New Worship Songs

So, it’s a new year and I’ve been searching for some new worship songs that we can start using during our middle and high school worship. I’ve got a small list now but really excited about a lot of it.

Ready Now- Jared Anderson
Who You Are- Jon Egan
Always- Jeremy Scott
Endlessly- Jon Egan
Desert Song- Brooke Fraser
Saved My Soul- Jeremy Scott
You, You Are God- Walker Beach
We Cry Out- Jenni Lee Riddle
Pure- Kari Jobe
Revelation Song- Jennie Lee Riddle
You Lifted Me Out- Chris Tomlin
Blessed is the One- Daniel Doss Band
God In Me- Daniel Doss Band
Love Like Rain- Daniel Doss Band
God is With Us- Michael Olson
With One Voice- Steven Curtis Chapman
I Always- Generation Unleashed
Shine- Generation Unleashed
Shout It Out- Generation Unleashed
We Are Rescued- Lee McDerment

This is some of the songs we are looking at starting up in 2009 and I’m sure more will come as more stuff comes out and I discover more. Is there anything that you are starting up that we might be interested in doing? I’d love to see.
How about this, if you read this and you lead worship, make a list of your new worship songs in a blog post and post the link here so we can all check it out as well!

Preparation

So, looking at some more things that come up as a struggle with me and things other parents point out and get frustrated with is other band members not being prepared to play the songs during practice. Songs are often posted to Planning Center Online with chord charts and the mp3s and if they need something special I will get it to them. This isn’t the occassion with every student but does happen quite a bit.

How do you deal with this? Remember, this is students that range from 6th grade to graduating seniors that we are trying to shape into being able to lead peers in worship and also start off their own ministries once they are in college.

I am not a fan of being pushy or overly pushy with students not being prepared, but I feel if I don’t do something I’m doing them a disservice by letting them go off to schools and other worship bands thinking this is the standard.

I often feel like a coach in the role I play in this ministry and when thinking about the position of a coach it’s to grow and support the athletes while preparing them for the real world in different circumstances. If they are late, not ready, or not focusing during practice usually something will happen like being put on the bench, running laps, or on water duty.

I need a way to take the methods of a coach and implement that in teaching these students skills that will last them through their lives. I often feel like I’m not much older than them and have no grounds to be a “coach” but I know God has put me in this position and that I want to be responsible with the task He has given me.

Any thoughts or comments from Worship leaders, coaches, pastors, teachers would be greatly appreciated as I continue this journey of learning how to effectively communicate the importance of preparedness in any circumstance.

Plan of Attack

Ok, so we met for awhile today about how we can change things up to try and get students back in the mindset of worship and getting connected. Here are some things we came up with that might have a part to play and some of the input came from you guys input on my previous posts.

Seating: The stage is elevated higher and the students are far away. We are going to move the seats up and do more of a rounded feel to the stage to make it feel more like a group. We also are getting rid of the bleachers in the back rows to try and eliminate the awkwardness of students standing up during worship.
Concert Feel: We have all come to the agreement that with our lighting and production might be too much for worship time. We are going to tame it down and be more tactful. Use them in a way that promotes the worship but going with the feel of being at a concert. It’s like a solo on a guitar that is smooth and goes with the flow opposed to one that is cool and edgy but hard to follow. So softer lighting during the worship sets.
Leading: I lead as well a few high schoolers and we are going to try to script out transitions between certain songs. It won’t be for every song, but we will go back to tactics we haven’t used in awhile. One of those is the initial startup of worship to get the students to stand up and say hello to each other and get prepared in that way. We’ve been counting off at the end of a countdown and going right into worship, but will change that for now to try this out.

Anywho, that’s are small plan of attack for now to try and turn this thing back around and I will keep you updated on how it goes.

Also, starting in January another 13 kids are being added to various bands so we will see how that works out with placing kids with others that pair up well. Another make-up audition will be held as well for kids that didn’t make it, but I think in the future we might just ask them to make it to the next audition because it’s adding up to be another big audition with more kids filling out forms weekly!

How We Do Worship

Here is a clip of an example of how we do a worship song. You can click the youtube button on the video to go to see more of our music.

Is this too much distraction with the moving lights and the big production for every song? Should we tame it down and maybe try to hold back the big guns for special songs or where it really fits to get the students pumped up? We’ve been blessed with an awesome facility, but I want to use it tactfully in how we do worship.

Would love your feedback on what you think! I’m on Skype and Gtalk and all that jazz if you want to dialogue with me more about it.

Our New Worship Trend….

Is not necessarily a good one. Students are totally disconnected, sitting down, talking with friends, and not really involved at all. Some kids come to the front to the stage and get involved some but even then they will engage in full on conversation, taking the time to make there most recent youtube video, hitting on a girl, or texting someone in the back row. Somewhere along the move from having no student facility and about 100-150 high schoolers to the huge high tech student facility with over 250 the students have decided to disconnect from worship.

Is it my fault? Am I not engaging enough? I believe that a lot of this is up to the spirit but I know my presence as well as the band can have something to do with that. Here is a bit how we do things:

-We have all students leading in the multiple bands- Students leading there peers is what we were hoping to achieve and have.
-We do the new stuff that is high energy, rocked out guitars and cool solos from bass, drum, guitar and keys.
-We are very intentional with the songs and the message. We spend a lot of time looking at the message and deciding what songs can best facilitate the Spirit moving in students lives.
-It is a HUGE production. We have tons of moving lights, LED lights and even several drop down LED strips that are insanely bright.
-The lyrics are all up on the screen

That’s just a brief look at what we do. I am seeking some help in what you do, how you make it work?
We have students that are unchurched and not from any traditional church and come in with some pretty messed up lives. Lots of them are searching and have never been to a bible camp, vacation bible school or anything like that.
How do you take someone who has no clue where you are trying to take them in worship?

We are here for the lost and I’m thrilled they are hear and feel welcome. Once they’ve excepted Christ how do I let them know how great it is to let Him know in singing praises to Him like I’ve grown up knowing.

So, this is me, asking for help!
I would love your input and would love to chat!

Who am I?

I have been blessed with a job/ministry to guide students, middle and high, in leading their peers in worship. When I first started out with this venture I was told the idea, and I told them it couldn’t be done. I had seen our church try to start up student led bands, and they always ended up being too dedicated to sports and other extracurricular activities. So I started doing this a couple years ago and God has launched this ministry. We started off with a few kids, just enough to make a band, and now we are at about 20 some odd kids, and growing all the time!

So why write this blog? Ministry is tough, and dealing with students and parents in a way that honors Christ is tough! I don’t always get it right, and I sometimes get it really wrong, but luckily I have been blessed with great leaders guiding me through this path.

Our goal is to have all students leading each other in a level of excellence that could be used in our main service or any other church that wanted us to play! It’s not playing in front of big crowds that I’m seeking, but teaching these students some skills, guidelines, and mostly giving them the right perspective on worship. I want them to leave this ministry and go into college ready with all the tools needed to equip and get a worship band rolling.

I will go into more detail about how we do things in future posts. Just wanted to get this started up and maybe help, or get help, on leading students in leading worship!