How to Play Together

How to Play Together

As a worship band, sensing each other’s parts–listening–is of prime importance. Paul Baloche, a gifted singer, songwriter, worship leader has a video that greatly illustrates and teaches the principles of a worship band playing well together. I want to share that with you so that your team might benefit as well.

I would love to know what you think, what works for your team, and what doesn’t. How about taking a few minutes to share your experiences with the rest of us in the comment section.

ENGAGE: Commitment to the Ministry

ENGAGE: Commitment to the Ministry

“Now these are the singers, heads of fathers’ households of the Levites, who lived in the chambers of the temple free from other service; for they were engaged in their work day and night.” — 1 Chronicles 9:33

The singers, members of the Levites, were engaged in the worship ministry 24/7. Because of their commitment, they were released from all other duties. This really is a great indication of the importance of their role in kingdom work. So it is with the choir in the church today. Often, many other activities clamor for our attention. Many of these things are really good things too. One must remember to follow the Lord to the best things–that is, paying attention to the things that God has called us to and being faithful in those things.

Proverbs 37:3-5 states,

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Trust, Delight, and Commit. That’s what these verses tell us. Trust in the Lord, and mimic His faithfulness. Delight yourself in Him. Stay in close fellowship with Him through the Spirit and the Word. Commit your way to Him. Follow and obey Him and He will do it! What a promise. But just what does that look like in Worship Ministry? How do I apply this?

Here are some helpful guidelines for committing yourself to the Worship Ministry:

1. Commit to be regular in rehearsal attendance.

Attendance is important. We cannot skillfully sing without rehearsing together to learn the songs and to interpret them together. Being regular in attendance means not only showing up, but showing up on time and ready to rehearse. Being alert in rehearsal is part of regular attendance. That means marking your music, singing–Engaging in and not being spectator to rehearsal.

2. Commit to Home Worship.

What happens publicly on Sunday should be the overflow of what has happened privately during the week. Are you spending time with God during the week? At FBC Mableton, we have provided an incredible resource to all our worship team. Planning Center Online is a great tool to not only look at the worship plan but to listen to the audio files of songs and view the charts to practice. Using those songs in your quiet time is essential to worship growth and leadership in the church.

3. Commit to Being Present in Worship.

Part of the Worship Team’s ministry is visual. Before a word is spoken or a note sung, the atmosphere of the worship service will be set by the fullness of choir, worship team, band, and the demeanor of each member as they step on the platform to minister. A half-empty choir loft tells the congregation, some of us skipped out today because this service isn’t important today.

Conversely, a full choir loft, all band in place, and vocalists in place translates –Wow! God is about to do something here! Everybody is here, so they must know what’s about to happen. They’re excited about this!!


Here’s a little review for you. Think about your service over the past year. Take some time to scrutinize your commitment to the Worship Ministry. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much help were you to the choir?
  • When did you put a little extra time in to help the director prepare for a major event?
  • How regular were you with your attendance, both rehearsal and worship?
  • How often were you prompt?
  • How often did you support the choir with your sincere prayers?
  • What an awesome privilege God has given to those who serve in Worship Ministry! Will you commit yourself and ENGAGE in ministry?
Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be
the will of God.”

ENGAGE Through Singing

(NOTE: I’m very grateful to Bob Kauflin for a wonderful article in a recent Worship Leader Magazine. Many of the thoughts here come from Kauflin’s article.)

Singing…you don’t find group singing just anywhere. But no matter your denomination, no matter your worship style, you almost always find group singing in Christian worship. Over 50 times in Scripture we are commanded to sing. Psalm 47:6 says, “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King! Sing praises!”

Bob Kauflin says, “God evidently wants us to do more than simply declare His praise. He wants us to sing it. And because God is infinitely wise and loving, His commands are always for our benefit. As Psalm 147 puts it, ‘It is good to sing praises to our God.'”

There are four ways that singing affects our relationship to God and with others.

Singing Enables Us to REMEMBER God’s Word

Colossians 3:16 reminds us to “let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” as we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Have you ever noticed that some songs get stuck in your mind (By the way, to clear that song out, simply start singing “Kung Fu Fighting.” Works every time for me!). How about that college fight song (“Rocky Top, you’ll always be…”) OK, you get the idea. We remember what we sing. God designed music that way for our benefit. Check out Deuteronomy 31:21. Allowing the Word of Christ to dwell in you richly is the purpose of our singing. Sometimes a fresh new arrangement or a new melody to those familiar words we sing will give birth to a fresh expression and will recall the texts of the songs anew. What a great experience in worship!

Singing Enables Us to RESPOND to God’s Grace

Colossians 3:16 tells us that as we sing, we do so with thankful hearts.

John Piper states, “The reason we sing is because there are depths and heights and intensities and kinds of emotions that will not be satisfactorily expressed by mere prosaic forms, or even poetic readings. There are realities that demand to break out of prose into poetry and some demand that poetry be stretched into song.”

Emotion is one third of who we are (mind, will, emotion). Music affects our emotion. It is meant to move us. Think of how “your song” affects you and your spouse/lover. It always conjures a special feeling to which we respond. Because of God’s great grace, music is the God-created medium to offer expressions of thanks to God. Kauflin says that singing allows us to connect:

  • doctrine and devotion
  • intellect and emotion
  • truth and response

Singing Enables Us to REFLECT God’s Glory

Look at the examples of God Himself.

Zeph. 3:17 – God the Father sings over us

Heb. 2:12 – God the Son sings the praise of the Father

Eph. 2:18-19 – Being filled with the Spirit leads to “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”

When we sing together, the Holy Spirit is here with us inspiring our songs. That’s why you often hear people report at how they could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in a worship service. “In the Presence of Jehovah” (Geron Davis)

Romans 15:5-6

Singing Offers a Glimpse of Heaven

Read Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4. These are perfect pictures of perfect worship. The worship of heaven is described in both. Our worship–this side of heaven–will never be perfect. But with the example from Scripture, we can certainly strive for that perfect activity. We will be made complete, and our heavenly worship will be perfect–offered eternally to a perfect God.

So, when you go to your church this weekend, remember what God has created through music. Remember the command to sing to Him. Remember the benefits of obedience to Him through singing His praise. I can’t wait to join you as we sing His glory and magnify His name.

ENGAGE: WALK WITH GOD

Throughout the Word of God, believers are consistently called to Walk with God–Walk in Christ. That word walk literally means to live out. If we are to fully ENGAGE in ministry, we must be fully ENGAGED in our walk with the Lord. There are five elements to our walk in Christ.

WALK IN THE WORD Leviticus 26

I know you’re thinking, “Wow! He went Leviticus on me!” Well, yes, God offers a great promise to those who will follow His instructions and statutes. Read it! The blessings He promises include provisions, peace, fruitful lives, and strength.

A word of caution – many try to make the Word fit into our personal beliefs, or even our lifestyles. We must accept the Word as it is. That is, let the Word say what the Word says. Oswald Chambers says, “God never fits His Word to suit me; He fits me to suit His Word.”

Reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible is foundational in our walk in Christ. If you decide to skip this element to get to the others, you can just go ahead and forget it. Without the Word implanted into our lives, the other elements in the Walk with God are not possible. You may not understand or even agree with parts of the Bible, but if you read it and trust by faith in what it says, God will speak to you.

WALK BY FAITH2 Corinthians 5:7

When we say we live by faith and not by sight, what does that really mean? It means our own “common sense” approach and our own circumstances in life cannot dictate what we do. We must trust God to do what He says He will do. James 4:13-17 illustrates the power of that approach. Go ahead–read it right now. The Bible also states that faith without works is dead. We must place our faith in Christ and act out on what He has said (James 2:14). That means we must be involved in spiritual activity to which God has directed us.

WALK IN THE SPIRITGalatians 5:16

Scripture shows that our spirit and flesh are at war with each other. We must follow what the Holy Spirit calls us to do, and “lean not on our own understanding” (Prov. 3). Our flesh will always pull us in the opposite direction from God. Listening to His Spirit will always bring us closer to Him. D.L. Moody was once teaching when he held up an empty glass. “How can we remove the air from this glass?” he asked. One man said that he should attach a vacuum. Moody reminded the man that this would cause the glass to break. Instead, D. L. Moody took a pitcher of water and filled the glass. “There, the glass now has no air in it.” Moody reminded his listeners that a victorious Christian life is not in sucking out an occasional sin, but is found by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

WALK IN LOVEEphesians 5:1-2;8-12

God is love. Ephesians 5 tells us that we are to imitate God. We are to love as He loves. We are to become a sacrifice as He became a sacrifice for us. My life purpose is “May my life be spent up in the praise and worship of God.” How are you being spent up? Are you walking in love. Are you loving people enough to show them the Savior–Jesus Christ?

WALK IN THE LIGHT1 John 1:5-7

God is light. That means that “light” is the essence of His character in holiness and purity. To walk in the light we must continually fellowship with God. We cannot do that unless we are walking in the Word, walking by faith, walking in the Spirit, and walking in love.

I hope you’ll take the time to go back and read these Scriptures and let God speak to you. Will you Walk with God? Will you receive the inexpressible blessings He has for you? Will you ENGAGE in a relationship with God? Don’t miss it! I’m in!

I’m ENGAGED

I’m ENGAGED

The word “engage” brings many things to mind. For some, it is the epitome of love and commitment through marriage. That biblical expression of love through the bonding together of a man and woman for a lifelong commitment to each other.

For others, it is the great command from the captain of the Enterprise, forging on the in the intergalactic dream to “boldly go where no man has gone before”.

The Bible uses the word “engage” to describe the work and heart of the Levites:

“Now these are the singers, heads of fathers’ households of the Levites, who lived in the chambers of the temple free from other service; for they were engaged in their work day and night.” 1 Chron. 9:33

In 2012, I’m calling on all of our Worship Team to ENGAGE in the ministry to which God has called us. That is because of a deep love for Christ and the bond that is brought about through the blood of Christ, to boldly forge ahead with all our might, with all our heart, to worship God and love Him to the fullest. As a result of that, we are to lead His people into His presence through music–praise–and worship.

You see, the core of worship is summed up this way: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5). Jesus called this the greatest commandment. Mark D. Roberts says, “When we sing, we can invest our whole self in worship as we think, feel, and act.”

I’m asking you to ENGAGE in:

  • Your walk with Christ
  • Your worship to Him
  • Your musical skills that God has given you for a purpose
  • Your relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Your diligence in reaching others for Christ
You see, “the miracle of music and song is that there is no other vehicle available to us on earth that has the ability to bring to attention our mind and our auditory senses, arresting the heart and moving the soul to a point where our whole self is focused in one direction.”–Darlene Zschech
1 Corinthians 14:15 says, “Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit (by the Holy Spirit that is within me), but I will also pray (intelligently) with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit (by the Holy Spirit that is within me), but I will sing(intelligently) with my mind and understanding also.”

Sunday, January 15, we will spend some time in worship (at First Baptist Mableton, GA) at the altar, committing to the engagement of our whole selves to the Worship Ministry. Will you join us in this year-long (really lifelong) quest? Will you say to God and others–I’m ENGAGED? I really hope you will walk this path with us–a path, with great rewards. You see, when we follow Him, He reveals more about Himself to us–that is we begin to take on more and more of His character.

I have more to share in the coming weeks. For now, I’m asking all members of our Worship Team to ENGAGE with us. Stop by the Worship Center as you arrive Sunday morning and pick up an “I’m Engaged” sticker. Wear it proudly throughout the day as we wholly commit ourselves to serve our Holy God!