Category Archives: Worship team

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.

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October 20, 2012 · 11:02 PM

Has practice become our worship?

When our worship team comes together to prepare songs for a service is our heart far from God? Do the words of the songs have meaning or are they just sounds and notes that must be perfected for the hearers? Is the song list prepared with prayer? Are the musicians playing to God or just trying to get it right?

Worship practice can be a very stressful time for the worship team and often the worst of us is exposed as we work at the timing, progressions, vocals etc. of new and old songs alike. We often find ourselves frustrated with ourselves and with one another wondering if we really belong on the team and if God’s calling is really upon us.

I truly believe the problem is that our worship is out of focus. That we are no longer worshiping but are caught up in practicing which results in performance. Being concerned with the art above the heart.

Has worship become our practice?

Our daily lives are an expression of our faith toward God. The closer we are to Him the more our faith is expressed in our service causing our faith to be strengthened, developing a life of worship. This life of worship is extended into everything we do including our ministry. If we are walking a life of worship then our art is an extension of our heart and we find that the music has meaning whether it is new and we haven’t perfected it in our minds or we’ve played it a hundred times. Our practice time has become more meaningful as we focus on our Lord and off the perfecting of the music.

This does not mean that we do not try our best, on the contrary, we find that we apply all our skill and try even harder but the striving has been removed as self is laid aside and God is in full view of the worshiper. Worship has become a practice, our lifestyle, our conversation, our mind set, our heart.

When we find ourselves stressed during rehearsal it’s time to check our hearts and take a moment to focus on the object of our worship, God the Father, setting our hearts on Him and off the art. In so doing our worship will be in Spirit and in truth making a place for God’s Holy Spirit to inhabit our praises whereby He will be glorified beyond our expectations. Jn. 4:19-24 Ps. 22:3

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Filed under Lead Worship, Worship Leaders Speak, Worship team

Things I learned from a Honda Civic commercial Part 2: Team Work


Be sure to watch the rest of the videos of the making of the Honda Civic Choir TV and see why I learned so much.  After arriving at the Honda Commercial site click the “watch” option and  you’re on your way.

Today I want to look at Teamwork. Teamwork can be defined as the cooperative effort of a team of people for a common end. It implies that each person on the team is doing their part to fulfill the purpose or task given them to do. (Eph. 4:6)

As I watched the videos I considered that there were many parts to the choir. Guy parts, girl parts, and parts within the parts.. (parts are parts) Then, there are the parts of directors, writers, orchestra musicians and parts within the orchestra and so on. Everyone doing their part well made the outcome something that sold others on the idea that driving a Honda Civic would be an exhilarating experience. Didn’t you want to go for a ride?

To lead others into worship takes teamwork. Another definition of teamwork is; joint action by a group of people, in which individual interests are subordinated to group unity and efficiency; coordinated effort.

I cant tell you how many times I hear of musicians and vocalists who have temper tantrums because they don’t get what they want when it comes to being on a team. They don’t want to work together. Their interests have nothing to do with leading people into the presence of God. Their interest lies in serving their own egos. (Phil. 2:4)

I had someone say to me once, “When do I get to sing the songs I want to sing?” Another time a bass player moaned about not getting to “play it his way” and guitarists complaining about “not getting used.” Sound familiar?

Finally, every team needs a leader. Without someone pointing the way how will the team know where to go? (1 Chronicles 16:4-6)

Lesson learned today: Know what part you play on the team and be excellent at it. Lay down your individual interests and seek unity.

 

View other posts of the “Things I learned from a Honda Civic Commercial.

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Things I learned from a Honda Civic commercial Part 1:Ducks in a Row

This is the first a several posts I hope to write over the next few weeks on Worship Team Leadership and Team-Work. I was inspired by the following videos. Be sure to watch all four of the videos of The Making of the Honda Civic Choir TV Ad and see why I learned so much.

I hope you enjoy the videos and that you, too, will glean some good worship team building tools for your ministry.

To watch all three videos of The Making of the Honda Civic tv ad  visit this site and click the “watch” option.

Leading a choir or worship team can be as simple or complex as we choose. The final product usually reflects which. We get out what we put in.

While watching the Honda Civic Choir prepare for the TV ad I was challenged and reminded about many things. The first was being organized or “having my ducks in a row.”

Having a plan and preparation makes things so much easier, don’t you think? After all, our perfect example, The Almighty Creator, had a plan from before there was time, didn’t He? (Matthew 25:34) So we would be wise to follow His example.

Before we introduce a new song to our teams and choirs, before we have our first meeting for the “Big Holiday Production,” before we practice or rehearse we should prepare.

The Honda Choir didn’t just come together like the Big Bang Theory. Someone had a vision and communicated it to a team of folks who would help him fulfill that vision. You can see how the planning team hashed out what they wanted and each one understood the direction and expectations for the final outcome.

So, my first lesson taught me to go back and rethink how I prepare before events, services and practices. Make sure I’ve thought through all aspects and have communicated with my pastor and staff involved when needed. Get my plan on paper or do my homework, be sure everything is ready for the team or choir so they can do their part to fulfill the plan. That means making sure the music is ready, (one of my weak areas), in the right key for each musician, etc.. I love the Planning Center because it helps me in these areas.

There you have my first thoughts… until my next post, blessings!

View all Honda Civic TV Ad Posts

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Filed under Creative Worship, Honda commercial, Music Education, Videos, Vocal Tips, Worship Education, Worship Leaders Speak, Worship team

~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.

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If You Tune It They Will Stay!

Quite a few years ago, more then 10, I attended a Calvary Chapel Regional Worship Conference in Vista, California.  Maybe I saw you there.  🙂  I don’t have much recollection of that conference.  I usually leave a conference encouraged and refocused but only remember one or two specifics. There was one thing I remember from that year, the T-shirts.  Doesn’t sound very spiritual, I know but, I was thinking about them again today while rearranging my desk and clearing it of all the Christmas stuff I had collected for our concert.

I don’t know why it crossed my mind as it wandered here and there.  But that T-shirt, graphic and all, was clear as day.  The front of it read, “If you preach it they will come.”  The back…, “If you tune it they will stay.”

Ok, I know that this is far from the truth and, quite frankly, at the time it offended me for the Word’s sake.  It may offend you as well and I don’t want you to think that I agree with the semantics of it.  But, I do agree that a worship team that plays and sings in tune can help keep someone in the pews better than the team that doesn’t. Ministry excellence can make all the difference. Hence, this post.

This is one area I emphasize more than any other with our worship servants.  If we are out of tune (off pitch) in any way it gets corrected quickly ~ immediately, if it occurs during a practice session.  Your worship team may have problems with being in tune.  A voice or a guitar or wind instrument… don’t let it slip.  They will learn to hear the difference and will improve their ear and just be better at what they do and how they sound.  If you want a great sounding worship team, this is a good place to start. Mind you, being in tune won’t make great vocalists or instrumentalist but it will make better ones for sure and that’s a beginning, a good foundation.

 

I’ve included a video here to encourage you further…….  May God bless your service to Him.  

 

 

For instruction in guitar visit Guitartips.com

For instruction in voice visit SingingSuccess.com

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Filed under Guitar Tips, integrity, Videos, Vocal Tips, Worship Leaders Speak, Worship team