Tag Archives: Worship

Back on Bass

cr band bassIt has been about three years since I have played in a band, but I back now! 🙂

Last night I had the honor of joining the Vineyard Boise’s Celebrate Recovery band as they kicked off the evening with a worship set. They usually host the CR folks in the Chapel, which has an inmate setting.

However, being Good Friday, we had to move into the sanctuary, which meant a HUGE stage and lots of cool sound equipment. For example, I got to use a personal mixer that allowed me to adjust the band’s sound to my personal liking. Granted, why cool, playing with sound-canceling earbuds was very strange! The best thing about using good quality sound equipment means that our sound really came out great for people to listen to, after doing all this I think me and the guys should do a few more gigs around where we are… can’t harm, can it! We’ll need to invest in some good quality sound equipment, obviously we’re not breaking the bank but I know that there are some out there I have had recommended to me by some people in the business, I had a friend tell me “Graham Slee HiFi – free shipping on most preamps“, as he raised his eyebrows (he knows I like the bargains!) I could do with free shipping, it is always best to check it out anyway! Next year we could be on stages all over the country, not holding my breath but I’m also not shutting us down either.

All in all, it was a great evening. We played three songs and I didn’t make any big mistakes. The worship pastor even kept me on the schedule next month, which is a good sign! 😛

The New Worship Wars: Moving From Singing TO God To Singing WITH God

worshipHave you ever had a feeling that you couldn’t put into words and then all of a sudden you read or hear a term that just pops? Well that happened to me this week when I read Dan Wilt’s blog on worship. It was as if he had given me the words to describe what has been happening within me, I just didn’t know how to describe it. :/

In reflecting on this new sensation, I realized that there might be others of you out there who would benefit from Dan’s article – that and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the subject… but before I get too far along, allow me to summarize Dan’s post:


“Is It Too Loud? Worship Accompaniment Vs. Worship Immersion Culture”   Summary


Dan, a long time Vineyard worship leader and founder of WorshipTraining.com, starts the article off by relaying the conversations he had with two people from his church about the volume of the worship music. One person, a young man, wanted the volume turned up while the other one, an older lady, wanted the volume turned down. In listening to them Dan rightly realized that the volume of the music wasn’t really the main factor in these conversation. The main factor was the worship culture or worldview through which both of these people viewed and experienced worship.

Dan identified the culture of the latter group as one that seeks to be “accompanied and supported by the band.” As in, they highly value the ability to hear the voices of their follow Christians worshiping with them. The music itself becomes secondary as the primary thing, to this group, being together singing to God. Songs favored by this group, whom Dan calls the “Worship Accompaniment Culture”, tend to be melodic and straightforward.

The second culture group, i.e. that of the person who wanted the music louder, is somewhat of a newbie on the world stage, having only taken shape over the past decade or so. Dan describes this group as such:

“Worship Immersion Culture is not primarily drawn to sing about God, nor even do they always feel a need to sing to God. Rather, they are a generation that wants to sing with God. They want to participate in God’s life, and be propelled by worship encounters into a world that is begging them to live out their worship incarnationally – manifesting Christ’s presence in all aspects of life.”


In understanding that last statement it might be helpful to note that the way in which we worship God has changed a lot over the past fifty years. The 1970s and 80s gave birth to the current contemporary worship movement in which people shifted from singing ABOUT God to singing TO God. The Worship Immersion Culture, according to Dan, is now taking things a step further and starting to sing WITH God.

Instead of simply singing, the immersion crowd want to be surrounded by the music – to be draw into a corporate experience where the music is felt as much as heard. Melodies are still good, and the lyrics may still be directed to God, but the main focus is not on hearing the voices of each other, as with the Worship Accompaniment group. For this new group the focus is on being “surrounded by, and participating in/with, the music” that is filing the shared space (i.e. church).

Because of this value of being immersed in worship, this new group is willing and eager to “re-integrate a variety of more participatory worship experiences” into their worship. Dan also notes that the aesthetics of the building are becoming more of a focus with the Worship Immersion Culture. They are looking beyond the function of a building to the way in which the building affects the culture and mission of the church.

Some Closing Thoughts:

If you haven’t guessed it already, I definitely related to the Worship Immersion Culture that Dan highlights. Yes, I still enjoy hearing the voices of those around me – and I still have a huge value of singing TO God. Yet at the same time I want to sing WITH God; to be immersed into a corporate experience that is beyond simply listening to music.

Speaking of music, the sad thing in reading Dan’s post is that most of the commenters missed (in my option) the point of the article. Instead of catching the value and rise of participatory worship, the commenters focused on the volume of the music – which, as Dan pointed out, was just an outward expression of a deeper cultural shift. The thing to take away from all this is that there is a new generation of Jesus followers who are not content to simply worship with music and song. We want to be immersed in worship from all angles and sides.

To do this means changing the way in which we do church. It means re-thinking some of the sacred cows we have in the church and allowing for things to look a lot different. Some folks are not going to be able to make the shift, which is perfectly alright; others, like myself, are looking forward to trying out some of these new participatory worship experiences to see what works and what doesn’t. It might be messy, but it will be quite the journey. 🙂

Top 12 Resources From the Vineyard UK/Ireland in 2012

Each week the Vineyard UK/Ireland AVC uploads some new resources for the church – either ones they re-discovered in their vaults or new material recently released. In celebration of the year just finished, they posted a summary of the top 12 popular resources.

Here is a quick list of the resources in reserve order along with a few of my notes. Feel free to navigate over to the main article for more details as well links to specific resources.

12. Creative Evangelism // Alan Scott

11. Developing Fearlessness // Robby Dawkins

A short video by Robby on being willing to risk everything – including looking like an idiot – to tell people about Jesus. What are we willing to risk to share the message of Jesus?

10. Burned for the Bible // James Mumford

9.  Kids Can Too // Nigel & Jo Hemming

Children are not the church of tomorrow – they are the church of today!! The church in general needs to move past ‘babysitting’ kids on Sunday and allow them to participate in the mission of God as a fully functional member of Christ’s body.

8.  Why bother with theology in the Vineyard // Jason Clark

This is a written article based upon a talk Jason gave last year. It is a well thought out article about the importance of theology in our daily lives – give it a read!

7. Songs that reflect a season of the church // Kathryn Scott

6. Everybody gets to play // John Mumford

A great article by the National Director of the Vineyard UK/Ireland on the value of allowing everyone to participate in the mission of God.

5. Serving our Communities // Alan Scott

Continue reading Top 12 Resources From the Vineyard UK/Ireland in 2012

Reflections on the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conferences (continued)

Worship at the pastor's luncheon before the conference (what can I say? we all love worship.)

The thing I love the most about Vineyard conferences is the worship. There is just something powerful about a group of people passionate about worship and pursuing the presence of God.

Yes, this same level of passion can happen in the local church (and SHOULD happen!). Sadly, however, it doesn’t always happen as Sunday mornings are full of people from all kinds of backgrounds and places on the journey towards Jesus – all of which can serve as distractions from the main goal of throwing our lives down at the feet of Jesus. (not to mention the busyness that comes with setting up chairs, preparing to preach, brand practice, etc…)

Those who typically attend pastors and leaders conferences are, well, fully sold out for Jesus and, for the most part, don’t have the inhibitions that normally keep people from actively worshiping the Lord. As such, these conferences are hotbeds of powerful worship! At this particular conference, each main session started with 45 minutes to an hour of worship and ended with half hour ministry/worship. (and NO ONE complained about the length or the song selections!)

It was awesome!!!


Life giving!!!

I could dance all I wanted to without worrying about the sound system or playing the bass guitar!! It was just me and Jesus bouncing off the walls in an intimate embrace!!

Much happiness!!!!!! 😀

The Vancouver Vineyard building had a huge front area just prime for dancing (and they thought it was for ministry time?!)

Worship Research Resources

As part of my research for last month’s worship series I picked up two Vineyard related books on the subject. Originally I was going to review them separately, but the longer I thought about them the more I thought it would work better to lump them together in one post.

The Worship Journey: A Quest of Heart, Mind and Strength” by Andy Park

Andy Park is a legend in the worship arena of the Vineyard with songs like “In The Secret”,  “The River Is Here”, “One Thing I Ask”, “Revive Us Again” and “Have Your Way In Me”. He is also a pastor and church planter who has been with the Vineyard since the beginning.

Accordingly, I was excited to read his thoughts on worship and he didn’t disappoint. The book was a beautiful look how worship influences and involves all areas of our lives. It is not, as some folks like, simply about a half hour of musical instruments and corporate singing on Sunday morning.

One of the best parts of Andy’s book is the way in which he weaves together resources and quotes about worship from all over the place into his own story of following God. The end result is truly a worship journey from beginning to end.

Favorite quote:

“…in our culture of narcissism, we could be lead to believe that intimacy with God is all about feeling loved. It’s as if we believe that if we can get a warm, fuzzy experience in worship then we have been intimate with God. I really enjoy every feeling that comes from worshiping Jesus, but friendship with God is bigger than that.”

Continue reading Worship Research Resources

Worship: Living Sacrifices

Yesterday marked the last of a four part series (part 1, 2, and 3 that looked at the theology of worship and why we do what we do. I don’t know what God did with you guys in cyberspace or those at PRV, but for me, I defiantly feel like this has been a powerful series. In fact, it was a hard series as there were things that I didn’t want to hear let alone share with you all…but God’s hand guided us through it all:

  • The definition of worship – to bow down before God in total submission (part 1)
  • Trusting God, the One we worship (part 1)
  • The intimacy of being in His presence (part 2)
  • Singing to God versus simply about Him (part 2)
  • How worship differs from culture to culture (part 3, guest speaker Shelton Taguma)
  • Worshiping Jesus through our actions – living sacrifices (below)

My prayer now is that we don’t forget the lessons we have learned. I pray that we will take what we have learned and go with God, transforming our minds so that we can work out God’s will in our lives, our community…

Worship, Part 4

Good morning. God has been so good to us this week…

I was driving home Wednesday evening after work when I saw the most wonderful rainbow ever! It was a full double rainbow declaring God’s peace for He has hung His war bow on the wall. He has made a covenant with the earth, humanity and the animals never to destroy the earth with water again. What a powerful promise!  =)

As I stared in wonder at this rainbow, I couldn’t help but worship the Lord for all that He has done. He created the heaven and the earth – He has given us everything we have and are – He died for us so that we may be set free from sin and death. He gave us eyes to see and ears to hear – feet to walk and hands to work.

He is good! Amen and amen!!


This reminds me of end of Romans 11 and the beginning of chapter 12:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
–Romans 11:33-36

What a powerful doxology or statement of the faith! How unsearchable is his judgment and His paths? That we might all follow the Wild Goose of the Holy Spirit into the unknown places of the world to share the Love of God to all!

And to Him be the gory forever! Amen.

Continue reading Worship: Living Sacrifices

Worship: The Heart of Worship

Today I wanted to post the second part of my short sermon series on worship (part one can be found here). The full audio version can be found on the PRV website along with the audio file of part three presented by Shelton Taguma from Zimbabwe.

Core Values

I was re-reading our core values this past week when I ran across a beautifully written statement about this:

“God is eager to be known and experienced by all. We believe that God is searching for lost humanity in order to draw us into intimate relationship with Himself. In response to God’s initiative, we value the life-changing power of the experience of His presence.

The primary place where that relationship is nurtured and developed is in the act of worship – both private and corporate. So, experience-based worship is the central activity of all that we do in the Vineyard. It is worship that causes all else that we do to become an act of worship. We experience God’s presence as a palpable reality when we worship. As we worship we become increasingly sensitive and response to the Spirit’s presence so that we can do as Jesus did: “See what the Father is doing,” (John 5:19) and support His work with our lives.”

We are a people of the presence of God. We seek His presence as a child seeks their parents – as a calf is drawn to its mother, so we are to be drawn to the presence of the Lord.

This desire to be in the presence of God affects how we worship as a community for it must be:

  • Regular
  • Real
  • Non-religious
  • Relevant
  • Contemporary
  • Simple
  • Love-song-oriented
  • Honest
  • Free
  • Warm
  • Open
  • Personal
  • Tender
  • Non-manipulative
  • Non-hyped
  • Sincere
  • Intimate
  • Music

(the above list was drawn from Alexander Venter‘s book about the Vineyard called “Doing Church”)

There is just something powerful about music as it has a way of uniting our mental, emotional, and spiritual parts into one. It connects with us in a way that is deeper than our mind – we remember songs more so than sermons (which is why we need to be careful about the songs we sing and/or listen too)….

Continue reading Worship: The Heart of Worship

Trail Broke

The church/school bell had just rung, calling everyone to worship (the school we met in has a pair of old bells that we ring seven times before church each Sunday). And there I was pacing outside, asking God what I was to do as in a few minutes I would have to walk into the gym, pick up my bass guitar, play a few songs and then teach on intimate heart of worship – a topic that is close to my heart and one that I wish every Jesus follower would/could grasp.

It was in that moment of silence before the activity of the day, I heard two words spoken to my heart from my Lover:

Trail broke

In the colloquialism of the American West, a trail broke animal, which is usually a horse, cow or donkey, is one that is used to walking down a trail either as a lead animal or as one following the lead critter. In the case of a horse, being trail broke normally refers to a horse that can be counted on to follow a trail rather than always trying to get of the trail and into the ‘wild’ areas.

For a cow the phrase normally refers to a one that is used to being driven in cow drives and is content to follow the lead cowboy wherever he takes them. A trail broke donkey is similar to a trail broke cow, only a donkey is usually the lead animal in a herd of sheep, who will follow the donkey wherever it goes. In such a case, the lead donkey has the unique task either following the shepherd in front of the herd or, in the case when the shepherd is off corralling a renegade sheep, it follows the trail the shepherd left until otherwise directed.

Continue reading Trail Broke

Worship: Trusting God

We are in between two major studies – the Story of God, which we just finished, and the life of Jesus, which we will be starting in March.

This month, however, we are going to be looking at worship:

•    What is worship?
•    Why do we worship?
•    What does worship mean?

The general outline we will be using these next few weeks in answering these questions is as follows:

  1. Trusting God – We have to really trust God before we are willing to surrender everything to Him in worship. For example if you don’t trust God then you are less likely to really let go and enjoy Him during musical worship. Instead you are going to try to maintain a certain demeanor while sings the lyrics.
  2. The Heart of Worship – Is there a difference between praise and worship? How do you worship God amidst distractions? Why do we signing songs for half an hour?
  3. How Worship Changes Us – Shelton Taguma will be teaching us from a Zimbabwe perspective.  When I originally asked him to speak a month ago, all I knew was that he was a lover of worship – I didn’t know that he recently finished teaching a series on worship in Zimbabwe before he came to the States with this wife to have their second child. God really set us up… =/
  4. Non-Musical Worship – Worship God goes beyond the musical song service into everyday life. True worship is an ongoing daily relationship with Jesus that is real and personal.

I must warn you though… as I’ve been studying this topic, I have to say that it may sting some of you… worship can be a touchy subject full of emotions, so I just pray that you all while open your hearts and minds to Jesus as I’m sure I won’t be able to have all the right words or phrases… But I know that His Spirit will guide us all – individually and corporately as that is what Jesus told us in John 16:13-14:

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.


Continue reading Worship: Trusting God