Danger- Change in Worship Ahead (tips on changing worship style)

Worship_Change_Blog

So you’ve taken that new job and you’re trying to figure out how to make some much needed transitions without causing yourself or your church unnecessary “bloodshed”.

I’ve been talking to some worship minister friends of mine who are either in this phase of ministry or about to experience it. During these conversations I’ve found myself telling the story of my very first worship mentor and decided to share it with the hopes that it can be helpful even to those of us in established ministries dealing with constantly changing worship styles.

Worship Design Team (Role #6: Worship Producer/ Curator) Part 2

Curator_Role_Blog

Like I said in Part 1, it takes a firm grasp of the big picture of creating a corporate worship service to do this role well because they then turn around and direct the other creative team members to bring their gifts and abilities together in a way that compliment each other cohesively. While the job is not to micromanage each member of the team, the curator is able to oversee the process and help facilitate communication between areas. There are two major components to this process. The first is leading up to the worship service from leading the Worship Design Team meetings as well as helping facilitate rehearsals. The second is the responsibilities that occur during the worship service. 

Worship Design Team (Role #6: The Producer/ Worship Curator) Part 1

Curator_Role_Blog

You walk into a church and from the moment you pass through the doors something just feels right. The room was comfortable, friendly and enjoyable to be in. The service started on time and you were greeted warmly, given a brief scripture to help you focus on God’s attributes and the lights dim down to where you don’t feel like everyone is looking at you. The band and vocal team lead the congregation in singing and played with passion, sincerity and excellence. The lyrics were powerful and worked together to help express awe and wonder as well as facilitating prayer and confession. The video that came right before the sermon was funny, well done and helped set up a strong message based on God’s word. After the teaching time there was an opportunity to respond in obedience to God’s truth by going to one of four stations around the room. The instructions were clear on how to respond, where to go and why you might want to do so as well as making it comfortable for everyone to participate. Afterwords, communion was set up and explained in a fresh way that reminded people of what that ancient practice means for people today. From then on, every part of the service seemed very well thought out, planned and executed. The Worship design team has done it’s job and the producer pulled it all together.

Worship Planning Team (Role #5: Video Producer/ Digital Narrator)

Media_Guy_Blog

Narrator- A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc.

Jesus was a great narrator. He told stories about a relationship between a father and his two sons, a farmer throwing seeds left and right, and the investments of 2 wise servants and one scared lazy one, and many others. Jesus used images, situations and people from everyday life that were familiar with to help communicate truth in a powerful, compelling way. Telling stories has always been one of the most effective ways to draw people in with a message that is memorable and has the potential to shape behavior and having someone on your worship planning team who can do so in video is priceless.

Planning Worship Services (beyond songs and themes)

Beyond_Songs_Themes_Blog

I was sitting in a Thai food restaurant discussing the various things that people expect out of a worship service like songs, volume, scripture readings and other things with a friend of mine when he asked the question that brought on the last couple of years of clarifying the “why and how” of worship design.

He simply asked, “what are you trying to accomplish when you’re planning worship services?” 

Worship Planning Team (Role# 4: Tech Director/The Wizard)

Tech_Director_Blog

The band comes in and their mics have been tested and work, the lyrics are in the same order as the way the vocalists sing them, stage lights go off and on at just the right time. It’s just like magic…well almost. In the wizard of oz, the great oz was just a really smart person behind a curtain pulling levers and pushing buttons to give the effect of magic.

Enter the tech director. They’re not behind a curtain but they are usually the one behind the tech booth who knows what most of the buttons, knobs, switches and sliders do and how to make them work together to look like magic. The difference is that the tech director isn’t alone. They are usually running around behind the scenes directing a whole team of people who are working technology simultaneously to accomplish one goal. That goal is to clearly facilitate a worship service so that people can experience the gospel of Jesus without distraction. They do this by supporting each other, the team on stage and running and troubleshooting technology. Make sure to not leave your tech director out of the worship planning team and process.

Worship Stage Presence (Expressive Worship Leaders)

Expressiveness_Blog

I’m not up there to put on a show. It’s just not the way I worship. I don’t want to be a distraction. God’s more concerned with my heart than whether I clap or raise my hands.

Over the years I’ve heard phrases just like this from people in worship ministry. They’re usually made in response to talking about expressiveness in worship. In this particular area of worship leadership it’s difficult to know how to approach coaching people on your team to grow in their worship stage presence. I’ve found that often peoples initial response is really not the main issue.