22 Jan

Your Grace Finds Me – Matt Redman

Matt Redman does it again with his newest release, Your Grace Finds Me.  Redman faithfully writes music that is not only theologically sound but accessible to congregations the world over.  Most of his albums center around a particular theme, this one centers around mercy and grace.  Many of the songs work whether you have a full band or just a guitar or piano.

I will kneel in the dust at the foot of the cross, where mercy paid for me.

The album starts with the drum driven Sing and Shout.  The melody is very catchy and singable but if you have a band of beginner/intermediate players you may struggle getting the feel of this one.  (View the simplified drum tutorial here)  The title track Your Grace Finds Me has a consistent steady feel to it.  Then Mercy, my favorite on the album, with it’s tricky meter change halfway though.  One of my band members referred to it as Endless Hallelujah II, because it has a similar feel.  I Need You Now is a wonderful expression of our total reliance on Christ.  This Beating Heart, a declaration of what we were designed to do, has a little bit of a Mumford & Sons feel or Rend Collective Experiment’s Build Your Kingdom Here.  Skipping to Wide as the Sky, this is a directive song to the congregation helping them to take a particular posture in worship.  Both physically as well as in their hearts, it’s reminiscent of The Stand.

Hands up hearts open wide as the sky
We lift You high, we lift You high
Hands up hearts open wide as we cry
God we lift Your name high

Good Forever…Matt has a depth of understanding about God’s faithfulness that allows his to write a lot of songs on that subject without them feeling recycled.  The driving song, Let My People Go, is a great song but seems to me that it would not work very well as a congregational worship song.  Come and See is a wonderful telling of what was accomplished when Christ died on the cross.   A wonderful way to end the album,  or your church service, is with a Benediction.

Overall I love the album, my only complaint would be the range in many of the songs is well over an octave.  The song Mercy is in the key of C on the recording and we’ve had to bring in down to Bb,  if we go any lower it makes the song too low.  So be careful about the range you are expecting your congregation to sing in.

21 Jan

Do I Have to Raise My Hands in Worship?

A fantastic article on expressiveness in worship. (click here to read it)

When we understand the greatness of God, the stability of His character, the perfection of His justice, the depth of His grace, the limitless nature of His love, the wonder of His holiness, and the sacrifice of His Son, it should not be difficult for us to be moved greatly in our desire to worship God, and worship Him passionately.

02 Jan

Band on the Run

This is the single most beneficial video for worship bands.  This video is from the WorshipGod08 conference.  Bob Kauflin is the writer of the Worship Matters blog he is also the author of a book, also titled, Worship Matters.  There are also some powerful worship concepts.  It’s about 75 min long but definitely worth it.  Watch it with your whole team then discuss it together.

 

01 Jan

Freedom’s Top Six

After a discussion with one of my drummers I decided to come up with the top six ways for drummers to get kicked off the worship team. Enjoy 🙂

6. Play a 6/8 drum beat no matter what meter the song is in.
5. Play the beat from We Will Rock You on every song. No matter what!
4. Show up with a beer in hand and a cigarette in you mouth and yell at the sound man the whole rehearsal.
3. Go off on a 6 min. drum solo at the end of a really worshipful song. When asked why you did it tell them God told you to rock!!
2. Yell at the worship leader that his singing is drowning out your drums.
1. Show up wearing tube socks, cutoff jean shorts and a fish net shirt.

03 Nov

Death in His Grave

John Mark McMillan.

This is the same guy that wrote How He Loves and one of the things I love about his songs are that they use non-churchy words to explain theological concepts. He does a great job of explaining his creative process and inspiration here, so check that out first.

On Sunday, we’re going to be singing Death in His Grave. As a worship team, we don’t want anything we do to get in the way of people worshiping. When learning a new song, it’s sometimes tough to sing along if it’s the first time seeing the words. With Death in His Grave, the words are so poetic we don’t want to miss the truth that those lyrics hold. The song is called Death in His Grave, but if we miss the fact that it’s Jesus putting death to death, we miss the whole song.

I’m going to post the lyrics with links to Bible passages that relate to what McMillan is talking about (some are different than his explanation, but we think they’re still relevant).  Hopefully we can get the lyrics out to enough people so we can look at some/all of the references and get a really cool picture of who Jesus is.

These references are a result of the Body in action. Jeremy, my mother-in-law, and I sat in the conference room at church and worked together on this.

Death in His Grave by John Mark McMillan

Though the Earth cried out for blood
satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas
for the souls of men she craved

Sun and moon from balcony
turned their head in disbelief

Their precious Love would taste the sting
disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
but awoke with the keys
To hell on that day

the first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

So three days in darkness slept
the Morning Sun of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death
and overturn his rule
Now daughters and the sons of men
would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent

when the day rolled anew

He has cheated
Hell
and seated
us above the fall

In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

Hopefully that helps. Here’s him singing it, if you want to listen while reading: