Didn’t lead worship because I was off!

But I wasn’t.

A while back, our youth pastor asked me to help out with a monthly worship service for our high school students. (Our high school doesn’t have a set worship service – they worship in normal Sunday service, a “Sunday School” and a home group twice a month. However, we wanted to provide a time that was strictly “worship & word” once a month and Sept. 18 was the kickoff.

I love leading worship in our youth area, “The Attic.” It’s got a fantastic sound system and a small stage that’s big enough to support a band but still intimate. In the middle school service, I have a group of musicians who play every week, but I wanted the make up of the high school service band to be a bit different. I asked our bass player, Jason Land, to step in. Jason’s been super busy with his job and school and hasn’t had a lot of chances to play lately, so I was glad to have him. It was also our first time to use Kevin Curbow on drums. Kevin did a fantastic job! He knew the set note for note and it really showed. I also invited my friend Jonathan Benedetti to play electric. Jonathan is a worship leader at another church in town and I always love to hear him lead worship. A while back, I heard Jonathan play electric guitar and I was impressed. I thought I’d bring him in for the deal. Jonathan knew all the riffs and leads, but also did some original stuff on a few songs that was perfect. The youth room has a nice digital sound board, so I asked my Charles Jurden to come run the sound. He had it cranked and it sounded good.

Going to put this on rest for awhile, but wanted to get one more good play with it. A high energy song with strong lyrical depth has got to be utilized, right? Was impressed with all three of the guys – the song is simple, but there’s a lot of nuance there. Some of the fills and pushes are hard if you’re not thinking ahead and the guys did a great job. At first, I worried that the sound would be too big for a smaller group like our high schoolers, but I think it was a strong opening. I also liked how Jonathan’s guitar sat in the mix…he didn’t have a bunch of pedals or tone changes – just good solid electric guitar tone that worked with everything!

Colossians 15:1-20
Read this scripture to transition into the next tune. As far as I’m concerned, you can never go wrong reading scriptures about Christ’s preeminence! Singing just goes better when we’re reminded that Christ holds all things together…especially us!

This one ended up being my favorite tune of the night. I’ve always had respect for this song and it was a good one for our worship. I usually don’t keep the tom pre-chorus and opt for something more straight, but we did it like the CD version on Sunday night. I like the pre-chorus, but the tom stuff just doesn’t feel right to me. Gotta’ give respect to Jonathan for nailing the guitar part from start to finish. This one needs to land somewhere between Springsteen and Keith Urban and it pretty much did.

I’ve never done this one as a 4-piece. In fact, I usually only do it when we have a mandolin on stage. However, it ended up being way more bluesy and fun. Kevin and Jason were locked on this one. The groove was perfect! I would have liked to have a longer instrumental break, but I think it ended up just right.

Exodus 15:2-3
I love passages that portray God as a victor in battle. I figured if were going to be singing about God ruining us for all other things, it would be good to be reminded that God gets what He wants…and He always wins!


Started this with the chorus and then the band joined in. It went great and sounded full, but it’s hard to pull off that bridge without some piano or organ in there. Students probably knew this one the best and sang out.

This is a song of mine that I’ve done a few times. Since there’s no official version, I let the dudes kinda’ do their own thing. The stuff they came up with was really great. I like floor tom in verses, but I think we could have done a bit better on building into the chorus. The bridge was about as powerful as it could be – the whole time I’m thinking, “Don’t break a string, Todd!”


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