company.
Serving with you,
The crew at worshipplanning.com
There are a variety of titles churches use for the person who leads the “music” on Sunday mornings. Worship leader, worship director, music director, song leader, and worship pastor, are just a few of the titles you may have heard of.
I think for the most part though, the role can be categorized under these two main titles: Song Leader and Worship Pastor. Your church may use a different title, but you probably fit into one of these two. Let me explain…
A Song Leader is someone who…
-just leads vocally during the corporate worship time
-puts together the setlist each week
-doesn’t do much talking in between the songs
-doesn’t have much interaction with the congregation or the worship team during the week
-spends more time with their instrument and music than with their church people
A Worship Pastor is someone who…
-leads not only vocally, but spiritually
-engages the congregation during worship
-has a shepherd’s heart
-is more concerned about the people they lead than the songs they sing
-pastors people during the week
-trains up other worship leaders in the church
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but it helps us see the differences between the two types of “worship leaders”. Which one are you? Which one do you want to be? Which one does your church want you to be? And, most importantly, which one does God want you to be?
Maybe you’re a worship leader at a church that sings out of the hymnal, so they just need you to lead vocally with a microphone and a piano. There is nothing wrong with that. However, if you believe God is calling you to pastor/shepherd your people, alongside your senior pastor, you will probably feel frustrated in that limited role.
Take time today to ask God about which type of worship leader He is calling you to be. It’s not about the title that your church puts on your role. That’s not important. It’s about living out the calling God has put on your life. If you feel called to be a “Worship Pastor”, start exploring what that looks like. Start pastoring people. Ask The Lord to give you a burden and a heart for the people, not just a passion for music.
Being a true worship pastor has nothing to do with how skinny your jeans are or how stylish your hair is. It has less to do with knowing all the trending worship songs and more to do with knowing and loving your people. That is my prayer for all of us worship leaders, that we would desire to know and love our people well, and that we would love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
WorshipPlanning.com is proud to announce our new partnership with South Carolina Baptist Convention (scbaptist.org). South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) is a cooperative program-funded resource serving over 2,000 South Carolina Baptist churches and their work on a daily basis.
WorshipPlanning.com and SCBC will work together to extend WorshipPlanning.com‘s services to members of the SCBC. The partnership offers special benefits for SCBC member churches, including a 25% discount on subscriptions to WorshipPlanning.com.
“We’re excited how this alliance will bring a great offering to the members of the South Carolina Baptist Convention to help them better serve our Lord.” says Mark Powers, Director of the Worship & Music Office at SCBC.
For more information about the service offered under the partnership, go to sc.worshipplanning.com.
North Carolina Baptists (NCB) is an affiliate of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC). They work together with the Southern Baptist Convention to serve over 4,300 churches.
The partnership offers special benefits for BSCNC member churches, including a 25% discount on subscriptions to WorshipPlanning.com.
For more information about the service offered under the partnership, go to nc.worshipplanning.com.
Serving with you.
Check out the quick virtual tour of WorshipPlanning.com:
Or, how my team survived aural water-boarding…
A few weeks back I wrote about The Most Loved (And Hated) Member of My Team: the click track.
I won’t go into all the background of how we got to the point of using it all the time, but here’s a quick review of why:
Since “the band” every Sunday is actually a different combination of rotating instruments, we don’t have the luxury of putting in the hours and days and months it takes to get tight.
I went on to say that,
If you have rotating musicians, you know that creating a tight sound is tough. The first step in playing tight is playing in time. We leverage the click to keep us all together.
The carpenter uses a level.
The baker uses a measuring cup.
The accountant uses a calculator.
Even the freehand of an artist paints within the confines of a canvas.
Our tool for tightness is the click track.
So I wanted to follow up that post with 12 practical tips for using a click:
1. Start simple.
Just use a metronome that has a headphone jack out and the the ability to subdivide (we’ll get to that in a minute). Don’t try to learn Ableton or other loops based stuff. Just learn to play with a click first.
2. Sell the right people.
There will be a backlash (See #10). So as you’re starting down this path, get key members of your team to buy in and help support the decision to use a click.
3. Learn this mantra: “Better to be together than right.”
I’m not sure it’s the exact words of the venerable Carl Albrecht, drummer extraordinaire with Paul Baloche and others. But I heard him say it at a worship conference as he was exhorting drummers to turn off the click if the band gets too far off. His point: You can stay with the click and be “right,” but it won’t sound good. Just get back with the team and hold to the tempo as best as you can.
4. Learn how to bail.
Because of #3, the person operating the metronome (most likely the drummer) needs to know how to shut if off quick in those moments of irreversible dragging and rushing.
It is SOO much easier to stay on tempo if there is a subdivision of the beat. For most songs, having the eighths in is enough. For really slow songs, sixteenths will give you that extra connection between downbeats that you need. Most modern digital metronomes do this.
6. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Warning: the beeping of most metronomes can cause the loss of one’s sanctification. And if the volume is too loud in your in-ears, that aural water-boarding turns into a sonic icepick traveling horizontally through your head.
If you can find something that makes a more natural woodblock sound, great. However, the click does need to be a high enough pitch so it won’t get lost in the mix.
Just a side note: I actually prefer my iPhone’s $4 Tempo Advance metronome app’s click sound to one on our far more expensive Boss DB60.
7. Make individual practice a priority.
If the team practices with a click on their own, the learning curve will go so much faster. And don’t forget to “strongly encourage” your singers to practice with a click. They don’t like to admit it, but vocalists are some of the biggest culprits of tempo issues. Many are used to the fluid flow of a choir, or the accommodating accompaniment of the lone piano player.
8. Use only in rehearsal (at first).
Don’t push your team too far, too fast. Start in rehearsals where train wrecks are far less fatal. But don’t stay in practice-mode forever. Have a ‘go live’ date and stick to it.
9. Require everyone on in-ears to turn up the click.
Occasionally, I plug into another team member’s Aviom (personal monitor mixer) and wonder what in the world they’re singing/playing too (other than themselves). If a player is on in-ears (and that’s my whole team now), they’re strongly urged to turn up the click in their ears.
10. Be prepared for emotional outbursts.
Yes, really. For the uninitiated, playing to a click is akin to hearing your voice recorded for the first time. Most of us don’t realize how poor our timing truly is. The click track is this full-length, unforgiving, magnifying mirror that shows every last tempo blemish and blackhead.
But that’s why people need to practice on their own.
11. Put tempo markings on your charts.
If you want people to practice on their own with a click, you’d better add tempo markings to the charts. And don’t be afraid to stray from the original recording tempos. Find what feels right for your team.
12. Keep after it.
When you go live for the first time, don’t get discouraged that you had to turn it off in the middle of EVERY song. That’s OK. Keep working on it at the next rehearsal, and try again the next Sunday.
I don’t remember when the first Sunday was that we finally didn’t have to turn the click off. But now, we’ve been doing it long enough that I don’t remember the last time we had to stop it in a service.
I’m telling you, the click track has really made us better, and better than we actually are. The experience of playing with a click has given us all a better sense of time. And the unifying factor of the click really does make us tighter as a band.
For discussion – how have you migrated to using a click? Any other points and tips for using a metronome or click with your team?
If you’re just starting down this path, any questions this post didn’t answer?
(This article was originally posted on WorshipTeamCoach.com. Used by permission.)
It’s a big day that has been a long time coming.
WorshipPlanning.com version 5.0 is finally live! Whether your a current subscriber or not, you’ll notice our new snazzy “exterior” pages the moment you go to WorshipPlanning.com. We’ve got lots of easy-to-find details about what WorshipPlanning.com has to offer, and a very informative 3 minute video that shows version 5.0 in action.
So, what does it mean that version 5.0 is now live? Check out the questions and answers we imagine you might have:
Q: What is the major change with version 5.0?
A: Other than enhancements to the style of the site, we focused the majority of our efforts on the worship flow page. This page hasn’t really been updated in years, and it is far-and-away the most used page on the site. We wanted to make it both easier to use and more flexible. This video gives you a nice overview of the new worship flow page.
Q: Does this update cost anything?
A: There is no additional charge for this update.
Q: I was already using version 5.0. What does this mean for me?
A: For several months, version 5.0 has been available in a “beta” for those that wanted to try it before the official rollout. We are so very grateful for the thousands of users that tried the beta version, many of whom provide excellent feedback (thank you!!!). Along with the official launch today, we have deployed several updates as a result of the most recent feedback provided. Other than that, you probably won’t notice any other visual changes. If you are looking closely, you might notice that the “beta.worshipplanning.com” web address is gone. Instead, you should just see the regular “worshipplanning.com” address.
Q: I’m not ready to change to version 5.0 yet. Can I stay with the old version?
A: Yes, for now. Our goal is to make version 5.0 something that you want to upgrade to. If you have tried version 5.0 and found things didn’t work the way you wanted, please reach out to us and let us know (if you haven’t already). If you tried it and didn’t understand how it worked, the new video tutorial we’ve recently published should answer any questions you have about the worship flow.
If you had trouble understanding any other parts of the site, please let us know via the support center. Eventually, we will be retiring the older version of WorshipPlanning.com because it is expensive to maintain two different versions. The timeframe for retiring is not yet defined, but it seems like this summer is an excellent time to update on your own.
Q: If I updated to version 5.0, can I go back to the old version?
A: During the beta testing phase, it was possible to change back to the old version if desired, though it might interest you to know that well over 90% of those that tried the new version have stayed with it. Now that version 5.0 has been officially rolled out, churches will not be able to go back to the older version. If it is an emergency and you need to switch back, you can reach out to our support team where they have a hard time saying “no” to anything, and they might be able to help you out.
Q: If I sign up for WorshipPlanning.com today, which version will I be on?
A: Starting today, any new church that signs up for WorshipPlanning.com will automatically have version 5.0 enabled. And as per the previous question, there will not be an option for them to revert to the older version of WP.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the release of WorshipPlanning.com 5.0!
The fact is we are in the digital age, but with most things The Church is behind the times. Sad, but true. Even with the most popular social media platform (Facebook) we have good excuses why our church doesn’t engage on it:
-We don’t have the time.
-We don’t have the resources.
-We don’t see the need for it.
-We want to focus on “real” ministry.
-On and on the list goes…
Here’s the reality: most people looking for a church will make a decision about whether or not to visit your church based on your online presence. That means that most people will never even step foot on your church campus if you don’t make a great first impression.
Your first impression in today’s world is your online presence. This includes your website and any other online platform you have. Let’s all agree, first of all, that it is a MUST that your church has a website…a nice website at that.
Second, I believe that every church should have a Facebook page. It’s a no-brainer…I hope. We cannot deny the fact that social media is a huge part of our American culture. However, some churches may still feel it’s not relevant to their congregation. Maybe their congregation is older. Just last week I was at the local Apple store and couldn’t help but notice a workshop that was going on in there on how to use your iPad. The workshop was full…with senior citizens. I’ve heard pastors say, “We don’t need a website. We don’t need to be on social media. Most of our members are old.” Sorry, you can’t use that excuse anymore. Even “old” people are on Facebook and surfing the Internet these days.
Still not sure if your church should invest time and energy into creating and managing a Facebook page? Maybe these statistics will convince you:
-1.23 billion monthly active users
-757 million daily active users
-Percentage of Internet users 65 years and older that use Facebook: 45%
-48% of users 18-34 years old check Facebook when they wake up
-There are over 54 million Facebook pages
Creating a Facebook page is free. However, I would recommend that you utilize someone who’s knowledgeable with creating Facebook pages and Facebook marketing to help you get started. As followers of Christ, we should go where the people are. Today, billions of people are on Facebook. Why should your church not be? Be where the people are. Engage with them. Encourage them. Use the technology to connect with the people and to spread The Good News!
One last thing: if you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all. Meaning, if you’re not willing to put the time and effort into doing Facebook the right way, it would be better for your church to not have a Facebook page at all.
Does YOUR church have a Facebook page? Feel free to share the link in the comments below!
Wisdom is a husband, father, worship leader, songwriter, podcaster, and social media consultant. He has been involved in worship ministry for over 20 years. He is the Founder of All About Worship and The Songwriter’s Cafe. You can connect with Wisdom on Twitter @WisdomMoon and Facebook.com/wisdomaaw.