Every Sunday morning, worship leaders all over the world will step up to the mic

Every Sunday morning worship leaders all over the world will step up to the mic…. but will their voices be ready? Here’s a few steps a singer can do before that first song calls the people to “Come Worship The King!”

1. Avoid coffee, dairy, (do I need to mention alcohol, smoking?) or other forms of irritants to the vocal cords.

2. A hydrated voice is much more responsive so drink plenty of water the night before and again in the morning before stepping up to the mic.

3. Slowly and gently warm up the voice at least 15 minutes before stepping up to the mic. ( have a good warm-up routine)

4. Sound check is not your warm-up routine. A singer wants to be warmed up before sound check in order to sing as they do during a “performance.” This ensures your sound tech will dial you in accurately.Remember, careful preparation of the voice will give any worship leader confidence when they open their mouth to sing that first note and a voice that has been warmed up properly will be more likely to sing with vocal freedom and less likely to experience strain or other problems during and after worship sets.

Worship Leader on a Mission~ Sri Lanka and Back

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Sri Lanka isn’t a big country, about 25,332 sq mi compared to California at about 163,696 sq mi.  The population about 21,128,773 with less than 10% Christian according to Gospel For Asia.  My husband and I were guests of friends, Rob and Heidi Douglass, who live in Colombo, the Capital City.  They were gracious and made us feel very welcome and comfortable in between our jaunts into the jungle and across country .

Rob and Heidi Douglass

Rob, Heidi and little Lilah Douglass

After arriving in Colombo on March 21, and treated to some cool air and sweet fellowship we settled in and prepared for some serious ministry.  My husband, Bob, would visit the Gospel For Asia Bible College in Colombo with Dan Finfrock to teach the Inductive Bible Study Method.  I, on the other hand, was scheduled to travel to, Habarana, a small village in the jungle about 4-1/2 hours into the Sri Lanka interior, north-east of Colombo to teach at a Gospel for Asia satellite bible campus for two days.  My pre-visit impressions were a quaint little campus in a small town but I got a big surprise. (travel tip I: reset your expectations, study the culture, climate and living conditions)

I arrived in Habarana after an early start and a long, bumpy ride.  We discovered that the satellite campus was a short drive, about 1/2 mi. on a dirt road, into the jungle after which we completed the distance on foot for another 1/4 mi. (travel tip II: heels in the jungle…. NOT!)

It’s a jungle out there! Habarana is a favorite elephant safari spot for tourists.  I saw monkeys and heard wild peacocks in between all the other unusual sounds of animals and birds.  It was dense and beautiful and I couldn’t see into it more than a few feet.

We passed a communications building hidden behind a wall and a few simple dwellings along the road as we walked…. and there we were, Habarana GFA Satellite Campus.  A small compound really, which seemed to consist of two or three small brick and block buildings, tin roofs with bare windows and fabric hung in door openings for shade and privacy.

Students sat on grass mats on the rough concrete floor in the chapel which was swept clean with walls white washed all over to catch the light coming in the glass-less windows that allowed flies to stumble in and out lazily.

The main building housed the chapel/classroom and the pastors residence, consisting of what looked like two rooms.  I met the pastors wife, a young woman with a sweet, tender spirit.  She was noticeably concerned as she reported that her husband had been quite ill, unable to eat or drink.  He would be transported to a hospital later the next day. (good reports trickled in later that week)

Satellite buildings in Habarana

Satellite buildings in Habarana

satellite interior Habarana

satellite chapel interior, Habarana

I wish I could have gotten some pics of the students but my phone/camera went dead so I only got the few I’ll share here.  I  apologize for the lousy quality.

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a student with her son and my GFA translator, Tusi

more students, Habarana

Tusi in the doorway with more students, Habarana. notice the international gesture of friendship? yep, they get phone reception even in the jungle.... amazing!

Habarana was my first experience ministering in a jungle setting.  With no electricity, fans or air-conditioning, and no running water…. it was very hot and humid, which at first was a distraction, but once I got busy teaching from His Word things were as they should be.

God is so good and had been preparing me and the students long before He sent me there to share what I have learned about worshipping Him.  Around mid day we broke for a lunch of white rice, a lentil paste with a bit of egg and other simple foods.  Later in the afternoon, our hosts were gracious and served very hot, very sweet, cream tea which would have been more welcome had it been cooler weather but it was a nice treat even in the heat if the day.

These students were so genuine and hungry to hear and learn.  They recieved the Word with gladness and we shared the common bond of fellowship in spite of language and culture barriers.

two wonderful little "guitar students" I spent some time bonding with

two wonderful little "guitar students" we learned chords and spent some time bonding... precious!

An unusual thing happened on this trip.  At least it was unusual for me.  On the long drive down I had time to ponder, pray and get to know my translator, Tusi.  During one of our quiet stretches, she had fallen asleep.  I distinctly heard the Lord speak to my heart that I would be praying for someone demon possessed.  I promptly thanked the Lord for the fore-warning seeing as how I’d never been in that situation before and began to pray for His Spirit to empower me and Tusi and go before us.

I had no idea what would occur but what could I do?  Just go with it and trust my Jesus.  🙂    At the end of the first day of teaching I asked the students if any of them wanted prayer.  Tusi and I prayed for several, maybe 20, students.  It was a sweet time and I discovered that their prayer requests were much the same as those I hear in the states; “please pray for my sick mother,” Please pray for my unsaved family,” one needed healing, another needed a place to stay.  All the usual requests except for a common request to pray for restoration of families as Buddhist and Hindu parents will disown their children for becoming Christians.

Then a young man, maybe in his late teens, was brought to us by some friends or family members, I wasn’t sure which.  I found out that he was not a student at the bible college.

It was explained that “he was possessed with a demon.”  I declared to Tusi that this had been what the Spirit had foretold me.   We set our hearts to pray and all the students began praying out loud in their own language.

I wont go into detail except to note that he displayed biblical demonic possession behavior as we prayed for him.  After about 10 minutes he began to call out to the Lord and fell quiet and was delivered.  The next day he was sitting with the students studying the Word and smiling from ear to ear.  Later that day I saw him running with the other boys and so full of life.  It was glorious!

We returned to the Douglass home in Colombo and I was reunited with my husband and Dan who shared their own adventures, enjoyed a cool night in air-conditioned luxury with a new assignment ahead.

That mostly describes my first 3 days in Sri Lanka….. The balance of the trip included teaching at another GFA campus.  I praise my Lord for His mercy and grace to fulfill what He had given me to do and for glorifying Himself in my life.

Peace in Jesus Christ!

Cosima

PS  Thanks to all those who were praying for this trip.  Your prayers were felt and much appreciated.

Bob Bennett~ new songs in the future

Bob Bennett

Recently I received an email from Bob Bennett.  Bob’s been a fixture in the worship and christian music circle since I can remember.  His ability to put words down and give you “pictures” in your mind is uncanny.  With songs like Come and See,  Still Rolls the Stone and Mountain Cathedrals.  

So, like I said, I received an email from Bob.  He wrote these words,

“the first few sprinkles of creative rain have fallen in my life … perhaps the long song drought is over and I can begin walking out of this desert.  I’m cautiously optimistic about that.”

I’ve been looking forward to hearing what he’s been up to and was glad to find that he’d posted a demo of a new song he’s been working on.  He reminded me that it was only a demo, “not a final ‘anything’ about except, maybe, the structure of the song itself (music and lyrics).” 

Bob’s granted permission to post a link to the demo but he’ll be taking it down after the 15th of January so be sure to listen before it’s gone.  

I decided to include this video of Bob from a few years back…..  Enjoy!

Guest Worship Artist….

This past Sunday my husband and I were graced with the generosity of some annonymous friends and sent to a marriage retreat in La Quinta, CA.  The weather was sooo hot, 115℉, but so beautiful!  If you’ve never see the beauty of the California desert you’re missing a wonder of God’s creative touch.

As you may have guessed, since my husband is the pastor and I’m the worship leader in our little fellowship, we had to get last minute replacements.  The Lord was faithful and brought two anointed servants.  Pastor Dan Finfrock delivered the message and Bob Bennett led in worship and shared some of his original music.

Our hearts were blessed to have some precious time away and to have some great friends whom God used to cover for us while we were away.

 

Thanks Dan and Bob for your hearts to serve the Living King and His people!

Worship Leaders Speak: Brushing-up on Devotion

There are several pictures I get in my mind when I think of someone who has a devotional life.  Someone who rises early (before the sun and the kids) to pray and read from a little book that has each day prepared with a scripture reading and a commentary on the reading. (A devotional)

Someone who reads through his or her Bible every year.  Someone with stacks of Devotionals on their nightstand.  Someone who always has an open bible on his or her coffee or dining table.

The question I ask myself is, “do these descriptions define what it means to have a devotional life?”  And,  “Can we have a wrong perception of what it means to have a devotional life?”

Devotion defined: de·vo·tion   noun

  1.  deep love and commitment
  2.  great dedication and loyalty
  3.  strong enthusiasm and admiration for somebody or something
  4.  fervent religious or spiritual feeling (formal)
  5.  the act of devoting something or being devoted to a particular purpose
  6.  prayers or other religious observances, especially somebody’s private prayers or observances

 

I would like to answer a few questions in the next few paragraphs.  Questions like: What does it mean to have a devotional life?  Do all Christians have a devotional life?  Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?  How can you/I have a successful devotional life?

1.)  What does it mean to have a devotional life?  

 Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus recounts the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, 

  • All your emotions given to God
  • All your affections given to God

with all your soul, 

  • All your being
  • All your life; breath; physical being.

and with all your mind

  • All your way of thinking
  • All your understanding
  • All your intellect
  • All your imagination

2.) Do all Christians have a devotional life?

2Co 11:3*  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It is possible to believe that doing acts of devotion are in and of themselves the devotional life.  Many have gotten caught up in thinking that reading their bibles or devotionals and praying at a certain time in the day makes devoted Christians.  On the contrary, it is because we are devoted to Christ that we read our Bibles and pray.

3.) Who in Scripture exemplified someone with a devotional life?

2Ki 20:3*  “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth   (mind)  and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight (soul or being).” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

1Ch 29:3  King David   “Moreover, because I have set my affection  (heart)  on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: (being)

If we examine the lives of persons in scripture we will find either those who followed the Greatest Commandment or didn’t follow it.

Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and the patriarchs, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Joseph and his brothers, Jonah and The prophets, Job, Samson, The disciples, Judas Iscariot, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary and Martha and Lazarus, Paul and the Apostles, Titus and Timothy, James the brother of Jesus, And the list goes on and on……

In each case these were either successful in their walk with God or not.  Those that were devoted experienced a close walk with God and the peace that comes with it.  Those that struggled in their devotion were markedly either failures or just squeezed by.

4.) How can you / I have a successful devotional life?

1Ch 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

1Ti 4:13* Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

Here’s a few things that will help strengthen devotion to God.

  • Devote yourself to Know God
  • Know God’s character and attributes
  • Know God’s voice
  • By prayer and reading 
  • Devote yourself to Serve God
  • Give yourself to God
  • Keep God’s Words
  • Devote yourself to Seek God
  • Study God’s Words

By His Wounds…

In light of a number of hits to WorshipOne inquiring for information for the song By His Wounds I have included some links to help search efforts for this song.

For Guitar and Mandolin chords. This site is great as it includes a transpose option along with some other cool stuff.

Here’s a site that has guitar tabs. I’m sorry but I was unable to locate any mandolin tabs. I’ll keep looking.

Visit NewSongCafe’s watch and learn video to see and hear more about the making of this song along with some instruction.

By His Wounds
Mac Powell
Copyright: Consuming Fire Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI 4926560

What are you humming?

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I wake up every morning with a song in my head. It usually lasts all day and sometimes for several days, even weeks. I’ve had Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson going round and round for the last few weeks because we’ll be doing it for Easter Service this year. It’s a great song and musically challenging with 2 modulations.

So what’s going round in your head today? Tell me all about it!!!

~Vocal Blending Tips

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I’ve always been attracted to musicians who could really sing together, blending their voices until you couldn’t distinguish between them as they sang as one before the Lord. Musicians like Shane and Shane for instance.

Have you ever listened to a worship team and wondered who the lead vocalist was because they were all “leading” and all the singers stood out in the crowd? How about this, have you heard a team and couldn’t figure out which one was singing which part because they all sang “together” so well? Which would you rather listen to? Which one do you think represents worshippers who worship as one voice? (II Chronicles 5)

When we sing lead we use all our expression or all our tone to express the song in a way that others will “feel” the song. For back-up vocalist it’s a different story. If we are all trying to sing with our “lead voice” we’ll crash and the impression we give of the song will be lost in the personal expression of the singers doing their own thing.

Singing as one or blending is probably one of the most important aspects of singing as a group. Without blending everything just gets noisy. So how do we effectively teach our worship team to blend? What tools can we give them to start blending right away? Check out this teaching video by Paul Baloche, over at the ccli website, on Blending and learn some good techniques you can put to practice right away.

One Worship Leader’s Gear

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When I was just starting out, as a full-time worship leader, about 10 years ago, I wondered what kind of gear other worship leaders were using.  I’d go to conferences and ask lots of questions.  I’d stay after the sessions and snoop around the stage and I’d go to the local music store and try out this and that.  

Not being an experienced gear girl I was a bit overwhelmed at all the stomp boxes and other goodies out there but I did find some basic gear that suited my needs as an acoustic guitar player.  

I decided to put it down in this post for those of you who venture onto this blog looking for gear for worship leaders so here’s the scoop.  This is not a review of the gear nor is it an exhaustive description, but I hope this post will help some of you in your quest for just the right gear in your arsenal.

First of all and most important, a worship guitarist can’t be excellent for God without a tuner.  The tuner I recommend is the Boss TU-2.  This chromatic tuner is a kick and because it’s part of your gear board you can tune at any time since the Mute/Bypass is great for silent tuning.  A nice advantage when you want to tune during a set or even during a song while the rest of the band continues to play.

 

 

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Next in my string is the Line-6 DL4.  This stomp box contains 16 models based on legendary echo and delay boxes from the Maestro EP-1 Echoplex to the T.C. Electron 2290.  I use it mostly digital delay and for the loop sampler which I use for a few songs.  I just play a chord progression into the sampler and it will play back a continuous loop making it nice to “play over” a lead or another chord harmonic.   A big help when you lead alone and want to add some depth to your sound.  We’ve also used it for vocals.

 

 

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Finally, the Boss DD-6.  This Digital delay rounds out the sound so it doesn’t sound so sterile.  I usually keep it at the same setting since I’m not into a lot of effects.

 

 

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Well, that’s the basic string I use.  Nothing fancy, just enough to enhance what I do without drawing a lot of attention to my guitar.  Which works fine for me since I usually play alone.

stirred

stirlogo

While I’m waiting for my computer to upload our podcast and website I figured I’d post some thoughts about the latest “stir.”

Earlier… er, uh, I guess it would be last night, at Calvary Chapel Lake Eslinore a few worshipleaders from churches in the surrounding areas gathered to share original songs. Dave Morrow and Ryan Shultz organized the goings on and it was good to see some familiar faces there. Continue reading

A Woman After God’s Own Heart

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Zephaniah 3:14-17 “Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, He has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, ‘Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Not long after the release of Hosanna Integrity’s Shout to the Lord album. I was interviewed for a Christian magazine and asked the question, “What’s it like being a female worship leader?” “Well” (what a strange question I thought). “I have never been a male worship leader”, I replied, “so I have nothing to compare it to.” It seemed, in the interviewer’s mind, that for God to use a woman was almost too much to get his head around (and a blonde one at that)! Well, the good news is, the Bible is filled with great examples of women who, through devotion to their King, were able to bring great change and have great influence in their lifetimes. I call them worshipping women. For example:

  • Hagar in Genesis – After the Lord granted her a son, she praised God by calling Him the God who sees me!

– A Woman of Worship knows that GOD HEARS HER CRY.

  • Miriam in Exodus – She led the Israelite women in grateful worship… after God destroyed the Egyptian army.

– A Woman of Worship knows the POWER OR PRAISE AND TRUSTS THE POWER OF GOD.

  • Deborah in Judges – She and Barak sang a song of praise to the Lord after He used them to deliver Israel from the Cananites.

– A Woman of Worship is BOLD, COURAGEOUS, DILIGENT AND DETERMINED. She knows how to get a job done.

  • Mary, Mother of Jesus… CHOSEN because God knew her desire was to please the Father. In Luke, Mary praised God for remembering His people and honouring her with this high calling.

– A Woman of Worship KNOWS WHEN GOD IS SPEAKING and KNOWS HOW TO SAY YES TO THE FATHER. (Be still and know that I am God).

  • Mary – Martha’s sister – She anointed Jesus feet with costly perfume… vividly displaying COSTLY worship.

– A Woman Of Worship is NOT AFRAID OF WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF HER DEVOTION.

  • Tabitha in Acts – A Worshipper who displayed her love of God through her acts of charity and good deed.

– A Woman of Worship is GENEROUS TO THE CORE.

  • Lydia in Acts – Radical worshipper and her and her family were the first believers in Phillipi.

– A Woman of Worship knows how to be bold and BIRTH A NEW DAY FOR THE NEXT GENERATION.
 

Here are a few thoughts on what I see a woman of worship to be…

She knows how to come before her Saviour with such genuine thankfulness and enthusiasm that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are compelled to receive the song of this adoring heart.

She knows how to approach the King… with awe, reverence… and yet a pure and honest familiarity, allowing her to express the depths of praise erupting from her life.

Her extended hands invite those in her world to come and adore Him…

She has confidence in God’s promises, that her times are in His hands. She fears no evil.

She is tender… yet strong, allowing the Lord to touch and heal the dark, broken places of her heart… sharing things with God that she’d never tell another soul.

She understands grace, and stands confidently, not arrogantly, in the shadow of His wings.

She trusts in the Lord with her whole heart, knowing that a song in the night season is far greater than no song at all.

So how do you become this woman of worship? I can testify that it is a process… a journey that I’m still travelling, and the only baggage allowed on this trip is a heart that is desperate to connect with the Father.

  • Come to KNOW Him. Not just about Him. Not just in your intellect… but in your heart of hearts. Acts 2:25 “I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.” Job 19:25 “But as for me, I KNOW that my Redeemer lives, and that He will stand upon the earth at last.” True relationship with God takes time and devotion…
  • Have Faith. Worship is more than ceremony. It starts with an act of faith and a decision of your WILL. Remember, without faith… it is impossible to please God.
  • Adore Him. The essence of worship is just being in love…

Psalm 63:1-5: O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

  • Learn the art of appreciation… how to say thank you. True Praise… Psalm 34 – I will praise at all times!
  • Bring a song. Psalm 33 – Let the Godly sing with joy to the Lord. Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that LIVES – sing praises to the Lord.

So, I encourage you… allow the gift within you COMPEL you to come before the King… and let ALL that is within you, BLESS HIS HOLY name… More than music and song… all designed to carry His presence, yet a true woman of worship will allow her entire life to be an ‘I ADORE YOU’ to her Lord.
With much love, from my world to yours

Darlene Zschech 
Darlene Zschech is one of today’s premier worship songwriters and leaders. Her music has impacted the Church for over nine years, giving us songs like “Shout to the Lord” and “Jesus Lover of My Soul” as a language for intimate worship.
We would like to thank Darlene for the rights to print her article here at Worship One!