ALL THE SAINTS – Live from the CentricWorship Retreat – No. 1

I don’t believe I’ve ever used by blog to promote projects that I’m working on, but this is one I’m very excited about and wanted to share with you.  Releasing March 11th!   Hope you enjoy…

In September of 2013 we invited 12 worship leaders to join us for our first ever worship retreat in the beautiful Methow Valley of Winthrop, Washington. It was to be a week of worship, refreshing and new friendships. Our retreat was filled with both tears and laughter as we dug into the Word of God each day and spent time in the presence of our Lord. By the end of the week, we had written 18 new songs and recorded 21 during our morning and evening worship times! This first EP is our way of sharing a small part of that experience with the world. Our prayer is that these new songs will assist you in your prayer and worship as you continue the journey with us, closer and closer to the heart of Jesus. – Steve Rice, Executive Producer / VP CentricWorship

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Video

Songwriting Tip of the Week with Matt Redman

Award winning songwriter, Matt Redman shares a one-minute quick tip on writing melody for the congregation…

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Matt Redman has been a full-time worship leader and songwriter since he was 20 years old and his journey has taken him all over the world.  He is known for modern day classic church songs  like ‘The Heart of Worship’, ‘You Never Let Go’ and ‘Blessed Be Your Name’.  His more recent compositions include the Grammy-nominated ‘Our God’, and the double-Grammy winning ’10,000 Reasons’.  Matt is also the author of several books, including The Unquenchable WorshipperFacedownMirrorball,Blessed Be Your Name (co-authored with Beth Redman) and Indescribable (co-authored with Louie Giglio).  Visit Matt’s website at www.mattredman.com

This video is from Premier Christian Radio of London.  You can find them on the web at http://www.premier.org.uk

The Worship Songwriter

TALL-BANNER-WHITE-BestI ran across this book online and wanted to give it a recommendation.  Check it out when you get a chance…

 

See what some of our friends are saying about it:

“This is a fantastic book that will help shape and develop your skills as a songwriter. You will be equipped and inspired to write songs that will encourage the church and ultimately bring glory to God” 

Ben Cantelon // Songwriter, Worship Leader,Soul Survivor

 

 “WOW – I love David’s approach in ‘The Worship Songwriter‘. I can tell he knows the path that us creatives need to take, and he is an effective guide in drawing others on to the path while dispelling some of the common misconceptions about what we do. I’m really grateful that David overcame his fear, kept an appointment with himself, and wrote this powerful and punchy little book!”

Brian Doerksen // Integrity Recording Artist, Songwriter of Refiner’s Fire, Come Now Is the Time to Worship, Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)

Hey Leader… Do you have a Worship Team?

“Team”… we all know the definition.  It’s more than one.  Generally, it’s people (or animals) working together toward a common goal.  If one horse can’t pull a wagon, a team of horses usually can.   If one programmer can’t get the app created on his/her own, a team of programmers is the ticket.

Most hit songs today are written by “teams”.  Co-writing is the primary way professional songwriters get the job done.  There are many reasons for this, including the unfortunate fact that most artists won’t cut a song today unless they write on it, but the main reason professionals tend to co-write is because they understand that the best product comes when they collaborate with others.  Some writers are strongest with lyrics, some with melody, etc.  But also, “two heads are better than one” in most cases.  But today my intention was not really to talk about songwriting collaboration.  If you want to read more about that, check out the co-writing blog post.

We all understand the Biblical concept of the body, and its various parts … how one part of the body can’t say to another, “I don’t need you.”.   So, how and why do you select a worship team?

Fact:  A worship leader most often selects his worship team based on the musical instrument each individual plays.  In other words, the worship leader selects a “band”.  But a good “band” does not necessarily mean a good “worship team”.  Be careful!

Put on your pastor or ministry hat and think through this with me.  Is it more important to have exactly the right instruments in the band or the right people on the team?  (This reminds me of the business book, GOOD TO GREAT, where the author, Jim Collins talks about the importance of “getting the right people on the bus”.)  Let me go a little deeper here.  What is the purpose of the worship team – to make the most awesome music or to enter into the most holy place?  

I remember in the early days of our Worship Together ministry, I hosted several conferences around the US.  There were two specific worship leaders from the UK that I invited to come lead at these conferences.  Both of them turned me down for the very same reason.  In each case I had explained to the worship leader that I could not afford to fly in their entire team.  However, I would provide some of the absolute best-skilled, professional musicians (all Christian I might add) to serve as their band.  Both of the leaders told me, in their own way, that they would not do it without their  team.   These guys were internationally known church worship leaders who had carefully selected their worship team members through  prayer and because of careful attention to each member’s unique spiritual gifting (not just their musical gifting).  They led worship as a unit, not as solo leaders with a band.

One of these guys had a long conversation with me, that I’ll never forget.  He shared stories of how, at times, the Spirit of the Lord would rest upon one of his background singers during the service… or upon the drummer, or on another team member, and what would result would be a powerful worship service and time of ministry.   He had great respect for each individual on his team.  The worship leader understood that the group of individuals did “ministry” together and that one member was not more important than another.  They were all trusted ministers, filled with the Word and the Spirit.  The leader expected that the Lord would move however He wanted to move, through whichever part of the team He chose, to do His work in each service.   The team was prepared, spiritually.  They  prayed together, sought the Lord together, were one in purpose and vision.   The spiritual preparation and the ministry to the Lord and to the congregation was top priority.

I had this particular conversation in 1999 and I still remember it.   Although I’ve shared it with friends on a handful of occasions, today it seemed particularly important to share.  I’ve thought about it often and I’ve also thought about how a team is only as strong as its weakest link.  We know that’s true musically for a band, but it’s also true spiritually.  Just as your senior pastor is careful who he might put on the platform to minister the Word to his flock, or who he might allow on the prayer team to pray with his flock,  as a worship leader you must use the same caution as you choose who ministers with you.

As contemporary worship music has become more popular in recent years, church leaders seem quite eager to put together full bands for their platform and the musicians in their congregations are eager to play (for both right and wrong reasons).  It seems that too often we put the “cart before the horse” – or horses, as it may be.  If you’re a leader, I encourage you to select and prep your musicians and singers with much wisdom and prayer –  not for the best music, but for powerful and effective ministry as a team.