The Secret to Starting Worship Services on Time

It seems to be a universal challenge.  The first song is starting and there are only two rows of people there to sing it.  Or it’s the fourth song and people are still streaming in and greeting each other rather than singing.  Haven’t figured it out yet, but in this video I share a few ideas such as…

  • Some things that don’t help long term (in my opinion)
  • Opportunities to teach your congregation
  • Ideas to switch up your service order

Feel free to add any comments below of other ideas you might have to share!


How to Play Swing 16ths

Hey everyone – Today I’m continuing to share thoughts via video on different topics that have to do with worship ministry. This video has a topic that might seem to serve a pretty narrow audience but this is definitely something that makes a big difference to your groove, something I have noticed a lot of younger worship leaders could benefit from —how to play swing 16ths!

  • I talk through a quick explanation of what “swing” is
  • What swing 8ths are and the the feel created from them
  • What swing 16ths are, several examples, and how to practice them

[Sorry – I streamed live and seems like my internet connection wasn’t great but the sound is ok after a min or two so you definitely get the idea!]

Direct link to video


Island Versions of a Few Congregational Songs

Hey guys, quick post today.  My congregation did an outdoor worship service a few weeks ago at a cool place called “Seaside Lagoon” to close out the summer.  We made it a Luau with Hawaiian food and did “island style” versions of all the congregational songs.  Here is a sound recording I sent out for rehearsal that goes through the feel of all the songs we did.  We did a reggae version of “I Need Your Love” (also see earlier post with a full demo of that).  We did an acoustic version of “Surely Goodness” which also has a reggae groove.  There is a version of “I Have Decided” in the style of Hawaiian singer Jack Johnson.  We did a reggae version of “Victory Chant” (aka “Hail, Hail Lion of Judah”), and finally “Jesus Will Fix” it with reggae groove.  I’m sharing this 7 and 1/2 min demo recording in case it sparks ideas for you or your team to do any of these.  They were all fairly easy and lots of fun and the church really enjoyed the time!

Seaside Lagoon songs

 

 


Holy, Perfect, Always, Forever – CLA Singers

Hey guys, I’ve gotten to mix and edit a few more of the recordings of the singing session we did with my local group and a few other singers from my region.  Here is one of the absolute favorites of our congregation, written by my East Coast friend and fellow worship leader, Ross Lippencott.  (It’s funny, our group actually sings it a lot more than his group does!)

We love the minor key, the energy, the worshipful lyrics.  (Here is an earlier post with a video of us learning the song and going through each vocal part.)  If you don’t sing this one you should.  Sheet music here.

HOLY PERFECT ALWAYS FOREVER

Lord, we love You
Lord we pray to
Be with You forever
Lord we praise You
We adore You
For everything You are

You are holy, perfect
Always and forever
Almighty Lord
You are holy, perfect
Always and forever
Almighty Lord

Lord we thank You
For the mercy
You have given freely
Lord we praise You
We adore You
For everything You are

You are holy, perfect
Always and forever
Almighty Lord
You are holy, perfect
Always and forever
Almighty Lord

Verse
Cm Eb / Fm Gm
Cm Eb / Fm G
Cm Eb / Fm Gm
Cm Eb / Fm G

Chorus
Cm Cm/B / Cm/Bb Am7
Cm/Ab / Cm/G
Cm Cm/B / Cm/Bb Am7
Cm/Ab / Cm/G


Some thoughts on Multitrack Playback in Worship

Hey guys!  A lot of churches use multitrack playback these days (or at least play along to a click in their in ear monitors).  We have been experimenting with using tracked material, click and cues, in ear monitors etc for the last year, year and 1/2 or so.  I still have mixed feelings about it; has its place for sure, but I also like to keep it simple at other times.  Bottom line I like to keep all our options open and enjoy application of whatever tools we have at our disposal for worship ministry.

I’ll write more about that on a future post and figure out way to share a lot of the multitrack content of my own stuff I have uploaded over the last year or two for our team to use.  Would love to share it with more of you.

For now I’m sharing a video of me and a phenomenal young worship leader Josh discussing the topic more thoroughly.  Feel free to add any comments!

Link to video:  https://www.facebook.com/jbriancraigmusic/videos/2148358935378631/


His Hands – CLA Singers

Hey everyone, happy Monday!  A while ago the musicians from my local congregation and some singers from our region of the LA Church of Christ came together for a night of talking about worship ministry and then singing some of our original songs (see photos here).  We made multitrack recordings and several grabbed cameras (or phones!) and shot the singing so we could later share the night with others.  It has taken me quite a while (a year and a half!) to getting around to mixing these recordings and editing the video.  As I’m working through the material there is definitely some encouraging stuff here!  I’ll be sharing more videos from the night as I get a chance to mix and edit them.

This is a song I originally posted way back in 2010 here.  It’s also a song where we’ve done different versions (here is a more meditative version, here is a really upbeat EDM version!).  It’s such a simple tune it lends itself to trying it out different ways.

This video is how we most often sing it at church and closest to how I originally wrote it.  Here is sheet music for the song, in case you’d like to sing it in your congregation.


When We All Get to Heaven

Happy Monday, everyone!

A couple weeks ago I was asked by the family to lead the singing for Gloria Baird’s memorial service. She was an amazing hero of the faith to so many of us. What an example of joy in all circumstances! I shared at the service that it is hard to think of anyone who more consistently “reflected the Lord’s glory” (2 Cor 3:18). There is a verse where Paul talks about his ministry and he says “…and they praised God because of me” (Gal 1:24). That was how it was at the Gloria’s memorial celebration: the witness of a life well-lived, a family that put God first, a marriage devoted to serving others, even as we were celebrating Gloria, it all brought so much glory to God. At the end of my life I would love to be able to say, like Paul and like Gloria, “They praised God because of me.”

Anyway, today I wanted to share a song I stole from the Facebook live stream of the service. The family picked all the songs — ones Gloria loved and ones that reflected the right sentiment. This song represented a particularly moving moment as the words so properly reflected our gathering. Boy I wish you could have heard the voices sing!

WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.

When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus
We’ll sing and shout the victory.

While we walk the pilgrim pathway
Clouds will overspread the sky.
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day.
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.