Monday, June 9, 2008

Worship Confessional

What an interesting weekend we had. I think Satan has been working overtime ever since Pastor Dave challenged us to pray for him. Obviously, we're doing something right! Overall, I think the services went great. Getting there was a bit of a challenge, but our incredible team did a great job!

To start with, Pastor Dave sat in with us on the worship team. It's always a pleasure to have him. He has this talent... You can ask him to play just about any tune and if he's heard it once, he's got it dialed! Music is a part of his being and you can bet that we're working on ways to get him in the mix more. So keep your eye out for that in the future.

Not so fun... our normal janitor wasn't there on Friday so the floor didn't get vacummed. Now to some of you that might not seem like a big deal, but when you're meeting in a public school like we are, that can spell disastor! But that was the least of our problems. Herb being the multi-talented person that he is stepped up and vacummed the floor for us. Way to go Herb!

Once we got everything setup, we noticed that there was a major hum/buzz in the system. After much frantic discussion, sweat and tears, we traced it to the backlighting. We started unplugging things here, checking things there, etc. etc. and so on to no avail. When all at once, we moved the main amp powerline to the back wall and moved Daniel's amp to a differnt plug (it was plugged into the same wall as the lights) and the hum/buzz went away. How do you spell relief? Q-U-I-E-T! Personally, I don't think it was the amps because they were plugged into the side wall which is on a different circuit. I think it was Daniels amp, but I could be wrong. Either way, we'll find out this weekend.

I'm not sure how this happened, but after we stepped off the stage in prep for the message, David Bishop shared with me that the whole left side of the sound system wasn't working. So as we investigated, we found that the left side had somehow, mysteriously been unplugged in between 1st & 2nd service. Phantom Speaker Unplugerer??? Could be... ;) Thanks David!

Here was the lineup:

Me: vox/agtr
Lynette: backing vox
Pastor Dave: egtr/keys
Daniel (PK): egtr
Kevin: bass
Brandon: drums

It was cool having the 2 father and son duos on stage (Dave & Daniel and Kevin & Brandon). They say music is in your blood. After playing with this team, I believe it. Our Second Set was so smooth. I haven't felt that comfortable in a while. There's nothing like having a solid band behind you to allow you to truly focus on worship.

Here was our set list...

King of Majesty (Hillsong)
Meant to live (Switchfoot)
-Elders pray for Dave & Elena-
You are so good (Third Day)
Everlasting God (Tomlin's version)

You'll notice that we're changing some things around a little. Pastor Dave and I are really passionate about reaching those who are far from God. One of the ways we're going to try to do this (some of you heard this at the gathering last week) is by keeping it rocking up front. We'll also be infusing some secular music to disarm people a little (nothing new there). As the service progresses, you'll notice the feel of the service becoming more worshipful (I hate that word because everything that honors God is worship). In other words, the second set of music will tend to be more contemplative and response driven.

As always, we'll be working hard to choose songs that get people thinking in line with the message. I will say this though... after discussing the day with my wife, we came to the conclusion that "meant to live" needed a little more work on my part (vocally). And she never usually comments. So what does that tell you? Dough!

That's a lot to take in... not to mention read. So if you've read this far, you have to leave a comment. I mean, that's what blogging is all about!

So what are your thoughts? Just click here where it says comments... v


alex mclean said...

sounds like typical church planting? I love that you guys are doing the secular music - rock on! (that's a super tough song btw)

Josh said...

You make it sounds like it was a train wreck, I can comment on Second service and I do not think that it was that bad. It is not my favorite song, but it went OK. My only critique is that I feel we need more worship. Three worship songs on a Sunday is not enough. Worship is what it is all about, if we dont provide an outlet to passionately worship when people grow to the a certain point in their faith and then they will leave for another church that alows for more worship...

Andy said...

One definition of insaniy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If you are looking to reach new different people you may need to change your approach... Which it sounds like you are doing!

Keep it up!

Katie V said...

well, i don't know what went on after UsKids dismissal when the mics went all CrAzY, but it definently hurt those ears who were in front by the amps... that being mainly the high school girls, including me..... oh well,
Meant to live went really well, lets try it on Tuesday, maybe we'll try my song too, (if I find the music... :)

Kevin said...


Thanks for the compliments on the duos... it was such an awesome feeling to serve God and have our kids there with us. I felt so humbled watching the crowd fully get into the worship... it's like I was truly where God wanted me at that moment in my life.

Thanks for letting us be a part of such an awesome worship team!

Lynette said...

I thought "Meant To Live" went better in the 2nd set than the first. I love the idea of rocking it up and moving into the...I'll call them...'slower'worship songs. It was fun having Dave with us too! Glad to know he'll be joining in more often! Good call to go with the Five for Fighting video rather than performing it ourselves. It's powerfully impacting to have the visual along with the lyrical. I was much so that I got choked up a little on the last two songs of the first set. Sometimes I just get overwhelmed by God's grace. It's a good place to be. Awesome job, everyone! I'm honored to be singing with you guys! Thanks for the encouragement and the opportunity!

CJ Mills said...

you made me feel guilty so I am leaving a comment...but I'm not really sure what I am to comment about....but I will go ahead and comment about the fact that I don't really have anything to comment about at this point...

CJ Mills .::.

eric beeman said...

You're more than welcome to comment about nothing at anytime CJ... ;)

Karl said...

Speaker unplugged between 1st and 2and service?

hehe Sounds like you got someone in the congregation who thinks it's too loud, and actually knows what to do about it. hehehe

Seriously scary stuff. :-) Need to put alarms on them or something. hehe

Dave A said...

Not sure how I got invited to this but this is good stuff. do you do this each week? I had mixed feelings about the switchfoot song, it was definitely better in the 2nd service. 1st service a bit off key. Two things churches will always argue about are the music style and the color of the carpet. I love all (actually most) styles of music and believe all can be used by God. What I would like, others might not, and vice versa. However, I have a strong personal bias that worship is when I focus on God and some songs are hard to do that with. I struggle with the performance of a song in the middle of a worship set that doesn't point to God in the words. I don't view it as singing a bunch of songs played by the band. I see it as a worship team directing me to God and worshipping God. It can be any style of music, any tempo, but always directing me directly to the presence of God. Last Friday night I went to a Casting Crowns concert and it was a worshipful event, perhap more so than most church services.

Enough blabbing (I guess blogging). As for this person, keep drawing us to the face of God and I don't care what style it is or the tempo since that's not what it is about. Fast, slow, loud or quiet, all is fine, just bring me closer to the presence of God. That will draw seekers to God also I am sure when done well.

Mr. B. said...

I enjoy singing. I enjoy singing to God. The words I sing will be words of praise and adoration to my God. When I don't know the words I find it hard to worship God through that song, regardless of the style or tempo of the music. When I read the words and they're not about God I question the validity of calling that worship.
I struggle with giving accolades to "the band" in a church worship setting. Even though they are very talented and play well together, the emphasis must not be on "the band" but rather more on the music God's gifts allowed them to deliver, which should be used to bring each worshiper into a closer relationship to God at that particular moment.
A Concert venue can be very worshipful, but it also can be very carnal. I'm praying that our style doesn't change to fit the mold of the concert-crazed world. We are to live in the world but not be conformed to the world.
Early in Eric's tenure, his music touched me in a worshipful way which has not been the case most recently. It was good music, but I wouldn't call it worship.

Karl said...

Wow. A lot of good viewpoints here. I'll throw in mine, and please note that this is just my opinion on how I worship personally, not a universal statement that I expect everyone to follow. Here goes.

I think it depends on our definition of worship. If your definition is 'singing to the Lord on Sunday mornings', then I hear the point about secular songs being awkward and somewhat pointless in a 'worship music set.'

But I believe worship is something we do with our lives every hour of every day. And I'm not talking about 'let Your praises be on our lips throughout every moment.' I'm talking about worshiping God with our hands, with our minds, with our strength, with showing Him we love Him with more than just songs.

And in this sense, 'Meant to Live' causes me to worship throughout my whole week. I totally understand that it might not for everybody, but it does for me. Those words 'We were meant to live for so much more' echo in my head for a long time after I hear that song. And while 'How Great is our God' brings tears to my eyes some Sunday mornings, and it's one of my favorite songs and I can totally worship God through song with it, 'Meant to Live' starts playing in my brain every time a lustful thought comes in my head, or I see a guy with a 'Please help' cardboard sign, but I really need (or want) to get to worship practice on time. For some reason, that song really speaks to me and helps me worship so much more than the few minutes on Sunday morning.

I think in some senses, we need to get over the idea of 'worship' being singing to God on Sunday mornings, and into the realization that worship leaders (and if we're defining worship this way, then by 'worship leaders' I mean pastors and leaders in the church, too) are called to teach their congregation to worship in ways so much greater than songs.

And for me personally, this 'secular' song that doesn't 'directly glorify God', God has used to help me worship the Lord in ways that few other songs have.

Does it have a place in a worship music set on Sunday mornings? I don't know. I don't have all the answers, and I'm still learning. This is just my personal story.

And if I'm wrong, then awesome. The point is not whether we are right or wrong, but how close to truth we can get. And we usually are moved closer to truth by being wrong...and in my case, by being wrong a lot. :-)

Good times. If you read all that, that's amazing.

eric beeman said...

Great stuff guys! Good feedback. Mr. B... I love your comment about the acolades... totally agree.

Maybe I should do a post on "what is worship?"

Anyway, thanks for the feedback.

Here are some thoughts on some of this... I think the struggle that we constantly encounter in the American Church is finding the balance between reaching those far from God and fulfilling our own wants, needs & desires to connect with God in a meaningful way. In other words, is Church for the believer or the non-believer? The answer is... well, uh... yes!

The purpose for doing "Meant to live" was three fold... 1. Thought provoking for everyone (in other words it pointed the message of the day) 2. Familiar to the un-churched 3. Worshipful for the believer...

We might not have nailed all three, but that was the purpose and heart behind doing a song like that in Church. Please note that all the songs we do in Church obviously need to meet the criteria of "is that God honoring/worshipful?" I believe that this song definitely was. I also know that it's unfamiliarity might have made it a little difficult to worship too as of yet. The kids sure did though! We did it again last night and they loved it.

By the way, my favorite line form that song is "everything inside, screams for second life!" Because that's the truth. I worship more when I sing that line than pretty much any other song we sing.

Check out this version...

Anonymous said...

Just keep pushing. Love the approach you guys are taking. Great blog man. Glad I found it...

Tony Simoncini said...

You will never please everyone when it comes to worship music in church. Some will think it's not enough "worship" (The slow stuff) or too much "praise" (The Fast Stuff), and vice versa! Others will complain it's too loud, but for some it's not loud enough; or they can't hear something or someone good enough, etc. Through the years I have heard it all, and even been disappointed about things myself, and had my own opinions. But they are just that opinions; and I'm certainly not staying or leaving a church because of these minor issues with sound or order and length of the songs selected.

To me the key to making your time of worship work, is seeking the heart of God. Are we doing what He wants, or what we want. Are we doing what He is telling us, or are we doing what the latest article for church growth says? Are we following the trend, or the King? Might sound cheezy and superficial but I'm serious.

I think the heart behind the music and our time of worship is by far the most important ingredient. Some of the biggest churches in the country have the biggest and best bands money can buy, the best sound equipment, and lighting show you have ever seen, but you wouldn't catch me dead in a place that has all of this together and a heart that seeks after pats on the back and glory from man.

Give me a guy and a girl with 2 mics and an acoustic guitar and a heart after God and I'll worship with them any day of the week. Add a full band that loves God more than anything in this world including the music they are playing and I'll worship there for sure. God is after our hearts, and if you desire to worship God and lead people into a time of worship that goes after His heart. God will be there and so am I!


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