Giveaway – Church Motion Graphics Monthly Mega Pack Subscriptions

Finding good quality, current media to use in worship services is the kind of thing that can overwhelm a worship leader’s schedule. Sometimes it seems like good media is nowhere to be found, sometimes it feels like the possibilities are endless. Either way, you can end up spending hours and hours looking for graphics and videos to use in your worship services.

What if there was a better way? What if there was a media producer who produced, bundled and shipped new, fresh, high quality media to you every month? Say hello to Church Motion Graphics Monthly Mega Pack!



What to expect from the CMG Monthly Mega Pack?

  • Six worship motion backgrounds in multiple formats ($378 value)
  • One five-minute countdown timer ($26 value)
  • An exclusive promo code for additional CMG church media
  • CMG’s best new unreleased church media
  • Access your files all month long
  • Compatible with all worship software including PowerPoint
  • WMV & MOV videos in 1080HD/720HD/480SD plus JPEG stills
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

So what are we going to do to help more people know about this great product? A giveaway, of course!

Thanks to Church Motion Graphics, I’m giving away one SIX MONTH subscription to the CMG Mega Monthly Pack AND a THREE MONTH subscription to the CMG Mega Monthly Pack.

Click the image below to get more info on what’s included in the CMG Mega Monthly Pack and preview the kinds of videos which you’ll receive:

CMG Monthly Mega Pack – Fresh new church media sent to your inbox every month ProPresenter EasyWorship PowerPoint | CMG


To enter the giveaway, just enter your info in the widget below and earn entries by tweeting, liking and sharing this post. The more you share, the more entries you receive!

And.. that’s not all!

We want to give away some additional prizes so the fine folks at CMG have agreed to add an extra prize to the contest for every 50 people who enter. So we’ll start with the TWO CMG Mega Monthly Pack subscriptions and for every 50 people who enter we’ll add more prizes to the mix!

We’ll leave the giveaway up until Friday and announce winners on that day. Good luck!

New Facebook Page

Although I’ve been a Facebook user for a long time I’ve never had a page focused on content from the blog to share with users on that platform. I never really liked the idea of needing a fan page for the blog or for me personally but I love some of the changes that Facebook has made with timeline and apps so I’m happy to announce that there is now an official Chris from Canada Facebook page where you can get connected:

I’d love it if you would visit the Facebook page, like it and share with your friends. Posts from the blog will show up in your news feed but we’ll also be doing some stuff exclusive to the Facebook page like giveaways, etc. News on that coming soon!

Here it is! Click the link and like:


As always, there are lots of ways to share this post through twitter, facebook, google+, etc. Thanks for that if you do!

Advanced Capo Ideas

In the first two posts of this mini series I’ve written about How To Use A Capo and How To Use A Cut Capo. If you haven’t checked those out, click the links and read through them later.

I’ve also put together a quick capo cheat sheet that you can download and print -
I’ve tried to format it so that you can stick it in your guitar case and pull it out when you need it. Hopefully that’s helpful for you!

So to wrap up this mini blog series I wanted to write a post that talks about a few little advanced capo ideas that might help you take things to the next level. It’s always fun to explore the tools we have at our disposal and how they can help us do things a little differently and maybe inspire some creativity.

Three quick advanced capo ideas.

First… Try recreating the drop D sound or even the cut capo sound by taking a regular capo and flipping it to the other side of the guitar neck at the second fret. Rather than placing it across all six strings, let the low E string ring open. So you now have the low E string open and the capo across the A, D, G, B and E strings at the second fret.

Play a D chord shape moved up two frets but instead of muting the low E and A strings like you might do with a normal D chord, let them play. You get these notes: E  B  E  B  E  G#. This is a beautiful open/drop E chord that puts the third of the chord on the highest string and from there you can do lots of variations. On the high E string play the third fret to get a suspended chord or leave that string open to create a 9th chord.

Experiment with different chord shapes with this capo configuration but you’ve basically created a drop D sound raised up two frets just by flipping your capo around to the other side.

Second… One of my favourite things to do with a cut capo is use it in different keys. Pair a cut capo with a regular capo to create some beautiful sounds on your guitar. Instead of only using your cut capo for songs in E or A, try placing your regular capo on the third fret and your cut capo two frets above that. Play your cut capo chords and you’re now playing in an open G tuning.

This can be amazing when you’ve got two guitar players on your team and you’re looking for different voicings and tuning options. Again, experiment with this setup and find the sweet spot for your guitar!

Third… This one came in the comments of the cut capo post and it was something I had never heard of before but you should check this out. The SpiderCapo is a total rethink of the capo and seems like an incredible tool in your kit. It would definitely take some time to figure out all of the options but if you are a feature guitar player and looking for something very unique, this might be exactly the thing you need. Check it out –

I hope that is helpful. Three quick posts on making the best use of the capo if you’re a guitar player. Here are links to all three posts to recap:’

How To Use A Capo

How To Use A Cut Capo

Advanced Capo Ideas

How To Use A Cut Capo

If you’ve been playing guitar for a while and have made a capo part of your regular arsenal, you may want to up your game a bit by becoming familiar with a cut capo and how it works. The cut capo really is one of those tools that can be a bit of a secret weapon in your setup and once you get a grasp on how they work it will become a tool that you use almost every time you play guitar.

First, if you need to get familiar with the concept of a regular capo and how it works, read this post here: How To Use A Capo

Second, I’ve created a little capo cheat sheet that you can print out and keep in your guitar case or on your music stand to help you with making quick chord transpositions using a capo: Capo Cheat Sheet. Please feel free to share this cheat sheet and pass it around to other musicians who may find it helpful.

Okay.. now on to the matter at hand – the cut capo!

Continue reading…

How To Use A Capo

As a guitar player on a worship team, one of the must-have tools in your kit is a capo. Some guitar players are purists about using (or not using) capos but for 99% of you, knowing how to use a capo properly and what it does will serve you very well. Whether you play on your worship team, lead worship, perform as a singer/songwriter or play in a band, guitar players need to know how to use a capo.

Three quick posts coming this week on how to use a capo –

  1. Basics of using a capo
  2. How to use a cut capo
  3. Advanced capo ideas

So let’s get right to it – how to use a capo with some of the basics of what it does.

What does a capo do?
In short, putting a capo on the neck of the guitar raises the pitch of the strings by one semitone for each fret. When a capo is placed on the first fret, each string played is raised by one semitone. When the capo is on the second fret, each string played is raised by two semitones. And so on…

This comes in handy for guitar players when you have songs written in keys which aren’t the easiest to play with guitar chord shapes like F, Bb or Eb. For example, a guitar player can easily play chords in the key of A with the capo on the first fret so that each of those chords are raised by one semitone, giving us the chords we need in the key of Bb.

Continue reading…

Giveaway – Jars of Clay Concert Tickets in Toronto September 15

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and shared it with their friends. Congratulations to Jeff McIntosh and Pam Crosbie on winning the tickets. Enjoy the concert!

Jars of Clay is one of my favourite bands of all time and I’m excited that they are coming back to Canada. Jars of Clay will be playing at Queensway Cathedral in Toronto, ON on Saturday, September 15 and thanks to my friends at Unite Productions I have TWO pairs of tickets to give away to this concert.

Jars of Clay have released their latest album “The Shelter” and are out now sharing these songs with their fans and friends all over North America. If you have never seen Jars of Clay live in a concert setting, you are in for a treat and I’m excited to give away TWO pairs of tickets for this great concert.



Remember, these tickets are for the show at Queensway Cathedral in Toronto on Saturday, September 15. Make sure you’re able to attend before entering so that the tickets will go to someone who will use them! So here’s how this is going to work:

  • You must enter a comment at the bottom of this post with the title of your favourite Jars of Clay song. You can pick something new, you can pick something old school, doesn’t matter. What’s your favourite Jars of Clay song of all time?
  • After you enter the comment, make sure you click the orange “Done” button on the giveaway widget below. Post the comment at the bottom of the post, click the “Done” button in the widget and then go ahead and use the widget to tweet and like the post for additional entries. You can also follow me on Twitter, tweet the giveaway and like the post for more entries. You can even get more entries by sharing this post on Pinterest!

Good luck! The contest will be open until noon eastern on Friday, August 31 and the winners will be announced.


I’m Back & I’m Ready

For the last three months I’ve been able to enjoy the incredible gift of sabbatical from my role as Director of Worship thanks to the elders and congregation of my church. Before I left I wrote about sabbatical, why I was taking it, what I was hoping to achieve with my time away and what I would be doing while I was gone.

Without having any similar personal experience to compare it to, I have to say that the last thirteen weeks have been memorable and life-changing. God was so good to us in our time away.

I’ve been back at work for a week, was part of the team leading worship this past Sunday and I’m excited about the next season of ministry here at OBC. It has been a great seven years and we are hoping and praying for several more.

Over time I will write about my sabbatical experience, how we prepared for it, what I learned while I was away and how it has impacted my life and ministry. For now, let me say that I’m back and I’m ready!

A few things that I’m excited about here on the blog.

  • Giveaways!
    Right now I’m giving away a copy of Standard Theme which is an incredible blog theme if you use WordPress. Next week I’ve got some concert tickets to give away and then a copy of a book that I promise you will want to read.
  • ebooks!
    I had started two ebooks in the spring but decided to put them on hold over the summer so that I could focus on sabbatical without too many distractions. The ebooks come from two series of posts I have done here on the blog which were very well-received so I wanted to gather all of that content together plus add some new material to share with blog readers and a wider audience.
  • Series!
    One of the things that I’ve rethought in my time away is my blog strategy. What I’d like to do is focus on writing series of posts on a common topic which could be found and navigated really easily. Finding good content in older posts is always a challenge for blog authors and readers so if I can put posts together in a way which will help you and make it easier for you to find, I’m going to try and do that.

I’m excited to be back. I love my church and the opportunity I have to lead this congregation in worship. I love how I’ve been able to connect with so many of you through social media and that I’m able to share resources and encouragement with you so that you can be more effective in your role. I’m excited about what is ahead this year and I’d be honoured to have you along for the journey.

A few things you can do to stay connected:

  • Subscribe!
    At the top of the blog and on the right hand side I’ve included big buttons to make it very easy to subscribe to my RSS feed or to subscribe to the blog by email. These aren’t spam lists – simply every time I post something new on the blog, you’ll get a copy in your feed reader or your inbox.
  • Twitter!
    I’m a big fan and big user of social media and you can always follow along with what’s happening on twitter @chrisfromcanada I share lots of articles and thoughts on my twitter account which don’t show up here on the blog. Follow along!
  • Facebook!
    I haven’t said much about this but you can now connect with my blog on Facebook to help share articles and get notified right in your Facebook news feed when something new shows up on the blog. You can connect here: 

Giveaway – Standard Theme 3.0 Standard License


UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and shared it on twitter, facebook, etc. Congratulations to Kerri MacKay on winning a brand new copy of Standard Theme for WordPress!

Whether you blog or are thinking about it, the one big question which seems to stump so many people is, “Which blog theme should I use?”

Thanks to the fine people at 8bit, I am giving YOU the opportunity to win a license of the new Standard Theme to really help take your blog to the next level.

Although the choices are endless, there is only one WordPress blog theme that I can genuinely recommend – Standard Theme. I’ve been using Standard for a couple of years and have just upgraded to the brand spankin’ new version 3.

I’ll give you a full feature rundown in a minute but here are a few quick reasons why I believe Standard Theme needs to be your next WordPress blog theme:

  • I know enough HTML to get me in trouble but I don’t need to know ANY code to get Standard up and running
  • Customize, customize, customize! Almost every element of Standard Theme can be configured the way I want
  • Crazy good support from the team at 8bit
  • Social integration out the wazoo – these guys get social and have made it a priority every step of the way
  • Totally responsive – your design adapts to your readers’ devices, no more mobile themes or workarounds!


Standard Theme is the WordPress Theme
for Professional Publishers*


*and everyone else

This is a beauty giveaway so I want to make sure that you’ve got every possible chance of winning. Standard Theme really is becoming the go to platform for WordPress publishers and there are lots of reasons why. Check this out:

Emphasize your personal brand and tightly associate yourself with your work using publisher oriented widgets.

Display your social influence, integrate with Google search, personalize each article with a short author biography.

Standard is tailored for both individual writers and for multi-author teams.



The Features You’ve Been Waiting For

Wondering what could possibly make Standard so great? Already a Standard Theme user and wondering if the jump to the next version is worth it? Well.. hopefully you’ll win an upgrade here but if not and you’re still on the fence, here are some of the features that are new in version 3.0:

  • Automattic Code Review
  • Improved SEO
  • Full WordPress API Integration
  • WordPress 3.4 Ready
  • Child Theme Ready
  • Mobile Ready
  • Social Icons
  • Advertisements
  • Activity Tabs
  • Social Influence Widget
  • Take Site Offline
  • Policy Templates
  • Tighter Integration with Documentation
  • Improved Personal Branding & Profile Management<

This is not a full feature list – this is just what has been added to this newest version as part of the upgrade!

Standard Theme has also been acknowledged in a few other places. How awesome is this? Recognized in Mashable’s 8 of the Best Premium WordPress Themes. TNW says Standard is “the slickest WordPress theme you’ve ever used.” WPBeginner recognizes Standard in 25 Best Commercial WordPress Themes of 2010.

Enter Now To Win A License Of Standard Theme

So here’s how this is going to work:

  • You must enter a comment at the bottom of this post with the one thing that you love about Standard. What is Standard Theme’s killer feature? Why do you want to use Standard Theme on your blog?
  • After you enter the comment, make sure you click the orange “Done” button on the giveaway widget below. Post the comment at the bottom of the post, click the button in the widget and then go ahead and use the widget to tweet and like the post for additional entries. You can also follow me on twitter, tweet the giveaway and like the post for more entries.


If you’re a bit impatient and don’t want to wait a few days to see if you’re the lucky winner, 8bit has already launched their brand new version of Standard Theme and you can buy it now from their site. As an affiliate, a portion of your purchase price comes back to me. Whether or not you do, the purchase price is exactly the same for you so thank you if you decide to use my link to buy Standard Theme.

Good luck! The contest will be open until Friday, August 24 and I’ll choose a random winner once it closes.

My Treasures

My sabbatical is officially over and I’ve returned to work. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to get away and now I’m excited to be back. I will be getting back into routine with blogging, posting about how I spent my 3 months away as well as some of the things God was speaking to me during this time.

Sabbatical gave me a very unique opportunity to spend some time with my treasures. These are the most important people in the world to me.



Article for Sunday| Magazine – “Dealing With Prima Donnas”


Jonathan Malm (blog|twitter) asked me to write an article for Sunday| Magazine as a piece of advice for worship leaders dealing with prima donnas. I told him that I’ve been fortunate in that I haven’t had much experience dealing with difficult personalities at my church but that I could talk with some who have, put my leadership thinking cap on and come up with something that I hope would be helpful.

You can read the article here which outlines three ways worship leaders can deal with prima donnas – Sunday| Magazine – “Dealing with Prima Donnas”

(Article artwork by Derek Forehand and Forward Marketing.)