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  • This is my Papaw's music briefcase. It represents everything that he was as a lay worship leader (or songleader as his Nazarene church would've called it). I remember visiting his church as a little boy and seeing him on the platform, waving his arms to conduct the congregation as they sang hymns out of the hymn book. 


    As I have thought about what we do as worship leaders, I'm becoming more & more convinced that the whole old school idea of conducting (the concept, not the arm waving) is exactly what we need to be thinking about in the how and why of what we do with the music part of our worship...

  • Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”

    As soon as we think we’ve come to any “end” of God in any area we quickly realize that there is no end, there is “Only More”.   Whether that be in God’s provision, God’s glory, God’s mercy or any other attribute, there are no limits. God is infinite, therefore, everything about who He is must have no limits.

    When David says in Psalm 27:4 that he wants to dwell in the house of the Lord and worship all the days of His life, it’s easy to think that that request seems a little impractical until you’ve had a true encounter with the presence of God.  It only takes one glimpse of who He is to realize that He has no limits and there is nothing that we need that he cannot supply in extravagant abundance.  It is in these moments of God’s presence that we begin to understand that worship is the only antidote to worry.

    We can spend the rest of our days discovering new attributes and expressions of God’s goodness and then spend the rest of eternity thanking Him for those attributes in new ways...and right when we think we’ve said it all we’ll find that there is still more to say because He is always more.

     

     

     

  • My pastor here at the Chapel is an excellent communicator. He truly has a gift of teaching that really leaves you with one truth or idea to walk away with. I’ve known him for twelve years now and I have had the privilege of watching him grow and improve as a speaker. Just recently in our staff meeting, he gave us some insights into how he goes about prepping his message. As I listened, I was a bit floored by how relevant much of what he was saying is for the process of writing a good song. So I just want to pass along some questions and some points to consider..

    I. CONTEXT
    Who am I talking to?
    What is the proper communication context?
    “The one communication style that has never gone out of style is conversation” Hadden Robinson
    “Talk with people, not at them”

    II. CONTENT
    Am I starting from an idea or a text? (or a melody for songwriters)

    Specific thoughts about writing from text of scripture:

    - Read and then re-read the text over and over again.
    - Read multiple versions/translations to look for the emerging big idea and interesting ways to communicate the idea
    - Do a word study of the words from the text.
    - What did that word or text mean to those with was written to at the time it was written?
    - What was the context that would have framed how those people would have heard that text in their time?
    - What questions does the text bring up for the hearer?
    - If you were to have a conversation about the text, how would that conversation play out chronologically? (Basically, imagine the flow of the conversation)

    Specific thoughts about writing from an idea:
    Three questions to ask:

    - “What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of a verse)
    - “So What?” - (this often but not always plays out in the form of pre-chorus and sometimes chorus)
    - “Now What?” – (this often but not always plays out in the form of the chorus and/or the bridge)

  • So excited to be a part of the Word Worship team!! God has a funny way of writing the story..Jenna and I are both Nashville natives and both attended and met at Belmont University. We thought we would stay in Nashville and be involved in the music industry..but God had very different plans! About a year after we were married, God called us into full time church ministry and our journey has called us to live in Texas (for seminary), Florida, Las Vegas (to church plant), Georgia, and now Buffalo NY. And it has been from Buffalo that God has mysteriously woven our story back to Nashville..and it is an absolute privilege to represent not only our church The Chapel but THE church in Buffalo. We have gotten to see an incredible move of God in Buffalo bringing churches of different denominations, races, and cultures together to partner in making sure that every man, woman, and child has repeated opportunities to hear and see the Gospel. The songs on our first EP Letters To The Church at Buffalo (that is being released Aug. 14..WooHoo!!!!) were written with the amazing churches and people of this city in mind. So much more to tell ya but for now...it’s nice to meet you!!