Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday, November 1st-Union City

Yikes, with my new job and the craziness of fall...I realize I haven't posted a worship blog since summer!

This week I led in our smaller multi-site that meets in a high school cafeteria. I recruited a sweet team of two college students and a recent high-school grad to worship with me.

Mike-keys and vox
Nicki-strings and vox
Randy-aux percussion
Me- AG and vox

Here's the set..
Revelation Song (key of D)
How He Loves (Key of G)

At the Cross (key of E)
Amazing Grace-My Chains Are Gone (Key of C)

Message on Confession
You Won't Relent (Key of C#m?)

The Downside,
To say there were technical difficulties would be a huge understatement.
No sound guy till 4 minutes before the start of service...and only because my friend Wayne made a last minute call
Popping, cracking, feedback, keys accidentally turned up to the loudest possible setting, missing vocals... to name a few
Super frustrating and distracting for worship..
Also, the florescent lights in the cafeteria are terrible for a worship atmosphere

The Upside...
It was great having students involved in worship.. I'd love to do that more and more!
When there was no popping or screeching, the peeps were engaged ..
I was able to talk and play guitar at the same time better than usual..and keep my eyes out of the music stand too....
When there were not popping or screeching sounds, the people responded well to worship..

Check out what went down in other churches at Fred's site!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday, July 25 - Edinboro site

Scary day for me...
This was the first weekend I led the band with guitar in the big venue at our church...The larger crowd and more professional atmosphere really put the pressure on.

Here's the rundown..
Blessed Be (Key of A)
Better is One Day (Key of E)
You Are God Alone( Key of Ab)


I Stand Amazed/How Marvelous (Key of G)
At the Cross (Key of E)

Message on fear

Father Will You Come (Key of G)

Here's the dirty.
1. A new huge screen right behind/above me...If I didn't already feel like people were staring...
2. Hello technical problems... cracking guitar, buzzing, fading in and out...fiddle, repeat.. ugh!. thankfully this just happened on Sat. night.
3. On Saturday evening I wanted to crawl under the stage I was so disappointed/embarrassed/frustrated.
4. I feel like I'm too much in the music and it hurts my connection with the worshipers.

Here's the diggety!
1. Awesome engagement from the people on the Sun am. services.. especially the 9am. which was so surprisingly refreshing!
2. What an amazing team to work with! Gracious, talented, encouraging...
3. It's supremely satisfying to have another guitar milestone behind me.
4. For so long, I was afraid to try to learn guitar because I thought I would fail.. I 'm grateful that I finally gave God a change to work through my life this way
5. God is faithful!

This is part of the sundaysetlists blog that Fred started one year ago! Check it out here!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday, July 19th Union City and Church in a Bar

This week I took one team of four to two different multi-sites.
We had myself AG/vocals
Ryan AG/vocals
Ron/Aux. percussion
I was super glad they all agreed to both sites, it made the day much smoother than with two different teams and set-lists! Plus, we all gelled together well!

Here's the listy-list...
Sing to the King (Key of E)
You Are God Alone (Key of Ab)
Healer (Key of Bb)
Lead Me to the Cross (Key of D)
I Stand Amazed (Key of G)

In the morning we were at the UC site. That service has moved from High School Cafeteria back into the auditorium. It's a nice change..I think! Corey was there to set up and run sound, and he basically rocks. A WL friend who had not heard me play in a while commented on how far I had come on guitar, but also said I was in the music way too much and that takes away from my personality.

The crowd was small but the service went well and we were practiced up for the evening service in the city at Church in a Bar.
At CIAB the place was packed...standing room only. The peeps were singing along so loudly I couldn't hear anything out of my monitor. It was awesome! It's exciting to see what God is doing in the city and humbling to be a part of it.

This blog is part of a worship blogging community over at Fred's site...check out some other services around the globe here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Who is Grace - Sunday, July 5th

Why am I blogging my worship orders.... Fred made me do it!
Check out all the other worship order bloggers at Fred's.

After taking one week to breathe and one week to travel to Alaska, it was good to be leading worship again this weekend.
This week I was at at Brian Lusky's church filling in while he was on a European vacation.
Here's the run-down...

Hosanna- Brooke Fraser (Key of E)
Marvelous Light- Christy Nockels version (Key of G)
How He Loves- Kim Walker Version (Key of G)
Lead me to the Cross- Brooke Fraser (Key of D)
Enough- Part Barlow Girl, part Tomlin version (Key of E)

The dirty,
I came to practice straight from a conference in Pittsburgh so I didn't feel as prepared as usual.
I was asked to cut a song earlier in the week and it was re-added when I arrived so I was most def. not prepared to lead that particular song.

The diggety,
The team was three peeps I worked with last time I led at this venue, and three new peeps for me, all very talented all with a great attitude. Seriously great people!
The rehearsal and both services went off smoothly I think...
Engagement from the congregation seemed relatively high (in the second service anyhow)

By the way, this was the first time I used "Lead me to the Cross" and it will not be the last! Lovin' it! (Not sure what to think about the 'to your heart' bridge though.....)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday, June 7th- Church in a Bar

We had a team of three last night at CIAB.
Ry and I on Taylor and vox, and a new vocalist/old friend Cathi on vox as well.

Here's the run-down.

Beautiful One (Tim Hughes, key of D)
Hosanna (Brooke Frasier, key of E)
Come Thou Fount (key of E)


Healer (Mike Guglielmucci, key of Bb)..(yes, I know, I still use it)
At the Cross (HIllsong, key of E)
Your Are God Alone (Foote, key of Ab)

The Dirty:
I didn't have the chords written in for verse 2 and 3 of "Come Thou Fount." I also was not familiar enough with the words of verse two....muddle, muddle, muddle.

We seriously need to upgrade our easyworship/powerpoint slides..we need a better, more creative, and yet more controlled way of making sure what's up there adds to the message. (uggh!)

In general, I am in the music too much and need to memorize more so I can worship more freely.

The Diggety:
It was awesome sauce to lead with Ryan! Since we've been singing together for so long, the harmonies come so naturally. (hopefully the rhythms will come just as naturally soon) It was also sweet to have Cathi up on stage for the first time I've known her since middle school, so It felt like all family!

Lots of participation!

I got a lot of comments about how meaningful "At the Cross" was in worship last night. It's always great to see what songs connect most with people.

It looks like I may have a few weeks off from worship leading, since I'm heading to Alaska!! It will be refreshing to have a break and come back freshity-fresh.

Take a look at what other churches are up to at Fred's Blog!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Church in a Bar 5-31-09

Here's the rundown

Came to My Rescue (Hillsong United- Key of A)
Forever (Tomlin- Key of E)
At the Cross (Hillsong- Key of E)
I Stand Amazed (Tomlin- Key of G)


How He Loves (Kim Walker version- Key of G)
Let the Praises Ring (Brewster- Key of E)

Here's the downlow

The band was loud.
I could play guitar as loud as I wanted and noone could tell if I messed up. You can look at that as a positive and as a negative...hmm. (If I close my eyes, I can still hear the cymbals)

We had bass, drums, electric and acoustic guitar!! It's great for me to play with a full band. (It almost makes me feel like a real musician!)

People especially connected with How He Loves and I Stand Amazed. Back to an acoustic feel for next week and we'll see how it goes....

You should check out what's shakin' at other worship services here at Fred's!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday May 17th, Union City site

This week I led at our smallest multisite. This particular site meets in a high school cafeteria under bright fluorescent lighting with "Got Milk?" moustache posters peppering the walls around us. So you know..the ideal venue.

This was another milestone week for me as I led with guitar, but without another guitarist to fill in or cover my errors.(which are legion)

I had myself, a superb violinist who I just started working with, a solidly solid bass player, and a surprise alt. percussionist who was there but not on the schedule.

And the set went down like this..

I Stand Amazed/How Marvelous(Tomlin) Key of G
How He Loves (Kim Walker)I switched to G for the violin and I may like it better in G
Mighty to Save (Morgan/Fielding) Key of D


Hosanna (Brooke Frasier) Key of E
At the Cross (Hillsong) Key of E
I Will Not Forget You (Waterdeep) Key of G

The Diggety
This was an amazing service. The level of engagement was astounding, surprisingly high. It was my best experience at this site to date. I went in prepared, but I was expecting to play terribly. Also, based on my last experience at this site, I was expecting to have little response.
It was the opposite and I was seriously blown away by God's goodness.
I had prepared Nicki, the new violinist, for blank stares and folded arms. Instead she was shocked to find raised hands, loud voices, and engaged hearts.
wow. Wow! WOW!

The Dirty
All the dirty was in the evening service at another site.. but the morning was so amazing that I'm not even going to write about the evening.

This bloggishness is just a small part of sundaysetlists and you should check out some other ones. Interesting stuff!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sunday May 10th

This week I led at the church's larger venue, the old Ames department store. This is the "mother-ship" of our 3 site church.

We had a beastly awesome team this week, so much talent and so much heart.

Here's the flow

Hosanna -Brooke Frasier (Key of E )
Awesome God- Vicky Beeching (Key of E)
We Cry Out- Kim Walker version (Key of D#m)

MOF (which means moment of fellowship btw)
Baby Dedication

How He Loves- Kim Walker version (Key of F#)
Amazed- Jared Anderson (Key of D)
You Are God Alone- Billy and Cindy Foote (Key of G)

Mother's Day guest speaker

The diggety:
I spent a huge amount of time and energy thinking and praying through the set and the verbals and transitions and verses and everything.
I can honestly say I put my all into this service.
The team was amazing, and getting on well with one another, which is key!
I was prepared enough that I could truly worship, even in the first service.

The dirty:
Communication Problems- (seems a constant issue at our church)
Also, the service went super well, not a single crawl under the stage moment, but I would be lying if I didn't say I was a bit disappointed in the congregational response. It's hard to pour your everything into worship and watch pockets of people just staring with their arms crossed.
I am second guessing myself as to how to help people engage in worship. I want so much for people to connect with God through what we are doing on stage. And they are, truly, but not enough. I think God wants more from us. I think God wants more from me.

Check out some other orders over at Fred's..Seriously, check it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Missed Opportunities and Matthew West

Matthew West has a new record dropping and you can pick it up today at Amazon for only $1.99. Smokin' hot deal, by the way.

Every time I hear the name Matthew West, I think of missed opportunities. And I hear the name allot, since he has written hits for Rascal Flatts, Natalie Grant, and many other successful secular and Christian artists. Oh yeah, and he is writing hit after hit for himself these days as well.

Why does Matthew West equal missed opportunities in my mind???

Here's why..years ago I met Mr. West at Seminar in the Rockies. He was a staff writer at Word and really truly awesome and non-famous and real. (I'm relatively sure he's still awesome and real, but the famous part has changed quite a bit in the last few years.)

At that conference, one of my worship tunes made it into the final contest round where peeps like Matt listen and critique your music live.
(I spent what felt like forever trying to post that tune here.. but can't figure it out. I'm technologically please)

After the contest, I somehow got Matthew to take a listen to another one of my tunes. This one he liked better that the one that made the finals. He suggested I change the name and take the concept of the bridge and move it somehow to the chorus.
He gave me his business card from Word and said he would rewrite it with me if I wanted.

Why did I not take Matthew West up on a co-writing opportunity?
1. I was too attached to my own work.
2. I didn't have the courage to call "word" without some great ideas of how to make those changes.
3. I'm foolish.
4. I am crazy, and let great opportunities fly away.
5. Life happened and I forgot about the song and the man Matthew West.

I never re-wrote the song but years later we made a full-band recording of the tune.
It's called "Here I Stand" and you can listen to it here. or here

What a kickin' lesson in missed opportunities.. what are you missing out on due to foolishness, or busy-ness or fear?
Don't let another great opportunity pass you by..

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Custom In-ear monitors?

Some of my friends took the plunge and purchased custom molded in-ears.
Should I do it?

The ones I use at church fall out and drive me crazytown!
Plus, it's nasty to share ear foam and ear plastic.
But, it seems a bit pretentious to have my own customs and it is a lot of coin!
I would love to hear your thoughts...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bullriding and Communion

It's not every week we have a mechanical bull behind us for worship but it does always seem that some crazy obstacle comes up for our church in a bar multisite.

Our 4-piece band worked around it, and people worshiped because God is God, bull or no bull.

It was even crazier on Halloween weekend, with zombies hanging from the ceiling but I neglected to get a photo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Church in a Bar, May 3, bullfighting edition

The dirty:
Broken Bus
Malfunctioning elevator.
A mechanical bull in the middle of the stage blocking the line of sight from bass to percussion.
A busted D string (yeah, not G) strange huh?

The Diggety:
So there were some issues but seriously, an amazing night of worship

Hosanna- Brooke Fraser E
Awesome God- Beeching E
Amazed -Anderson -D

communion and smoking testimony

I Will Not Forget You-Waterdeep C
At the Cross- Hillsong- E
I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)-Tomlin- G

It was actually kind of fun to have a mechanical bull behind me during worship.
I can't say enough how awesome it is to lead worship at this venue. People who come are so ready to join together, let loose and worship with open hearts and booming voices. It is so much easier to lead here then my church's other two venues. The feel is incredible.

I got to play with an old friend tonight (Mike's not old, I've just known him forever) for the first time since making the transition from vocalist to instrumentalist. It was an honor to play with one of the people who inspired me to learn to play in the first place. He is also partly responsible for my current obsession with Taylor guitars.

I was especially nervous to play tonight, even more than usual, but it was an incredible time of worship. I did make a lot of errors, and I'm not near the guitar player I would like to be, but I don't think my playing detracted from worship at all, which is my worst fear.

Mike saved the day, by bringing along extra strings and fixing my Taylor without even blinking!
All in all we took the bull by the horns (yeah, I couldn't help it) and it was another great evening at CIAB! God is so good, it hurts.

Check out some other sets over a Fred's.. you know you want to..

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There's a new worship resource out of the UK called It's definitely something you should check out and here's why ..

1. It's free! You can download some sweet original worship tunes and high quality covers for nada!

2. It's great for new musicians! The "play along" section is a sweet learning tool for guitar, keys, drums, and bass.
For example, a new bass player can listen to a full version of "Mighty to Save", then practice with just the bass part, then play along to a track with all the instrumentation except the base.

3. Instructional videos.

4. Worship music from four different countries, and counting.

5. A song I wrote with my friend , Mike Ickes, is featured on the site for your downloading pleasure. It's called "Here I Stand" and you should take a listen.

6. Like I said, free music! That's reason enough!


Check out this new banner my designing friend Rachel whipped up for my band. I needed it for a super fun reason; a site out of the UK wanted to post one of our songs for a free download and add a banner for our band. I'll blog more about that tomorrow , but in the meantime, you can check it out here.

By the way, if you need some photography or design, you should totally check out her work!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Joe Horness Weekend

This week Joe Horness, 25 year music director of Willow Creek Church, came to guest lead at our church and to put on a seminar for us and other churches.

We affectionately refer to Willow as the "Mother Ship" because we've modeled a lot after their successes, so this was a big deal to many at our church.

Here's the order Joe selected.

God of My Days- Zach Neste (G)
I had never heard this tune before and there's a strange line in the chorus "God of my days, the king of my nights" wait seriously, "king of my nights" I had trouble worshipping to that one.

Blessed Be- Redman (A)

Let God Arise- Tomlin, Cash, and Reeves (G)
to make a point he had the everyone in the room including the stage begin the song totally still without moving a muscle. Then we started over with physical expression, it was really awesome!
Let the Praises Ring - Lincoln Brewster (D)
great congregational response

Amazing Grace-Chains Are Gone- Tomlin (F)
Violin solo after a teaching on instrumental music.. sweet-the first time I had heard an actual "teaching" in my church on that
I do not like singing the chorus in F, but my amazing friend Dawn is really even more of an alto than I am , and so I was stuck with the high notes all weekend.

Amazed - Jared Anderson (E)
This is always a good connect er in our church..but I think it's better in D. I feel like a lot of the tunes had the women straining today.

I Love You Lord- Laurie Klein (no key, acapella)

The Dirty,

Dawn and I didn't know for certain until 5 minutes before rehearsal that we would be up front on the mics. and Joe called us out for not knowing our parts in front of everyone. It was a really uncomfortable moment.

Joe prefers all up front singers and the choir singing almost all the time, kind of the older Willow style. I connect much better with more of a modern vocal sound of one lead, and one or two harmonies at certain sections of the song, not all the time. At times, it was hard for me personally to worship with all that unison and constant vocal noise, it loses a lot of the emotion and never comes down enough for me.

It was a challenge for our team to use only lead sheets, as some of them are used to chord charts only, and that led to some more awkward moments in practice.

The Diggety,

Joe is amazing at setting up a song.. the way he verbally intros draws people in so easily, it's awesome.

His teaching on instrumental music, on responding to God with our bodies, and on worship in general was incredible and just what our church needed.

The emotion Joe exudes while speaking and leading is incredible and moving.
There was a great response from the congregation!

I have some great ides and practical things to improve my leading because of this weekend and I'm very excited about that!

That was my week-Check out some other sundaysetlists posts here:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Joe Horness Numero Tres

The Stage and the Seats

Just a few thoughts this time.

Excellence, Emotion, Relevance, and Authenticity.
How do we transfer what we do on stage to the hearts and lives of the people on stage.
I will not give my life to "song times" but to helping people engage with the One true God.
Be excellent from the beginning.. don't consider the first song a throw-away.

Maintain momentum.
Don't be a performer, be a facilitator.
Be a competent artist, a leader, a pastor???
When you lead, do people want to follow you?
Teach on worship.
Ask a compelling question, tell a great story
"Sit" in worship..don't just blow through songs.
Art that generates emotion.
Tech support that enhances connection. So vitally important!
Hearts that model authenticity.

If you've never done cardboard testimonies at your church....totally do's powerful everytime I see it!! Comment if you want more info. on that.

So important for us to paint a good picture of God! Vitally important!! When we love Him more, we paint Him better.

Worship Songwriting with Brian Lusky

Why write a song that can be useful for your congregation, when there's so much worship out there?
You know what your church needs, because you are there...Tomlin is not there.
Sometimes you really wish there was a song about......"fill in blank"
It's a sign of health if people in the church are writing Biblically useful tunes.

How to write a song for worship?
There's no one way to write a song. No 1,2, 3 of writing.
We write not to express our emotions and feelings, but to serve the congregation.
Don't set out to write an epic worship tune..and be careful about self-promotion comes from the Lord..don't be pushy about your songs.
You have to see before you sing. Ask God for a revelation. Like a good British tea, let the song brew..
God can't use you publicly unless you are submitted to Him privately.l
Don't be satisfied with mediocre lyrics.

Challenge yourself.
Make time to write...It's a discipline.
Be ruthless about a throwaway lyrics!!!
Don't get too attached
Make sure you match your lyric with the feel of the song-think of the tension in "I could sing of your love forever" when it gets to Oh, I feel like dancing, noone really feels like dancing...
Be open to critizism.
More songs that describe who God is...less about I and me.

He obvioulsy has a lot more to say but time is up....awesome session!

random fun words used

Joe Horness Numero dos.

What do you want people to say about your church?

"They talked about things that mattered to me."
Make sure the message is relevant!
Know your target. are you reaching young people,
People need to feel like what you present matters to their life.

"They kept my attention the whole time!"
You want people to think, what will it be this time? use variety.
ex. have a acoustic week, occasionally add a choir, don't do the same thing every week!
Keep up with what's going on in culture.
Watch and listen for good ideas, get a team together to brainstorm.

"Those guys are good!"
Value excellence..God is worth making it good, the best possible!!!!
Prepare Carefully
Be Unified..easier said than done!
Review-Figure out what you did well and celebrate.
Figure out what you did wrong and make a plan to fix it!

"Those people are real!"
Be honest about your own struggles.
Find authentic people.

"They come through week after week!"
You have to be good each week for people to invite their friends.

We have a lot to work on...How is your church doing in these areas???

Friday, April 24, 2009

Worship Leader Dinner with Joe Horness

We had the first session of our mini-conference over dinner, and I got the chance to meet some new WL's, and to catch up with a friend I used to teach with, who is now a full time WL in a neighboring town. Sweet, sweet, sweet!

The venue was a bit 70's mobster fab. and the menu included scrod, which is just a terrible word no mater how you slice it! The session made up for everything the venue lacked and then some!
Joe is a great mixture of confident, knowledgeable, and approachable. He speaks from his heart and cries a lot when he's talking, which I happen to think is rather awesome.

Here's a few things swirling in my head after dinner...

When making an order think

"What are we trying to get across today?" and
"Where does my heart want to go from here?"
ex.. does your heart want to go from a pregnant worshipful moment right into announcements.
prob. not. Always worship through the whole thing yourself to make sure it works! Think about possible moments of disconnect and plan how to make them connecting moments!

Joe puts announcements after the entire set, so as not to break up a worship run.

Set yourself up for success with planning and prep.
PRAY! so obvious and sooo vital!
Be careful about scheduling the right people in the right combos
Don't wait and figure out on stage what you should have figured out in your office/house.
Do the prep. work! It's too important not to.

How to help people engage
1. Ask a question, then have the congregation act.
simple suggestion, but one I haven't really used much... example "what do you need most from God right now" Ask him for it.
2.Tell a story.
This I do, but he suggests writing it out which I do not.
3. Use the Word of God! When in doubt, use scripture, if you can say it with scripture, then DO!
an obvious but nevertheless important tip.
4. Don't wing it..
Confession, this is something I definitely do too often. Yep.

Really, there was a LOT more. But that's what I remember the most.. I would like to get the notes to think through it all again!

Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 19th

This week I had the chance to fill in for the illustrious Brian Lusky, my guitar teacher, friend, and amazing worship leader of Grace church.

The venue is amazing.
I am used to leading in a old department store, a school cafeteria, and a bar. This is a new multi-whatever dollar building. Amazing!

The musicians were phenomenal.
They rolled with my changes after just a little coaxing and were uber-easy to work with and extremely talented.

The people responded.
This church has a young adult crew in the front left hand side who really breathe life into the service.

Here's the dealio.

Blessed Be (key of A) (Kathryn Scott version)
probably should of went down to (G) based on the sinus infection

We Cry Out (Kim Walker) (key of Gb)
got some blank stares at the 9, but it went over amazingly at the 11

Hosanna (Brooke Fraser) (key of E)
a touch of awkwardness waiting for the band to start in the 9, fixed it for the 11!

Awesome God (Vicky Beeching) (key of E)
we transitioned seamless from one song to another...I do love a smooth transition!!

Amazed (key of D)

The pastors did a bang-up job of answering tough questions about homosexuality, creation, evolution, and literal/figurative interpretation of the Word.

I am constantly reminded lately, of what a huge privilege it is to be a worship leader; can't think of anything better really...I am blessed!

This is part of sundaysetlists! check it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Confessional

Most churches see a boost in attendance on Christmas and Easter.. our "Church in a Bar" multi-site is actually the opposite. It seems even "bar" people want to worship in a more traditional environment on a holiday. It's hard not to be disappointed in a small crowd, but God is God, and God is good no matter how big or small the crowd.

So this is what went down in our can check out what's going on in churches all over here.

Worthy is the Lamb (G with choir) Hillsong
Marvelous Light (G) Charlie Hall
My Savior Lives (B) Jon Egan Glenn Packiam
Nothing But the Blood (G) The Swift Version
At the Cross (E) Hillsong
Let the Praises Ring (E) Lincoln Brewster

There were a lot of things working against us.
less volunteers than usual
technical difficulties
drummer dropped out two days before Easter
Sick worship leader (me)

Rocky start.
We moved both mics up for the opening choir number and then I didn't have a mic to I yelled a hello and directed people to sing along with the choir...but, alas, no words on the screen. The easy worship operator could not get it figured out... (what drives me crazy here, it that she kept trying thing after thing and did not put it to a blank screen when she did, so everyone watched her every click)

During the announcements bass player fixed the computer and things were much better and better as the service went on. (Corey can fix almost anything...go Corey)

Even though I was sick, I was somehow able to sing well, and the joy born of the fact that Jesus has overcome death caused me unspeakable joy and freedom in worship despite being so sick..

The small crowd was extremely enthusiastic in worship and it's really an incredible privilege to lead worship on the day we celebrate the most important event in history.
I am beyond thankful.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5th

This week , I sang.. just sang..
It was different to not be the leader ...or play guitar...or pick the set list...or think about transitions..etc....
I did cut two of the songs the leader chose... I suppose I just can't keep totally quiet.. heheh

Here's what went down

Sing to the King (D)
Marvelous Light (G)
Made Me Glad (A)


Take My Life (A)
Holy, Holy Holy (E)

Paul did a nice job leading! Plus, it was great to have Mike on AG...on my GC7 to be specific. It made me a tad bit nervous, but he is as careful as they come. He's also my original inspiration for wanting a Taylor in the first place.
People connected and I got FB message from a new attender that she was able to worship more freely than she had in years... Awesome encouragement there!!

Check out other services at Fred's site!

Monday, March 30, 2009

City Mission Service March 29th, 2009

This Sunday, I led at the local City Mission. They have a small church service every Sunday before they serve the free meal for the day.
It's a strange experience to have people literally waiting around for you to finish so they can eat.
The earlier you get to the service, the better the spot you get in line.....

Anywho, here's what went down.
The team was Ryan and I, both on guitar and vocal.
We are not usually the tech crew, so we had a little trouble with set up, and finally trouble shot enough to determine one of the 58s was not working. Arrgh!
Instead, we used a terrible quality mic they had sitting around in a drawer. muffle, mumble, tsssss sound.. you get the picture.

Blessed Be (Redman) Key of A
I asked them to stand on this one and was looked at as if I had asked them to scale a large building in a single bound. I asked a second time and they grudgingly obliged.

Mighty to Save (Hillsong) Key of A
They quickly sat at the end of the first tune not much singing on either song.

Hosanna (Brooke Fraser) Key of E
I put this one in to give me an incentive to practice the E/G. Again, little participation, but a significant amount of clapping after.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) Tomlin Key of D
seriously, when people don't sing out on this one, I don't know what will get them involved.

Disappointing? Yeah, a little, but still a great opportunity to serve. I appreciate the work the mission does sooooo much and I'm glad to have the chance to support them in all they do!!

This blog is part of Sunday Set Lists.. Check out what churches around the world are doing!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This week we had our young adult service in a different venue, a local concert hall, called the hangout. The venue was dirty, cold, and had sound difficulties. And it was amazing! Seriously amazing! The smaller, more concert like atmosphere made it MUCH easier for people to worship freely.
The church has a cavernous feel when you smatter a hundred or less people in humungo worship area. Years ago, we used to do the service at this particular venue every week, but switched to the church because of all the challenges.
In this venue, we have to cart in equipment and chairs. We have to wade through hardcore concert waste. We have to trouble shoot countless sound snaffus. Also, we may never be able to use click or any tracking in worship.
It may still be worth it for the benefits in community building and atmosphere for worship.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Worship Confessional, Tuesday March 17th

Howdy worship world!
This post is part of Fred McKinnon's sunday set lists. You can click here to check out what's going on in worship services across the world.

This week I led again the college and young adult ministry we call TNT or the tuesday night thing.
Tonight was a small group night and the format for that is usually a short worship set, a re-cap video, announcements, and then small groups.
If you want to see one of the silly re-cap videos click here. It may make you laugh!

Here's the short worship set we did.

Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
Better Is One Day (Redman)
Amazed (Jared Anderson)

The team was stripped down to just two of us, both on vocal and guitar.
We had some misunderstanding as to key/capo issues during rehearsal , but we got everything worked out well for the service. The set went very smoothly with no glitches, and the other guitar player, Tim, played some sweet transitions between songs. It was seamless, and peeps seemed to be connecting through the worship.

This was a bit of a landmark service for me because for probably the first time, I wasn't nervous to play guitar and sing at the same time. It actually felt natural, like it was what God made me to do, and not just something I was pushing myself to accomplish. I was able to worship freely and not solely think about where my fingers were heading next.

If you are a vocalist worship leader who's thinking about learning an instrument, stop thinking, and just do it! Pick between keys and guitar and sign up for your first lesson this week. If you're anything like me, you'll be more than glad you did.

Have an amazing week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Church in a Bar

Even though we've been doing this for well over a year, church in a bar still seems a bit of an oxymoron to me. It's unusual to worship in the midst of neon beer advertisements, the wafting odor of stale sweat and wretch, and the alcohol saturated floors which grab your shoe soles and never let go. However, I firmly believe God is God, no matter where or when we choose to worship.

This week at CIAB was bittersweet for me.

The bitter
A homeless man who we have been working with was, for lack of a better term, self-destructing. This is one of the fellows we had over to mom's for Thanksgiving dinner. On that Thursday, he was on the upswing with a temporary job, a place to crash, a thankful attitude, and a lucid mind.
Last night, this same man was maniacally screaming at everyone, and at no one. His proximity and tone affected actual fear in me. As he finally left, muttering to himself on his way to his car/temporary home, I was bereft. There is sooo much pain and soooo much need and I feel overwhelmed.

The sweet
The first ever wedding at CIAB was a smashing and touching success! The way our peeps reached out to the couple was a-maze-ing!
Ryan was our worship leader last night. I have been leading worship with Ry since he was in high school and it's only on a rare occasion that I am led in worship by him and not with him. I was smacked with awe at how far God has brought him, and how far he has come in worship leading and guitar.

I know that God is good, and I'm still trying to figure out the rest....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Worship Confessional, Tuesday March10th

What up, worship world??
This week I led at the college and young adult service.

Here's what went down.

Be Still
original opener by myself and Tim Hull (you can check it out here)
it's the third song in the player

Sweetly Broken (Jeremy Riddle )


How He Loves (John Mark Mcmillan /Kim Walker version)

For All You've Done (Ruben Morgan )

How Great Is Our God (Tomlin )

We had a great drummer filling in this week, but he is not used to playing with a loop or a click track. We made it through with the loop on our original "Be Still" but we had to cut out the loop in the middle of "How He Loves" because we were a few beats ahead after the first strong chorus. Ouch....
People still connected with the song..(God is good!)
Speaking of connecting... no matter how tired I am of "How Great Is Our God" we continue to get a huge response from the congregation on that one.....amazing!

Random worship question for anyone who wants to weigh in..
Do you think it's more of a potential problem or potential benefit for the worship leader and church pastor to be married??

Check out what was going in services all around the world this week here

Monday, March 9, 2009

Worship Confessional Sunday, March 8.

Hello fellow worshippers.
I heard about this blog from my friend Brian Lusky and thought it seemed like a great way to share ideas/successes/failures. I would love to get more connected to leaders and passionate worshippers across the country and world!
So here we go.

I'm Jen Kerr, a long-time worship leader, and new guitar player at Mclane Church. We are located in Edinboro, Erie, and Union City Pennsylvania and we have about 1200 attenders each week when you add all three sites together.

I helped lead at one of my church's multisites this weekend at what we call "Church in a Bar." No alcohol is served, but the service takes place in a local popular nightclub during non-open hours.

Here's out set list for the week.

Holy is the Lord
Mighty to Save
For the Cross


How Deep the Father's Love for Us
You Are God Alone
I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)

This week was very heavy on music due to communion and lack of an actual "message"
But sometimes a testimony is more of a message than anything and this was particularly powerful. Tex talked about his past of sexual abuse, neglect, alcoholism, brutal assault and jail time. He proceeded to take the step he'd been struggling with for the past year, threw away his alcohol from the stage, and prayed to accept Christ right in the middle of the service.

Now the music end.
Overall, people seemed to really connect with the worship, and that's the goal.
You could hear lots of congregational singing and more physical expression that usual, not that I think you can judge the heart by the outside, but you know what I mean.
Also, harmonies were tight, and the violin player was especially fantastic.

Some issues(ok there were a lot)
1. There was some awkwardness that comes with two people who are both used to leading trying to work together for the first few times.
2. People tried to clap on Redman's "For the Cross" but it just wasn't working.
3. The other guitar player forgot to capo "Mighty to Save" He was going to play in G capo 2 and my chart was in A. He played in G, no capo. The other musicians adjusted after a few bars, but I can't transpose on the fly to save my life.
4. I missed the key change at the end of "How Deep the Father's Love"
5. Now it was my turn to forget a capo on "You are God Alone." I quickly started over with capo in place (other guitar player thought I should have just kept going) Not sure in retrospect which is better..

It's amazing to me that God can move so powerfully in the face of so many human errors..
I left in awe of Him but also a bit worried (well a lot worried) that my sub-par guitar playing might have been more of a detriment than an aid to worship.

If you're a random reader..I did this as part of sunday setlists. You can read about services from all over the place here.

Thanks for starting this worship community/blog and
if you don't mind..let me know if anyone reads this...