Friday, November 28, 2008

Tel me about the Christmas tunes in YOUR worship sets...

ok, so Thanksgiving Day has officially expired and, especially for those of you who are like me, that means that Christmas tunes are now officially part of our worship sets for the next several weeks. Here's what I'm wondering:

Which Christmas tunes have provided particularly special moments at YOUR church?

Monday, November 24, 2008

worship confessional (11.23.08)

Hey... it's been a few weeks, I know. I didn't lead at MSC last week, and the week before, well... I had this 'Wide Open' event and time to blog was way down the priority list apparently :)

This week was interesting to say the least... I've been trying to really improve transitions inside our worship sets. This week I really tackled 'em head on and we went back and forth quite a bit, throwing bridges all over the place from one song into another. It was fun. Here's how the setlist looks on paper, then I'll unpack it a bit:

A Thousand Hallelujahs - (M. Roach)
I Will Always Love Your Name - (Paul Oakley)
Once Again - (Matt Redman)

feature tune: Imagine (Lennon) with modified lyrics :)

Hosanna (Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown)

Ok, so the first two tunes just kinda went back to back... we started 'I Will Always Love...' just on a droning E and I talked for a few seconds before we sang. That's a great oldie, by the way, for congregations. Really simple, but I forget how enjoyable it actually is to sing. As we ended that one, we launched immediately into a driving intro for 'Once Again' and then the bottom sorta fell out as the first verse started. After a few times through the bridge of 'Once Again' I encouraged the congregation to spend some a few moments w/ God in thanks for the gift of Jesus and the Cross. When we started singing again, we sang the bridge of 'Here I Am to Worship' several times while building instrumentally, then returned to another quiet 'Once Again' bridge. My hope is that all of that stuff really helped fuse together a moment in which we could all really dwell on the gravity of the gift that was the cross...

At the end of the service, during 'Hosanna,' we continued the bridge-swapping by inserting the 'Once Again' bridge after the second chorus... new key, new tempo, and with a four-on-the-floor feel this time... it was nice, I think, and tied that moment back into the end of the service a bit. After Pastor Keith's blessing, we launched into the actual bridge of 'Hosanna' and ended on a few choruses...

How was your weekend?

This post is also a part of Sunday Setlists

Friday, November 21, 2008


seriously, seeing this kind of thing is wild to me. Praise God.

Monday, November 3, 2008

worship confessional (11.02.08)

are you kidding me? November? wow.

That said, we had a great weekend at MSC, as I'm hoping you all did as well. Just got some hi-tech sound baffling installed this past week and it totally tweak us out up on stage--in a good way, mostly. We're in a multi-purpose type facility, so our stage is surrounded by painted drywall. Sound (sound = drums for the most part) just bounces all around us and what doesn't keep bouncing around leaps into the congregation. With the new paneling, everything sort of stops after it's played. it's weird. anyway, it definitely helps the room out.

So our setlist was:

All Because of Jesus - (Steve Fee)
Sweet Mercies - (David Ruis)
Holy Lord - (M. Roach)

feature tune: Give Us Clean Hands - (Charlie Hall)

Everlasting God - (Brenton Brown, Ken Riley)

The Fee tune is a great opener... high energy. I usually use my delay and wah on this one in the verses (on my acoustic) so that we kinda get the two electrics vibe going. fun stuff. Sweet Mercies is solid, too... our congregation still really lets go on this one. We came right out of the Fee tune into a driving intro for Sweet Mercies and then completely out as we started the first verse. Holy Lord came after that, a new tune of mine that I lead from the piano. Anyone else ever move from guitar to piano during your worship sets? The transition can be tricky, but I love leading from the piano from time to time. I actually just started doing that--during worship, that is--about a year and a half ago.

Give Us Clean Hands is another classic. Mark Schultz did a version that was on Absolute Modern Worship II a few years back... really cool percussion bed underneath and a full-out choir. I was able to assemble a cool percussion loop, but no choir. :) It was a fun tune, though, we did it during communion, then ended with Everlasting God... good stuff.

this post is also a part of Sunday Setlists


Hey all... wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about an event I'm involved in that's taking place in a few weeks. It's a concert, yes, but it's more than that... in addition to the concert involving myself, Monty Hobson and Christopher Kai, artists Renee Scott, Kathee Biaggne & Bert Vandermark will be joining us as well to add media, photography, and visual art touches.


We believe that art has the ability to fuel conversation. The artists involved in Wide Open want to create events where music, media and art are catalysts for dialogue. What's more, we want to create artistic experiences that inspire our community to serve those in need. For this reason, we've decided to use proceeds from this first Wide Open event to benefit flood relief.

What exactly is Wide Open? Great question. I could pontificate for pages here on this blog or just simply point you all to a site that's way more articulate than I am... check out for more info, samples from artists involved, etc. and you can even buy your tickets online there!

Hope to see every at Morning Star Church on Nov. 14, 2008 @7:30pm!