You Can Learn to Lead Worship

Today, I am going to make the case that worship leading is a practice. This interdisciplinary skill can be learned. Certainly some in the Body may be gifted in worship leading, some maybe for just a season of life. However, since worshiping is humanity’s primary purpose and the Church’s primary act, the act of worship leading can be learned at a basic level.Read More »

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When Your Congregation Is In The Valley

For as much as I stress planning and intentionally when leading worship, sometimes last-minute adjustments need to be executed. Sometimes, they are made in the moment. I had taken the Doxology (Old Hundredth) and added some jazz chords and progressions. With the swing and a tempo that kept the melody moving, the arrangement brought out the exclamatory dynamic of the classic praise hymn. The worship service had gone according to plan, but took a drastic turn right before the closing song, the Doxology.

Since we were still a small church, we still invited those who had gathered together to share their prayer and praises publically. Person after person shared occasions for prayer and tragedy. The tone of worship shifted greatly. The jazz arrangement was no longer appropriate. Instead, I called an audible, into the microphone no less, announcing unbeknownst to the music team, that we were going to close by singing the Doxology acapella.Read More »

Planning the Next Series

Every church follows a rhythm in time. Major decisions often center on the pattern that we create. For many evangelical churches, our church follows the time of sermon series. Often 4-6 weeks in length, these series are often topical and strive to offer practical advice for living the Christian life.

The question for worship leaders who serve at these churches is this: how do I plan for these monthly series? A couple of weeks ago we looked at what planning each week may look like for an evangelical worship leader. This week we are going to look at a slightly larger picture, how to plan for the next sermon series.Read More »

Learning to Lead

Hello!  My name is Ryan Mackey.  I am a new contributor to TalkingWorship.com.  I am very excited and honored to share life with the TW community.  For my first post I want to share how I began leading congregational singing:

My first time leading a worship service was my junior year in college. Even though I’d been part of my church’s music team since I was in high school I had not led. At this college there was a Wednesday morning chapel service and a small Sunday evening worship service in a multi-purpose room/black box theatre; shortly after the semester started I began playing rhythm guitar and singing harmony in the small worship team.  Read More »

5 Principles for Leading Worship

Every job has essential principles for fulfilling the tasks it is assigned. What you are trying to accomplish does not change, but how you accomplish the job could change. These 5 principles are ones that I have learned and use to guide my development in becoming the best worship leader I can be. They have directly practical applications and guide my decision making processes. I trust you will find one or more of them insightful!

Invite people to participate.Bible_and_Lord's_Cup_and_Bread

As I mentioned in my last post, the worship leader knows when they have fulfilled their job when the people actively participate in the worship. Since worship is our response to God, and Sunday morning is a corporate event, everyone needs to be actively participating in the worship. Arguably the most important aspect of your job is to invite the congregation to participate. When you make your decisions, consider whether the decisions will allow the congregation to participate.Read More »

Leadership in Worship Leading: Principles and Praxis

Knowing how difficult it is to find a worship mentor, this article may offer some of the most important information one could write on the art of worship leading. Although inherent to the position’s title, the search for a worship leader can prove to be arduous. Limiting the task of the worship leader toChess_queen_0994 being a competent and proficient musician and vocalist does not inherently mean that they will provide strong leadership for worship services.

Music, both in theology and (theoretically) practice, worship leaders must understand that their role is interdisciplinary. Although true of many leadership settings, pastors, including worship leaders, often found themselves needing a widespread set of skills across various fields. Leadership certainly finds its place among this list of skills.Read More »

The Church’s Entertainer: The Worship Leader

You know that feeling when something does not quite seem right? No matter how far you try to push it away, that feeling fixes itself inside you. The evangelical church in America has contracted this bug, and she is uncertain of how to remedy her condition. So what is this possible condition?

A_Photo_of_the_LDI_2013_Conference_in_Las_Vegas,_NV

There are people who fear that she struggles with entertainment in worship.


Worship Leader
, Christianity Today, and Relevant present this issue about the supposed crisis in their magazines, while Jamie Brown and Kevin Carr take to their blogs and share their experiences as worship leaders, some of which include hurts. A Google search consisting of “worship” and “entertainment” will provide many more articles and testimonials working through this topic.Read More »

“Ancient-Future Worship”

I remember writing book reports growing up and I always thought that it was a peculiar practice. What value was there in regurgitating what the author said? Now a little bit wiser I can assure there is some value to this practice, as it ensures (or not) that you understand the author’s purpose for writing the book and the thesis therein. It also gives the one writing the review an opportunity to affirm or critique the author.

174px-Zoso_John_Paul_Jones_sigil_interlaced_triquetra_overlaying_circle.svgThis is my first book review here on TalkingWorship.com and it will come from arguably the most influential book on my worship ministry. Influential in that it was the first book I read that truly explored what worship is and how it is enacted and in that it has provided avenues to other authors and books to read in my pursuit of worship and liturgical studies.

Here is Baker Publishing Group’s summary of the book:

“God has a story. Worship does God’s story.Read More »

“We’re Gonna Need A Class For This…”

Evangelical Christian conversations have a topical turnaround that competes with pop radio. One week viral articles are about topic A and the next week they are about topic Z. Conversations are discussed and then dropped as if they never happened at all.

ClassroomOne such conversation that I imagine will be out of the mainstream dialogue shortly is that of evangelical liturgicalism. Robert Webber’s Ancient-Future work (Baker Publishing) has breach
ed the spotlight and Melanie Ross has written a book about this supposed contradiction in Evangelical versus Liturgical?: Defying a Dichotomy (2014).

Some churches have simply passed over this dialogue believing that there is no place for such practices (the reasons for this can be numerous: Roman Catholics do that, liturgy is dry and boring, etc.), some have applied certain practices to be “hip”, and others have developed a genuine interest in a liturgical approach to worship.Read More »