2012: Top Worship Songs from our Church

January 7, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

I’m continuing to look back at 2012 in a few areas – my blog, my life and now my church. Earlier this year I posted what I thought were the best new worship songs of 2012 (1|2|3) but I also wanted to share with you the top worship songs from our church in 2012.

2012 top songs

Thanks to the magic of Planning Center Online, figuring out the top worship songs from our church in 2012 is pretty easy. I just ran a quick report, imported to Numbers and looked at how often we had done these songs. And here are the results.

Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons
This is hands down, without question the most impactful song we sang this year at Compass. Great lyrics, great melody, very easy for people to learn even the first time they hear it. In all, we sang this song on ELEVEN Sundays at our church.

Hillsong – God Is Able
Ephesians 3:20-21 has been a bit of an unofficial theme verse for me in my leading this year and “God Is Able” captures that idea perfectly. Another great congregational song from Hillsong. 

Brenton Brown – Everlasting God
I don’t know how long this song will stay around but it’s safe to say it is a classic. We have gone through seasons where this was a meaningful, profound song for our church and seasons where we have put it on the shelf. This year it gave words to our church in a powerful way.

Chris Tomlin – All To Us
This song expresses so clearly our desire for what we want Compass to be all about. “Let the glory of Your name be the passion of the church!”

Paul Baloche – Hosanna
Paul continues to write great songs for the church. I am so thankful for him. This continues to be one of the best call to worship songs we have.

Vertical Church – Open Up The Heavens
Another new song we introduced this year. If you have not bought the Vertical Church album from Harvest Bible Chapel or read the book by the same name from James MacDonald, you need to do that in 2013.

Paul Baloche – Our God Saves
I love how this song ties in the reason for our gathering with the exaltation of God. We gather in the name of the Father so that He would get glory because of what He has done. 


2012: A Look Back

January 4, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

2012 was a pretty significant year for me and I wanted to take the opportunity to recap it here – partly for myself, partly for you – as a way to give glory and honour to God for what He has done.

2012 calendar

Looking back can be a good thing. Remembering what God has done does two things. First, it reminds us that God has been active and alive in our life and has not abandoned us. Second, it strengthens our faith for the future and what He has ahead of us.

So in the spirit of that, let me share with you some of the great things 2012 brought me.

  • Family
    2012 marked the beginning of my 10th year of marriage to Sonya and we’ll celebrate that big anniversary in May 2013. Marriage is not always easy or what I imagined it to be but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sonya is a great gift in my life and this has been a year that we will remember for a long time.

    Our four kids continue to be incredible fountains of energy. Our three girls are now in school which means that my son & I have been able to enjoy “Manday Monday” on my days off. A real privilege to spend time with him and teach him things that every man needs to know.

  • Sabbatical
    Much of my year centred around a 3-month sabbatical which the elders of our church offered to me. A few years ago they instituted a sabbatical policy for our ministry staff, giving us the opportunity to request sabbatical every 7 years. The time away was an incredible gift, reminding me of the good things God gives, reminding me that I love my church and my job and reminding me that nothing I enjoy in this world compares to God Himself. He really is supreme above all things.

    As part of sabbatical I spent time away on my own, time away with my wife, time away with each of my kids and time away as a family. We also spent 13 weeks away from our church, our home group, our staff team and our leadership roles. God opened my eyes and my ears while renewing my passion for the church and conviction that she really is the hope of the world.

    One of the incredible blessings I got to enjoy as part of sabbatical was a private retreat on this beautiful property. I spent hours walking up and down this carriage path lined with maple trees. The opportunity to do this is something I will remember for a long time.Trees

  • Church
    I’m so thankful I had the privilege of marking seven years on staff at my church this fall. We knew when we came to Orangeville that we were looking to be in one place for a long time and God has honoured that desire. In many ways it feels like we’re just getting started but when the church where you serve is 151 years old, 7 years isn’t much!

    As an expression of our commitment to demonstrating and declaring the gospel to as many people in our region as we possibly can, our church agreed this year to change our name from Orangeville Baptist Church to Compass Community Church. This is an exciting change which allows us to move forward on some things God has been stirring in the hearts of our elders and staff for a while.

    At some point I’ll write more about the whole name change process and how we led our congregation through that but as of January 2013 we are officially operating as Compass. This is a great change that our church is engaged in and we continue moving forward in the things that God has called us to.

    Compass Community Church What about you? What were some of the significant things in your life in 2012?

2012 Blog Stats Recap

January 3, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Another year, another look back at what’s happened here at the blog. Thanks to those of you who have been along for the journey! Thanks to WordPress stats and Google Analytics for helping me put this together.


Total number of posts in 2012: 86

Most-visited post on the day it went live: Advanced Capo Ideas

Post from this year with the most views: “Not for a Moment” by Vertical Church

Total number of site visits: 61,184

Highest traffic day: September 19

Highest traffic month: December

Site which referred the most traffic: WorshipIdeas

Number of countries represented by site visitors: 156

Number of those 156 who only had one visitor all year: 19

Non-English speaking country with the most visitors: Germany

Post with the most comments: Best New Worship Songs of 2012 – Part 1

Blog series with the most readers: Write Worship Songs

Outgoing links with the most clicks:

Most common search phrases leading to the site:

  • christmas eve service ideas
  • portable baptistry
  • mike guglielmucci
  • easter responsive reading
  • gungor beautiful things

So what’s next for 2013?

For starters, I still believe in the power and place of blogging. I know lots of blogs have come and gone but this really has become my home base on the web and I’ve loved posting and sharing here as a way to encourage and help worship leaders do what they do and do it better.

I do have some things I’d like to see happen here in 2013:

  • 100,000 visitors
  • Write and release three ebooks
  • More blog series of posts

It’s been a great year. Looking forward to all that is ahead in 2013!

Link: Top 25 Blogs Christian Leaders Need To Be Reading In 2013

January 2, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Wow – very honoured that Brian Dodd would include me in this list of the Top 25 Blogs Christian Leaders Need To Be Reading In 2013! Thank you Brian! That is a great list and I’m a fan of all of the blogs you’ve listed.

Top 25 Blogs Christian Leaders Need To Be Reading In 2013


Check out this list. If you are looking to add some new blogs to your RSS reader, this list is a great starting point!

You can read more on Brian’s blog or follow him on twitter @briankdodd

New Year’s Resolutions for Worship Leaders

December 31, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

New year’s resolutions can be fools’ good, promising things you know they can never deliver, but the start of a new year also gives worship leaders a chance to commit to new or continued patterns of behaviour to help us as we lead our congregations in worship.

January 1

We can commit to all kinds of things – some frivolous, some meaningful, some life-changing – but here are three new year’s resolutions that will bring guaranteed results to the life of every worship leader and the churches they lead.

  1. Resolve to read
    I’ve written before about my commitment to reading and I definitely hold to the “leaders are readers” mantra. Reading opens new possibilities, wires our brains in new ways, allows us to think critically about established patterns of behaviour in our lives. If you read, resolve to continue that and read more in 2013. If you don’t normally read, resolve to read a few books this year. Check out my list of books that I think every worship leader should be reading.
  2. Resolve to connect
    Ministry is hard and it’s harder when you try to do it on your own. I’ve committed over the past few years to commit with other worship leaders across Canada (listen to the WorshipRises EP and hear some fruit that’s come out of these relationships) and around the world. Twitter is great for that but nothing beats sitting down with someone over a meal and just talking about life. Resolve to do this at least a few times a month – reach out to some people who are in the trenches with you and get plans for lunch on the calendar.
  3. Resolve to pray
    You cannot do this in your own strength. You can’t. Thinking you can is prideful, deceitful, dishonest and just plain wrong. You can’t. You need God. You need His strength, His mercy, His word, everything. You need Him. Resolve to pray more in 2013, pray more passionately, pray more expectantly. Pray for your pastor, pray for the people on your teams, pray for your congregation, pray that the Spirit of God would move mightily in your church and community in 2013.

Have you got some things you’re committing to in 2013? Anything you’re resolving to see happen in your life?

Sunday| Article: How To Avoid Worship Band Breakups

December 4, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

Sunday| is an incredible free resource for worship leaders, tech directors, creatives and really anyone trying to make sense of what’s happening with arts in the church. I was honoured to be asked to write another article for the most recent issue on the gentle topic of how to avoid worship band breakups. I’m so thankful to the Lord for the committed, passionate family of musicians and singers we have at Compass so while I may not have a wealth of experience when it comes to how to handle a breakup, here are some things we’ve committed ourselves to in hopes that the breakups never come.

Sunday Magazine - Breaking Band

I won’t post the whole article here but I’d encourage you to click over to read Breaking Band – How To Avoid Worship Band Breakups and then come back and let me know if you have anything to add to the conversation.

I think there is a role for worship leaders AND worship team members when it comes to maintaining unity, vision and purpose so I’ve included some thoughts for you whether you are leading a team or a member of a team.

What about you? Ever gone through a worship band breakup? Have you got some things that you do with your church worship team to hopefully avoid a band breakup situation?

Compass Community Church

December 2, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

This morning we told our church family that our official launch as Compass Community Church will happen on Sunday, January 6. Working towards name change at a 151-year old church has been an incredible process and at some point I may write about all of the steps along the way but we’re excited about our launch as Compass and reinforcing our core directions of upward and outward.

Compass Community Church

Our launch will be full of incredible stuff for our church AND our community. Here are a few things we’re doing:

  • We’ll gather everyone from our church family together between both services on January 6 for our official Compass launch. We’ll pray, thank God again for what He’s done and is doing in our church and our region and commission our congregation to carry out the work God has for us.
  • Each Sunday in January we’re giving stuff away to our congregation – things with the Compass name/logo that people will use often in the community. We’re hoping that these will open conversations about “What is Compass?” and lead to invitations to our church.
  • At the end of January we’re hosting a Compass Winter Carnival – a great family event for our community where we’ll have indoor & outdoor events, multiple stages, food trucks, ice sculpting, an outdoor rink and tons of activities. Lots of people in our community have never been on our property and we’re hoping  to change that with our Winter Carnival.

This really is only the beginning. Changing our name to Compass allows us to solidify some things which have always been very important to us and positions our church for a very exciting future, allowing us to do things which our previous name didn’t allow.

More information on Compass Community Church is available at www.compassorangeville.com or at @thisiscompass

The future is bright. We’re so thankful for where God is leading us and that our congregation is excited and on board. The vision, faith and grace displayed in this whole process has been inspiring. We are praying that the fruit of all of our work and all of this change is that more people would come to know Christ, that God’s Kingdom would come in greater ways all across our region and that we would be part of a revolution of churches who are upward-focused and outward-released. We’re praying God would allow us to be a part of this.

Paul Baloche – Shout for Joy! Christmas Worship Experience

November 28, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

I make no secret about the fact that I am a big big big fan of Paul Baloche so when I saw this Christmas Worship Experience that he put together with LifeWay Worship called Shout For Joy! I was pretty excited. Paul is an incredible worship leader and songwriter but I think my favourite thing about him is the evidence that his heart is so focused on the church. He wants worship leaders like me and like you to succeed in leading our congregations and he comes at his songwriting and his worship leader mentorship from that angle.



Shout for Joy! is a 6-song set that Paul has put together and from what I hear it can be used on a Sunday morning or even as a Christmas Eve service. I know many of you are looking for Christmas Eve service ideas right now so I’d encourage you to check out Shout for Joy!

Each song in the bundle comes with a rehearsal demo track, piano accompaniment, lead sheet, vocal chart, chord chart, rhythm chart and bass guitar part. A powerpoint file containing lyrics of each song and narrations by Paul is included as well.

Cyber Monday Deals for Churches & Worship Leaders

November 25, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

Black Friday is gone – did everyone survive? Cyber Monday is here and I’ve gathered a few things that churches and worship leaders might want to check out if you are in the mood for spending today. Cyber Monday is a great chance for worship leaders and churches to get resources you were already planning on purchasing with the extra added bonus of savings kicked in!

cyber monday for churches

Remember – Cyber Monday deals are usually only available TODAY so if you are planning to take advantage of the savings here, make sure you get it done. While I 100% support everything I’m linking here in this post you should know that some of these are affiliate links. The price for you is exactly the same so if you choose to purchase through one of my links, thank you very much for the support!

Musical Instruments – Amazon has an incredible assortment of musical instruments, keyboards, recording gear and stage equipment. LOTS of great stuff available here – some of it up to 50% OFF!

Crossway Bibles – 40% OFF store-wide sale on Crossway.org. They’ve also marked down 20 other books and Bibles at even bigger discounts.

WorshipHouse Media – This is the go to site for church media. Whether it’s motion backgrounds, song videos or mini movies make sure you have a look at what WHM has to offer in the Cyber Monday sale store.

WorshipLeader.com – Use the code BLKFRI to get 25% OFF registration costs for National Worship Leader Conference.

Martin Yale CV-7 AutoFolder – I’m going to single this one out because of how unique it is. Want to drastically cut down the time you spend folding bulletins and flyers? This is your answer! A great deal at 42% OFF today through Amazon!

Worship Team Coach – All of WorshipTeamCoach.com’s digital items are on a Cyber Monday sale – use CYBER at checkout to get everything at 50% OFF.

Standard Theme – If you’re thinking about upgrading your blogging experience and ability, Standard Theme is the right choice for you. Use BF2012 at checkout to get 30% OFF this incredible professional publishing theme for WordPress.

Gibson Guitars – You may not have ever thought of using Amazon to buy instruments but you will get up to 60% OFF on select Gibson Guitars today!


AirTurn – AirTurn (the folks who make the pedals you can use with iPad music programs) is offering 15% off their products site wide. Use code CYBER15 at checkout.

OnSong App – I know lots of worship leaders who love this app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and today it’s on sale for only $4.99 through the app store rather than the regular price of $7.99.

Church Motion Graphics – All motion graphics for churches are 40% OFF today.


What else is out there? Add your comment below and let us know what great deals are out there for churches and worship leaders to take advantage of for Cyber Monday!

Worship Blogs for Worship Leaders – Resources, Tools & Ideas

November 20, 2012 | Get free updates of new posts here

I’ve been reading worship blogs for a bunch of years and I get asked all the time from other worship leaders about great blogs to read for worship resources, worship tools or worship ideas. I think one of my favourite things about worship leaders is their desire to continue to learn, grow and be equipped to do a better job leading worship in their congregation.

There are literally hundreds or thousands of great worship blogs out there for worship leaders to be reading but let me share with you a few of my favourite sites that worship leaders should be following in each of these three categories: worship resources, worship tools and worship ideas.

Worship Resources
These sites give you practical content for worship leaders which you can actually use as part of your services on Sunday morning.

WorshipHouseMedia – WHM has a great site for graphics and videos which worship leaders can use in services but their blog is a great spot where they feature seasonal content, free downloads and other worship resources you can use.

LoopCommunity – The guys at LoopCommunity provide top notch loops you can use as part of your worship song sets and their blog features training for Ableton, tips on introducing loops to your worship team and features on worship loop programmers.

Church Motion Graphics – Worship leaders are always on the lookout for worship song backgrounds and different graphic ideas. The guys at CMG have a great blog where they talk about new resources but also give tips on producing and using media for churches.

Worship Tools

Worship Matters – Worship leaders, if you are not tracking with Bob Kauflin, you need to start. His site “Worship Matters” and the book of the same name are must reads to equip you in both practical and theological issues.

WorshipCentral – Based in the UK and featuring worship leaders like Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon and others, the WorshipCentral blog is full of really helpful articles, interviews and song stories for worship leaders. Make sure you also check out the WorshipCentral Course if you’re looking for worship team training material.

Church Stage Designs – Jonathan Malm has become an incredible hunter/gatherer of simple, manageable stage designs that any church can tackle. Whether you are looking for inspiration to get started with stage design or some clear examples of designs you can do, you want to read this blog.

Worship Ideas

Seeds – Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK has created one of the best worship ideas blogs out there thanks to Whitney George (@whitneygeorge) and the rest of the team. Whether it’s how to run rehearsals, kids’ programming, lighting ideas or strategies on taking everything to the next level, Seeds is the first place to look.

David Santistevan – David is a worship pastor in Pittsburgh and is pretty committed to writing and sharing resources for the local church worship leader. So now you know why I like him so much! Follow his blog and on twitter @dsantistevan and you’ll catch a ton of great content.

Bobby Gilles – I’ve posted about Bobby before and I feel like I tweet every one of his articles. He will help you think theologically about important issues related to worship leaders and has no shortage of real world wisdom. He has been a great encouragement to me, even from a distance. You can also track with Bobby on twitter @bobbygilles.

Stephen Brewster – Nobody has the mix of expertise, experience, excellence and cool quite like Stephen. He’s the creative director at Cross Point in Nashville and his blog is jammed full of inspiration, encouragement and more than a little kick-in-the-pants we need. Of course he’s on twitter too @b_rewster and it doesn’t hurt that he was born in Canada!

So I’ve shared my list with you, now what about you? What are your favourite resources, tools and ideas that help you do your job better? What’s out there that I and other worship leaders should know about?


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