“The Ministry of Balance” – Guest Blog by Justin Tweito

We are honored to have another guest post on a topic that may help you and your ministry. This week, Justin Tweito discusses how leading worship can be like walking a tightrope, and makes a few suggestions on how to keep your balance.

Leading from a Tightrope: The Ministry of Balance

Everyday as a worship leader, I’m walking a tightrope. As I lead the congregation, I’m high off the ground. Off to my left side are the depths of hyperfocus on the mind. Off to my right, a hyperfocus on the heart. At any moment, I could step off the left and fall into the depths of dogma and legalism. Or I could step off the rope to the right and fall into relativity and emotionalism. But if I stay the course and walk straight on the rope, I’m leading the church to worship in mind and heart.

In his book, Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin calls this idea “healthy tensions”. He lists many different tensions that tug on a worship leader every day: head and heart, vertical and horizontal, planned and spontaneous, rooted and relevant, to name a few. I face these tensions everyday. Does this song focus too much on my emotion and not enough on God’s character and works? Are we singing too many heady songs and losing the ability to simply respond to the Gospel with affection? We all have tendencies to lean one way or the other. Some of us may lean toward the mind, others may lean toward the heart. Some of us may lean toward spontaneity, others toward carefully planning every moment of liturgy.

So what is our response to these tensions?

A good response to these “healthy tensions” is to have a healthy balance of both sides. We may lean more toward spontaneity, but if there is no planning whatsoever, it is easy to fall into emotionalism. On the flip side, if there is no room for spontaneity in the service, we may be hindering what the Lord is doing in the heart of the church that specific morning.

Kauflin gives good guidelines for us to think about with three “guiding principles”:

  1. Do what God clearly commands
  2. Don’t do what God clearly forbids
  3. Use scriptural wisdom for everything else

For example, God’s Word clearly commands us to sing. In fact, the command to sing in scripture is only second in frequency to the command to pray. That’s why we sing in our congregational gatherings. Most all of Christendom and its Denominations may do this differently, but we all do it!

God’s Word clearly forbids us to “[neglect] to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 ESV). So, we know we’re not to end our congregational gatherings. But, do we only meet once a week? Is it okay that not everyone is together as we have multiple service times? Where we fall with those tensions is left up to wisdom we gather from scripture as a whole.

Scriptural wisdom is more of a case-by-case analysis. The Bible doesn’t command or forid us to use a choir on stage in our congregational gatherings. You may not have a fully robed choir on stage, but knowing the importance of singing we see in scripture, only having one person with a vocal mic on stage may not be what you choose either. So you may look to balance those two tensions!

Many churches without traditional choirs will have multiple vocalists at the front of the stage with microphones. This balance may be the best option for your church, because seeing and hearing many people singing to the Lord holds up singing as important, just as scripture has ordained. In this case, you wouldn’t be scripturally wrong to not have a choir, or to have the largest choir on the planet. But a balanced approach may be the most helpful for pointing your church back to God’s word.

How do we walk the tightrope of ministry everyday?

We study God’s Word. Colossians 3:16 (ESV) says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This command starts with letting the “word of Christ dwell in [us] richly.” It all starts with our heart and mind being in tune with scripture. Everything we do is built on a foundation. Our foundation will either be the Word of God or it will be something else.

We pray through God’s Word. We have to seek guidance in areas that the Lord has given us freedom to operate in our congregational gatherings. In fact, the Bible tells us that  “we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” So, as we seek scriptural wisdom, we pray!

We work together. If we are trying to plan and lead services on our own creativity and thinking, we are missing out on the treasure of partnering with our lead pastors and others on our worship teams. We all lean toward different tensions of balance, so it often takes each other meeting in the middle of the tensions to do what’s best for our church.

We don’t have to walk the tightrope alone. We have God’s Word to guide us. We have the Holy Spirit to lead us in ways we don’t even understand. And we have God acting through our other leaders to help keep us balanced as well. So let’s walk slowly and humbly as we balance on the tightrope of ministry.

Free Song: “Lamb of God” by Justin Tweito

We’re excited to offer you another free song for the next 7 days. “Lamb of God” is written by a Taylor Agan, Justin Tweito & Ben Wolverton.

The song was released on January 25th and has already been featured on the following editorial playlists on Spotify, amassing over 55k streams in just its first week: Top Christian, WorshipNow, New Music Christian Friday, Sing a New Song, and New & Bold.

Use the link below to download the MP3 and chord chart for FREE! Oops! This free offer has expired. But subscribe to our blog to learn about future free resource offerings!

Free Song: “Even Louder” by The Church Will Sing

We’re excited to offer you a free song by for the next 7 days.

“Even Louder” is the first song from Word Worship Music’s new initiative, The Church Will Sing. It incorporates churches from all around the United States as the featured vocal and is a collaboration between Bethel Music’s Tony Brown, Housefires Jonathan Jay, and Word Music’s Matt Armstrong and Benji Cowart. The song was performed as part of last year’s “The Bible Tour” by hip-hop artist Steven Malcolm.

CLICK HERE to download the MP3 and the chord charts for FREE!  Oops, the offer has expired. But be sure to subscribe to our blog for future info on free music downloads!

There are 9 more songs in the works and churches can still record themselves singing to be the congregational voice for what’s yet to come. For more information visit: //

“Worship Wars 2020” – Guest Post by Jonathan Mason

We are honored to bring you this guest post by Jonathan Mason, the director of Word Worship Music, on a topic that is central to all worship leaders. And be sure to read more about the new initiative “The Church Will Sing” at the end of the post.

When I evaluate a song for the church, my question isn’t so much whether or not it sounds like everything else we call “worship,” but rather whether the song invites the hearts and minds of believers to see and savor Jesus as he really is.

Worship. This one word in today’s church culture holds massive connotations. We’ve heard it said over and over again that worship doesn’t equal music and music doesn’t equal worship. The reality is, for better or worse, we have created a whole sub-culture of Christian music and have labeled it “Worship.”  Whichever side of the fence you fall on, it’s important that we think about the place of music in the church, lest history repeat itself again.

A significant turning point in my life occurred when I traveled to Jamaica to help lead worship alongside a missionary team. With my acoustic guitar, I played many contemporary songs that were very well known back in the United States. The church body joined in the best they could and showed appreciation for my being there. When I had finished, a woman in the congregation stood up and burst into a song. Immediately, I heard tambourines and other percussive instruments join in, followed by the rest of the congregation’s voices. I looked around and saw the church gathered and connected in a way I was not used to, around a song I did not know, with a style that didn’t seem common to me.  To this Jamaican church, the song was normal. To them it was familiar. It was a musical language that worked within their region and context. There was no acoustic guitar. There was no bass guitar. There was no drum set. Was this not worship? It didn’t sound like everything I was used to. They had only their hands for clapping, voices for singing, and a few instruments for percussion. The song was in a style that Westerners might call simple, trite, and repetitive, but with it, I had witnessed a powerful, loving worship of God.

Standing on the other side of the many years of “worship wars,” I question how it was ever a battle to begin with. When we gather as a congregation, we are told to do all things that edify or build up believers (1 Cor. 14:26). This entails loving one’s neighbor as themselves.  We are called in our gatherings to unite and sing “to one another” (Ephesians 5:18-19). Have we ever stopped and pondered what style best accomplishes that in our context? Much of the bickering about musical style stems from our individualistic bent in Western culture. It is concerned mainly with the vertical (me and God) to the detriment and neglect of the horizontal (me and my neighbor) as well as the missional (how our unity in song looks to those outside the church).

We gather to remember (because we need to be reminded) that the sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient. Sometimes the way we treat our music in the church we act like it’s the new medium for us to connect to God. Simply put, the Christian’s sacrifice and offering has already been accomplished (1 Peter 3:18) and it’s Jesus who brings us to God.

When I evaluate a song for the church, my question isn’t so much whether or not it sounds like everything else we call “worship,” but rather whether the song invites the hearts and minds of believers to see and savor Jesus as he really is. If we are only looking for one musical style within worship music what is preventing us from creating a new norm that we will be fighting to break free from in the years to come?

Jonathan Mason is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL and former student of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. With the academia background, working within a local church as a music director, and traveling with a nationally touring worship band, Jonathan has developed a deep passion for music ministry. He is currently serving as the director of Word Worship Music, a label imprint and publisher under CURB|Word Entertainment in Nashville, TN.

The first song from Word Worship Music’s new initiative, The Church Will Sing, incorporating churches from all around the United States as the featured vocal, is available now.  “Even Louder” is a collaboration between Bethel Music’s Tony Brown, Housefires Jonathan Jay, and Word Music’s Matt Armstrong and Benji Cowart. The song was performed as part of this year’s “The Bible Tour” by hip-hop artist Steven Malcolm.  There are 9 more songs in the works and churches can still record themselves singing to be the congregational voice for what’s yet to come. For more information visit /

Who Is Actually Viewing the Worship Plans?

Man with guitar in front of computer

You’ve prayed, planned, and shared the worship flow with your team in  But now you want to know who is actually looking at the plans ahead of time.  Hopefully it is evident by how prepared your team members are when rehearsal comes.  But there certainly are times when you’d like more concrete information before rehearsal.  Well, now you can know. Right on the worship flow editor page in your WorshipPlanning account there is a “view count” that looks like this:

Screenshot of view count on the worship flow page.

When you click on the icon, it shows you a list of the viewers.  This more-detailed information is only available to those with the ability to edit the worship flow.

Notice at the top of the window there is an option to be notified the first time a person views the worship flow.  Notifications can be sent via email or text.  We have more information about all this in an article on our Support Center, including when we don’t count views.  Be sure to check it out!

Get Feedback with “Likes”

As a small feedback mechanism, we’ve added the ability for your team members to “like” a worship flow that you’ve shared with them. The “thumbs up” icon on the worship flow page shows the number of likes for that service

You, as well as anyone else that can see the worship flow, can see who else has liked the flow. Exactly how this feature is used is up to you. For example, it could be a great way for your team to a give you an acknowledgement that they have everything they need and have begun practicing.

Merry Christmas!

We just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you a Merry Christmas, and to say Thank You! God blesses your congregation every week through you. And there is no doubt that through you God blesses us, as well.

Our prayer is that no matter how busy the Christmas season may be, none of us lose focus of Jesus.

Merry Christmas!
-tom and the team

Multiple Accounts – Made Easy

Young family sitting on couch sharing a laptop.

Do you manage multiple accounts?  Perhaps you are a parent that manages your account as well as the accounts of your children that serve at church.  Or maybe you serve at more than one church that uses  Either way, you’ll appreciate a recent update that makes it easier to get into the right WorshipPlanning account.

Here’s what you do:  First, ensure each account has the same primary email address and password (in the past WorshipPlanning did not allow this, but now it does).  You can change your primary email and password on the Profile page, which is under the “account” menu option when you log in.  Of course, the password should be something secure and not easy to guess.

With email addresses and passwords being the same across all accounts, the next time you log in you’ll be presented a list of accounts that match those credentials.  Just click the one you’d like to log into, and you’re on your way!

By the way, if you share an email address with someone else and need to prevent that person from accessing your account, simply make sure your password is different from the other account.

One last note, if you manage the account for another person, but that person wants to receive notifications at a different email address, you can add that email address as a secondary email.  That way, notifications will go to you and the person whose account you are managing.

Integration with LifeWay Worship


LifeWay Worship and WorshipPlanning

We are excited to partner with the great folks at LifeWay Worship, in a manner that greatly benefits you. For those not familiar, is a fantastic musical resource with a full array of assets from instrumental parts to accompaniment tracks and media. By creating a free account in, you can search, purchase, and download song assets to help you and your team prepare for worship.

The developers at and worked hard to connect our two powerful online resources.  Prior to this integration, it was a multi-step process to get music assets from your LifeWay Worship account into your account, and then out to your team members.  But now, it’s as easy as clicking “Send to” in your LifeWay Worship account.

Send Music to

For the “Send to” options to be available, you must first authorize LifeWay Worship to connect to your WorshipPlanning account.  But once that is initially done, the authorization will be remembered.

When music files are sent to your WorshipPlanning account, they are either adding to an existing song as a new “arrangement”(if the song exists), or a new song is created in your library where the files will be attached.  Once the files are there, the process of sharing that information is the same as any other song in your Songs library.  Just include the song in your worship flow plans, and your team members will have easy access to the LifeWay Worship files.

ProTip: You can designate each file to be associated with one or more specific “roles”, which will make it even easier for your musicians and vocalist to find the right files for them.  Check out our support article on how to do this.