Archives For Leadership

These are posts that give practical advice and insight into the topics that are relevant to worship leaders and musicians. We take a look into the day-to-day challenges and occurrences that many worship leaders face and offer encouragement and insight. Take a look at what we have to say about the technical side of choosing songs and instrumentation as well as defining success and building an effective team. Join in on the conversation and let us know what works best for you!

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.

Continue Reading...

I had a conversation after our service at church last Sunday about picking worship songs. It was a good talk and it made me think a bit about how we as worship leaders choose songs to sing.

I came up with the following 4 things that I think will help:

1. Lyrics must be Scripturally accurate.We can’t assume that just because we trust the writer or the publisher that the song is true. We are all prone to error or miscommunication. Also, words sometimes mean different things to different people. You as the worship leader must make sure that what you are asking your church to sing is clear and in-line with the Gospel.

Continue Reading...

As worship leaders, we often ask the question “How do we measure success?”. This question is more easily answered by a retail store or a mechanic than by a ministry leader. It can be hard to get your arms around the metrics that should be used to measure success. Is it how many people show up on Sunday morning? Is it how many people have their arms raised in worship or say “good job” when you are done?

Continue Reading...

Worship teams take on endless configurations depending on church size, stage size, vision and other considerations. If you use a full band, then you probably have a basic rhythm section of guitar, bass, keys and drums.

However, it gets more interesting when you start talking about singers. Your “singer structure” can vary, but probably falls into one of these categories:

1. “The Crowder” – In this structure the leader does all the singing except for the occasional shout out from one of the other band members. You can also chat back and forth with your band mate between songs “Letterman/Shaffer” style. If it’s a guy leader, then all the dudes sing with him and the girls have to either screech out an octave above him or make something up on the fly. This is generally considered the coolest structure.

Continue Reading...

Ending on the 4 Chord

Jimi Williams —  October 16, 2008

A really simple way to dip your toe into free worship is to end a song on the 4 chord. If you are playing in the key of G, that means ending on a C chord, or better yet a C2 chord, which is a C chord with an added D note.

Continue to strum the chord and encourage your congregation to speak out the names of God. You and your worship team may have to help get them started – “Almighty”, “Everlasting”, “Jehovah Jireh”, “Prince of Peace”, etc. You can even alternate back in forth between the 4 chord (C) to the 5 chord (D) for a little variation.

Continue Reading...

I’m constantly reminded how much the success of our worship services hinges on the small things that most people don’t notice. Unless, of course, they are not done well, then everyone notices!

Nobody thinks much about lighting until the stage goes black in the middle of a song. Very few people compliment the sound tech if the sound is perfect. And nobody thanks the lyric projection person for anticipating the next lyric so that singing is not interrupted.

I’m amazed that even at large worship events, there are problems getting the right lyric on the screen. There’s nothing more awkward than that moment where the band drops out and the worship leader exhorts everyone to sing out, but nobody knows the lyric! Instead of a powerful statement of praise, you get “waaa bbaa eeeooo”.

Continue Reading...

Those of us in ministry leadership love to call meetings. I’m convinced most of the Starbucks boom of the last 5 years was a result of ministry leaders meeting with their teams!

Leaders love to meet because they love to talk. In fact that’s usually why we meet, so we can talk and our peeps will be forced to listen to us! :) Then when we are done, we really feel like we’ve communicated though no one else spoke a word.

I’ve sat through countless meetings and led many myself. In all, there were only a handful that really warranted bringing everyone out and away from their families an extra night of the week.

Here are a few tips on planning and executing a constructive ministry meeting:

Continue Reading...

Easter Music

Jimi Williams —  February 20, 2008

The Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services are often difficult to navigate musically. Just like Christmas, there are many great old hymns of the faith that are foundational for many believers. However, many of these are difficult to translate musically into a modern sound.

Last year for Easter Sunday I tackled “Christ Arose”. Talk about a challenge! I found a pretty contemporary groove for the verses, but there was just no getting around the awkward metering on the chorus “Up from the grave He arose!”. I made several attempts to “straighten it out”, but I just couldn’t come up with anything that worked. In addition, that song is so well known within my church denomination, I was afraid they would sing it the traditional way no matter what I tried to do to it!

Continue Reading...
Page 4 of 41234