Archives For Jimi Williams

The In-Between Songs

Jimi Williams —  July 10, 2014 — 14 Comments

There are stages of every Christian life: Justification (salvation), Sanctification (working out our salvation) and Glorification (heaven).

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There are big differences in starting a band and building a worship team:

A band picks members that all fit together. A worship team picks members to represent the body.
Image is really important in a band. Image is not important on a worship team.
A band is typically the same people all the time. A worship team should be different people a lot of the time.

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“That new song has such a killer melody! I love how it builds into the chorus and that bridge section really explodes!”

Songs that sing great and sound great really grab our attention. It’s how we are made. We naturally connect to catchy melodies. And depending on how we are hardwired, we might be more inclined to sing a great melody than a great lyric. Raise your hand if you’ve ever caught yourself singing along with a pop song on the radio without really thinking about what you are saying. I’m guilty!

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We all struggle at times as worship leaders, musicians and techs on the right balance between presentation and performance, humbleness and showiness, reverent yet engaging. There are a hundred words to describe the point where a worship service crosses our proverbial red line. In many ways our creativity is at war with our conscience. To aggravate things, musicians and techs are often called out as being too slick or showy – much more than teachers and preachers are – even though we implement many of the same techniques to communicate with our audiences…

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Planned or Spontaneous?

Jimi Williams —  February 13, 2014

Whenever I teach about preparing for worship at an event, I inevitably have someone raise their hand and say “I don’t like to plan too much. I’d rather be spontaneous and respond to what the Spirit is doing.” Or I’ve heard people say they won’t use tracks during worship because it limits there spontaneity.

Let’s think this through. There is nothing spiritual or unspiritual about making a plan. In fact, Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.” The Bible is filled with examples of people who made detailed plans to do something important for God. Nehemiah rebuilt the entire wall around Jerusalem. David built the first temple for God. Jesus’ plan was to endure the cross…

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I had a very wise pastor tell me once to never do ministry alone. As worship leaders we need to understand that we can lead a band every week, be surrounded by a team of people, but still operate our ministry as a “lone ranger”. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are really building a team…

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A Walk One Winter Night

Jimi Williams —  December 12, 2013

What started as a simple, late night stroll to clear his head from the hassles of the season turned into something that can only be described as…real. The new Christmas story by Al Andrews is a wonderful insight into the real story of Christmas. Beyond the shopping, the ornaments and plastic portrayals of the baby Jesus, Al uncovers the real Jesus, Joseph and Mary behind the facade.

“A Walk One Winter Night” started as an invitation from Dave Barnes for Al to share a Christmas story at Dave’s Christmas concert. There was such an overwhelming response to the story that Worthy Publishing decided to turn it into a book…

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Mercy Tree

Jimi Williams —  November 14, 2013

Telling the story of Christ’s death and resurrection is a fundamental part of worship. Yes, we worship our magnificent God and all His attributes. However, the true nature of God, His justice and mercy, is never seen more clearly than through the cross. May we never loose the wonder of the cross and grow weary of telling the wonderful story of how God became a man, died in innocence on a cross for our sins, and rose again to deliver us from the chains of death.

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Platforms

Jimi Williams —  October 31, 2013

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of talk about platforms and movements. We see it often in the entertainment business, sports and politics. It’s Hollywood stars hanging out with the “right people”. It’s associating with the “right brands”. In politics, a platform can be a public office (Congress), an organization (Rainbow Push Coalition or Tea Party), or a cause. Sometimes a family name can be a platform. Being a Kennedy will open quite a few doors regardless of whether you are a genius or intellectually challenged.

“Leveraging a platform” means using an association with a personality, movement or organization to raise one’s own public persona. Often a platform makes an individual, who is not well known, an industry leader and public figure. We’ve seen this with people like Steve Jobs (Apple) and Yahoo’s Melissa Mayer…

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A few months ago we talked about how to choose songs for your setlist. Now we have five more things to consider when planning your worship set:

THEME

Not every church gathering is going to have a theme or even a subject focus. Many pastors I’ve served under are still forming their sermons on Thursday for the coming Sunday. However, if you do have a theme, it’s powerful to plan songs with the same theme to create touch points with the sermon. For example, if the sermon is on grace, at least a couple of songs with a grace theme, like “Your Grace Is Enough”, will help connect worship to the teaching. You can search for songs by theme at www.WorshipTogether.com.

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