From time to time I come across resources that I think would be of benefit to the team as a whole. Jono Mcneil (one of my Facebook buddies) is linked in with Worship Central and is a very gifted and talented singer in his own right. Drawing on the wealth of his musical abilities and experience he put together a one of vocal tutorial which he has uploaded on YouTube. In this particular video blog he explains about what our role is as vocalist within our church community he also gives examples of how best to use harmonies in any given song.
In addition here is video blog on ‘Blending’ We covered this back in January of this year. As well as blending Jono talks about breath tones nasal sounds and vibrato.
You can always refer back to these video blogs as there are some very useful hints and tips to aid your serving as a vocalist.
As always I’m here to answer any questions you might have.
Phil has also encouraged me to inform you all that I do one to one vocal tuition so if you know anyone that might be in need of this by all means pass on my contact details.
Hi everyone – sorry it’s been such a long gap since I posted anything – basically we have just launched a new site at lee and that has somewhat exploded my diary! Anyway here goes;
Well we seem to have quite a lot of feedback on the whole thing of songs – so here are a few more things that I think we have learnt.
Basically music and worship can be very controversial in church – everyone has an opinion. Probably more than anything, people have a strong view on style – the style of music. Actually having a strong opinion is fine, it can be a really good thing, the problem in church is when we dress it up as something spiritual. All of us like different types of music and often therefore different worship music styles – that is totally fine. The key however is that we remember that these are simply preferences. I don’t believe that any one style of music is more spiritual than another – I think God created all of it. Like all things it can be turned and used in the wrong way – but fundamentally all styles are a gift and reflect something of God’s remarkable creativity.
Ok – so the big question is what style of music should we use in worship in a church? I have thought a lot about this over the last 15 years or so, and have a view which I want to share with you. Basically I believe that there should be 2 main things which influence the style issue.
Firstly – if the worship team are here to serve the people in the church (rather than themselves and fulfilling all their own musical ambitions) we need to look at who is in the church. Our church is extremely diverse in age, background and ethnicity – that means I believe that our style of music needs to reflect this. Now we are still growing in this one and have definitely not arrived – but our aim is to try and pitch it somewhere, so that everyone can relate and connect to the music we use in some way. To a degree it means everyone needs to compromise. One of the things this has meant for us is a leaning towards learning to play more gospel songs – this is often more musically challenging, but it’s good. It doesn’t mean that we end up playing straight ahead gospel all the time – it means we need to broaden and incorporate that more and more. What’s really interesting is that a lot of the new material we are writing is a real blend of styles – I know it sounds a little cliché, but I am believing that we will find something of a new sound which fits our church.
Ok – that’s the first big influence, however its not the only one – I will tell you about the other one in the next post
Here’s a song by a band called Deluge. It really speaks to me because a particular reason I’m on my FP year at Kings is because I’ve been wanting more and more with my personal relationship with God for a while. The song is very simple but really effective at describing what I’ve been searching for and feeling.
Deluge band is based at Bethany World Prayer centre in California. They’ve got 2 really good albums out on itunes. Here’s their website if you want to take a closer look:
I’m really enjoying some of the music we’ve been playing in the worship at kings recently. We’ve got quite a big worship team and everyone in it has got their own style of playing and preference. We always manage to work together well and most of the time generate a great overall sound, but when we really push for a particular feel or use a different version of a song (and it really works), these are the times you’ll see me getting excited!
This Israel Houghton cover of ‘Mighty to save’ is a bit of ME!
We try to teach about 1 song every month at Kings – truth is they tend to come in fits and starts and we particularly like to teach new songs near the start of a term. I think it’s important to keep adding in new songs in to the singing diet of the church, it just helps to keep things fresh and interesting.
Basically I will listen to as many worship albums as possible from as many different types of churches – I am very happy to borrow songs from anywhere if I feel they fit theologically and work musically – truth be told there are a lot of average songs out there so you have to be fairly discerning as to which ones you pick.
The other challenge about new songs is trying to work out whether a song which may sound great on a CD will actually translate “live” – sometimes I cannot quite tell that until you actually try it in a rehearsal. At that point you tend to “hear” whether this going to fly or not. That said there are still occasions when we will teach a new song and for whatever reason, even after a few tries, it never really takes – that point you probably need to leave it and move on.
Note to worship leaders – if you are going to teach a new song, you need to make sure you really do know if well – its amazing how you can think you know a song until you actually stand up in front of people and discover there are certain melody lines that you are not quite as clear on as you thought when you sang a long to it in the car earlier. You need to teach it right so the church can learn it right!
Last thing – we don’t tend to teach every new song – if they are really simple more reflective songs we just tend to use them in a worship time and hope the church will pick them up on the go – and when it comes to “teaching”, truth is I am using the phrase “teaching “pretty loosely. Normal practice for us is simply to tell the church right at the start of the meeting that we would like to teach them a new song – we might play and sing it once through and then very quickly as them to stand and join in. it feels more natural doing that rather than breaking the song down as if it was more of a music lesson – generally they seem to pick it up fine Also interestingly it tends to really help people start to engage before the actual worship time begins. What are the new songs at Kings?
We quite often get asked where we get the songs from and where people can get hold of them so here goes; We have taught 4 home grown new songs over the past few months – they are; “Meet with us”, “worthy is the Lamb of God”, “When my heart is heavy” and “I could search (there is none like you)” – most of them are up on the website (a rough guide) as very basic acoustic version. We have also used a couple of songs from further a field – they are; “”Our God” – the best version I know of this is off the passion album “awakening” – it’s a great song and a very strong album – worth getting if you like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. “You are good” – this is written by Israel Houghton and features on the “We speak to nations” album – a totally fab song and a great worship leader/song writer – worth listening to his stuff if you get a chance – note however his songs do come with a health warning when it comes to being able to play and sing them (he hits notes that few others even know exist)
Here’s another home-grown song written by Nathan Prime, Neal Glanville & Phil Varley. It first came about prophetically in a time of worship at our youth group (Ignite) meeting. It’s such a different thing for me to sing a song which focuses on the Holy Spirit in such a direct way – I love it!
For those of you that do not know me – My name is Neal Glanville, I am 18 and I am currently on a year project at kings church catford called the frontier project. Both my parents and my grandma attend this church and have done so for more years than they would probably like me to say ha ha
I feel very blessed for the family god has given me and my friends as I wouldn’t be here now without them, living in the richness and freedom of gods love. I am focusing on worship and youth ministry this year and god has continued to be faithful and doing a lot of needed restoration in my life.
Well my first term on FP has come to a close. The past few months have probably been the most exhausting, challenging, revealing best months of my life! The church are definitely making the most out of having me; I would generally have at least one person at church every sunday asking me whether I live here. As big as my work load has been and as tired as I have been getting, it would be a lie to say I haven’t loved every minute! This is definitely where god wants me to be this year, and he has already been doing so much within me and through me for which I am so thankful!
Now as this is on the worship blog, I had better speak about about my journey in worship. In this entry I am going to start with my walk and development leading the youth band.
I started playing guitar in primary school and loved it. Thankfully god gave me two brilliant parents who really encouraged and supported me and my passion for music. I joined youth band when I was 11 or 12 and rose up all the way through to now where I lead it. Youth band is amazing but I was definitely chucked in at the deep end. When it was handed over to me, there was one band, mainly built up of friends of mine which was a huge challenge. I found it incredibly hard to lead my piers and at the time I had never lead worship or a band so really, I had no idea what I was doing. But god was faithful and taught me and humbled me. After a year of leading youth band, I felt far more comfortable. I had improved musically and in my leadership and just my walk with god was much stronger, but just as I got comfortable, god threw me another big challenge. Very quickly youth band went from one band to three. Praise God!
It was amazing and a privilege to see so many young people wanting to join and use there gifting to serve god but this was a big challenge easpically when I was still at college. Thankfully god blessed me with my best mate sean who is also doing FP with me. He is musically very gifted and was a huge support, so it transpired that he lead one and I lead the other two. Youth band is so much fun and I love seeing young people rising up, bringing there gifting before god and worshiping him and serving the church; also knowing that like I came through to lead, one of these youth will do the same – I’m getting goose bumps just typing this!
So I have been leading worship with the youth band on friday nights at our youth group for roughly 3-4 years I think. Wow! Doesn’t seem that long ago but it is….. I feel old!
Anyway I remember the first time I lead on a friday. Im pretty sure it was awful, I think I new about 4 maybe 5 chords, but god got me through. Isn’t it freeing when its not about you or your performance but all about him – Amen! That truth has been whats got me through and continues to be such a blessing as a worship leader. God put great people around me that encouraged and taught me and they have been instrumental in my worship leading. I absolutely love leading worship. I don’t think I ever feel quite as free or alive as when i’m leading worship. Please understand there has been times when I wanted to run of the stage and couldn’t wait for it to end, but god is good and I feel blessed and honoured that he has put the calling of worship leading on my life.
Thank you for reading this. My next entry will be about joining the sunday worship team and how that has shaped me. God Bless you all
Hello Team.. This is my first contribution for our Worship Blog. From time to time I come across articles or things of interest that relate to what we do as lead worshipers/vocalist by way of research and my own personal developement. I have been collecting these over time and so I will share them with you in bite size chunks on this site over the next few terms.
In recent months I have been thinking a lot about the Prophetic side to worship as this is an area I really would like to see us develop in as a team. This was brought into focus for me when I recently attended a 3 day training course with ‘Integrity Worship’ which I will talk about in a future blog.
I was researching a story I heard about Matt Redman who felt led to sing a Michael Jackson song while leading worship. It was part of a larger article about Prophetic Worship. It’s a very long article so I copied what I saw were the highlights. I’ve also included the link should you want to read it in it’s entirety.
There’s a sense in which the prophetic flows from that place of Intimacy. You have to be close to God to hear His voice… He speaks with a whisper. He may shout to His enemies but to His friends He whispers. If you want to sing, play or dance prophetically, it has to come out of place which is close to God.. whereyou hear His voice, you become His spokesperson.
Just in the same way that God speaks through creation; you see a lovely landscape and you think ‘now I know there’s a God, I can sense Him speak through these things’. It’s the same in music; you can hear Him speak through music which is just another part of creation. God created it for His glory and His honour but it can be used in many different ways; even sometimes when someone is not playing it for the glory of God (example Dave Gilmore with Pink Floyd playing a big guitar solo) it points you towards the Lord. How much more so, we who are saved, with our music point people towards the Lord; usher them into His Presence. It allows peoples minds and their hearts and their spirits be stirred, even by the music alone. Again in the Old Testament; I Chronicles 25:3it talks about Jeduthun’s sons. It says they prophesied using the harp, thanking and praising the Lord.
A prophetic word will break through into your life. In the same way prophetic songs, dance, music will cause a breakthrough in a time of worship. People sit up and listen when you prophesy over them, a change occurs. It’s the same in worship. People get ushered into the Lord’s Presence through the prophetic in our playing or in our words. That’s what we should be aiming for. Our aim is to put people in touch with God.
The Bible says we only see in part when we prophecy. One day we’ll see in full. Often with the prophetic we won’t understand the whole of what we’re singing or be consciously cognizant that we’re not seeing the whole picture.
I was in Norway once and in the middle of the worship time I felt the Lord put the Michael Jackson song ‘You are not alone, I am here with you’ into my head. So I sang this song out and at the end of it I felt ‘Oh no, what have I done’, I thought – at least I’m in Norway, we’ll be going home in a couple of days’. At the end of that I felt ‘that was not from the Lord… your a prat.’. But then this lady comes up to me at the end and says ‘I’ve been desperate for the Lord, I’ve been crying out for him and I came tonight In the car I said to God I felt so alone, where are You… You’re not with me.’. That seemed to be the heart of God for that day… God will often leave the 99 to go after the 1.
When I was about 13 I went to a bible week called the Dales bible week – I’d come from a traditional church background and was only just beginning to become aware of someone called the Holy Spirit. What I experienced that week as a 13 year old I realise now looking back has shaped my life ever since – the main thing I remember from that week was just the dawning realisation that God was in the room. God was not far away and distant, but alive and active – it came full in to focus for me! I realise that that experience left a residue in me, a longing for worship to always be about presence and encounter. Now I know that we have to be careful – worship approached wrongly can become just about an “experience” which can be very subjective and more about consuming than honouring. I know that, and we need to be cautious that we do this right. That said however, if we’re honest, it’s moments when you sense that God is there, that he is listening, speaking, close, which change our lives – for me a least, that’s what this is about.