50- Music for All Age Groups

Worship should be music for all age groups, but often in the church we find one age group and their preferences dominant the style of worship.

Sometimes the older generation sets the agenda, and the songs are hymns and ancient worship songs that have history and memories for those people. At other times, the youth take over and all the songs are upbeat, loud and in the style kids love but older ones hate.

Worship should have music for all age groups!

 

In this pod we explore ways you can make your church worship acceptable right across the age spectrum, using instruments and arrangements that appeal to most of not all the generations you have in your church.

If church is to be welcoming and inclusive, we need music for all age groups rather than one specific age genre in our worship!  Yet as I travel, I see so many churches catering to one specific genre, be it youth or hymns or something else.

So yes, you do need to stop and have a look at your congregation and discover what kind of age distribution you have attending.  Yes you have to cater for the various groups in some way.

Music can be used as a tool for unity rather than disunity, but the reports I receive from so many people in churches are that the music divides rather than unites them as a church, and as a church family.

In this podcast we have a look at some simple things you can do to broaden the appeal of the music you play in worship.  The various generations have preferences, and you might think that these will never connect or overlap, but if you arrange and produce certain styles you will discover that you can marry the various age groups together.

So wherever your church is at right now, this is an important podcast because we all want to see unity and joy in our worship, not exclusivity and tension, right?

Who is on your worship team?  Probably more important, why are they on the team at all?

Is it people you know and trust?  Is it iconic and masterful musicians, or sensational singers with a 4-octave range? Is it the pastor’s daughter, who can’t sing, but you know you just have to have on the team.

Forming your worship team is not easy

Different people want to be a part of the worship for a variety of reasons, some of which are noble, some self-seeking and some and godly reasons.  You have to learn about them, their history, their desires and dreams and their heart to serve.

And sometimes, it’s hard to look beneath the surface and see the real reasons these people want to be on the team. But remember, when establishing worship in your church, you need to form a team, and a team needs to be made up of people who can actually work together!

Many times we select members of the team because they are talented, or skilled at playing or singing. But the reality it that, while hey may have talent, some of these people are difficult to work with, and sometimes they cause incredible disruption and dissension within the ranks.

That’s why we decided to spend a 12-minute pod asking you to take a look at your worship team, and the reasons they are who they are, and help you assemble a dream team that will lead your church into a glorious and worshipful future.

The decisions you make about who is in your worship team and why could be some of the most pivotal and important decisions you make for the whole of your future in ministry, so listen to this podcast and make the right decision about who to include in you worship team…

Generations and ages may differ between people, and even between churches, but here at the pod, we believe that each generation brings something different and important to worship leading.

So What Does Your Generation Bring to Worship?

We all know there is often a difference between the generations, and especially when it comes to music and in particular worship music.

Worship should be something that unites the generations, not divides them.  So often in church, the leadership opts for one age group at the expense of the others.  Some churches are all about old people, old people’s music and style. Others are all for youth, with laser lights and smoke machines, and a volume that drives the older people screaming from the auditorium!

We believe that every generation brings something different, useful and valid to worship leading in church.  Surely our task as worship leaders is to see the good in every age group.  We are different, but every difference can be celebrated as we work with worship leading to bring the generations together.  So whatever generation you belong to, whether you are older, younger or somewhere in between, you have something to offer to your church in worship leading.

So what does, or at least, what can each generation bring to the table.  You may not realise the kinds of traits each age group brings, but this podcast will open your eyes to new and effective ways to bring the generations together around worship, right across every age group in your church!

This podcast takes 12 minutes to look at the various generations, both young and old, and how each can make a positive and unique commitment to worship… Have a listen, and start to see the wonderful contributions every age group can make to worship in your church.

47- Your Worship Goals for 2020

Hey, we’re back after a Christmas break, which is a summer break Downunder where we live, and we want to explore your worship goals for 2020.

I hope you had a very blessed time.  We did well, but many in our family were affected by the horrific bushfires which swept the southern states of our country.  Appreciate your prayers for our nation of Australia while people rebuild their lives!

So What Are Your Worship Goals for the New Year?

So what do you want to achieve this year in your worship? Do you want to introduce new material, write some new songs, explore harmonies… or is it just a matter of survival?

Maybe you want to create an environment of friendship and fellowship in your team, or perhaps you want to produce an album?

Everybody is different, and every church is different as well.  That is the really cool thing about our ministries… they are intensely personal while being extremely public at the same time!  What we do on stage might be public, but what we achieve in our personal walk with God feeds into our public persona.

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. So let’s start the year with dreams of serving the Lord in worship to a greater height than ever before.  Even better, let us start the year with a fresh drive to know Jesus more intimately.  Knowing Him in a closer way is always one of my goals for a new year, and especially this year as it is the start of not just a new year, but a new decade!

So before you launch into a new year, and a new decade, take some time to pray and ask the Lord how you should approach this year and set the right goals, not yours, your pastor’s or your church’s but God’s goals for the new year!

Welcome to 2020, the year of vision, and let’s go for it!

We have good years and bad years, tough ones and easy ones. So, worship leaders, this is our final pod this year until we kick off again in mid January, so we thought it would be a cool idea, and a bit of fun, to look back on the year that was, 2019.

Has 2019 Been a Good Year?

This has been a tough 12 months for many, especially those in ministry, but I believe the Lord has something great coming up in the year of vision, 2020!

Personally I have found 2019 to be among the toughest I have experienced in many ways, especially in ministry.  I don’t mind telling you that I am glad to see the back of 2019, and look ahead with great expectancy to what the Lord has for us in the future.

But this doesn’t mean that, if we count our blessings, 2019 has not been good.  We are, after all, still alive at the end of it, and that is good. However, many of us have found that it has been a tough, difficult slog this last 12 months, and so be the end of it many are telling me they are exhausted, disheartened and generally feeling low and flat.

It is OK to not be on top of the world all the time, right?  I have not found 2019 bad at all, just tough, and things that previously seemed easy have seemed hard and sometimes overwhelming, especially as the year wore on and we all got tired.  OK, maybe I am just getting old and tired myself, but sometimes things can feel overwhelming, and we need to just honestly tell the Lord how we are feeling and ask His help, direction and provision for the next season.

Let me leave you with this wonderful and inspiring scripture…

Habakkuk 3:17-18 New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

So settle back and look back, rejoicing in the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly of 2019 in this last 12 minute pod this year…

Raising the energy of a worship song should be a priority for all worship leaders.

Yes, But How Do You Raise the Energy of a Worship Song?

Worship songs, being corporate in nature, tend to be a little repetitive and often simple.  This means that, if your church has sung these songs several times before, there is a huge tendency to just sing them the same old way, the way you’ve done it time and time again in the past.

I know this bores many worship leaders and band members, but it also bores your congregation as well!  I mean, if you are not inspired by the song, what makes you think the audience is going to be inspired?

But how do you do it?  What can you actually change in your song that takes it from an average, less than inspiring song to a song with tons of energy, loads of character and heaps of anointing?

There are actually secrets that really work, and in this podcast we are going to go through a number of techniques you can use, starting the Sunday, to transform a boring, also ran song into an inspiring, exciting and uplifting anthem of praise! You can learn how to transform an average worship song into a spiritual powerhouse… it’s not an impossibility, it is very achievable and not even that hard.

Take 12 minutes out of your day to check this out now… and glean your own ideas from what we share…  Implementing a few well-chosen techniques could make all the difference in the long run, and transform an ordinary, flat worship time into an incredible journey of blessing and the presence of God.  Discover the easy and fun ways to increase the energy of a worship song today by listening and applying this awesome info!

As a worship leader., you’ve probably figured out that sometimes, despite all your preparation and rehearsal, it all goes wrong!

But Don’t Panic When It All Goes Wrong in Worship!

Even the best, even the pros have times when, despite all their preparation, skills and checking, things go wrong!

No matter who you are, how good you are, how experienced you might be or how much you pray, sometimes things just don’t happen the way we want.  It might be a power issue, a broken guitar string, a dodgy cable or something worse!

I’ve learned that the best worship leaders are not those who have talent, big capable teams or a massive reputation.  Many times the best worship leaders are those who can flow with changes and wing their way through potential disasters.

I hesitate to use the term “fake it til you make it”, but frankly sometimes this is a reality.  Accomplished worship leaders tend to be really good at doing this when things are getting grim!  I know, I’ve probably done it a thousand times, and mostly the audience had no idea!

I remember singing my own material, forgetting the starting words of one of my songs and making up and entire verse on the spot… rhyming and all!  No one knew, except my wife who commented that she really loved the new verse.  I was so panicked I could not remember a thing!  These are the time when you have to let go and flow with the Holy Spirit, and it takes courage and obedience to do this.

We want you to become that kind of worship leader.  Listen to this week’s 12-minute pod and learn some of the secrets to adapting, overcoming and even triumphing through the times when it all goes wrong, and how your congregation might not even realise that you’ve had these struggles!

As a leader, you should pastor your worship team!

Being a worship leader is not just about singing and playing.  It goes beyond choosing songs and arranging the music.

Worship Leaders Should Pastor Your Worship Team

Worship leaders need to become worship pastors, caring for and encouraging the worship team just as the pastor works to shepherd the whole church.

It is not enough to just make music.  Your team comes to practice, and they need direction and help in their music.  But they also come to practice at times with personal crises, having had financial issues, fights with their spouse, a tough day at work and might even be in sin.  It is not enough to care only for the music or the singing, because when you pastor, you should be caring for the whole individual.

Musicians and singers are, by nature, emotional.  That’s what makes them creative and awesome.  However, this comes with its own kind of baggage, and this needs the care and love of a shepherd.

And if you decide to pastor your team rather than just produce it, you can have an amazing impact on their life, and they will usually respond with incredible loyalty and respect for you as a leader.

Leading is not just creating, it is leading, and good leaders lead every aspect of their team’s lives.  It doesn’t mean you meddle and stir up things that should be left alone, but it does mean that you are available and ready to care for the people the Lord has given you to pastor.

So we thought we would do a 12-minute pod on what it actually means to pastor your worship team, and how you as the leader can care for not only the musical needs but the entire person on your team.

If you love people and love your worship team, this special podcast is for you…

Christmas carols are upon us once again, and many worship teams, possibly yours, are madly rehearsing for the Christmas festivities.

So This Year We Want to Make Christmas Carols Special Again!

When you sing Christmas Carols year and year, how can you make them special?  I mean, what can you do to change the drab, boring, run of the mill songs and transform them into something just awesome and incredible.

And while some of these carols are amazing and beautiful songs, some come across as very old fashioned and out of date, and this makes them especially hard to sing them in a way that modern audiences will respond to.

And I have to admit, as a worship leader, I actually spent many years just dreading this time of year!  I know it sounds a little “bah humbug” of me, but the thought of churning out the same old songs the same old way just about gave me nightmares!

Don’t worry, I have converted back to someone who loves this time of year, and part of that transformation came with being able to make these beautiful and majestic songs into something special again!

So, worship leaders, don’t be bored or negative about this time of year, because we are going to change not only your mind but also your heart where Christmas Carols are concerned.  We are about to show you that these songs can become a tremendous tool in enabling you to reach out to those who would otherwise never come to church.

That’s what this podcast is all about.  Giving you 5 ideas on how you can transform the humble carol into a spiritual and musical masterpiece!

Give us 12 minutes and we will throw some great suggestions your way as to how you can make Christmas special this year…

41- When is Worship Too Loud?

When is worship too loud in your church?

Is Worship Too Loud, or are People Just Too Old?

You may have heard it said that if you think it’s too loud, you’re too old.  That was probably coined back in the late 60s or early 70s, when rock music was loud and, well, rocky, but the very ones who once said that are today complaining that the music in church is too loud, even though they are partially deaf these days!

So in your church, how do you know when the sound level is overly loud, or too quiet for that matter?

It is a balancing act because if you have worship too loud, people cannot hear themselves sing and so stop singing.  However, if you have it too soft, people can hear themselves too much and they stop singing also.  We have to get this balance right, worship leaders, because the success of your worship leading is at least partially tied in with the level of the sound, like it or not!

So when is worship too loud?  Is it when the little old lady who sits in front of the speaker complains, or is it when the guy in the back row has blood flowing from his ears? Is it when you are comfortable with it, or is it when the old man with sensitive ears turns his hearing aid down?

We know that perceived loudness does not simply depend on volume, it involves equalisation, bass levels and whether the singing can be heard.  So we reveal some secrets and show you how you can have a great volume without the complaints and people leaving the room in pain!

In so many churches the question of whether you worship too loud is a hotly debated and often highly emotional issue, and that’s why we decided to do a podcast and spend 12 minutes figuring out what constitutes too loud, and what you can do about it…