13470015975_20eb417838If you’re a musician, you want to be original.

To have your sound. To be unique. The problem with being original is that it’s a myth. We are all a product of our influences.

Those who are considered the most original are those who know how to wield seemingly incompatible influences into something unique.

We all desire this. If you’re a worship leader, you want to lead with a unique style that is honest to your personality.

If you sing, drum, play guitar, or cello, you want to discover your unique tone and style.

But how do we “find our voice”? How do we discover our uniqueness?

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identity-crisis-300x300Today’s podcast is all about being over doing. Who you are over what you do. Being a worshiper over worship leading.

You would think as worship leaders, we would naturally be a worshiper, right?

Not always the case.

God is more concerned about who we are as people than what we do as worship leaders.

This is a calendar appointment you can put on repeat. A todo you can put on your task list every day. This is a life calling that never goes out of style.

We are worship. We are worshipers. And if we miss this we miss everything.

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6563902327_80f08226a2_zI crave the real thing.

I don’t know about you, but I want the manifest presence of God in my home, life, and church – not just manufactured, emotional experiences with great songs.

Of course, I am not opposed to production. I love it. I love a creative, well-rehearsed band. I love the pursuit of ever-expanding creativity.

In the context of worship, I believe it’s important for creatives to explore how their art can help to inspire and serve and help people see more of God’s glory. I’m all about that.

But I’m also all about dialing back. I’ve had a few conversations with some leaders in the worship community who agree.

Sometimes we need to simplify to see where our heart is.

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2296855678_f348e0d954_zA few days ago, a member of my worship team asked me a question,

“Dave, what should I be working on? How can I improve as a worship leader?”

Being the seasoned, experienced worship leader that I am I started to rattle off a list of improvement tips.

I told her to become a student of other worship leaders. I told her to listen to a lot of worship music. I told her to practice behind closed doors.

All good things, right? Sure – except for the fact that I missed probably the most important discipline she could “work on”, and that is knowing the Bible.

There’s nothing that brings context to worship leading like God’s Word.

The Bible helps me lead worship like nothing else. It’s scary, but I can know all the worship songs in the world but completely miss the point if I don’t know my Bible.

Worship Leader, know your Bible.

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14753371285_b2c5c46aa5_zWhen I woke up this morning, I was anxious.

I didn’t know who I was. No, not in a scary, schizophrenic kind of way. I wasn’t at peace with who I was, my identity, and what I was called to do.

Every morning is marked by this stress, but especially Monday morning – the morning after I lead worship.

When worship goes well, Monday morning feels empty. I miss the compliments of the crowd. I miss the feeling of a job well done. I feel alone.

When worship is a train wreck (yep, it still happens sometimes), I feel like a failure. I feel like I shouldn’t be doing the things that I do. I’m a fake…a phony…I don’t have what it takes. It’s probably time for a new career.

Monday mornings. It’s quiet. And the silence is deafening to my ears.

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IMG_6040-e1364515497136Do you ever think that we over-complicate worship?

Oftentimes we can get so caught up in massive creative pursuits that I fear, sometimes, God is on the outside wondering when we’ll welcome Him in.

In this interview, I had the honor of talking with worship pioneer Don Moen about this and so much more.

Don was the Creative Director and President of Integrity Music for 20 years. A prolific songwriter and recording artist, he’s been involved with over 50 projects, 17 of them his own.

He was a major catalyst in launching the careers of Paul Baloche, Darlene Zschech, Israel Houghton, & Hillsong United.

Don’t miss this conversation!

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6174750180_d2e12d4cee_zI’m not going to beat around the bush. Let’s strike right to the heart.

The best way to counteract today’s culture of materialism, sexual immorality, and self centeredness is…worship.

There’s no better medicine for our hearts than the act of consistent gazing upon the glory of Jesus.

I know, today’s post title seems epic, dramatic even. But when you consider what is after our attention on a daily basis, I don’t believe that it is.

Life is a battleground – a war over your heart, your worship. And thousands of lovers are pining for yours. Continue Reading…

jesus-culture-stageWorship ministry isn’t just about your personal worship.

It’s not just about caring for our own hearts. Otherwise we could just stay in the congregation, right? Worship ministry is also about the hearts of the people we serve.

We have a calling and a responsibility to lead, love, and pastor people in their pursuit of God. We need to connect.

That’s what today’s podcast is all about and I’m glad you’re along for the ride.

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707859840_ceb4dd2ccc_bI was in shock the moment I saw it.

There in the spotlight – a pack of cigarettes – protruding from the front pocket of our scheduled drummer.

I wasn’t leading worship, but I stood at the back and saw this happening right before my eyes.

This guy was new, for sure. He was a little rough around the edges with his personality. He had an older style. But we could deal with that because we were in need of drummers.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I pictured myself in the hot seat with my supervisor getting reprimanded for allowing this guy to play, let alone exposing his smoking habit for the whole church to see. Continue Reading…

Kurtis-Parks-pic-001-470-wplokIf you lead worship or plan services, you’re always looking for creative ideas.

It’s one thing to look for creative ideas. It’s another to create a culture where it happens on a regular basis – empowering the creative people in your church to create and serve the vision.

That’s what I discuss with Kurtis Parks – Worship Pastor at National Community Church.

Kurtis is doing a phenomenal job leading his team to create on a regular basis, write original songs, and serve their church with unity, excellence, creativity, and authenticity.

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