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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David Crowder*Band delivered their last album Give Us Rest or (a requiem mass in c [the happiest of all keys]) in January 2012. It marked the end of the era that brought songs to the church like “O Praise Him,” “Everything Glorious,” “No One Like You,” and many more.

All This For A King: The Essential Collection from DC*B releases today and to celebrate we wanted to give you 10 free songs from Crowder. Many of these songs discuss the glory of God, which we felt was appropriate since Sunday was the beginning of the Pentecost season on the Christian calendar…

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The Story is helping people in churches everywhere experience Scripture like never before. Carefully selected verses from the Bible are organized chronologically. From Genesis to Revelation, your church members will come to understand God’s story and how their stories intersect with it.

Affordable, flexible, and easy to use, churches are using The Story not only as a powerful church-wide experience but also in individual ministries, such as small groups, Sunday School, and in youth ministry…

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Sometimes I look around at the faces walking by and am amazed that each of these chosen people has an individual, beautiful story designed by God. We were created to bring unique worship before the Lord and live out the specific calling God has for our lives. Each of us is special gift belonging to the Lord with the task of making God famous right where we are, in the moment we are in.

From birth, my story has been centered on the love of singing to Jesus. I’m sure if you spoke with my mom, she would gladly tell you the stories of me singing into the microwave with a wooden spoon. I was on TV!! Or, my personal favorite, “Singing a song of the Lord” while telling my brother to “Shut it!” God put the love of music in my heart. Singing songs and entering in to praise and worship corporately has been an effortless passion and a gift that brings an immediate calm and joy to my spirit…

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I’ve found that I have an incredible capacity to holding on to things. My husband, Michael, knows this gift well. No matter how much I try to shrug something off, it holds on, making it’s presence felt in relationships and my right upper shoulder – a problem in which the “Thumper” (one of those home back massage doohikies) has proven to be one of my most advantageous purchases. I have a hard time remembering where my phone is or what state we happen to be playing a show in, but yes, I can absolutely remember what sort of glance so and so gave me or what conversation with that friend was two years ago. Relationships are at the core of who I am; they can put me on cloud nine or run me straight into the ground. So often, I wish I were the introverted, aloof-loner that is self-sufficient and most often found hunkered down in a cabin; writing some brilliant post-apocalyptic, sci-fi novel…unconcerned about the glance or missing the last family reunion or birthday party. It seems so cool, a much more weightless life to be unconcerned…but I am.

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Love Moves Slow

Audrey Assad —  February 14, 2012

Have you ever gone for months, or even years, without hearing God’s voice? I have. And I have seen dear, faithful friends and believers, other women who desire intimacy with God, do the same. It can be incredibly frustrating, painful, and discouraging, as I know from experience.

Not even six months ago, I was pouring out my vexation about this to my spiritual director. I am twenty eight, and I have been a fully invested Christian woman for nine years, raised in a Christian home for my whole life, and I still struggle with discipline in prayer on a daily basis. I have trouble desiring to spend time with God, which looks and sounds even more ridiculous than ever as I type it out on my laptop. It feels like I don’t hear from Him as often as I used to. If you asked me to list all the things I believe about God’s goodness and faithfulness, the list would be long, indeed. I have walked through mountains and valleys with Him in the last nine years that have proven His faithfulness to me over and over again. Yet even still, I fight a gruesome, silent battle with spiritual drought…

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Our life aspirations are something we spend a lot of our lives working toward. Diligence, planning and perseverance are necessary; we can’t expect them to just show up because we “trust God will give us the desires of our hearts.” Yes, God gives us the desires of our heart – some say He literally gives them to us, as in, ‘grants us the desires we have;’ some say that He is the one who places the desires in our hearts in the first place. Whichever you believe, or if even you believe both, my opinion is that God also gives us a mind and expects us to use it.

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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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