Welcome to the 132nd consecutive week of “Sunday Setlists”. The purpose of “Sunday Setlists” is to share a recap of your worship services. What songs did you use, what arrangements? What worked really well and what didn’t work as well as you’d like? What issues did you have preparing? What is the sermon series? How about creative elements used in the service? You don’t have to be the pastor or worship leader to participate. We would really love to get reviews from the perspective of those in our congregations each week. [Read more...]
Trent Smith shared a snippet of this on The Worship Community Forums last week and I asked him to expand it and make it into a front page article. I hope you’re as blessed by it as I am. Also, please check out Trent’s music and consider using it in your worship services.
“Thus far Thine arm has led us on,
This far we make Thy mercy known;
And while we tread this desert land,
New mercies shall new songs demand.”
–J. L. Wince
I hunched forward in the cold metal chair, face in my hands, trying to silence the sobs that shook my body. I was vaguely aware of the pastor approaching me and I struggled to form words that would express the profound loss I felt. I wondered if he could understand. [Read more...]
Joshua and I met while we were both speaking at the Forge Conference this past October, at which time he gave me a pre-release of his forthcoming CD, “My King is Coming”. However, I got so much new music at that conference that it honestly took me a few months to really give it a good listen.
Joshua is the worship pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Ontario, Canada, a 2,000 member plant of James MacDonald‘s Harvest Bible Fellowship in Illinois, as well as a top 10 finalist in the 2002 season of Canadian Idol, and a participant in the Worship Rises movement in Canada.
As a worship leader, there is much to like here: the lyrics are Biblical, the melodies are singable, and the songs would be fairly easy to interpret by any modern-rock worship band that’s cut it’s teeth on all of the popular tunes by Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, or Fee. Probably the strongest songs are this CD – which, because of the nature of Seller’s accessible songwriting are also the most corporate – are the power-ballad “Greater” and the high energy rocker, “My King is Coming”, both of which I plan to use at my church soon, however any worship pastor would do well to also check out the upbeat “Came to Save” and the timelessly beautiful “Worship Rises”.
To add to those positives, the production is near perfect, and the songs are performed with obvious passion – I can really FEEL the heart behind them. The only possible downside to MY KING IS COMING is that it sounds so much like Tomlin, Stanfill, & Fee – that’s to say, there are no creative breakthroughs here – no John Mark McMillan or Gungor moments – just well-written, accessible, corporate worship music.
Do you like well-produced collections of usable modern-rock corporate worship songs with a youthful edge? You’ll find a great deal to like here. Personally, I’m looking forward to singing “Greater” and “My King is Coming” at St. Simons Community Church, and looking forward to hearing more from Joshua in the near future. Keep them coming, bro!
(originally published at Hope Farm Music Ministries)
Thanks to Melanie Siewert, Tom Kline, Kim Castro and Barry Westman for providing their thoughts and insights after participating in The Worship Community’s online study group. We went through Dwayne Moore’s Pure Praise: A Heart-focused Bible Study On Worship together.
It’s a 9-week devotional geared towards worship leaders, worship teams, bands, musicians, pastors, and worshipers in general.
During this nine-week study, the Lord moved my heart in some powerful ways! Admittedly, I am not currently a part of a worship team. The reason why I decided to join the study is because I heard so many good things about it, and I also heard it applies to congregant worshipers. Indeed it does! The title of Pure Praise is so appropriate. Even church attendees can benefit from this study, and that’s where I got the most out of it – from that perspective. My desire is to please the Lord and one way of doing that is ensuring my praise is pure before Him! With that said, here are my 6 noteworthy take-aways from the study.
1. The Daily Praise/Daily Surrender portions were very effective to me. I was daily reminded to remain focused on my praise for the Lord (even those elements of praise I still consider uncomfortable), and encouraged to allow the Lord to reveal those deep, dark crevices in my spirit where I need to seek his forgiveness and recalibrate my thinking.
2. My spirit desires more physical worship, but my flesh likes to put up a fight. Although physical worship is very biblical (throughout all of scripture), I’m still uncomfortable with certain expressions. Clapping and raising hands are no big deal, but I still struggle with the others to varying degrees. So, I’ve opened myself up more to the Lord in this area. I’m still maturing.
3. I love the anchor story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30. There is so much worship in that one story! No wonder Dwayne Moore centered the study on that one amazing event! I’m still impressed with how much about praise and worship we can draw from 30 verses that demonstrate obedience, faith, and the glory of God!
4. About halfway through the study, Moore encouraged participants to listen to the Lord’s voice more. The Lord gave me more than I expected! I heard the Lord speak to me in ways he never has before. My life is more centered on his ways, his timing, and his authority. Glory to his name!
5. The Lord revealed to me that my “awe” of him remains somewhat superficial. There remains a degree of mysticism in my worship. I want to see more of God so that I may revere him, as I should. He is King over all the earth!
6. The mountain analogy seemed so appropriate to me. By the end of the study, I felt tired and frustrated. The very last week about finishing strong allowed me to breathe easy as I continue on my journey in a much better stride. Time will tell how the Lord uses this study through me for his kingdom.
I pray the Lord will use what I have learned, and help me apply it in a manner holy and acceptable to Him. If anyone is interested in developing a pure praise for the Lord whose love endures forever, this study is a MUST. Thank you, Dwayne Moore, for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit while writing this study. I’m truly blessed! Blessings to you and your family!
Melanie is a Christ follower, wife to a wonderful man of God, and mother of two incredible boys. She has several years experience mentoring high school worship bands, and desires to continually write music for the Lord’s church.
I have just completed Pure Praise, a Heart-Focused Bible Study on Worship by Dwayne Moore.
Below, I have listed some reasons why you should consider Pure Praise for yourself.
You will learn how much you don’t know about worship.
I have spent several years reading all the books about biblical worship that I could get my hands on. I have learned and profited more in the 9 weeks of Pure Praise than in all of the other books I have read. However much you already know about biblical worship will be enlarged and strengthened by the time invested in Pure Praise.
You will be challenged to have a deeper walk with God From Day 1, right up until the end, each day’s study challenged me to re-think a lot of my ideas about worship. It is not just about what we do on Sunday morning, but it is all about who we are when no one is looking. Each day consists of Bible-based teaching, followed by creative praise, and a time of surrender.
Do this study with others.
There will be benefit for you to do the study on your own, but you will benefit much more if you go through Pure Praise with others. A small group of us have just completed the journey together, and each day, posted what the lesson meant to us on a Pure Praise blog page here on TWC. And each of us will attest to the truth that we have benefitted greatly from reading what the others have posted. It always amazes me how God speaks to each of us in a slightly different way as we study the same thing.
This is a great study to do with your band, praise team, choir. Study individually, then meet once a week and share what you have learned. You will be amazed at how the unity and vision of your team will improve.
I have made several new friends through the online study on TWC, and we will continue to encourage one another on FaceBook for a long time to come.
Do it more than once.
If you have done Pure Praise already, consider doing it again. This was my second time through,
and I found myself being kicked in the behind nearly every day, because I had stopped doing
what I learned the first time through. Just as repetition helps us learn other important things, so revisiting Pure Praise has helped some of the vital truths I uncovered there to sink in deeper this time.
You will learn about King Jehoshaphat’s greatest moment, and what made him jump.
(Actually, scripture doesn’t say he jumped, but I bet he did!)
Tom Kline is a life-long lover of Christian music of all kinds; has served two churches as Worship Leader, is a songwriter (mostly on TWC’s Songwriter’s Forum,) watercolor artist, and grandfather of 11.
I have never experienced a Bible study that has affected me like Dwayne Moore’s Pure Praise. I believe part of the reason God directed me to The Worship Community was so that I could participate in this extraordinary event. I have learned so much-and at such a timely point in my life. I am at a place where I am just beginning to be a lead worshipper after years of being on a worship team. My goal is to bring God to people as a minister through music. This study has helped me on that path.
I thought the best way to share what I’ve learned is to go back to the heart of the study-the daily posts. These lesson reflections have helped me to understand what God wanted me to take away. Some lessons were exciting; some concepts were completely new to me, and some lessons shed light on otherwise well known ideas. Here are a few of the lessons that, for me, were life changing.
Week 4, Day 4…”Fine Tuning Our Ears”
“When I tried to concentrate on God’s voice for a full minute (!) I did okay. It helps me to put word pictures in my mind…Christ on the cross or on the throne, the ocean…I do try to have my ears tuned to him throughout the day but for really being still and listening…sometimes it takes a real sense of purpose.
I really appreciate yesterday’s lesson. Very practical. Really the first time someone has taken the time to really explain the why and how of listening to God’s voice. Imagine how much more we can do when we’re truly in his will.”
Week 5, Day 4…”The Power of the Spirit”
“Another “ah ha!” moment for me. I do tend to overlook the Holy Spirit when I’m trying to serve Him. I try to do things of my own accord. Now, looking back, especially with music, I’ve realized I’ve had the willingness, the prayer…I’ve been listening for His voice but completely neglected asking to be filled with the Spirit.
I was playing the piano earlier and going over some of my songs. I was kind of rushing, because I wanted to get through a few before we left. But I came to one and took my time and remembered to have HIM in my mind as I sang. Since this was before the lesson, I didn’t think to ask the Spirit to come into me, but from now on I’ll pray for the Spirit whenever I do ANY music. Or anyTHING! I’m so excited!”
Week 6, Day 3…”The Law of Divine Elevation”
“It’s nice to know that all of us here have struggled in some way or another with pride or frustration when it comes to serving in music ministry…it’s also nice to know that it’s God’s timing, and that we can stop the stressing and anxiousness as to WHEN things will ‘happen’ for us. ‘Such knowledge takes away the stress of feeling we have to ‘fight’ to maintain our position.’ I think this takes a lot of practice but it’s something to remember. HE’S in charge, not us.”
Week 8…”Impress, Inspire, Instruct, Influence, Illumine”
This week was an amazing week. At the heart of my goal as worship leader is to bring God into the presence of the people-to shine for Him as we worship Him.
“Lord, help me to impress people in a mighty, moving way when I lead. I pray for my church, for other leaders, also, that we may impress those who hear. May our words be yours. May our music glorify you. May we make a lasting, authentic impression…not about how we played, or sang, or ‘rocked’ onstage, but about your power and your glory. Amen.”
Again, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this study. I’m also grateful to Russ for organizing it and for Melanie, Tom, Barry, and all the others who participated. May God be with us in our personal journeys as we worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Kim Castro is a lover of Christ and family. She is a worship leader and songwriter hailing from central California. Her heart is to obey the Great Commission and to serve others as God leads.
I just finished going through a tremendous Bible study on worship entitled Pure Praise, written by Dwayne Moore. I’ve heard so much about this book from so many people that I just had to read it for myself. I saw that there was a group of people at The Worship Community, a popular website for worship leaders, who were going to go through the study together online, and I thought that would be a great opportunity to do it, so I signed up and began going through this nine-week study back in November.
One of the main reasons I wanted to go through this study was to see if it would be a good resource to use with our team here at Bethel. I wanted to go through it first, myself, before I led our team through it. Now, after completing it, I know for sure this is something I would like to do with our team. In fact, as we learned on the last day of the study “we are now required to live out what we learned and to tell what we have experienced – through praise that is more pure and more powerful.”
This 9 week study is written for worship teams to go through together, with special group discussion questions included at the end of each week’s lessons. There are five lessons each week, and each lesson included teaching on worship, a time for daily praise and surrender. The central passage that this study draws from is found in 2 Chronicles 20, and I found it amazing how much detail Dwayne was able to draw from one passage! Of course, he uses texts from the whole of Scripture to support his teaching. It was amazing to dig deep into God’s Word and see all that He has to say to worship leaders in this area of worship.
This study is perfect for people of all stages in their role as a worship leader, whether it’s for a vocalist, band member, worship tech, the worship leader or pastor. It starts with general teachings on praise, and then draws you up the mountain of learning to the peak, as you strive deeper and deeper in what it means to be a worshiper and worship leader. I have been involved with worship ministry for over 18 years, and I learned so much in this study, it was incredible! God used this study to point some things out to me that I have read so many times, but have either overlooked, or looked at in a completely new way! I was challenged daily to surrender all to Him. The week on learning how to hear God’s voice was so powerful! I also really enjoyed the week about style, and the one about how we can have the greatest impact on the congregation through our worship.
Each week was worthwhile, and I’m so looking forward to figuring out how I’m going to take our team through this study. I know I need to! Thanks, Dwayne, for such an amazing study!!
Barry serves as the Worship Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Janesville, WI.
Welcome to the 131st consecutive week of “Sunday Setlists”. The purpose of “Sunday Setlists” is to share a recap of your worship services. What songs did you use, what arrangements? What worked really well and what didn’t work as well as you’d like? What issues did you have preparing? What is the sermon series? How about creative elements used in the service? You don’t have to be the pastor or worship leader to participate. We would really love to get reviews from the perspective of those in our congregations each week. [Read more...]
*SPRING* Online Worship Leadership Course by Dwayne Moore
The Online Worship Leadership Training Course consists of 10 weekly sessions. Each session will be conducted via web/video conference.
You can also interact with Dwayne and the other class members, asking questions and giving your input. Each session will include downloadable materials and resources.
The Online Worship Leadership Training Course is designed for church leaders who help lead worship and praise, particularly staff worship leaders, music ministers, and pastors. However, worship team members and other church leaders can also benefit greatly from much of what will be taught, since many of the principles Dwayne will be addressing apply to church leaders in general.
No matter how talented an artist I am, or how much God chooses to use me creatively in the Kingdom, at the end of the day it boils down to one thing. Am I walking in Love? Recently in my own journey I have found the Father calling me to a deeper walk of Love. He’s been challenging me to make love my reflex, not just an afterthought. It is easy to talk about love but when it comes down to it, I have to be honest – it’s something the Father has to work in me. It is not my natural reaction. If you’re an artist I would venture to say you probably deal with this same challenge.
In preparation for the international re-release of Aaron Keyes‘ last CD, NOT GUILTY ANYMORE, Kingsway Records had contacted TWC to request an interview. Knowing that I’d occasionally led worship at Aaron’s church, Fred McKinnon – founder of TWC – suggested that I take this on. Aaron came into town to lead worship for SuperWow over on Jekyll Island, which is practically next door, so I snagged the opportunity, and what an interview it was! You can see Part 1 Here. Sadly, a number of technical delays led to the loss of some alternate footage, but I have the continuation of the interview right here as we discussed issues that concern us regarding the current state of “worship” and ask the question, “Are we really worshiping?” In Summary, Aaron says, “We’ve got to do more than lead songs – we’ve got to lead people.”
I’ve been waiting and working for something for a long time. I mean, a really long time. Ten years now. Door after door opens half way. Then it opens just a tiny bit more. Then it shuts. It shuts leaving me wondering, “How in the world did that happen? Why am I locked out and why isn’t anyone answering?”
I’ve begun to wonder if perhaps this particular thing that I’m waiting for just plain isn’t meant to happen, if I’m chasing after wind or possibly deceiving myself into thinking that it should happen when I’m just not up-to-par for it.
Then I hear a still small voice say, “Wait.”
Welcome to the 130th consecutive week of “Sunday Setlists”. The purpose of “Sunday Setlists” is to share a recap of your worship services. What songs did you use, what arrangements? What worked really well and what didn’t work as well as you’d like? What issues did you have preparing? What is the sermon series? How about creative elements used in the service? You don’t have to be the pastor or worship leader to participate. We would really love to get reviews from the perspective of those in our congregations each week. [Read more...]