Reconnect Tech Conference 2013

I’ve had the real privilege of being part of the Reconnect Tech Conference lead team after an incredibly successful launch last year, we have agreed to bring back the Reconnect Tech Conference on April 26 & 27, 2013 at Forward Church in Cambridge, ON.

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.

Reconnect Tech Conference

Our passion in this from the very beginning has been to create a training opportunity for church tech volunteers from smaller churches. Yes, you will see things that will make you say “Wow!” but you will also get very relevant, simple, hands-on training which will make you a better sound, light, media, tech-whatever volunteer at your church the day after the conference is over. You will go back to your role better equipped, better trained and encouraged that what you are doing matters!

Some Feedback From Last Year’s Conference

Here is what some of our attendees had to say:

“I just want to express my thanks to you and your crew for creating such a great weekend.”

“The leadership team are to be commended for a conference that I think exceeded all expectations–and at an affordable price for small churches.”

“This conference was done with supreme excellence but also with an attitude that was also very pleasing to the Lord!!”

$59 Registration Will Open November 5

Registration will open on November 5 at www.thereconnect.ca

Breakouts

We will again be offering breakouts in five different streams:

  • Basic Audio
  • Intermediate Audio
  • Video & Media
  • Staging & Lighting
  • Leadership

Thanks to a great new venue at Forward Church in Cambridge, we’ll be able to open up more breakout sessions for you to choose and the entire conference experience will be kicked up a couple of notches. Watch for updates coming soon but we wanted to get you this info as soon as we had it confirmed!

Blog Series: Worship Leader Tools

Lots of new readers have been visiting the blog lately so I wanted to highlight a previous series of posts focused on sharing tools for worship leaders. One of my favourite things to do is discover and share worship leader resources and this series was a great opportunity for me to gather a bunch of those tools together and post about them together.

You can read the introduction to the worship leader tools series and see links to all of the posts here – http://www.chrisfromcanada.com/blog-series-worship-leaders-toolkit/

A few of the great resources for worship leaders that I’ve highlighted in this series:

  • Planning Center Online
  • CCLI
  • PraiseCharts
  • Books every worship leader should read
  • Lots more!

I’ll show you how I use the tools, why I think they help make my job easier and let you know some easy ways you can get started.

I’d love to hear some other worship leader resources you are using which I may not have posted about this series. Worship leaders, what are your favourite tools which help make your job easier?

Giveaway – Starfield tickets!

Happy Monday morning! Canadian music superheroes Starfield are on tour across the country right now and I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to their concert this Thursday, October 18 at Faith Church in St. Thomas, ON.

Starfield were just nominated for another bunch of GMA Canada Covenant Awards including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year!

starfieldtour

This is kind of a late breaking news contest so we’re only going to keep it open for 48 hours. To enter, you’ll need to follow me on twitter, tweet about the contest and become a fan on facebook. We’ll close the contest at NOON on Wednesday, October 17 and contact the winner. Make sure you keep your calendar open for Thursday evening – Starfield is an incredible band and they put on a great show. You will not want to miss this tour!

Good luck! We’ll announce the winner as soon as the contest closes on Wednesday.

Best New Worship Songs of 2012 – Part 3

This is the third post featuring new worship songs of 2012 that I’ve already taught at my church or will be soon. I’d love to hear what songs you’ve been doing in your churches this year that people are loving!

If you want to check out the other posts, here you go:

Part 1

Part 2

One of the most common questions I get from other worship leaders is “How do you find new songs to do at your church?” I have lots of great sources (and Christian radio is not one of them) but over the next few posts I want to share with you some of the best new worship songs of 2012 which have had the most impact in our church as well as some new worship songs that I’m hoping to introduce to our congregation before the year is over.

This is not a list of the best new worship songs released in 2012 but songs that we have already taught at our church this year which have been well-received and some which we are expecting to teach over the next few months. I’ll hilight three songs in each post to give you a handful of new songs which you may want to introduce in your church if you are looking for new songs.

Vertical Church Band – Not For A Moment
www.verticalchurchband.com
I had the pleasure of hearing Meredith Andrews sing this song this summer and knew right away we had to do it at our church. I heard an interview where she talked about taking the familiar “I will never leave you or forsake you” phrase and turning it around to “Not for a moment did you forsake me.” Beautiful. This has been wonderful for our congregation to sing.

Jeremy Riddle – This Is Amazing Grace
www.jeremyriddle.net
This is a brand new song off the latest Bethel Live album and I only heard it a couple of weeks ago but once I did I knew that we’d be adding it to our library. Great melody, solid lyric and I’m already excited to hear my church singing this one. This video is a bit sketchy but grab the song off iTunes – it is fantastic! (UPDATE: Thanks to Chris who commented below with a better video of this song!)

What are some new songs your church is doing this year?

Best New Worship Songs of 2012 – Part 2

One of the most common questions I get from other worship leaders is “How do you find new songs to do at your church?” I have lots of great sources (and Christian radio is not one of them) but over the next few posts I want to share with you some of the best new worship songs of 2012 which have had the most impact in our church as well as some new worship songs that I’m hoping to introduce to our congregation before the year is over.

This is not a list of the best new worship songs released in 2012 but songs that we have already taught at our church this year which have been well-received and some which we are expecting to teach over the next few months. I’ll hilight three songs in each post to give you a handful of new songs which you may want to introduce in your church if you are looking for new songs.

Here’s Part 1 and Part 3

Hillsong – Praise Him
www.hillsongmusic.com
Another song on our “not yet” list of songs we’ve learned but I’m excited to do this one with our church. If you’re looking for it, it’s available on the Deluxe Edition of the most recent Hillsong CD.

New Life Worship – Great I Am
www.newlifeworship.com
I’m not always a fan of songs that need to be down heeeeere and then up heeeeeere but the pattern works for this song. The build of the bridge and the drive to the lifted chorus towards the end is incredible and the declaration of the lyric is hard to match. I’ve experienced this song from both sides of the microphone and it has been great every time.

Elevation – Give Me Faith
www.elevationworship.com
I first heard this song this summer when we were visiting our church as part of my sabbatical. The spirit of the song is spot on and the humility of the lyric is so refreshing. I cannot wait to teach this one to our church.

Best New Worship Songs of 2012 – Part 1

One of the most common questions I get from other worship leaders is “How do you find new songs to do at your church?” I have lots of great sources (and Christian radio is not one of them) but over the next few posts I want to share with you some of the best new worship songs of 2012 which have had the most impact in our church as well as some new worship songs that I’m hoping to introduce to our congregation before the year is over.

This is not a list of the best new worship songs released in 2012 but songs that we have already taught at our church this year which have been well-received and some which we are expecting to teach over the next few months. I’ll hilight three songs in each post to give you a handful of new songs which you may want to introduce in your church if you are looking for new songs.

Here’s Part 2 and Part 3

Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons
www.mattredman.com
This is hands down the song of the year for us. We do it in G which makes the high note of the chorus a real stretch at F# but our people love it and they sing it loud. This is as close to a church drinking song as you’ll find and people sing this one out!

Vertical Church Band – Open Up The Heavens
www.verticalchurchband.com
One of the strongest call to worship songs I have heard and used with our people. A great opportunity to focus people on why we gather, calling out to God to make His presence known and tons of energy in the melody. We have a blast with this song and people caught it very quickly.

Hillsong – Cornerstone
www.hillsongmusic.com
This is one of the ones that we haven’t taught yet but I’ve heard so many churches sing it and worship leaders say that their congregations loved the combination of old lyric with new melody. We’ll be learning this one together soon – it is a great song!

What new songs have you been learning in your church?

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!

sample-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:

www.facebook.com/chrisfromcanada

 

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 - www.chrisfromcanada.com/capocheatsheet.pdf
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 – www.spidercapo.com

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…