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:

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!


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.

How to not get mad at your church

Worship leaders, you have probably at some point or another, gotten a bit frustrated with those you in your congregation who you are striving to serve, love, and lead towards meaningful worship and an encounter with God’s holiness.  I know it is something I have struggled with before.  In this video I share a few practicals to help with this such as

  1.  Making sure your own heart in a good and worshipful place (“don’t get mad, get glad”)
  2. Taking opportunities to continually teach the congregation about worship, and
  3. As often as possible, make it “easy to sing.”

Love to have you post any additional comments below!  Happy Monday!

ICOC Worship – thoughts on strengths and opportunities

I’m grateful to be a part of a family of churches known as the ICOC (International Churches of Christ) with hundreds of churches around the world.  I just returned from being at ICMC this past weekend, our conference for campus students in our churches, with about 2200 students in attendance.  It was awesome to get to be led in worship by a phenomenal group of worship leaders, under the leadership of Marc Persing and Julia Dunn.  I was so proud of the whole team.  Here are some things I appreciated:

– worshipful presence of the whole team – clearly about God not them
– excellence in execution and ability
– continually pulling in the church – lots of voices only points to hear their voices
– nice flow of things, prayers interwoven, etc
– good mix of classics and new songs
– new songs that were introduced were accessible, not too hard to sing
– diverse representation on stage, great worshipful leaders that were super giving
– whenever possible trying to put songs in blocks together instead of spaced out between talking things
– it really worked to pull the students up and in the aisles for the worship night
– Loved the new songs by disciples from our family of churches! Whenever possible I’m all for playing favorites with songs by those in our fellowship –something special about that

I have been humbled to get to have some of my songs sung in several of these congregations and to have been involved in worship ministry for a long time, so people sometimes ask my thoughts about worship ministry in our churches, and I had lots of great conversations at the conference.  I recap a few of my thoughts in this video.

I Need Your Love – Reggae Version

Hey folks.  Last week on my video conversation about Sunday morning set up I had mentioned a song we had done the day prior (which had ended up taking more time in rehearsal than I thought it would) – a reggae version of my song “I Need Your Love.”  I thought this week I would share the demo version of the song I threw together for our team.  It turned out being really fun, and the church followed along well.

I Need Your Love -reggae version

G / G / C / D

C / D / G / Em

Making new arrangements of old familiar songs is a great way to bring freshness to a worship set while still making it easy for the church to connect and sing.  Do you have any cool versions of songs you do?  I would love to hear them!

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Remember the song, “Easy Like Sunday Morning?”  For worship teams, Sunday morning is not easy!  Seems like the default for Sunday morning tech set up and rehearsal is stress and anxiety.  In this 20 minute video I share some tips for decreasing anxiety and stress like…

  • Have someone who is shepherding the overall team who has a spirit of peace and spirituality (it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with musical talent), someone who can “keep their head in all situations” (2 Tim 4:5).
  • Don’t try to do too much with technical set up – figure out how to stream line things.
  • Don’t try to do too much musically.  Know your group and anticipate where you are going to spend time.
  • Keep an eye the big picture –everything that needs to be accomplished without getting bogged down on details that aren’t as crucial.
  • Most important —work hard to maintain an atmosphere of unity, love, and keeping first things first –giving our best in worship to God.

Let me know if videos like this are helpful.  Not sure if I’m just rambling or if this kind of thing will serve others 🙂

Direct link to video:

Love to all!