Suffering and Worship

Claire Hamilton —  August 28, 2013

A while ago, I spent some time reflecting on suffering, wondering how I could possibly contribute something useful and insightful around the topic. Suffering, grief, pain and loss are words that have become all too familiar in my own life.

As a “worship leader/facilitator” and songwriter, I have always been drawn to writing songs of intimacy which help usher us into His presence. A place of healing and restoration, where the broken get made whole and where as we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. A few years ago, I wrote a song called ‘Breathe On Me’. It was the first time I felt like I’d written something that captured my heart’s cry in the midst of painful circumstances. It was bittersweet as I’d longed to write that song for years. Finally it came to help lift my soul and give Him Praise in the middle of deep sadness and turmoil…

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This I Know by Crowder

Josh Pauley —  August 27, 2013

This I Know is a song of simplicity and “faith like a child.” The hook of the song is taken from the popular song, “Jesus Loves Me,” where we sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It is a great song to use as a reminder that God’s promises are forever and that He is always faithful. But, it’s also a song meant to remind us of the first time we whole-heartedly placed our trust in God and surrendered our lives to Him; all of the joy and peacefulness that came with that moment…

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The world of copyright and licensing can be a bit tough to navigate at times. Our friends at CCLI offer some great tools and resources. These cover a wide breadth of the intellectual property activity that occurs in the planning and execution of worship services.

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Song Starters are a brand new FREE resource from Worship Together. These concise videos are a creative way to introduce or setup a new song in your worship service. Song Starters help to communicate the context of song. The writer conveys a devotional thought to set the song up as they would to their own church community…

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A few weeks ago, we talked about resisting the temptation to immediately change everything when stepping into a new role as worship leader or worship director in our post, Put Down The Hammer. This time I wanted to expand on the idea of serving people and talk about the idea of being a pastor of people instead of programs.

Any leader in a growing church will tell you their most pressing, on-going need, is volunteer recruitment. If you are a small group pastor, you are looking for group leaders. If you are a youth pastor, you probably need youth workers and someone to drive a van. If you are a worship pastor, you are looking for musicians, singers, sound techs, lighting tech, etc…

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We had the chance to ask Aaron Shust a few questions about leading worship and life. Here’s what he had to say… What are your roles and responsibilities in your church?

I’m an elder at Crestmont Alliance Church outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I meet at least once a month with some of my dearest friends on the planet for food, fellowship, theological discussions and to address the issues at hand. It’s a wonderful time of worship and I always look forward to it. I’m a non-staff Ministry Leader of the Worship Ministry where I oversee the vision and direction of the church’s worship as it pertains to our corporate singing. I handle the scheduling of the volunteers on Planning Center and implement healthy systems for the delegation of planning and executing all aspects of the Sunday service; from rehearsal to walk-in music to congregational readings…

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Revival by Soulfire Revolution

Revival is an upbeat, high-energy song by Soulfire Revolution. They are part of a very large church, in Bogota, Colombia, that is experiencing an incredible movement of God, very similar to what is happening all over the world.

Each week, Soulfire Revolution sees at least 2,000 people commit their life to Christ! Revival speaks to this spiritual renewal that they are witnessing every week through their ministry.

We are excited to introduce you to Soulfire Revolution and the incredible songs they are writing for the church. Check out Revival, which will be a great way to start your service, as well as the other songs we have up (also available in Spanish).

Revival, hearts on fire
Holy Spirit rain down, change from the inside
Oh-a-oh, Oh-a-Oh

Listen to the audio, watch the New Song Cafe, download the Free Lead Sheet, and leave a comment on the blog to let us know what you think!

Confidence Unshaken

Sarah Hart —  August 9, 2013

Summer of 1985: I brooded, in all my teenage glory, on my front porch on Maple Street around midnight. Bonding with my Scorpions cassette, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” on constant rewind. I had less confidence than a sandwich, was moody and sullen, restless leaning toward reckless. Oozing dissatisfaction. Going through the motions of living, waiting and waiting and waiting. Thinking to myself, “God, I hate this town and I want out. I’ll get out. Nothing good ever happens in this place; why the heck did you plant me here? I want more.”

I did, eventually, leave that little town (which now, most days, I want to go back to!). I’ve been blessed to spend these 20 years now traveling, and meeting so many gifted music ministers all across the country who are doing the work of the church; which is quite hard and often impossible, thankless work. I’m inspired by the talent, the time, the selflessness that I see; the deep desire and beautiful ability to bring the hearts of worshippers to a different level with just the offering of a song. Many times, I see the joy poured out with every note. But also many times, I see the hurt on some of those musicians faces; “I am so tired. Are they even listening? My confidence is shaken. I really want more. God, please, is this it? Why did you plant me here? I want to be satisfied…”

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Don’t Become Shark Bait

Josh Pauley —  August 7, 2013

I grew up on the coast. Being so close to the ocean, I spent a lot of my time on the sandy shores of the beach. When you grow up around water and it’s all you know you are sometimes tempted to take chances that really aren’t the smartest decisions. When hurricanes were off the coast creating massive swells you’d head out to surf or bodyboard. When there was a strong under toe and they posted “No Swimming” signs, you’d still swim, because those were meant for tourists and people who didn’t grow up with the ocean as their swimming pool!
However, there was one thing you didn’t do… you didn’t become shark bait. If there were sharks spotted in the area, you didn’t get in the water. It was an easy decision and one that no one ever questioned….

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Aaron began writing Mighty Fortress two days before his youngest son was born. He had been reading through the verses that talk about fixing our eyes on Jesus and our hearts and minds on the things above. As he read he thought he wanted to write a song inspired by these verses but wanted to put a little bit of a twist on them. He wanted to write about the things that God will not do.

Two days after beginning Mighty Fortress, his son was born with Down Syndrome, a major heart defect, and profoundly deaf in one ear and severely deaf in the other. It was a devastating day for his family. Their world had been rocked…

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