Worship Leader, Don’t Take Yourself too seriously

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A big lesson I’m learning is not to take myself too seriously. Nothing is ever going to come out perfect, so why work myself into a tizzy about it?

Lean on God, the Rock. He will get you through.

Laugh at yourself. I don’t mean: beat yourself up or become the brunt of every joke. Just always come prepared; but: if you mess up, laugh about it! People don’t want a perfect leader… they want a human who draws in the same air they do.

Last weekend at my church, I spent the time to make those “seamless transitions” we all drool over as worship leaders. My pianist who plays keyboard needed some more interesting parts to play, and we had no second keyboard to fill it in on pads, or electric to swell between songs and make those sticky key-transitions work.

So, I improvised! I recorded 4 measures in each song up in my office, at the beginning and end of every song, and added a “transition” track to all the beginnings and endings of songs. That way, when I clicked the midi controller for the next song, no one heard the song stop. The momentum in worship this created was gorgeous!
I was pretty worked up and excited about it.
I even faded out before the bridge our invitation song, so that by the time the ministers sat down, we had the ability to end the song when we wanted- because the backing tracks gradually faded out (we have some tracks that play through the house alongside our live band).
I told the band, “Don’t worry! We can use backing tracks this week during the invitation!” (We usually don’t due to the abrupt sound it creates ending the tracks in the house.)

THEN, as is the way in “church world”… we ran out of time to practice the invitation. But it’s all good… after all, I saved it, right? it faded out, right? The band knows it, right?

Well that last one is true. The band is awesome and nailed it. I, however…

So it gets all quiet, the preacher ends the sermon by beckonong people to come and pray. I say a word, and we sing. And sing. And sing. I don’t hear my tracks fading. Oh well, I think, it’s coming here in a sec... The ministers all sit. We finish the chorus, and instead of a fadeout… when I hit the “stop” click– to my dismay, the tracks blaze on to the first chord of the bridge of “My Heart Is Yours”. You know the one. On K-Love. With the full drive on electric guitars, plus distortion, 45 different keyboards, auxiliary tracks, bass, (B3 organ?!)… you name it. One chord: and then BAM. Silence.

I smile. Gots’ ta move on in the service. Talk about breaking an awkward silence! 

Later I laughed and told the band, “I guess I didn’t save my fade out under the proper name. We’ll try again next week.” But they didn’t look so sure!

When I heard the chorus did NOT fade, I immediately knew it was headed toward a train wreck. People noticed… but it wasn’t like they all lined up against a wall and took turns laughing and spitting at me!

You see, worship really happened that day. And although people noticed the abrupt song, they don’t remember that! They remember the worship and the sermon!

But guess what? I’m human! It happens. Someone will always need you at the last second before a service and you don’t get that final check.

No use beating yourself up about it.

Failures aren’t forever failures.

The following week, I tried the fade out again (why do I do this to myself?! I’m stubborn I guess).

And guess what? It was awesome. It was the best invitation yet– because we still had full band with backing tracks like the higher quality of the rest of the service. And I tested and saved it- under a new name so I KNEW it would work.

Fellow worship leaders… God’s grace IS new every single day for us. Don’t waste time mucking around depressed about yesterday.

Next week always comes, and there’s no way you can get worse if you practice & pray. God is on your side. You can only get better.{Tweet!}

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Dear Worship Leader, Stop Trying to Prove Yourself | David Santistevan



I’ve been chewing on these thoughts for a week now… I think all people– worship leaders, or not… need to hear this afresh today!

>>”If you move God’s heart in secret, you’ll have a greater authority when you lead in public. Spiritual authority doesn’t come from personality, talent, or hard work. It comes from someone who has known and continues to know the goodness of God.”<<

Source: Dear Worship Leader, Stop Trying to Prove Yourself | David Santistevan

Dream Big, Sustain that Joy.

I think that joy is different than happiness because happiness is circumstantial.

Joy is hard to sustain. It just plain is.

I want to encourage you today that when surrounded by negativity… don’t miss a beat. Don’t fixate on the negative you hear. Just keep personifying joy through trials. {Tweet}

Focus your efforts on who God says you are; because, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Draw Near to God, He is already Near to You

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Recently I thought I had too much on my plate. I exercised my ability to say “no”, and took my day off seriously. Looking to the future: I tossed the idea of cutting down my hours at work. I wanted to work on future details of our family, make our house a home, and visit my family back home more.

None of that was the plan, for now.

In a recent turn of events I was asked to take on more of a leadership role at the Church, with more responsibility, with pay cuts and budget cuts all across the board for our church.

So. I dropped my plans and fell on my face before Jesus. He has been my Rock. I have peace. I have joy. I am brave.

I know God will make it possible for me to plan our future as a family, cook, clean, plan visits, have people over, take care of our pets, enjoy life… all while taking on this important calling. I just need to listen to His voice.

I’m ashamed to say in these times of turmoil… they are the sweetest times of worship for me.

Why can’t I seem to be this close to my Lord during the good times?

I realized today that I find the most peace and joy in the trials– not because God has changed, but because I have. Tweet this.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you {HE IS already close by}. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8

What you Believe about you is not who you are

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“Worry is a down-payment on a problem you may never have.”

I found this article I’d like to share particularly helpful!

“A stands for: Activating Event
B stands for: Belief
C stands for: Consequent Emotion”

… what do you believe about an actual situation that came to pass? If you’re like me… you belive it’s all your fault and that everyone hates you because of it. Everyone thinks, “She’s such a failure.” That’s what these voices say! I want them to stop.

The article goes on to say that labeling irrational thoughts is one of the many steps to recovery from anxiety taking over your life. Call a spade a spade. “This is an anxiety attack.” or, “That thought is irrational. Lord, who do You see me as?”

I hope this is as helpful for you as it was for me.

http://dalepartridge.com/worry-payment-problem-may-never/ 

Clear The Stage

Just a heart cry today!

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews & all the decorations, too
Until the congregation’s few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you’re broken for your sins, you can’t be social
Then seek the lord & wait for what he has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

’cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for god to whisper
Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the word and put to test the things you’ve heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

We must not worship something that’s not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the one who deserves it

Anything I put before my God is an idol
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol
And anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol
And anything that I give all my love is an idol

’cause I can sing all I want to
Yes, I can sing all I want to
I can sing all I want to
And still get it wrong
And you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song
Worship is more than a song
Worship is more than a song

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that’s the measure you must take to crush the idols