One of the amazing things about worshipping a God who is “omni-everything” is that we can sing forever and still never run out of words or ways to express our worship. It’s mind-blowing to think that, after thousands of years of worship, people are still writing amazing new songs to express timeless truths about our God and in worship to him. The book of Revelation tells us that, even at the end of all things and into eternity, heaven sings a new song (Revelation 14).
Can you imagine? Angels an heavenly hosts who’ve sung praises for millenia, still coming up with new songs, and new expressions of praise.
The Bible tells us to “sing to the Lord a new song” (Psalm 96:1 is one of many references). While I love old songs and classics (Some of my all-time favourite songs are still old hymns) there is something about a new song. It brings new energy, new perspectives, and a fresh expression that brings new life. I love it when we teach a new song to the congregation, they get hold of it and we sing it with gusto together.
Here are a few songs that are “new songs” in my personal worship that I’m loving at the moment. What about you? Any new songs that are grabbing your heart?
Some practical equipping thoughts for worship leaders and musicians on leading a time of worship that flows and helps people encounter God without obstacles
We recently put on “Empower Worship” – a one day conference to empower the worshipping church by gathering together and training our worship teams and pastors from the different Every Nation London congregations (and a special guest leader from our Every Nation Dublin.
I’ve heard a lot of teaching on worship in my time. I have to say that the opening session by Wolfgang Eckleben’s blog, our senior pastor is probably one of the best teachings I’ve ever heard on worship and the church, so I highly recommend it.
If you weren’t able to make the day (or are somewhere else around the world and want some free equipping) take some time out to listen to these sessions, and we trust you will be empowered to worship.
1. Worship Is… : The Priority, Pattern, and Power of Worship
2. Lead Worshippers : Living what we lead
3. Band Workshop : Making a sweet sound
4. Holy Spirit Led Worship
5. Question/Answer forum – with a panel of worship leaders, musicians, and pastors
You can get all this and more from the download browser of our website.
Very good discussion session hosted by Ed Stetzer with Stuart Townend, Aaron Keyes and Kelly Minter. Highly recommended for anyone in worship ministry – particularly worship leaders.
It’s not the sexiest job in the world, but the reality is if you’re involved in a modern worship team, or you do any kind of production or setup then at some point you’re going to need to know how to coil a cable.
If you know how to do it properly then it’s quick and easy. If you don’t then it takes ages and quickly becomes a rapid jungle of tangles.
I learnt how to do it properly and quickly by watching this video – and can now do it at least 5 times faster than I did before. 20 minutes of practice now will save you loads of time in the long run.
Here it is….
How we should worship has always been a subject of debate. Throughout the history of the church – and before – people have debated what is appropriate, what is correct, what is preferable. Here’s what Jesus said on the matter….
Here’s a little crib sheet Rich put together for acoustic guitarists on how to use a capo to make things easier to sing or to play.
Posted something a while ago called ‘play a part, not a chart’ talking about how to fit differerent band parts and instruments together to make something that sounds good when you all play. Here’s a couple of short clips from Paul Baloche teaching on the same thing with his band. Good stuff, and you can hear what he’s talking about.
I sent some guys a link to some youtube clips the other day where Paul Baloche was teaching some basic stuff on playing guitar in worship. Got some replies basically saying “Thanks for the link, and I’d never thought of looking on Youtube for this stuff”.
So, want to learn guitar? Check it out on YouTube. Maybe it’s just because us Christians are such lovely helpful people as well, but you’ll also find a lot of people have posted their own little instructional clips on how to play specific worship songs. Some of it’s a bit hit and miss, but most of it definitely help anyone who’s beginner to intermediate, and there’s some stuff on there that will help or inspire the most advanced of players (like all the people who’ve posted their own screaming electric guitar versions of Pachelbel’s canon!).
Here’s a few good places to start:
Paul Baloche – tips on playing and leading in worship, along with some specific tips on his songs: http://uk.youtube.com/user/balochemusic and http://www.youtube.com/user/leadworshipdotcom
Worshiptogether’s New song cafe – a lot of songwriters stepping through their songs: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewSongCafe
Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy – Psalm 33:3
Personally, I much prefer playing a new song or shouting for joy to the Lord to sitting down and doing what is necessary to ensure I can play skilfully! Nevertheless the psalmist instructs us to do all three.
We really should too, if we want to testify of God’s glory. What does it say about the worth we place on God if we are not at least as diligent in developing our musical offerings as secular musicians are in pursuit of their ‘god’.
I’m not talking perfectionism – and speaking as a full-time husband, full-time father, full-time disciple-maker, and full-time church pastor(!) I’m certainly grounded in the realities of time pressures and priority juggling.
However. I am talking about having a heart to do our best for the one we love most, and being as diligent as we can to grow in skill.
If you want to grow in skill then there’s no getting around it, you’ve got to practise. Here are a few basic tips to get you started:
Make sure practice is a joy not a chore. Adjust your practice as necessary to keep it alive
If you get fed up or overly frustrated then stop and come back another time
Consistency rules. Little and often is better than the occasional mammoth session
Practice is not just playing stuff you’re comfortable with, it’s about being stretched
Learn a new skill occasionally – whether it’s a new scale, phrase, technique
Repetition brings familiarity and competency.
Remember, if you practice something which is harder – trickier to play, a more stretching range to sing, more complex rhythmically, then the stuff you play when ‘performing’ will suddenly seem much simpler.
More tips and skill drills to come, but if you’ve got some tips of your own then go right ahead and comment below.