An In-Depth Guide To Running Sound For Church

Doug Gould published a really useful guide to running church audio:

If faith comes by hearing, shouldn’t our church sound systems be a priority? Many churches invest heavily in audio and media systems, and others, unfortunately, do not. Whether you’re a small, mid-size, or mega-church, church sound systems that will allow the Word and the music to be heard with detail at the appropriate level for your congregation, based on the style, culture, and make-up of your church, should be one of your highest priorities. This comprehensive guide to mixing and doing sound for worship in church will be the only guide you’ll need and the perfect training manual for your new or even mid-level sound-tech.

Seriously, print this one out and keep it near the mixing console. Read the guide here.

When To Let It Die

If you know your congregation well and listen to the Spirit, you’ll pick the right songs most of the time. Most of the time. But every now and then, every worship leader tries a new song only to have it fail spectacularly.

Kade Young on knowing when to cut a song from the rotation:

I do my best to be led by the Holy Spirit when selecting songs for my congregation, but there have been many times that my personal preference has gotten in the way. I sincerely thought my song selection was spirit-led, but soon found out that it was just something I enjoyed listening to.

Maybe you have been there? You know, that time when you were so excited to introduce the new song to your congregation…and then it fell flat. They all just stared at you with a confused look.

He explains how long it takes, in general, to know if a song is going over well with your congregation. Check it out here.

What Worship Is And Isn’t

A post at Songregate tackles three things that worship isn’t – and three things that it is:

This week we’re officially diving into some content and I felt like with this being a new venture, why not start from the bottom and work our way up? Today and for the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about worship as a lifestyle. I’ll be the first to say it, I am not in any way an intellectual kingpin about what worship is, however, I can base my knowledge on what I know worship is not.

Looking forward to more of this series from Songregate. Read the post here.

From A Team To A Family

Jed Smith on making the jump from worship team to community to family:

You probably already know it’s important for a worship team to feel like family. Church is a big extended family. A worship team is like an immediate family.

The rewards of a team that feels like family is both extraordinary and immeasurable. In many ways, that feeling of family is why people go to church.

I stumbled upon the benefits on a family-like worship team accidentally.

Great story about the unexpected ways that worship team can bond together. I experienced something similar at one of the church plants where I led worship.

Jed also shares four ways to make your worship team more like a family. Check it out here. Good stuff.

The Point Of Your Setlist

Zach Morris explains why a fancy, flashy setlist is just fine, as long as it’s doing its job:

In the last decade, worship ministries (especially youth worship ministries) have begun to grow into something big, flashy, and extravagant – making it very attractive to today’s churched and, in some cases, un-churched youth. What you’ll find at plenty of churches with a large youth ministry is a full band, loud music, fancy lights, and a set list consisting of the newest songs from the ‘cool’ or ‘relevant’ artists like Bethel and Young & Free.

You may be thinking that I’m about to say that this is not good, but that’s not my position at all. I think good presentation is great, and should be implemented (in every church’s own unique way) as often as it can be. However, I think that we, the church, have become so focused on how we present the Gospel that we’ve forgotten to actually present the Gospel in a cohesive and comprehensive way.

As Zach points out, your goal in planning a worship set should be to tell the Gospel. Supporting the theme is great, and there’s nothing wrong with modern music, but if the Gospel is absent, the worship set has failed. Read Zach’s full post here.

Scripture Readings For The Worship Team

Rob Still on discipling and ministering to our worship volunteers:

For those of us who serve and lead in the worship music ministry, the process of being a disciple and of “making disciples” is very important. However we often struggle to practically and effectively “disciple” – that is to “train, teach and equip” our worship ministry volunteers in the biblical foundations of worship. We’re all pressed for time and every minute of music rehearsal is valuable.

Nonetheless, understanding God’s word as it relates to worship and our role in leading it is mandatory if our volunteers are going to be equipped to do God’s work, God’s way. This can be done by being intentional to study some key Scriptures together.

Rob shares twelve short scripture passages to encourage and equip your worship team. These would make excellent starting points for more in-depth team devotionals. Read the list here.

Five Things To Do Less

Todd Wright on recording the service so you can tell what needs to be fixed:

We don’t livestream worship at my church, but I do enjoy video recording services when I get the chance. Not only do they give me a whole new perspective on what our platform looks like and what the sound in the room is doing, but it also helps me see the stuff that needs fixing.

He shares five things that worship leaders could stand to eliminate or at least do less, such as:

DOING COVERS

There are definitely “hooks” that make or break songs, but a lot of that stuff doesn’t translate in a live setting. Plus, most of our people don’t even listen to worship music and aren’t going to know what we’re trying to pull off. This is never more obvious than in octave jumps. It sounds cool on the record when the worship leader starts in a low whisper, but don’t forget that’s been mixed to be vibrant and clearly heard. Our octave drops end up sounding like we just lost our voice in the middle of the tune.

Read the whole post here. Good stuff. What do you need to do less of?

Awesome Tips For Building A Great Worship Team

Rich Kirkpatrick shares a huge list of practical tips for building a strong and healthy worship team:

It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare to lead a worship. Here is a list to help you think through things that can help you build strong worship teams and meaningful weekend worship services.

This is a fantastic list of ideas and tips for a healthy worship team and excellent services. I especially liked number 9, number 16, and number 38. But they’re all good. Check out the whole list here.

The Battle Of Burnout

One thing that nearly ministry leader has in common is the danger of burnout.

Sam Lambert shares some thoughts on preventing and dealing with burnout as a worship leader:

Even though I’ve been involved in ministry for just 11 years, at 23 years old, I understand the battle of burnout. You see, burnout does not care how old you are. Burnout does not care how long you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing. It’s a slow process that you can’t see coming, but when it hits, you know it. All of a sudden, you start questioning if what you’re doing is even what you’re supposed to be doing. You might ask yourself questions like, “Did I get something wrong? Is what I heard from God not what he actually said?” One of the most dangerous and fragile places you can be is a place where you doubt the voice of God.

Sam also mentions some steps we can take to help others in ministry to avoid discouragement. Read the whole thing here. Good stuff.

Five Questions To Help Move Past The Worship Wars

I find it kind of amazing that churches are still arguing over what style of music to use, but there’s hope for peace. Scott Ball explains why authenticity may be a key to ending worship wars:

Some of you are reading this post and are laughing because you thought that the “worship wars” ended years ago.

Not true.

We now stand nearly two decades after the start of the worship wars, and many churches are still stuck on the issue. At The Malphurs Group, the topic of worship styles is still sensitive and relevant to many of our partner churches. Too many churches have split (and are still splitting) over the issue of what type of music to sing on a Sunday morning. And the churches that decided to be ‘blended’ have discovered that by choosing no firm direction, they haven’t made everyone happy–they’ve made everyone discontent.

But here’s the good news: the worship wars can end today.

Scott shares five questions that church leadership can use to help get past disagreements about worship styles. Read the whole thing here.