#94: Spirit And Sacrament: Integrating Modern Worship With Traditional Liturgy [Podcast]

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It’s a good day when you’re in the same room with guys like Glenn Packiam & Aaron Niequist. I was honored to catch up with them at the Spirit & Sacrament conference here in Pittsburgh.

Both of these guys have backgrounds in modern worship but are also integrating traditional liturgical practices in their ministries. Just so you’re warned, this interview is short but loaded with more nuggets of wisdom than you can probably handle in one listen. Might need to return to this one a few times.

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An Honest Confrontation With Fear, Insecurity, & Doubt

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Ever wonder why you do what you do?

I have that problem often.

There’s people who are so much better than me. There are better singers. There are better musicians. There are better songwriters. There are more organized, administrative people better suited to lead a ministry. There are better leaders, better looking people, people with more experience.

I know, this is starting to sound ridiculous. I could keep going and before you know it, disqualify myself from doing anything in life. Why? Because I’m insecure. Because I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to be seen as a fake. I don’t want to be looked down upon.

If I’m honest, sometimes I just want to hide and play it safe. I don’t want to put myself out there on this blog. I don’t want to step up on stage and lead worship. I don’t want to share that song I wrote. I don’t want to cast a vision and lead my team towards the attainment of goals.

That’s a risk. It might fail. I might be responsible. I might get my heart broken.

But what’s the alternative? Doing nothing. Hiding. Playing it safe. In my opinion, that is the greatest risk of all.

If you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone.

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#93: Matt Redman On Crafting & Contending For Songs [Podcast]

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One of the biggest influences on my worship leading and songwriting is Matt Redman. It was such an honor to catch up with him on the podcast.

I don’t know anyone who is a better lyricist with worship songs than Matt Redman. Every word has feeling. Every word makes sense. Every syllable is meticulously placed.

This is definitely a songwriting episode. We discuss his songwriting habits, collaborative writing, the new album, and discuss his upbringing.

Unfortunately I was a bit sick during this interview, so you’ll hear that as well :)

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6 Tips for Leading Modern Worship In a Multi Generational Church

6 Tips for leading modern worship

If you’re a worship leader, you know the struggle.

It’s not a new struggle. As long as the church has been in existence, people have fought over music.

In the Reformation days, Martin Luther was accused of bringing secular tunes into the church.

In 1540 John Calvin stated that only the Old Testament Psalms sung in a metrical rhythm were appropriate for corporate worship. This caused quite a stir of controversy between Calvin’s followers and Luther’s.

Gregorian chants were criticized when vocal harmonies were introduced.

David & Dale Garrett were some of the first to use drums and guitars in worship back in the 1960s. You probably know the criticism that received.

Fast forward to the present day: If you lead worship in a multi generational church, you know the worship wars.

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#92: The Worship Leader’s Guide To Using Clicks, Loops, & Software In Worship [Podcast]

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Whether you’re an experienced loop user, a beginner, or you haven’t given it any thought, we all have something to learn. That’s why I wanted to talk with the master Will Doggett from MultiTracks about this world. Today’s show is an overview of using loops, clicks, & software in your worship services.

We discuss software like Ableton Live, Omnisphere, Mainstage, ProTools, and more. We talk about setting up your loops, best practices, and even a host of recommended gear.

Pull out your moleskin’s folks. It’s about to get real.

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How Do You Know If Passionate Worship Is Genuine?

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We all want to see passionate worship in our churches.

No worship leader wakes up on Sunday and thinks, “I hope I receive thousands of blank stares in worship today. I pray that no one connects with the songs today.”

No pastor wants a lifeless, disengaged, bored congregation.

But as leaders, we need to ask the hard question: how do we know if our passionate worship is really genuine? How do we know that God is pleased and glorified?

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#91: Taya Smith On Hillsong United, Empires, & The Upside Down Kingdom [Podcast]

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It’s tough to be a music lover and not know about Hillsong United. Their new album, Empires is all over the mainstream charts and causing quite a stir.

Taya Smith is one of the lead voices of United, most known for her voice on the song Oceans. We talk about Empires, her start with music, how she found her way to Hillsong, leading worship, and the upside down nature of the Kingdom of God.

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What Makes Our Gatherings Different Than The World?

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What makes the gathered church different?

Unique? What are our distinctives? From the outside, many of our modern churches don’t look too different than the nightclub down the street. What sets us apart?

It can’t be our musical quality. The world has plenty of that.

It can’t be our production. The world has plenty of that.

It can’t be how much fun we have. The world has more than enough of that.

That’s not to say quality, production, and fun is wrong or unimportant. But it’s not enough to justify church. If all we’re doing is entertaining people with amazing music, flashy production, and good times, we’re not fulfilling our mission as the church. That’s the hard truth.

The argument has been made that the church should be the most creative place on the planet. On one hand, I agree with this. We as Christians should have a massive imagination because of the God we serve. He is beyond glorious. But at the same time it’s not enough.

Is there a way to combine crazy creativity and yet still maintain who we are as the gathered church? An important question to answer.

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#90: Rockstar Worship Leaders, Why Songs Matter, & Bi Vocational Worship Ministry [Podcast]

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The tension of rockstar and pastor is real within the local church. That’s why I love Stephen Miller. He always challenges me to get to the root of what I’m doing as an artist, songwriter, and local church pastor. He’s the real deal.

In this chat we talk about his great new album Liberating King, his book Worship Leaders We Are Not Rockstars, the power of worship songs, rockstar worship leaders, and being a bi vocational worship leader.

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