Worship Music Thoughts - Praise & Worship P&W

This is a place for Christians to discuss what song Worship is. How do we do it? What works well? How do we balance many issues facing us? Tough questions will be asked. We can also share favorites (songs, bands, websites) and worst "favorites" (songs, bands, etc). I hope to learn and grow and get some great ideas.

Location: Eagle Grove, Iowa, United States

I was born in 1973 in Zaire, Africa. My parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents on my mom’s side were all missionaries with the Evangelical Free Church in Zaire. I graduated from boarding school in Zaire (Ubangi Academy) in 1991 and went to Moody Bible Institute. I spent my summers working at Hidden Acres, the Evangelical Free Church camp in Iowa and it was there I met my lovely and gracious wife, Lori (though we didn’t fall in love there). I received a B.A. in Youth Ministry from Moody and spent over 5 years in an Independent Baptist Church in rural Michigan. I left there at God’s call in 2002 to serve at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Eagle Grove, Iowa, as the Youth Pastor. I have an incredible son, Benjamin, and a beautiful daughter, Elise. My wife is a huge part of our ministry with the youth. I am currently pursuing (slowly) a Master of Arts and Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary through their virtual campus (distance education). My passions are for the glory of God, my family, guitar, volleyball, sports in general, and students. Though the future is unclear, I believe God has called me to “full-time” ministry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2 Lead Lines for Keys / Synth - Made Alive and This Is Amazing Grace (Key of D or E)

I am working with a beginning keyboardist - or maybe I should say - a student who is changing from classical lessons to chording... and working with a teen worship band.  I decided to write out a few lead lines in classic sheet music format... 

Made Alive - by Citzens
I think I'm in the right key; I'm down an octave.

This Is Amazing Grace - by Phil Wickham
Wrong key; am in E or D
Wrote the whole thing out in D, but enough is in E so you can figure it out.

Thought I'd throw it on here - it may help someone.

I assume it's legal - it's just me guessing at what I hear.  

I used noteflight to do this -

If you want the pdf version, let me know.
You can get the editable version on noteflight - I have a free account so everything is free to find and use.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A few worship tidbits

Just a few worship leading tidbits.

One thing I love to do lately is to have a big intro early on (everyone in playing loudly) - and then to drop out to almost no instruments - so people hear their voices. The voice is still the best instrument.

My simple thoughts on speaking while worship leading...

One of my jobs is to help people engage their minds.
I want to speak only when it aids...
Use Scripture

My teens really want to sing - How He Loves (McMillan)... so we are going to do it. So hard to sing... but has some good lines.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blessed Assurance - I changed it up a bit- in 4/4

I am not a big fan of turn of the 20th century songs for the most part (there are a few, not all, Fanny Crosby songs that I like). I love to try to make hymns more contemporary or more guitar friendly - and often add a little bite to them.

I am sure I'm not the first to try that with Blessed Assurance... but I thought I'd share my version of it. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post both text and chords... so I'll just do the chords. The song is written in 9/8 and I play it in 4/4. I strum mostly a down strum on the 1/8 notes - with a few up strums thrown in. Kind of a slow rock feel. My guess is that my tempo is at about 75-80 beats a minute. I haven't played it with a full band yet, but will this Sunday. I'm excited to hear the electric come in on the chorus.



A/E E A A7


G Em A D G/A



G D/F# E A E7 A7


D/F# G Em A D (A = turnaround)

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

New (to me) Worship Songs I'm Enjoying

Just a few of my favorite newer worship songs at our church or redone stuff. (these aren't necessarily new songs, just newer to our church)
Glory to God by Fee
Revelation Song by Kari Jobe
Your Name by Paul Baloche and Glenn Packiam
From The Inside Out by Joel Houston
I Stand Amazed In The Presence - Tomlin's version

RUF Hymnal Stuff I'm loving.

All Hail The Power Of Jesus Name
Praise To The Lord The Almighty
I Boast No More (check out Caedmon's Call's version too)
- and so many more songs are simply redone - mostly less chords - more suitable for guitar.

What new or old songs are you enjoying?

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Expelled - Movie About Intelligent Design

Ben Stein is helping put out a movie about intelligent design - EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed (click here). There are many people trying to silence this movie - but it is coming out April 18th. While intelligent design does not prove the Bible is true, it does validate the Bible. The website has trailers, promo stuff, free downloads, and more. It is worth checking out and supporting. Also, R.C. Sproul interviewed Ben Stein - a very good interview - and R.C. Sproul is well versed in this area. Check it out here.

I think this is one movie we really need to promote. You may have heard about a number of professors who have been fired or denied tenure for holding this position (even one at Iowa State). William Lane Craig called them Intellectual Martyrs. Pass this info on.

Worship Resources

Paul Baloche has some great DVDs out for worship leading. They are worth checking into - especially if your worship band doesn't get to much training stuff. I was impressed with his heart and the content.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My Confession about Worship

For quite a few years I've had a pretty strong desire to lead worship - not just on the side in spare time, but even as a full time job. I absolutely love playing guitar, learning to play new songs, thinking about what song worship is, how to do it, etc. I enjoy improving on the guitar and would love to devote much more time to music.

I suppose that isn't a big confession. I've never really stated that before - before this past Sunday night when I said it to my wife. I guess there's always been a sense of guilt with it or a sense of pride. Guilt - I find too much pleasure in it; maybe that it's not fitting for me to do that (I love to teach and love theology - which I know do or should play a huge part in songs). Pride - I think I'll become proud much too easily; Similar to guilt - I'm not sure I've been called to that - I really love to teach. Also on the pride side - I realize that my musical abilities are incredibly small compared to music majors - from theory, to guitar, and especially to voice - I have a lot to learn (though I know more than the average guitar hacker). That also makes me feel absolutely incompetent.

So I'm saying it - I do have a passion for leading song worship. I really do. I love it. I love preparing for it. I think on it often.

I don't have any great thoughts as to how that affects my future. I do believe that God has called me to "full-time ministry" - but what that is for the future, I have no idea. I'm sure my simple (and they are very simple) musical abilities will be used in what happens, but I really have no idea how much.

I continue to pray to God - here I am. Use me however you want to. You have known all along that I love singing songs of praise to you. Take that for your glory, along with my other gifts and talents - and even my weaknesses. Amen

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bass guitar - drives the groove

At the worship conference I was at a few weekends ago - at Hidden Acres - I went to a seminar on leading worship and a bit on practicing. It was supposed to be on something like that, but wasn't totally. It was more simply about the importance of getting a groove going - which really means the band is perfectly together - which comes from the bass player and the drummer being perfectly on - and really, the bass player holds it all together. He is a rhythm instrument and a note instrument.

One of the results of that is that we are practicing with the click track from now on. It's not always easy, but is good for us. I personally need the practice. I think I may buy some sort of plug-in metronome so I can use it anywhere. Benjamin, my son, needs this (he's 4 and incredible for a four year old - but a metronome at this age would be great for him).

Do you use a metronome or click track (don't tell me you can never find one that works - that they always slow down or speed up). Have you used one? Why don't you use one if you don't.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Engaging Hearts and Minds on Sunday Morning

How do we encourage (challenge, help, etc.) the congregation to engage their minds and hearts on Sunday morning? I'd like to be able to assume it - but that's ridiculous. I'd like to just say - ok - engage your minds and hearts (like on an airplane - they say - fasten your seat belts - and people do it). Obviously worship leaders (not a perfect term) realize the problem and try to work on it. Some talk too much. Others not enough. Some preach. Some pray. Any deep thoughts on this problem and how to "fix" it?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Best Internet Site for Worship Leaders

What do you think is the best internet site for worship leaders?

In my mind, worshiptogether.com is the best site out there. Join for free, and then go every week and print off one new free song - not just the chords, but the sheet music - and print it in any key. I print it in at least 2 keys, sometimes four. I file it away and wait for it to become a great song or to fade away.

So many times where there has been a song that I want to learn and teach our people, I find that I already have it (in many keys) filed away (Indescribable, Unchanging, and so many more). If you are involved in worship leading, make it a practice to go here each week and print off the music. Also, they have great web interviews with song writers and some good articles. They also have junk articles (from my narrow theological point of view). It's worth checking out.

I should add that http://www.igracemusic.com/ and http://www.sovereigngrace.com/music/ are both great sites too.

What site benefits you the most? If you start trying worshiptogether now and like it (or not), let me know.

What are the keys to making music worship work?

When it comes down to it, what are the keys to making music worship work (obviously, God has to make it work, but what are we aiming at)?

I've thought about this question a lot and have really tried to make it simple. Not that I've tried to make up a system, but I've tried to most simply understand why music worship works well sometimes and not others.

There are all sorts of factors (the people worshipping with you, setting, musical talent, songs being sung, etc), but I really think there is a simple way to look at this.

The number one key to leading worship music is to truly be worshiping God yourself. They are following me - and I must lead them in spirit and truth.

So then the question becomes, how do I do that? Or - what keeps me from worshipping? I suppose many things could - and devotional life, amount of sleep, etc affect that. But as far as the band is concerned, the thing that keeps me from worshipping God as I sing the songs is when I have to focus on playing the music. If we practice so well that I know perfectly where we are going and can fully trust those with me to know where we're going, then I can spend my energy on God and focus on making Him look good.

In short, when we've practiced incredibly well, that frees us to focus on Jesus and lead people in giving Him glory.

What do you think? What do you have to add? Do you agree? Shoot me down.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What are your least favorite worship songs?

FIRST OF ALL - Be gentle. I think we can be mature about this. Some songs just are poor - musically, theologically, whatever. What are your least favorite worship songs? Simple enough.


King of Kings (something to do with camp and guitar)
Blindman (that's my wife - she hates that song - again - camp)
Pow'r of Your Love
I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever
Southern Gospel almost anything
Turn of the century Gospel Songs (there are a few exceptions)
There are so many more - and I'm drawing a blank now
So many songs where I change a word to make it theologically (more) accurate
Shout At (I mean "to") The Lord (it's worn out its welcome)

What are your favorite Resources for worship stuff?

What are your favorite sources for worship stuff? Maybe it's a book, a website, a video series, whatever? Again, there may be many categories.

I play guitar - preferably accoustic, so that drives what I do. I also do our youth music and 1 of every 3 Sunday morning worship. That's what drives what I like.

Best Free Resource - http://www.worshiptogether.com/ - join and go every week and print of the free song in many keys. In the last 3 years I've printed off a bunch I didn't know at the time, and now I use them all the time.

Sovereigngracemusic.com - great site - free tab to their songs; download songs cheaply or by the whole CD. Great theology with good tunes.
igracemusic.com - and the RUF Hymnal

Tons of Tab places
rockin with the cross
so many more

Hymnal with chords (not the regular pew Hymnal - but most hymnals will have a chorded edition - I really like the Celebration Hymnal).
Gravity & Gladness On Sunday Morning: The Pursuit of God in Corporate Worship (John Piper)

What about you?

What are your favorite Bands?

What are your favorite bands? Break it down however you want to. I am primarily interested in worship, so that might be a limiting factor. But maybe some secular artists have some great insights are are inspirational.


Caedmon's Call (great theology with good accustic guitar; though too folksy and country at times for my style).
Third Day
Chris Tomlin
Selah (I'm a missionary kid from Zaire (DRC) too)
Petra (means rock, baby)
A cappella
Take 6 (I dream of seeing them in concert)
Newsboys (old school too - but I really like them)
Jars of Clay (love their cool tuning - EABEBE)
David Meece (at least in concert, I love him - he's a musicianary)
There are many more.

Actually, I rarely listen to music (I'm evil, I know)

What are your favorite Worship Songs?

What are your favorite worship songs? Please include the name of the group(s) that does them. Why do you love the song? Any other pertinent info on the song. Maybe you have to have two or three categories of favorite worship songs.

For Me Personally:

HYMN CATEGORY: could be extremely lengthy, but...
When I Survey (especially with the Wonderful Cross Medley)
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Children Of The Heavenly Father
Holy, Holy, Holy
Wonderful Grace Of Jesus
Be Thou My Vision
Doxolory (modern Version - Ken Thomas)

In Christ Alone
Before The Throne Of God Above
Revelation 19 (Hallelujah! Salvation and Glory, Honor and Power to the Lord our God)
Blessed Be Your Name
Here I Am To Worship
How Deep The Father's Love For Us
How Great Is Our God
Wonderful Maker
Holy Is The Lord, God Almighty

CLASSIC P7W (and clearly, some of my Pop ones are classic to others)
God Of Wonders
As The Deer
Beautiful Scandalous Night
More Precious Than Silver
Step By Step

What about Blindman, Awesome God, and so many more.

There are so many more.

What is worship? And more questions.

What is worship (biblically)? I'd love to hear answers. There are two kinds of worship (at least) in Scripture. The broad worship - Romans 12:1-2 - daily offering of whole being to God. The more narrow - what we do with music in Church (or in private). Maybe I need to always say - "song worship" rather than "worship".

If you had to boil it down simply, what are the very key elements of leading people in worship? What does the worship leader (and band if there is one) need to do to help people worship?

I have many, many, many more questions. I hope to address those as well over time.

I'd love to hear peoples' thoughts on favorite Christian bands, favorite Worship Tunes, favorite Worship Resources, and so much more. Actually, I'll ask those questions in specific blogs. That way the responses will kind of arrange themselves together.

I have some answers too - that I'll post some time. Talk to me.