Moon Valley Bible Church Worship ::: June 13/2010 Weekend Recap

Welcome To Summer In Phoenix!!!

I kicked off Summer (OK, technically a week early) by leading worship at Moon Valley Bible Church this weekend.  I worked with their band and led at both the 9:00 & 10:30 AM services.  It was fun to have a gig close to home, literally 3 miles from where we live in Phoenix.

I wasn’t able to talk about World Vision because they recently sent one of their pastors to Uganda and they’re trying to sponsor kids from the project they’re involved in because of that trip.  Great to see kids getting help and people doing their part to help engage in the global community.

Here is the set list:

My Savior Lives (New Life Worship)
Your Name (New Life Worship)
Revelation Song (Gateway Worship)
You Gave Your Life (Andy Allen)
Today Is The Day
(Lincoln Brewster)

What are you doing this Summer?


CCS Worship ::: May 1-2/2010 Weekend Recap

Thought I would share a quick pic from the hotel we stayed at last week in MN.  I’ve never had a hotel give me a rubber ducky before and thought this was hilariously awesome!!!

So, now that I’m kind of in-between things, my schedule has opened up a bit for me to help out different churches as they’ve got the need.  Recently I’ve had the opportunity to get to know David Bauer, worship leader for CCS (Christ’s Church of Scottsdale) and this weekend I was able to give him a small reprieve and lead in his place.

It was treat to play with the guys in the band at CCS.  Pro players who were just a blast to hang out with.  Thats one of the things that I’ve really enjoyed in my time as a touring artist, getting to connect with so many great players.  I’ve also had the pleasure of working with a lot of not-so-great players too…but that’s a story for another day.

Here is the set list:

Today Is The Day (Lincoln Brewster)
All Because Of Jesus (Steve Fee)
Awesome Is The Lord Most High (Jon Abel)
The Stand (Hillsong United)
Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone (Chris Tomlin)
Back At My Heart
(Natalie Grant)

Hope your week is filled with rubber ducky’s!


Eagle Brook Church [Blaine] ::: April 24-25/2010 Weekend Recap

I was up in Minneapolis, MN with Eagle Brook Church last weekend.  I flew in on Wednesday to spend some time with their worship/creative arts staff and get a sense for how ministry looks and feels in this multi-campus church of 13,000+.  It was very cool to see how their operations first-hand and meet the teams in place.

Through my years of touring and working with so many different types and styles of churches, I definitely feel more connected to churches that are really dialed into their purpose and reaching people with intentionality.  More than just liking to “do church” because “that’s the way we’ve always kind of done it,” I love to see a church focused on a cause and compelled to reach the culture and community around them with the love of Jesus.  This definitely exists at Eagle Brook.  I am completely moved to know that more than 525 people made a first-time decision to follow Jesus over the Easter weekend this year because the team at Eagle Brook Church presented Jesus to the people there on purpose.

I was fortunate to get to lead worship for their new Blaine Campus on Sunday night.  Blaine is kind of in a pre-launch phase.  The four services at their Spring Lake Park Campus are completely packed out, so there is a need to relieve some of the attendance pressure there before they are able to launch at the new facility in Blaine this coming fall.  I got to have some of their top players back me up and really had a great time with the set.  The audio, lighting, media and IMAG crews were top notch as well and really made the experience a pleasure.

I got to learn a new song for this week too, Awakening by Switchfoot.  It was fun to take on a bit of a departure from some of the material I do on a more regular basis, made all the better because the band was great and right there rocking it.  Here is the set we did:

Today Is The Day (Lincoln Brewster)
Awesome Is The Lord Most High (Jon Abel)
All Because Of Jesus
(Steve Fee)
Jesus Paid It All
(Kristian Stanfill)

If you live in the northern Minneapolis/St. Paul areas, definitely take the time to check out a service at Eagle Brook.  I’m excited to see what God continues to do in and through their ministry in the years to come.

Someone told me it gets cold in Minnesota….and that they like cheese….thoughts?


Sandy Cove, MD ::: Couples Conference

Pam & I were invited to lead worship for a Couples Conference at Sandy Cove Ministries & Conference Center in Maryland this weekend.  Our good friend Stephen Weaver works at Sandy Cove and it was a bonus to spend some time hanging with him.  There had been two blizzards the week prior to us arriving, so there was about 4 feet of snow on the ground.  A fun change of pace from the desert…but freakin’ cold!

The 250 people here were ready to worship and encounter God together.  It was totally encouraging to be with a generationally and ethnically diverse group of people who dove head first into worshipping God with all their souls.

Because this was a Couples Conference on Valentines weekend, we did a concert of love songs Saturday night.  We performed several “crooner classics” and did a couple originals.  One highlight of the evening was seeing the crowd go crazy when we played our tongue-in-cheek rendition of “Pants On The Ground” as a tribute to the parents of teenage boys.  It was hilarious!

We also talked about the work World Vision is doing, the huge needs out there because of HIV/AIDS and shared the opportunities available to help through child sponsorship.  It was exciting to see 10 kids sponsored this weekend.  Lives changed forever!

These are the songs we led in the worship sets:

Holy Is The Lord
Everlasting God
Mighty To Save
The Stand
Here I Am To Worship
Jesus Paid It All

I want to say thanks to the entire staff at Sandy Cove.  This was far and away the best team of people I’ve seen working at a conference/retreat center in all the years I’ve been doing this.  If you get the chance to go to Sandy Cove, don’t miss out on the opportunity.  You’ll love it.

Happy Valentines Day –


Worship Mythbusters: Leading music is glamorous and fun most of the time! NOT

THIS ARTICLE IS REPOSTED FROM RICH KIRKPATRICK’S WEBLOG: recently did a series of articles based on research by and found that 67% of those that lead worship or direct music in local churches for a vocation say the job is stressful. The research says this job is in the top 15 MOST stressful. Uhmm, this is obvious to those of us who lead worship, but to have research debunk the myth of the glamor of being a music guy/gal in a church might be helpful in fixing some things.

In the article we mentions how weddings and funeral musical work is stressful, but they really do not go to the underlying reasons I believe the majority of people in this vocation incur stress. Notice that senior pastors, youth directors and other ministry personnel are not on this list. While all ministry is stressful, something unique to this activity is in play. I say this with deep respect for those in other roles.

I fundamentally believe there is pandemic implosion of the worship leader role and vocation–even for the volunteer or bi-vocational worship leader. History shows this current pattern to be true (nothing new about worship wars for instance). Each week I talk with very talented people in this line of work and the same story is replayed over and over again. Every conference I attend, phone call or IM I field or observations I listen to by others has led me to consider a wide-scale threat. Glamorous you say?

Here are some unique mythbusting nuggets to consider:

  • When there is conflict in a local church, the music becomes a rallying point for battle. Ever heard of the term “worship wars” in your setting? Well, guess who lives in the middle of that.
  • Everyone has an opinion about the music and experience in a worship service, with the one who is leading the activity often being the only non-voting member in the discussion.
  • Everything this person does is in public and executed through other people: choirs, worship bands, tech teams, etc.
  • Leadership of churches often devalue the scale and scope of work to execute the quality and impact they expect.
  • The skills needed include: creative and artistic genius, project management, musical talent, stage presence, theological facility, leadership, administration, ability to work independently, ability to be micromanaged and you have to look the part (whatever that means).
  • In the push to be relevant to culture, the worship leader is only as relevant as the latest thing on one hand or if you have opposite views he/she must reject the latest thing. You can’t win either way.
  • Spiritual warfare is heated in the activity of our public worship settings. So, obviously in that sense these folks are targets.


Momentum ::: Men’s Retreat

Momentum Men's RetreatThis past weekend, I led worship with several guys from our worship band for our annual Men’s Retreat.  This year our theme was ‘Momentum’, we met at Young Life’s Lost Canyon camp and our speaker was Don Worcester.  There were around 200 men at the retreat from 5 different churches which brought a very cool energy to the meetings.

It was powerful to be in the middle 200 men singing their hearts out in full-on worship of their Savior.  There were even a couple moments as the men sang that the band was no longer leading, but following the lead of the worshippers in the room…amazing!!!

It was also a privilege to be around guys wanting to see God move in every part of their lives, and to have a band that was there to serve the men and connect with Jesus.  Below are the songs that we led this weekend:

Overcome – A  (kind of our theme song for the weekend)
The Stand
– A
Let It Rise
– E
Everlasting God
– B
Jesus Paid It All
– A
My Savior Lives
– G
Mighty To Save
– G/A
– A
– D
Awesome Is The Lord Most High
– G
Revelation Song
– D
Your Grace Is Enough
– G
Holy Is The Lord
– G
Here I Am To Worship
– G
Be Thou My Vision – E
(with new chorus by Andy Allen, recording not yet available)

I’m praying that the times of worship we encountered on this retreat will infiltrate our weekend services, and that we will begin to see a shift in how people engage God as we sing and praise in our community worship.

If you were at the retreat, comment and let us know what you saw God doing.

God Bless –


Thriving As An Artist In The Church

Thriving as an Artist in the ChurchI really appreciate Rory’s experience and dedication to ministry. He does articulate some very insightful things relating to working and serving as an artist within the church. His perspectives are rich because he has worked with many different artists, and done more than just music in the church.

There were a couple chapters that I connected with personally, and found some things I could take away with me. His thoughts and observations about negativity in the church were right on. Then his challenges to be a good leader and love the church where God has put you are great.

I think this book would be good read for younger/greener worship leaders. For me, most of this book was a discussion of many things I’ve lived and encountered through my years in ministry. I can see how most of the chapters could work well as a discussion with individuals and small groups of artists.

Publisher’s Info:

An excellent resource for both individuals and arts ministry teams, the book includes slice-of-church-life scenarios, group discussion questions, and personal action steps.

It’s not easy being an Artist in the church.

But whatever your passion—music, visual art, drama, dance, writing, technical arts—you can not only survive, but thrive. And the rewards far outweigh the pressures of weekly services, artistic differences, and relational conflicts. After all, where else could you consistently make a contribution of eternal significance, experience deep community with other artists, and grow closer to God as a result?

Thriving as an Artist in the Church is a practical guide, full of wisdom and pastoral guidance, that will help you surmount the obstacles and flourish in your ministry. It’s packed with examples, discussion questions, personal action steps, and mega-doses of encouragement. Most important, it tackles the real-life issues every artist in the church has to deal with:

Sustaining passion • Developing key relational skills
Dealing with rejection and failure
Cultivating confidence
Resolving artistic differences
And much more!

Written by an artist for artists, this book will help make your ministry experience sustainable and life-giving so you can fall in love with the church all over again.A composer, songwriter, author, and speaker, Rory is a graduate of the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University and served for twenty years as music director at Willow Creek Community Church.