worship recap – playing to your strengths

Well, we didn’t cut any songs this week…  at least not from what we rehearsed on Thursday.  I did have a hard time finding a lead guitar player though.  You know what that means, I had to break out my tele!  I love playing that thing, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretentious enough to call myself a lead guitar player.  I pretty much finger pick, strum a little and use a lot of delay to make it sound like I know what I’m doing (learned that from Karl). 😉

All in all I think we played to our ability and it sounded good.  I’m learning that there’s definitely an art in that.  When playing in a Church setting with volunteer musicians it’s important to play to your strengths.  Knowing what those are is crucial.  Not trying to exceed those is even more crucial!

Recently I’ve come up with the following four things that I think every worship leader should know.

Know Your God (duh)
Know Your Music
Know Your People (that includes their abilities)
Know Your Gear

These seem like pretty straight forward concepts, but you’d be surprised at how much not knowing even one of these will affect the worship experience (especially the first one).

This week, we had a drummer who’s been playing for less than a year, a vocalist who’s been singing for about a year and has no formal training, a guitarist who hasn’t played in a while, a bass player who’s really a guitar player and me playing electric guitar.  What a rag tag group.  But here are their strengths and how we played to them.

Our drummer has a work ethic like none other.  I knew he would know the songs just like they are on the CD.  So we stuck to those arrangements as much as possible.  He nailed it!

Our guitar player just got a new Martin so he was super excited about playing that.  Plus he’s a better guitar player than I am so I had him play a couple of lead parts on acoustic.

Our Bass player is a seasoned musician and an incredible vocalist.  He’s been playing bass for us for the last few years.  He’s probably the most solid musician on the team so I sought his input at every impasse.  Not to mention he’s a spiritual giant!

Our vocalist has an amazing voice so I had her sing strategically along with our bass player.  I also made sure that she had her own monitor mix.  I got a lot of compliments on her vocal this week.

Me…  well, let’s just say that I played sparingly and listened closely to the advice of our sound guy.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s probably the best guitarist in our Church.  I should have had him play and ran sound myself!  😉

Here was our setlist:

Everything Glorious (Crowder)
Faithful (Stafills version)
I Am Free (Desperation)
He Knows My Name (Tommy Walker)
Pastor Dave closed the service with an incredible song that he wrote and then ended with the hymn “Were You There”.  This is his sweet spot so I highly encouraged it (not the hymn, the song he wrote).

All in all, it was a great service!  1 Cor. 1:27

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