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...