Song Watch – Cielo: Phil Wickham

I was introduced to this song at Passion 2010. They were simply playing it and a lot of Owl City as pre-session music. The hook “I can’t sing loud enough…” really got me. I really wish I had this song back when Discovery was doing the “So You’re Dead… Now What?” series. Thoughts?

Worship: Philosphy

One of my twitter friends @youcanknowgod Michael Le(I can’t spell his name)wkawski just wrote a post that knocked me out of my chair. Lately I have been processing thoughts on worship. It all came from stuff that has come up at Discovery and questions that have been raised about Crusade recently.

I would just link you to his post here, but many of you wouldn’t bother to click it! So here is the post in its entirity. It puts alot of stuff that I have been processing lately into words. I agree 100% – the parenthetical comments are mine.

Michael says…

I think it’s important for the philosophy of the worship leader to match the philosophy of the pastor and the philosophy of the church service on Sunday. Here’s something I wrote and sent to all of our worship leaders, not as a response to anything, but as a reminder.

– I like upbeat and celebration rather than intimate and thoughtful. It’s okay to do these kind of songs, but make them the spice rather than the meal.

– I like to get up right after a rockin’ song, not after some prayerful meditation. I typically start pretty light and funny and conversational, so a slow song doesn’t set that up well. (This varies week to week at Discovery… so would only apply some of the time)

– I love ending the service with something loud and memorable. either a performance tune or a rockin worhsip song. get people leaving on a high note.

– We love opening the service with a popular cover tune. That kind of stuff unfolds people’s arms. If a guest is there and he hears a popular song, he will relax and be more receptive to the message. this isn’t a stand up and sing song. (This also gives folks an opportunity to get into the worship space…)

– We need to program and pick songs with the unchurched in mind. If it would sound confusing to someone who hasn’t grown up in church, we probably shouldn’t do it.

– We like songs for dudes. not necessarily love songs to Jesus about how beautiful he is or how intimate we love him. That may be true, but most guys don’t talk like that.

– We are rock and roll, and we like it loud

– I like a mix of songs that people will sing and maybe one new or newer tune each week. If it’s all new, then we will lose people. if it’s all old, then we will become boring. (This is a must!)

– I don’t like it when worship leaders set up songs for 2-3 minutes. The little sentences during intros or quoting a verse during a guitar solo is very cool, but in general, I’ll do the talking and you do the singing. I promise not to pick up your guitar during my sermon and lead 10 extra minutes of worship if you promise not to preach a sermon setting up a song.

– A worship leaders job is to lead people in worship, not just worship personally. If a singer has his eyes closed, he’s not engaging the crowd. you’re a worship LEADER. if nobody is following, you’re not leading.

– Think of how the words would sound to unchurched men. that’s the filter. If a song has a confusing lyric, we need to explain what it means or skip it.

– It’s nice when the songs fit the theme, but we connect those dots way more than our people do. there are some awesome songs that are just awesome to sing. the song right before the message and right after the message should fit the best…some of the other songs can just be great songs. if they all fit the theme, then that’s great…but an unsingable song that fits the theme doesn’t do much for most people.

– It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s not…old hymns redone are also connecting points. People in Cartersville have some church background, so reaching back and pulling something that they remember and updating it is a great way to make a connection. (Same applies for Greenville)


I’m not trying to preach at anybody by posting this, but Michael really has put into words alot of the things I have been processing lately. Head over to Michael’s blog and give him and Oak Leaf Church some love!

Facebook users click HERE to see original post.

Worship Style Poll Results…

I read an article from Tony Morgan today. He did a poll a couple of weeks ago about worship styles in people’s church. I was expecting the results of the poll…

Rock 49%
Pop 32%
Alternative 12%
R&B/Soul 4%
Country 3%
Hip-Hop/Rap 0%

He compared them to the current top 100 songs on iTunes.

Pop 29%
Hip-Hop/Rap 22%
Rock 14%
Alternative 11%
Country 11%
R&B/Soul 10%

If you notice there is a huge difference between the numbers. I agree 100% with Tony’s thoughts on the results. So when our churches are trying to be Culturally relevant

If you don’t think that iTunes represents Greenville here are the results for the top music in Greenville, NC’s network on Facebook
Top Music
1 R&B
2 Rap
3 Country
4 Gospel
5 Rock
6 Hip Hop
7 Jack Johnson
8 Jazz
9 Hip-Hop
10 Reggae

Tony ask these questions…
Are we still using the right style of music to reach our culture?
Can hip-hop, rap and R&B music be used to worship God?
Are there churches in America that are embracing hip-hop/rap and R&B/soul to reach the large portion of our culture that’s listening to that style of music?
Have we adequately determined who we’re trying to reach and what style of music they resonate with?
Do we have a responsibility to do anything about this?

I say that they are important questions and need to be answered… Thoughts?

These guys are cool- 10th Avenue North

I got to hang out with these guys at ECU Cru’s Fall Conference. They are a really good band with a great heart. I heard “Never Let Go” for the first time from them. They are now going mainstream with their Sony Record contract. They now even have a music video for their new radio single “Love is Here.” This song is really good, and it is getting some good playtime on XM Radio.

Why does Christian Radio SUCK so bad?

Last week I was at my small group’s progressive dinner. We stopped at the Rennie’s home for the main corse. In the kitchen they had some really good tunes playing. I ask what radio station was playing. I found that they were piping in downloaded music wirelessly from their computer (mostly inspired from DC). I found that all of us sitting around the table didn’t like Christian Radio. I hadn’t thought about it until then… but Christian Radio SUCKS!

My friend Chris Elrod ineloquently talks about how most Christian music is “Panty Praise” I at first thought that he was being a little harsh, but the more I thought about it the more he is right. Most of the praise/Christian music out there is very feminine and boring. He is right in saying that the music could very well be playing into why we have an issue in the country with men going to church.

Then I saw today my buddy Carlos Whittaker twittered about the dove award results. He twitted “Carlos is twittering: Just reading through the Dove Award Recipients…How Great Is Our God won worship song of the year… ???” I checked out the dove award winners and was very disappointed – sure Crowder got a few things -but the majority of awards winners support my suck theory. By the way I like the song How Great is Our God – Even though I have been have seen a traditional church play that on the organ during a traditional service – DUDE!

What are your thoughts… Are you a Christian Radio fan – or – Do you agree with me on the suck factor?

Salvation is Here on Google –

Randy and Davey’s famous jump is Discovery’s most popular video out on google video. I noticed a huge jump and several downloads today. I even found a comment that somebody left! I love the energy in this video. I think that it is a key value that we need to continue to remember.

If you want to rekindle the memories you can check out the video here.

Passion Washington DC: Introduction

This is the awesome intro of Passion 08. It is an amazing intro using “Bittersweet Symphony” going into Tomlin’s “Let God Arise.”

Its a powerful example of using video, music, and lighting together.

For a better view of the screen click here.

God of This City

This year’s Passion CD “God of this City” is amazing. The title song is absolutely one of the most powerful songs I have heard in a while. It is not original to Tomlin, but it has an unbelievable story behind it. I agree with Gary Lamb about it not being my favorite style of song, but its message is so powerful. It makes it completely awesome. “Sing Sing Sing” is a new song by Tomlin. Really good song. “You are God” by Charlie Hall has an amazing grove to it, but it is SO POWERFUL. His “Walk the World” is another funky song, but it Chorus is amazing. Redman’s God of Our Yesterdays is a softer song, but still is cool. Then there is a lot of interesting live versions songs I already had. Definitely a must buy if you haven’t already.

In the flow…

The word Outflow has recently been brought to the top of my vocabulary pile. It’s an upcoming series at Discovery. The word outflow has three definitions.

First: A large flow of money, liquid, or people that moves or is transferred out of place.
Second: The flowing out of liquid from container or cavity
Third: The outward flow of air from a weather system.

While Marvin, Phillip, and Skip (only Eastern North Carolinians would understand) would focus on the third, I focus on the liquid parts of the first and second. The word flow itself brings imagery of water to mind. Maybe a flowing waterfall, or a flowing stream. However, all I can think of is flowing rain. Does rain even flow? I hear the word flow all the time. Tonight on the late show Matt Damon talked about the Ebb and Flow of his career. Everything in the world can have flow applied to it – Cash Flow, People Flow, etc. For some reason I keep thinking of water though.

A particular song has reemerged into my music world. “Holy is the Lord” by David Crowder… Its classic Crowder. I found it while looking at some old videos I had edited. Then I saw that Ridgestone Church recently featured it in the worship set. The highlight of the song is when David breaks out into these lyrics.

Rain Down your love on us
Rain down your love

Rain down your greatness
and cover me
rain down your love on us,
rain down your love
rain down your peace

Maybe we need to focus on the flows that really matter. Sometimes I think we are distracted by cash flows, people flows, career flows, or other flows. Maybe we should focus on the flows that are everlasting. The never-ending flows of greatness, love, and peace.

Though the outflow series is about outward focus living in an self focused world. The word outflow some how reminded me of some classic Crowder.