Archives For Jimi Williams

Social media has been a terrific discovery for sharing information and keeping large numbers of people up to date on current and future happenings. Christians have fully embraced the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for personal and ministry applications.

Like any other technology, social media outlets are amoral. What we choose to do with them will determine whether they bring hope or discouragement. The danger of social media is that often we are willing to post a comment or information that we would never share with someone face to face…

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If you are a worship leader, chances are there are people who have helped you get to where you are. It may have been a music instructor or another leader who gave you an opportunity. It might have been an encouraging or prophetic word spoken to you. Whoever it was, you would not be doing what you’re doing today had it not been for those people.

There are gifted young people in our churches who are waiting for someone to help them develop or give them an opportunity. Of all the things I’ve been a part of in ministry, there is nothing more rewarding than helping a young person follow his or her passion in ministry…

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I’ve played with bands since high school and have been in probably a thousand rehearsals. For most of us, band rehearsals feel like a sports practice. It’s something we have to endure to get to game time. However, rehearsals don’t have to be a dreaded event. In fact, rehearsals should be part of developing our worship community in addition to preparing for Sunday.

Here are five things I’ve learned about running a great rehearsal…

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I’ve heard the average tenure of a worship leader is 18-24 months. If this is true, then you probably just started leading at your church or you’re about to move to another ministry. As sad as this is, I’m not going to get into all the reasons for this. Instead, I want to talk a minute about setting priorities when starting a new role at a church.

Unless you are helping with a new church start, you are probably stepping in for someone else who was the former worship leader. Perhaps they left for another ministry or perhaps they were asked to step down or leave the church. Either way, by default, you are inheriting their successes and failures. You will reap the benefits of all the good things they did. And you will have to repair the damage that they left behind.

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I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between things that are sacred and things that are secular. We Christians love to put things into neat little boxes. I think this somehow gives us a sense of security and assuredness that we are living our lives correctly.

With music, art or books we try especially hard to place each person’s creative work into the appropriate category. Of course, to do this we need rules – lots of rules. Here are some examples:

-If you sing about Jesus, then you are a “Christian artist”

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As worship leaders, many times the responsibility of purchasing sound and lighting equipment with the church budget falls upon us. Church music has become a major target audience for most gear manufacturers and is a growing market while other markets are shrinking.

Churches are becoming much more tech savvy and, in some cases, worship rooms rival the best music venues in the country.

As pastors and stewards of God’s resources, it is our responsibility to make “God inspired” decisions on spending church money. The following guidance might prove helpful when you get ready to make that next A/V purchase…

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The quality of worship music has advanced tremendously in the last ten years. We have better sound, lighting, video and room acoustics than ever in history. Conferences and the internet have allowed worship leaders to get access to unlimited songs, teachings on worship and training for musicians.

But another trend has risen up along side our advancements. It seems that we’ve gotten so good and slick in our musical presentation that we (the congregation) find ourselves watching at times instead of worshipping…

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This isn’t a super hot topic in the Church today and it’s even less talked about in ministry circles. As a church leader, we are expected to “be the example” for the people. I’ve heard pastors preach, “Don’t come in here with your downcast face. That’s not the Christian life we want to present to non-believers!” So we put on the “shiny happy people” mask and do well at faking it.

But reality is that sometimes life just stinks. Things don’t always go as we plan and our Christian life isn’t always a constant spiraling up toward God. If fact, if you are a faithful follower of Jesus, YOU WILL experience times of discouragement. There is no example in the Bible of anyone who never suffered for Christ in some way. I think sometimes our unwillingness to embrace the suffering actually keeps us from precious encounters with the Father…

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Worship Band Rehearsal

Jimi Williams —  June 25, 2011

One of the most asked questions I hear from worship leaders who are just starting to lead is how to organize and facilitate worship band rehearsals. This sounds fairly simple, but it is a pretty pasture filled with land mines!

I’ve been involved in worship, either leading or as a musician, for the last 12 years and I’ve had all different experiences with rehearsals, good and bad. If you want your band to run screaming from the building, vowing to never play their instrument again, here’s my top list of surefire irritations.

1. Don’t prepare anything in advance. Nothing is more frustrating to the band than for the leader to show up with a big stack of song sheets, plop them down on floor, and ask “so what do y’all think we should sing this week?”. Part of the leadership role is to discern in advance which songs should be sung that week, pull appropriate charts (I’ll talk more about this next), and show up at rehearsal with a thought out plan. This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes, but at least everyone has a starting point…

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Clapping in Worship

Jimi Williams —  February 22, 2011

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy”. Psalm 47:1.

With as much clapping as we do in church now days you would think that clapping in worship was mandated by the Lord. Not so. In fact, there are only 2 references in the NASB for clapping during worship celebration and one of them involves rivers and not people! Psalm 47:1 (shown above) and Psalm 98:8 that says “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.”

Compare this to over 70 references for singing just in the Psalms and we begin to see how little clapping has to do with our biblical worship.

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