Category Archives: How to Start

To My Fellow String Players

To my fellow string players who might be forbidden to accompany the music in your church, I write,

“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10b

The joy of the Lord is our strength,
We need to ask “what brings God joy?”

Joy is expressed with a smile
The sound of the strings is one thing that brings Him joy

 the music of the strings makes you glad – Psalm 45:8b

So you, in particular, have a unique strength from the Lord!  I want you to harness this strength.  You can’t force your gifts onto the church, if they don’t want them.  In this case, stop casting your beautifully translucent pearls to the swine.  This strength that you have from the Lord will still manifest itself but through you in some unexpected way.  Sometimes we just need to go in a different direction.  Give this some prayerful thought, won’t you?

Worship Leader = Pastor

Worship Leader = Pastor

In my denomination, the “worship leader” is the Pastor – end of discussion, and I wholeheartedly support this.  He has given 8 years of his life to higher education, he has pursued a Masters in Divinity and he has learned the Greek and Hebrew languages.  What the rest of the Christian world refers to as a “Worship Leader”, we use the term “Musical Director” or “Musical Coordinator” or “Praise Band Leader” or some other similar term.  This just seems right with me.

So, in the traditional church that predominantly uses hymns, what are the traits of this elusive “Praise Band Leader?”  I can only tell you what traits I strive for after doing this for over a decade.

  1. I stay in the Word as much as possible by reading God’s word, devotional books and praying as often as possible.
  2. The only music that I listen to is Christian music. I keep on top of the new releases coming out of this genre and I collect lead sheets and piano arrangements.  I also make it a habit to categorize all of my music by scripture reference.
  3. I attend church and bible class regularly and am active in my membership. It is an inseparable part of my life and is woven into my daily and weekly routines.
  4. I know my congregation well. I know them better than my own fretboard and believe me that says a lot.  I know what songs they can sing and what songs they will enjoy in worship.  I use this knowledge in choosing music.
  5. I follow my Synod and read as much of their correspondence as I can. I use their APPS, I bookmark and use their websites, I listen to their podcasts and I subscribe to all of their email lists.  I strive to know their teachings and doctrines and apply these principles in choosing music.
  6. I am diligent in my work. I do my worship planning at least one month ahead of time and I submit my song choices to our Pastor so that he can review the lyrics for false teachings (and they do exist in some of today’s music) and for appropriateness for the intended Sunday.  If it’s a new song, I also include a youtube link so that he can not only hear the lyrics but the style of the song as well.  I respect his opinion and never second guess his responses.  I trust him and I learn from him.  He is responsible for our worship and has to answer to God and to his Synodical leaders if things go bad – not me.  I fully understand this.
  7. I am well prepared when I am scheduled to accompany worship. I arrive early, do a sound check and organize my arrangements.  We are well rehearsed and I know what lines I am singing, all the transitions and the song flow.  Sometimes I will express my musical creativity through my guitar playing but never in a showy manner.
  8. I turn the other cheek when someone calls a song a “7/11” song or expresses other hurtful remarks with regards to either contemporary music or traditional hymns because both are worshipful and powerful and because I want to follow Jesus’ lead.
  9. I do my best to fix my eyes on Jesus at all times.
  10. I acknowledge the presence of the Spirit inside me and rely on Him to inspire, to teach and to lead me.
  11. I am not a leader, I am a servant.
  12. I am a sinner. The above characteristics are my goals and oftentimes I fall short.

The Lyrics Reflect the Way that I Speak

When you finally get to heaven and see Jesus face-to-face will you speak in beautiful old hymn-like poetry to Him or will you simply just say in your own words something like “Jesus I am so thankful to you for giving your life for mine? I am overwhelmed and overjoyed to be in your presence and I love you with everything I am. I have been waiting my entire life for this moment” For me, I’ll use something like the latter because those are my own words. It would be equally wonderful to recite a favorite hymn verse to Him as well, it’s just not me.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, I do love hymns, but this is THE reason why I also like contemporary music. They put my praise and worship into my vernacular. The lyrics in these songs reflect the way that I speak.

Please don’t fault me for this. I am your brother in Christ and we worship side-by-side in perfect fellowship to our great God using mutually beautiful styles of music that brings a smile to our Lord’s face.

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2016

It was popular last year, so I am doing it again.  Here are my “new song” recommendations for each of your Lectionary-based worship services in the upcoming church year.  On most of the Sundays I have included a choice of songs.  I have not used all of these songs in worship and some of them were released in 2015 so please have your Pastor review all the lyrics prior to use.

Here is an excerpt of the song choices:

Contemporary Song Choices for 2015/2016 based on the Lectionary Readings
Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Nov 29
Advent 1
Overflow Matt Maher 1 Th 3:12
Lift High Steve Fee Lk 21:28
Dec 6
Advent 2
One Small Child David Mecce Mal 3:1-6
Every Promise Keith Getty Php 1:6
Give Us Clean Hands Charlie Hall Ps 24:3-6
Dec 13
Advent 3
Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan Zeph 3:17
Rescuer Johnny Parks Zeph 3:17
Whole World in His Hands Tim Hughes Zeph 3:17
East to West Mark Hall Php 4:6-7
Dec 20
Advent 4
My Soul Magnifies the Lord Chris Tomlin Luke 1:46-51
Dec 24
Christmas Eve
We Have a Savior Reuben Morgan Isa 9:6
Emmanuel (Hallowed manger Ground) Chris Tomlin Lk 2:6-7
He Shall Reign Forevermore Chris Tomlin Isa 9:6-7
Joy has Dawned Keith Getty Lk 2:1-20
Glory in the Highest Chris Tomlin Lk 2:13-14
Dec 25
Christmas Day
Glorious Day Mark Hall Jn 1:1-2
Uncreated One Chris Tomlin Jn 1:1-4
Dec 27
Christmas 1
Offering (Christmas Version) Paul Baloche
Jan 3
Christmas 2
Abba Father Steve Fry Gal 4:6
Rise and Sing Steve Fee Lk 1:68
Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble? Martin Smith Ps 148:7
Beautiful Savior Stuart Townend Col 1:13-14
Uncreated One Chris Tomlin Col 1:15-17
The Heart of Worship Matt Redman Col 1:17-18

You can download the entire file for free here:

Steadfast Believers

Steadfast Believers
by Steve Brown and Mike Westendorf

A few weeks back, Mike posted an article on FaceBook from a Pastor who was quitting the praise band for a variety of reasons. This article was ultimately met with a rebuttal from another Pastor who won’t be quitting the praise band anytime soon for a different bunch of reasons. In between these posts was a plethora of worship gold voiced by believers.

The following excerpts from the FaceBook comments show a fraction of the beautiful faith that exists within our fellowship as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in and among us.


“We make a big mistake when we try to limit the Holy Spirit to our way of thinking.” – PB

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

“Just because it’s contemporary doesn’t make it bad, shallow, or irreverent.” – SB

Psalm 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.

“In reality, everything we humans bring before God in worship is a filthy rag and only made pleasing by the blood of Jesus!” – SB

Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 

“I leave those services (contemporary worship) humming many of those songs all week.” – SA

Jeremiah 15:16 When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.

“I believe the Holy Spirit worked in my heart through this (contemporary) music to strengthen my faith, it has completely changed me!” – PE

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

“If you disqualify all Christian radio, you are doing what the devil wants you to do. He wins!” – PE

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

“In the last ten years… the way I worship Jesus has changed. I don’t just worship Him on Sunday or for ten minutes a day. I try to worship Him in everything I do. That includes the type of music I listen to and sing and play.” – DRS

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

“I believe that the Lord has given us this music (contemporary) to reach those people who may not be able to connect with traditional four part harmonies and hymns.” – DRS

“Music is a method of communication and we need to be able to speak everyone’s language. If it’s an organ for you, great, but what about an electric guitar roaring like the mighty power of God?” – SA

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law though I myself am not under the law, so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law, so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.

“I would still rather listen to a Contemporary Christian radio station singing about Jesus even it’s not perfect then a pop station that plays music about stuff that goes against everything I believe.” – DRS

“But for God, worship is a matter of the heart not a matter of form.” – SB

Ephesians 5:19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.

“We should have services that you can bring a friend to that’s never gone to church and they should feel comfortable and be able to connect with the service. Musically speaking a language that they’re familiar with helps a lot.” – SA

“It was contemporary Christian music that the Holy Spirit used to bring me to faith, and gave me the desire to go to church in the first place.” – SB

“I guess I would say… a feeling of fullness with the Holy Spirit.” – RP

Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


Steve’s Conclusions: So you might be wondering, why do these people, that place a value on contemporary Christian music; worship in a traditional, liturgical, confessional and hymn-loving setting? The answer is quite simple. We are in agreement with the doctrines and biblical interpretations of this denomination. This is where God wants us to be. We are one body and we commune with one another in unity. Our fellowship is defined by our biblical beliefs based on the absolute inerrancy of scripture. The Gospel is the glue that binds us together and we realize that musical style should not even make the list of fellowship discriminators.

In essence, these responses do show that contemporary music connects on a heart-felt level with some people in the same way that hymns do with other people and this involvement of our hearts is crucial for our worship. The big issue is that there needs to be a Christian relationship based on love that understands and accepts the need for these stylistic differences because the adherence to scripture and doctrine can be maintained, and in the end our objective is to share God’s words in whatever methods that works best.

Yes, we differ in things like musical taste in the same way as we do in our choice of clothes, but this is just part of being the diverse body of Christ that God intended us to be. In the end, we may not be steadfast Lutherans, but more importantly, our hope is to be steadfast but humble believers and followers of Christ.

Simply stated, “Christ’s Love is Our Calling!”

Mike’s Conclusions: As I read the comments of the two viewpoints from the original pastoral blog posts and the responses that we see from many people, it continues to reinforce the idea of effective “communication” and “language” within our worship settings. A simple way to define worship in our settings is that “God comes to us (word and sacrament) and His people respond to Him (praise) and one another about Him (proclamation)”. Another thought about worship is that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Regardless of what your worship preference is, “the mountaintop”, the best ever worship experiences will always include all four of these elements. Lastly is the idea that communication is much more than the words we say, but it also is the way we say them as well as what people see when words are said and what the overall “environment” says within the context of those words.

When I read these comments and the scripture passages that Steve beautifully related, it continues to reinforce the notion that people receive the communication of God’s Word and the stories of His faithfulness differently. When they respond to God, they long to have the words and melodies that allow them to praise and proclaim Christ that involves the heart, soul, mind and strength. We want to communicate back to God and back to others about our God who has been faithful to us and to me personally.

Because we are varied people, we speak different languages in worship and certain styles and environments of singing, songwriting, and yes – even listening, engage people differently in worship. If we truly desire that people hear God as He comes to us with the fullness of the Gospel message, and if we truly desire and hope that people can and joyfully respond to God through praise and proclamation, then we must realize the beauty that contemporary worship can offer, especially when it is birthed out of the biblical understanding of Jesus that we joyfully preach in the Confessional Lutheran church with songs that have a powerful effect similar to the way as traditional hymns do.

God paints in beautiful colors, I love it when our worship includes the languages, environments and communication styles of traditional, blended, contemporary and modern worship settings married to our understanding of the true Gospel message.


1 Corinthians 12:15-20 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2014/2015

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2014/2015

It was popular last year, so I am doing it again. Here are my “new song” recommendations for each of your Lectionary-based worship services in the upcoming church year. On many of the Sundays I have included a choice of songs.

Email me at sjbrown58 “at” yahoo “dot” com if you would like a copy of this file.

Contemporary Song Choices for 2014/2015 based on the Lectionary Readings
Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Nov 30 Advent 1 Since the World Began Mac Powell Isa 64:1-9
Dec 7 Advent 2 A Baby Will Come Bill Wolf Isa 40:3-5
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Mark 1:1
Dec 14 Advent 3 Our God Saves Paul Baloche Isa 61:3
How Can I Keep from Singing? Chris Tomlin 1Thess 5:18
The Way Jeremy Camp Jn 1:5-7
Dec 21 Advent 4 Born That We May Have Life Chris Tomlin Luke 1:26-38
Dec 24 Christmas Eve We Have a Savior Reuben Morgan Isa 9:6
Emmanuel (Hallowed manger Ground) Chris Tomlin Lk 2:6-7
Dec 25 Christmas Day Glorious Day Mark Hall Jn 1:1-2
Dec 28 Christmas 1 Name Above All Names Tim Hughes Isa 45:22-24
God of Justice Tim Hughes Col3:12
Build Your Kingdom Here Rend Collective Col 3:14-16
Jan 4 Christmas 2 I Will Sing of My Redeemer Chad Cates Eph 1:1-7
Sing and Shout Matt Redman Eph 1:1-8
Let Our God be Praised Michael Farren Eph 1:3
You Alone Can Rescue Matt Redman Eph 1:4
Salvation’s Song Stuart Townend Eph 1:13
It is You Peter Furler Eph 1:7-8
Jan 6 Epiphany Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan Isa 60:1-3
Children of God Mac Powell Eph 3:6
One Small Child David Mecce Mt 2:1-12
Jan 11 The Baptism of our Lord Like a Lion David Bashta Acts 16:25-26
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Mk 1:1
Jan 18 Epiphany 2 Word of God Speak Bart Millard 1 Sam 3:9
They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love Peter Scholtes 1 Cor 6:17
Jan 25 Epiphany 3 Go Fish Micahel Schmid Mk 1:17-18
Feb 1 Epiphany 4 You are Able Christy Nockles Dan 3:17
Lord I Need You Matt Maher 1 Cor 1:30
Redemption Song Marc Byrd 1 Cor 1:30
Feb 8 Epiphany 5 10,000 Reasons Matt Redman Ps 103:1-5
Feb 15 Transfiguration Farewell to Alleluia To the tune of “Ode to Joy”
Open the Eyes of My Heart Paul Baloche
Feb 18 Ash Wed The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 2 Cor 5:20-21
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin 2 Cor 5:21
Feb 22 Lent 1 Counting on Your Name Tim Hughes Rom 8:31-39
Across the Lands Getty & Townend Rom 8:34
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Rom 8:35-39
Whom Shall I Fear Chris Tomlin Rom 8:38
Mar 1 Lent 2 Awesome in This Place Dave Billington Gen 28:17
Amazing Love (You Are My King) Billy Foote Rom 5:8
Grace Like Rain Todd Agnew Rom 5:8
Sweetly Broken Jeremy Riddle Rom 5:8-11
White Flag Chris Tomlin Mk 8:34
Give Me Jesus
  1. Ortega & Jeremy Camp
Mk 8:36-37
Mar 8 Lent 3 The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 1 Cor 1:23
Mar 15 Lent 4 All Because of Jesus Steve Fee Eph 2:4-5
And Can it Be? Bob Kauflin Eph 2:4-7
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty & Townend Eph 2:4-9
Grace Alone Scott Wesley Brown Eph 2:5-9
Wonderful Maker Chris Tomlin John 3:16
This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham Jn 3:16
Jesus Saves Jeremy Camp Jn 3:16-17
Light has Come Matt Maher Jn 3:19
Mar 22 Lent 5 Be Glorified Chris Tomlin Jn 12:23
Be Lifted High Chris Tomlin Jn 12:32-36
Mar 29 Palm Sunday Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Php 2:1-11
Like an Avalanche Joel Houston Php 2:1-16
Lamb of God Twila Paris Php 2:6-11
Hosanna Brooke Fraser Mk 11:9
Hosanna (Praise is Rising) Paul Baloche Mk 11:9-10
Apr 2 Maundy Thursday Make Us One Twila Paris 1 Cor 10:16,17
Apr 3 Good Friday Lead Me to the Cross Brooke Fraser Heb 4:15
Lord, I Need You Matt Maher Heb 4:16
Nothing but the Blood Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Apr 5 Easter (Dawn) First Song of Isaiah Jack Nobel White Isa 12:2-6
In Christ Alone Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:51-57
Across the Lands Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:54-55
Mighty to Save Reuben Morgan 1 Cor 15:54-55
Christ is Risen Matt Maher 1 Cor 15:55 & Jn 20
Let God Arise Chris Tomlin 1 Cor 15:55
Resurrection Hymn Getty & Townend 1 Cor 15:57
Apr 5 Easter This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham 1 Cor 15:20-23
All Because of Jesus Steve Fee 1 Cor 15:22
Apr 12 Easter 2 Arise Paul Baloche Acts 3:19
Like a Lion Michael Bashta 1 Jn 5:4-5
Apr 19 Easter 3 In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Acts 4:11-12
Your Name Paul Baloche Acts 4:12
Nothing but the Blood Matt Redman 1 Jn 1:7 & 2:1
Apr 26 Easter 4 You Are so Good to Me Ben Pasley Acts 4:31
Because of Your Love Paul Baloche 1 Jn 3:1
Lost in Wonder Martin Layzell 1 Jn 3:1
Children of God Mac Powell 1 Jn 3:1-2
How Great is the Love? Paul Baloche 1 Jn 3:1-5
May 3 Easter 5 I Need You More Marc James Jn 15:5
May 10 Easter 6 The Highest and Greatest Tim Hughes 1 Jn 4:4
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin 1 Jn 4:10
May 14 Ascension Jesus Saves Tim Hughes Acts 1:8
Jesus Saves Jeremy Camp Acts 1:8
Glorious Paul Baloche Acts 1:10
Glorious Day Mark Hall Acts 1:11
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United Eph 1:18
Open the Eye of My Heart Lord Paul Baloche Eph 1:18-21
Overcome Jon Egan Eph 1:20
May 17 Easter 7 Alive and Running Kristian Stanfill 1 Jn 4:14
My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness Getty & Townend 1 Jn 4:18
You Never Let Go Matt Redman 1 Jn 4:18
Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin 1 Jn 4:19
The Power of Your Name Paul Baloche Jn 17:11
The Name of Jesus Chris Tomlin Jn 17:11
May 24 Pentecost Awake My Soul Chris Tomlin Ez 37:4-10, Acts 2:1-3
Holy Spirit Rain Down Russell Fragar John 14:26
May 31 Holy Trinity I See the Lord Chris Falson Isa 6:1-3
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty Matt Maher Isa 6:1-8
Our Great God Fernando Ortega Isa 6:2-6
Wonderful, Merciful, Savior Dawn Rodgers Rom 8:14-16
June 7 Pentecost 2 The Way Jeremy Camp 2 Cor 4:6
June 14 Pentecost 3 Overflow Matt Maher 2 Cor 4:15
June 21 Pentecost 4 By Faith Keith Getty 2 Cor 5:7
June 28 Pentecost 5 Cannons Phil Wickham Job 38:4-7
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United 2 Cor 5:15, 20-21
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin 2 Cor 5:21
East to West Mark Hall 2 Cor 5:21
Holding Nothing Back Tim Hughes 2 Cor 5:17
July 5 Pentecost 6 Whole World in His Hands Tim Hughes Lam 3:21-24
I Lift My Hands Chris Tomlin Lam 3:21-24
Faithful Chris Tomlin Lam 3:23
The Lord Our God Kristian Stanfill Lam 3:23
In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Lam 3:23-25
July 12 Pentecost 7 Your Grace is Enough Matt Maher 2 Cor 12:9
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman 2 Cor 12:9
His Strength is Perfect Steven Curtis Chapman 2 Cor 12:9-10
July 19 Pentecost 8 I Will Sing of My Redeemer Chad Cates Eph 1:1-7
Sing and Shout Matt Redman Eph 1:1-8
Let Our God be Praised Michael Farren Eph 1:3
You Alone Can Rescue Matt Redman Eph 1:4
Salvation’s Song Stuart Townend Eph 1:13
It is You Peter Furler Eph 1:7-8
July 26 Pentecost 9 Through the Cross Ben Cantelon Eph 2:15-17
Aug 2 Pentecost 10 They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love Peter Scholtes Eph 4:2-4
May the Words of My Mouth Tim Hughes Eph 4:15
Oceans – Where Feet May Fail Joel Houston Eph 4:14-16
Aug 9 Pentecost 11 Take My Life Scott Underwood Eph 4:23-25
Breathe Marie Barnett John 6:35
Aug 16 Pentecost 12 People Need the Lord Greg Nelson Eph 4:35
Savior of the World Ben Cantelon Eph 4:39-42
Miracle Maker Martin Smith Eph 5:1-15
Come Just as You Are Joseph Sabolick Jn 6:47
Aug 23 Pentecost 13 Holy Spirit Keith Getty Eph 5:18
Aug 30 Pentecost 14 Rescue Jared Andersen Jn 6:68
Rescuer Jn 6:68
Son of God Ed Cash Jn 6:69
Sept 6 Pentecost 15 O Church Arise Getty & Townend Eph 6:10-18
Sept 13 Pentecost 16 O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing David Crowder Isa 35:4-6
Everything, God in My Living Tim Hughes James 1:17
Everything Chris Tomlin James 1:17
Overflow Matt Maher James 1:17
Friend of God Michael Gungor James 2:23
Sept 20 Pentecost 17 Word of God Speak Bart Millard Isa 50:4
White Flag Chris Tomlin Mk 8:34
Sept 27 Pentecost 18 Yesterday, Today and Forever Viccky Beeching James 3:17
The Servant Song Richard Gillard Mk 9:35
Let the Children Come Michael Card Mk 9:37
Oct 4 Pentecost 19 Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer Keith Getty James 4:8
Oct 11 Pentecost 20 Come and See Lenny LeBlanc Heb 2:9
Worthy is the Lamb Jeff Nelson Heb 2:9
Let the Children Come Michael Card Mk 10:13-16
Oct 18 Pentecost 21 I Stand for You Jon Ellis Mk 10:21
By Faith Keith Getty Mk 10:27
Oct 25 Pentecost 22 In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Isa 53:10-11
Purify My Heart Jeff Nelson Isa 53:11-12
Once Again Matt Redman Isa 53:11-12
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty & Townend Isa 53:12
Our Great God Fernando Ortega Isa 53:12
Thy Word Amy Grant Heb 4:12
Before the Throne of God Vikki Cook Heb 4:14016
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Mk 10:45
Nov 1 Reformation Salt and Light Jon L’Ecuyer Jer 18:6
O Church Arise Getty & Townend
Nov 8 Last Judgment Here’s My Heart Chris Tomlin Mal 4:2
The Wonder of the Cross Vicky Beeching Heb 9:28
Glorious Day Mark Hall Heb 9:28
Nov 15 Saint’s Triumphant How Can I Keep from Singing? Chris Tomlin
Nov 22 Christ the King O Worship the King Chris Tomlin Dan 7:9-22
And Can it Be? Bob Kauflin Rev 1:4-6
Amazing Love (You are My King) Billy Foote Rev 1:5
The Scandal of Grace Hillsong United Rev 1:5
Behold the Lamb Keith Getty Rev 1:5
Glory to God Forever Steve Fee Rev 1:6
Nov 26 Thanksgiving My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness Keith Getty
Enough Chris Tomlin Php 4:19
All We Need Charlie Hall Php 4:19



We meet no ordinary people in our lives. – CS Lewis

I am a worship leader and I grew up in my church! Most worship leaders (musicians in today’s vernacular) do come from within the church. Unlike pastors, staff ministers and youth pastors, many worship leaders have attended their church for years, sometimes decades, before serving on the staff.

For me, this is good because:

1. I know my congregation and they know me. They are comfortable with me. They often volunteer to help sing or play an instrument with the band. They are the very people who have helped me to get to where I am in life. They have provided me with opportunity, strength, stability, friendship and endurance.

2. They know me from attending worship, bible class and fellowship events. They know my track record of faithfulness.

3. I know the history and personality of the church. I know it’s vision. I know the people. I know the culture. I know the community. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I know the church’s doctrines.

4. I know what musical styles the congregation is comfortable with.

God had a hand in placing me with these people and joining us into a friendship and fellowship of believers.

Four things a man must learn to do If he would make his life more true:
To think without confusion clearly,
To love his fellow-man sincerely,
To act from honest motives purely,
To trust in God and Heaven securely
– Henry Van Dyke

Introducing Contemporary Music

Introducing Contemporary Music

Is your congregation ready for contemporary music in worship?

Not all are. Just look around and note the ages of the people seated in the pews. And let’s just get this out on the table – some church leaders are dead set against it. This is sad but it’s not your battle to fight.  Pray for your Pastor and your leaders.

A few more thoughts….

1. Have a plan before you start.  Answer these questions in your own mind first:

  • Why is this newer music needed?

For more information:

  • How will the congregation benefit?

For more information:

  • How will the worship life of the church be affected?

For more information:

2. Pray for help, blessings and guidance.

3. Share the vision for the new music with the congregation as well as its biblical basis.

For more information:

4. Focus on an ADDITION to the current worship versus elimination.

5. Train members how to sing contemporary music. Consider involving the teen and youth groups if possible. Start off with simple tunes.  Start by having the band offer the songs as pre-service selections and during the offering for several months before asking the congregation to sing.

For more information:

6. Ease into the change slowly; perhaps with one service per month, or even one song per month.

For more information:

7. Learn from the introduction. Ask your worship team these questions:

What worked well?

What could have been done better?

Where there any issues?

8. Ask for congregational feedback.