Hillsong United and Elevation Worship – TODAY!

February 19, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Two beautiful examples of the power of technology to get new creative content into the hands of worship leaders all around the world quickly: Hillsong United is streaming their new CD “Zion” on iTunes and Elevation Worship is streaming the DVD of their new CD “Nothing Is Wasted”.

hillsong united zion group photo

Here’s how Hillsong United describes the new CD “Zion” –

The whole point of this album is the realization that God is doing His thing, and He has already done it, He is establishing His Church, and it’s through us.

The album was birthed out of our cry, “God I want to be a part of what it is you’re doing, if that means write a song, we’ll do our best to write the best songs we can. If it means serving the poor and those who are hurting, then we’re going to do it better than we’ve ever done it before. If it means just being a great son or daughter, brother or sister, mum or dad – wherever it is we find ourselves – then let’s do that better than we’ve ever done it before.

Go here to stream the new Hillsong United CD “Zion” in iTunes US & Canada.

Elevation is releasing the newest Elevation Worship album “Nothing Is Wasted” and today ONLY they are streaming the DVD of the album live on their site. Another great use of technology to get these songs directly to worship leaders all around the world.

Elevation Worship - Nothing is Wasted


Visit the Elevation Network site to watch the stream of the new Elevation Worship CD “Nothing Is Wasted”.

Reconnect Tech Conference and Create Conference

February 14, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Worship leaders, church tech volunteers and creatives are always looking for training opportunities and conferences where they can develop their skill, reach a new level of inspiration and connect with others who are passionate about the same kinds of things as they are. Those kinds of conferences are few and far between in Canada but I want to tell you about two conferences happening this year for church tech volunteers, worship leaders and creatives and encourage you to attend one or both of them!

Reconnect Tech Conference

Reconnect Tech Conference is happening April 26 & 27, 2013 at Forward Church in Cambridge. The focus of this conference is to give practical, relevant, hands-on training for volunteers in the areas of audio, video, lighting and tech leadership. I’m privileged to be part of the lead team putting this conference together and our heart in this has always been smaller churches. Some of the best and most effective teachers and trainers are coming to be part of Reconnect and we know you will leave this conference equipped to do your job even better than what you are already doing!

After an incredibly successful launch last year, we have agreed to bring back the Reconnect Tech Conference in 2013. Registration is only $59 and is open now at www.thereconnect.ca. You can also follow Reconnect on twitter @reconnecttech and find more on Facebook.

Our lead team is working on details but we wanted to get this to you as soon as possible so that you could add the dates to your calendar and plan to be there with your entire tech team.

Some of the breakouts being offered as part of this conference include:

  • Basic setup and soundcheck
  • Stage design on a dime
  • Dreaming with a vision
  • Running a soundcheck
  • Knowing your mixer
  • How to tell a story through video
  • And lots more!

The main session speakers for the Reconnect are Greg Atkinson and Stephen Brewster. They come with loads of experience and expertise with years and years of results to back up what they are bringing.

Spread the word on this conference for tech volunteers and head over to the website to get registered today – www.thereconnect.ca

Create2013 Logo

The second conference I want to tell you about is the Create Conference which is happening June 3-5 at Central Community Church in St. Catharines, ON. Create is this beautiful mashup of creativity and technical know-how which will take your inspiration to a whole new level while at the same time giving you some really practical instruction in how to get there.

The team behind Create is some of the best people I know who are actually producing really great results. Their Sunday morning services are impactful and memorable, the media they are producing is really high quality and their commitment to excellence is inspiring. Carving out time for you & your team to attend Create would be a really great decision.

You can find all kinds of info on the Create Conference website at www.createconference.ca or on Twitter @createcanada but here is a list of just some of the incredible speakers they’ve got lined up for this year’s conference.

Check out this list:

  • Carlos Whittaker
  • Jeremy Cowart
  • Steve Osmond
  • Scott McLellan
  • Ben Cantelon
  • Justin Wise
  • Jared Hogan
  • And lots more!

All of these names may not be familiar to you but I promise they will deliver quality content and the conference is shaping up to be a great experience for you & your team.

Registration for Create is open now and you can find all of the details at www.createconference.ca.

Fellowship Creative – Always Been About You

February 13, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

“Always Been About You” is the new album from Fellowship Creative and Fellowship Church. The album just released on February 12 and I’m pretty happy to share it with you on the blog today. Read through to the bottom of this post to find out how you can win a copy of this new CD.

Fellowship Creative - Always Been About You

Fellowship Creative has released a few albums already – “Closer to the Start” is one of my favourites and an album I go back to pretty regularly when I need some high energy inspiration and creative fuel. On this new album, the songwriting is fresh, the melodies have got a great feel to them and overall the album seems to lean in a direction which isn’t heard very often in the modern worship movement.

And that’s a good thing!

From Fellowship Creative:

“Creativity has been around from the very beginning. We believe we were made in God’s image-the ultimate creator. Therefore, we are creative beings. So the question isn’t “if” we are creative, but how we use our inherent creativity.”

Not every church is going to be able to sing these songs but that’s okay. If anything you will hear some new ideas which will inspire you to rethink the songs which have become common and run-of-the-mill in your own context. You’ll get some seeds of creativity which will lead to new songs and fresh expressions of what God is doing in your congregation.

Here’s some more info on this album and the heart behind it from a couple of the Fellowship Creative guys and then scroll to the bottom for instructions on how you can WIN this album.

You can find out more about Fellowship Creative and the new album here:

Web: www.fellowshipcreative.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FellowshipCreative
Twitter: @FCCreative
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/fccreative

I’ve got TWO copies of this CD to give away. How can you enter to win? Very easy!

Option 1:


Option 2:


Comment below to let me know you did it. Leave your email so I can contact you if you are the winner!

PraiseCharts – Top 10 Easter Worship Songs

February 12, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Worship leaders – you’ve probably begun planning or at least brainstorming your Easter services and are looking for some final ideas on the best worship songs you can use that weekend. Always a good idea to stay simple at Easter, sing lots about Jesus and focus on the resurrection.

The good people at PraiseCharts have put together their list of top 10 Easter worship songs and I really like it. This is a good list of worship songs – most or all of them will be familiar to your church, several of them are traditional reworked with a new chorus and the lyrical content of each one is very solid.

These aren’t really presented in order but here’s the list of top 10 Easter worship songs from PraiseCharts:

Hillsong – Cornerstone

Chris Tomlin – Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Travis Cottrell – In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock

Jeremy Camp – Overcome

Hillsong – Lead Me To The Cross

Matt Maher – Christ Is Risen

Hillsong – Mighty To Save

Chris Tomlin – How Great Is Our God

Kristian Stanfill – Jesus Paid It All

Chris Tomlin – Your Grace Is Enough


Seeds Conference – Church on the Move – Tulsa, OK

February 11, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Seeds Conference at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK has been on my radar for a couple of years and I’m excited to finally be going this year. Will you be there? Let me know – I’d love to connect if you’ll be at Seeds!

Seeds Conference

Seeds Conference is March 6-8, 2013. Registration is sold out but they do have an online streaming option.

Workshops are targeted across several ministry areas – creative, students, kids, guest services, senior pastors and pastoral care – and I’ll be focusing on the creative ministry workshops:

  • Delivering A Great Vocal Performance
  • Creating A Mix That Rocks
  • The Elevation Creative Process
  • Fundamentals of Stage Lighting
  • Lighting for Video
  • General Session Talk
  • The COTM Marketing Strategy
  • Directing Announcements
  • Building A Better Band
  • Killer Drums
  • Compelling Drama
  • Crafting Testimony Videos
  • Do-It-Yourself Video
  • Working with Your Senior Pastor
So much great stuff in one conference – I can’t wait!


How to Write a Worship Song (In 5 Minutes or Less)

February 8, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Sometimes it’s great to have a good laugh and make sure that we’re not falling into any kinds of shortcuts.

The lyric mixup on the slides is my favourite part.

Worship songwriters – don’t give up. Keep going. Your art is valuable and needed. Don’t take shortcuts or be satisfied with your first drafts. Do the work and share your results with people you trust.

And a little woah-oh-oah never hurt anyone!

Are You Leading Out of Fear or Calling?

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

Thought for the day:

“Leading out of fear shows itself as clutching and grabbing. Leading out of calling shows itself as encouragement and gratitude.”

Blog Contest Giveaway: Books & CDs from my office!

February 6, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway on the blog – I’ve got a few things coming down the pipe for you but wanted to do something a little bit different this time. I love learning, I love reading and finding out about new resources available for worship leaders or people who are involved in some creative kind of work. I’m a big fan of sharing those resources with you so that you can develop as a worship leader.

New to the blog? Check out a couple of series of posts I’ve written recently:

Write Worship Songs: 10 Steps From Inspiration To Completion

Worship Leaders Toolkit: Resources To Help You Do Your Job Better

Over the last couple of years I’ve received a few books and CDs that I’d really like to share with you. All of these books and CDs are excellent resources to have – in some cases I’ve bought my own copies, in some cases I just want to pass them on to you.

I thought we’d have a bit of fun with this and let you choose your own prize and share the giveaway with your friends. Read below to see the different books and CDs I’m giving away and then enter the contest at the bottom of this post through the widget.

What’s available as far as prizes? Well I’m glad you asked!

Platform by Michael Hyatt

“Platform” by Michael Hyatt is a book which blew up big time this year. I’ve had the opportunity to hear Michael speak and learn from him directly on some of these ideas. I received a copy of this book at the SCORRE Conference in 2012 and then purchased a pre-release version of the book to give away on the blog.

In Platform, Hyatt will teach readers not only how to extend their influence, but also how to monetize it and build a sustainable career. The key? By building a platform. It has never been easier, less expensive, or more possible than right now.

So why did I buy a pre-release version? Because I wanted YOU to receive all of the exclusive content Michael and his team were making available to those who bought the book early. What’s included in this pre-release package? Some great stuff!

  • Platform Video Jumpstart (a $179.00 six-session video series)
  • Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author (a $47.00 one-session video)
  • How to Write a Winning Book Proposal (a $47.00, two-session audio series)
  • Writing a Winning Non-Fiction Book Proposal (a $19.97 e-book)
  • Writing a Winning Fiction Book Proposal (a $19.97 e-book)
  • All the Digital Editions of Platform (a $38.06 collection of the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and PDF formats)
  • Audio Edition of Platform (a $24.99 audio edition of the entire book)

Boom! How great is that? “Won’t I get all that stuff if I buy the book today at Amazon?” I can hear you asking that! Nope, you won’t. Bonus content is available in one place only to people who bought his book early and I’m now sharing this with you.

Vertical Church CD

“Live Worship from Vertical Church” is my favourite album of the year. We are singing several songs from this CD at our church and I am listening to it constantly in my office. Harvest Bible Chapel has grown their worship leaders to the place where the songs they are singing at their church are now influencing churches all around the world and I want to share this CD with you.

This is the original CD still in the plastic!

Seth Godin - Poke the Box

“Poke the Box” by Seth Godin is the book you may need to give yourself a kick in the pants to go ahead with that new idea, move forward on that new dream, take that risk which needs those 20 seconds of courage.

delirous - Cutting Edge Years

“The Cutting Edge Years: 20th Anniversary Edition” from delirious definitely needs to be in your library. These guys need no introduction and probably did more for the modern worship movement than any single band. This is  CD/DVD set full of great content.

Other great stuff I’m giving away:

  • The Art of Curating Worship” by Mark Pierson is an awesome resource for worship leaders and will help you think through your role as curator rather than only service planner or music chooser.
  • 25 Songs That Changed The Way We Worship” from Integrity Music is another CD/DVD set of songs which have had lots of impact in churches around the world through Integrity and their artists.
  • Same Kind Of Different As Me” by Ron Hall & Denver Moore is a fiction book and is an incredible story which will get your brain geared up in a new kind of way.

Alright.. time to enter. Use the widget below to enter the contest and share with your friends. The more sharing you do, the more entries you get. Make sure you list your top three prize choices so that you get the prize you’d like if you win. If your name is chosen and all three prizes are gone, I’ll be in touch to get your next choice out of what is left.

Who pays for shipping? I will!

Are the books in good shape? You bet!

Do you have other stuff to give away? Maybe we’ll do this again sometime!

Thanks for entering the contest and good luck! We’ll close the contest on Friday, February 15 and I’ll announce winners that day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

January – blog goals recap

January 31, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

I set out at the beginning of 2013 with three pretty significant blog goals – something I’ve never done before. I love writing this blog as a way to serve worship leaders, to help you find resources and tools to help you lead worship better and more effectively. Serving more worship leaders and sharing more resources and tools is definitely the big goal for 2013 and I’ve broken those down in to three smaller targets.

First, I looked at my stats from the last few years, thought about some new things I wanted to try this year and decided that my target would be to see 100,000 visitors to the blog in 2013.

For some of you, 100,000 is chump change. For others, 100,000 is stratospheric. That’s not the point. The point is that I wanted to be able to serve a significantly higher number of people this year through my blog and that’s the number I landed on.

Blog stats January 2013

So.. how did we do in January?

Number of visitors in January 2013: 6,870

One month’s target to reach 100,000 visitors in year: 8,333

Over/under that target number in January: Under by 1,463

So while I didn’t hit the one month visitor target in January to get me on pace for 100,000 visitors in 2013 there are some bright spots here:

  • There were more visitors to my blog in January 2013 than in all but one month in 2012
  • The daily average for visitors is the third highest of any months since I began my blog in 2007

Second, I told you that I would write and release three ebooks this year. Two of those are in production and will be available soon. I have an idea for the third one but I haven’t started it yet.

Third, I talked about wanting to do more series of posts. In January I posted a few times looking back on 2012 (1|2|3) and also posted the first Final Friday Guest Post from Daniel Bashta. More of those to come each month!

At the very least, I’m glad to be back on the regular blog posting bandwagon and have really enjoyed writing these posts this month. The response from you and others have been fantastic and I’m so thankful that you are finding this blog helpful to you as you think about leading worship and how you can do that better.

Books for Worship Leaders in 2013

January 28, 2013 | Get free updates of new posts here

Worship leaders – what books are you reading this year?

I’ve been asking friends and worship leaders on social media to find out what books they are reading right now and I’d love to have you join in the conversation.

Tweet this post with the #WLbooks hashtag to have
more worship leaders join in the conversation.

I’m a big fan of the “leaders are readers” mantra and there is nothing like spending good time with a book to challenge, inspire and expand your horizons. Books have this beautiful way of confronting things we already believe to be true, inspiring us to tackle new ideas and push in areas we need to grow.

So, worship leaders, what books are on your reading list this year?

Read my list of books that I think every worship leader
should read and have in their library.

Here is what was is in the Amazon order I did last week:

The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship by A.W. Tozer
The Crucifixion of Ministry: Surrendering Our Ambitions to the Service of Christ by Andrew Purves
Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Tim Keller
The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church by Matt Chandler
The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson
One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do by Phil Cooke
The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together by Twyla Tharp

What have you got on your 2013 reading list? Comment below or tweet it with the #WLbooks hashtag so we can all follow the conversation.