Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 11.11.28 PMHave you ever thought – what was worship like before it was cool?

Today’s conversation is with David Garratt – veteran worship leader and songwriter who has been making records since 1968 before it was common to do so.

David paved the way for thousands of artists today and continues to inspire. It was such an honor to talk with him on the podcast.

We talk about some very interesting subjects ranging from introducing drums and guitars in worship before it was an “acceptable” practice, what makes a great song, what God was doing in the charismatic revival in the 60s, and what worship leaders are missing in their leadership.

Don’t miss it!

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“It’s not that you shouldn’t lead worship.

It’s just that your passion to lead others has overwhelmed the necessity of leading yourself.

The best worship leaders are those who are in tune with the Holy Spirit – so engaged in the Person of Christ – that they help others to be vulnerable. They lead with an honest, open heart – freeing others to surrender all.”

Microphone in spotlightWhen I first wrote that, I was preaching to myself. I felt God challenging me to step up my leadership.

I mean, how could I lead a room in worship if I was unwilling to lead myself?

Lead myself in worship – that’s something we don’t think about right?

But when your personal times with God drift to few and far between, when you’re more excited for the things of this world, and when your passion revolves around the spread of your own name and influence, something needs to change.

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3404680446_edd198c96a_zWith no label to back them up, and no massive budget to make it happen, Jordan & Kristin Rippy decided to record their first worship album.

Which is exactly why I love this story.

They didn’t wait for permission. They didn’t wait for an angelic visitation. They stepped out in faith and pursued their dream.

The end result?

A really fantastic EP of fresh, well-written, passionately delivered worship songs. Jordan & Kristin have a gift and I’m ecstatic they’re sharing it with the world.

In this podcast, we talk about the heart of the album and the step by step details of how they used Kickstarter, hired a producer, finished their songs, and saw their dream come to pass.

My hope is that this conversation would encourage you in pursuing your creative dream.

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4141633807_1b7ea6bfc9_zIf you’re a musician, you know there’s always room for improvement.

If not, you’re probably the musician no one wants to be around. Because we can all improve.

New experiences, new life lessons, new instruments, and improved technique all serve to keep our musicianship expanding.

The problem with improvement is we feel it needs to take 10,000 hours – years and years before we see much progress. Sure, having years on your side will never hurt.

But more time isn’t the answer. It’s about being intentional in a few important areas where you’ll see the largest growth.

I’m convinced that music should fascinate. If you’re not lost in the beauty, exploring the possibilities of what you can do, you’re missing the point. It’s time to get inspired.

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NIWA-recording_600If there’s anyone creating an exciting worship team culture, it’s Elevation Worship.

For the last few years, they’ve pushed themselves in a lot of creative directions and have gotten behind the vision of Pastor Steven Furtick.

I had the honor of chatting with Chris Brown, one of the main worship leaders at Elevation. We discuss all things Elevation, songwriting, working with your lead pastor, and making disciples – all things I’m super passionate about.

I know you’ll glean some insights here:

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5906683035_254381ce76_z“Wow, that worship service was amazing.”

It’s a phrase we all hear, all the time. Whether you’re leaving the arena after a Jesus Culture concert or driving to the buffet after Sunday’s worship, we’ve all said it.

But what is it, I wonder, that constitutes “incredible” worship? Because you may be reading this article and thinking, “My church’s worship is far from great. Matter of fact, it’s terrible.”

Oftentimes, our judgement of a worship service comes down to how it makes us feel. If it was charged with emotion, we like it. If the band has it together, we like it. If it’s not so loud that our ear drums hurt, we like it. If they sang “Oceans”, we like it.

That’s also what scares me about our modern worship culture. We attend concerts, idolize artists, and chase experiences because of how they make us feel.

But it can leave us discontented with the local church God has called us to and distract us from asking the most important question of all.

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hero-mobileWorship isn’t a job. It’s not a skill, a craft, or a career.

Worship is a life in pursuit of Jesus. And that’s what I talked about with Steffany Gretzinger from Bethel Music.

Steffany is an incredible artist, songwriter, and worshiper who has just released her first album, The Undoing.

What I love about Steffany is how she is completely dialed in to the heart of her music. It’s not just about the business. She loves Jesus and wants others to experience his presence.

Don’t miss our conversation!

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2743081060_60ae839a48_zCorporate worship can have its awkward moments.

  • Worship leaders can say “crap” instead of “clap”.
  • Capos might be on the wrong fret.
  • Nobody may know any of the songs
  • The worship leader “talk” might not make any sense

(Of course, none of this has happened to me).

The more I lead, the more I realize that a good leader works hard to avoid awkwardness.

That’s why they are a leader. Good worship leaders minimize distraction, focus attention on Jesus, and get out of the way when that starts to happen.

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MichaelNeale-ABOUTUS-2If you’re creative, there’s a tension you walk every day.

“How am I supposed to get all my ideas…done?” It’s challenging to balance a busy life with big dreams.

That’s why I wanted to chat with Michael Neale. Michael is a worship leader, bestselling author, award winning songwriter, speaker, and entrepreneur.

In this interview we cover a lot of ground – from being a creative in the local church to songwriting to worship leading to making your entrepreneurial vision happen. Guys, this is really valuable content.

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gungorGungor. Vicky Beeching. Mark Driscoll. David Yonggi Cho. What do all these names have in common?

Controversy.

Of course, a blogger like myself could not go silent on these issues.

When situations like this arise, we are challenged, confused, disillusioned. We often resort to bashing, freaking out, and being disgusted (or excited) when a Christian celebrity falls.

When I think of the aforementioned names, I think of children of God who followed the call of God, were used mightily by God, and are being honest with their struggle.

Mistakes have been made, power has been abused. But that’s no excuse to write people off.

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