Say Hello to the Sound Guy

Today was a great day…I was at our Manhasset campus. It worked out that one of our new volunteer worship leaders was leading and we needed someone to run audio. That was me. I got to formally introduce Chris and encourage the congregation to support him. He did an amazing job and I’m so excited to see the Lord move powerfully in him.

It was a blast to mix the band. Mixing is such an art and it was fun to try my hand. I think it turned out pretty well. It also gives me great respect for our guys and gals who serve weekly. Between mixing and recording CDs it is not an easy job!

Here’s out setlist for the week at all three campuses:

Your Grace is Enough (Maher)

Better is One Day (Redman)

Revelation Song (Riddle)

Song of Freedom (Original)

Learn to Love (Off our summer intern Christa’s forthcoming EP)

Oh Taste and See (Johnson)

I also spent a good amount of time this week editing a testimony video for the services. Here it is as well…

Check out more setlists here.

Play with Passion

I think one of the hardest things to impart to worship teams, especially volunteer teams, is how to play with passion.  So often they are concentrating so hard on playing the right chords at the right time or wondering if the worship leader will repeat the chorus (maybe even do a song not on the list??:) that playing with heart is not even on the radar. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a service and everybody’s just playing along like no one’s listening.  Not to mention trying to follow!

As a worship leader I often try to make up for this by playing with extra passion as if I can force my team to “up” the energy a bit.  This is not the way, I think.  (I tend to do this with a congregation who has the same sentiment — also not the way)

If not, then what is the way?

One practical thing is to somehow get the team to learn the music better.  You can get it to them more in advance, but the key to this is encouraging them to practice on their own.  People live such busy lives that it sometimes seems impossible.  But it’s not!  A relentless focus and lots of reminders are the key here.  You can also refine your rehearsal skills.  People have different styles, but what many teams do is not rehearsal, but just running through songs.

Running music is for after you’ve rehearsed and learned it.  Running unrehearsed music again and again is just reinforcing and solidifying the mistakes.

Another approach is to focus on the spiritual.  You can’t read the psalms of David without encountering passion and exuberance in worship.  The Scripture says David was a man after God’s own heart.  Again and again he says shout, sing, dance, clap.  It’s difficult not to have passion when you’re participating in these activities!  Read these Scriptures with the team.  Talk about them, dig into them…do them.

Before you can lead worship you must learn to worship.

Finally, another way to lead your team to more passion in their playing is to show them great examples.  Thankfully YouTube and the rest of the Web are filled with videos of wonderful worship teams and leaders.  Start your rehearsals watching a song or two and then discussing how what you just watched was different than what happens in your worship times. You don’t need to copy these examples…use them as inspiration.

What are some of the things you do to encourage your teams to play with passion?

Here are a couple of examples…

Sliver of Silver

The iPhone pic below certainly doesn’t do it justice, but the moon was beautiful tonight.  It looked just like its description in one of my favorite old lyrics by Rich Mullins:

Well, the moon was a sliver of silver

Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a carpenter’s shop

I know it’s a little over the top, but I loved it and it taught me a lot about simile…I’m a songwriting nerd, I can’t help it!!

Breaking Strings

We had one combined service at our locations today at Shelter Rock because of our annual picnic.  I was in Syosset and had a guitar string break right at the beginning of the set…something that has never happened to me! All I could think about was my options: 1. Move to the piano, 2. Borrow our second acoustic player’s guitar.  We were in the middle of the set so there wasn’t a good time to do either.  I just decided to put my guitar down and lead instrumentless.  Something I hardly ever do.  I’m not used to having my hands free so it was nice to be able to clap and lift them up but it was a weird feeling.  I kept thinking of the worship leaders I like who do not lead from an instrument and what they do :).

All in all it went well.  The team really stepped up and did a great job.  Note to self: Have another guitar available.

Here’s the set…

Opening: Nothing But the Blood (Christa Ciotti arrangement off her forthcoming album)

O Taste and See (Brian Johnson)

Hosanna (Brooke Fraser)

None But Jesus (Brooke Fraser)

Offering/Closing: By His Wounds w/Nothing but the Blood

Jimmy Costello did an awesome job with this!!

More setlists here:

Chicken Feet

I’m on my back from a family reunion in South Alabama.  It’s rainy in Atlanta so I’m delayed a little while.It was a great trip and I’m so glad I was able to come for the reunion and my grandfather’s surprise 80th birthday celebration.

One of my favorite moments was when my grandmother told me her favorite part of the chicken when she was growing up was the feet.  She said she doen’t eat them anymore because they’re too dirty.  When her Mom cleaned them she know they were clean.

She also told me how she was the worst of her brothers and sisters (10 in all) at ringing a chicken’s neck.  “It would just drop to the ground, get up, and walk off.”

Funny stories.  Precious.

Granny Spurlock