It was a great day at Bethel! We tried something new with our “rehearsal” this past Sunday and it went off without a hitch.

Our musicians rehearse on Thursday nights, usually for a couple of hours. Usually, we also do a 45-minute run through on Sunday morning as well. This is a simultaneous sound check and rehearsal and it’s been our pattern ever since I got here three years ago.

However, lately I’ve been feeling like we need to take another step in our musical maturity, so for this week, I eliminated the Sunday run through. At rehearsal on Thursday night, I told the team we’d do a 15-20 minute sound check on Sunday morning, but we would not run the whole set.

It was a little uncomfortable for a couple of our people, but the band did a FANTASTIC job! Great job, everybody!

The team’s got really comfortable with this tune. It’s a little slow for an opener, but I liked it in this spot. When all was said and done, I pretty much decided to use it later in the set in the future, but I think it worked for us. We had a guest bass player for this Sunday and he did a great job.

Psalm 34:1-3
As I read the scripture, I began playing the intro to this tune. We brought it back last week, but I wanted to hear it with the full band! Our guitar player had written a fantastic riff, so I had him join me as I played the intro.
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

This song went great. Until I broke a string.
During the first set, I snapped a string on the outro of the tune, which many of you know is very stressful. I was using a borrowed guitar (a nice Taylor) while mine is out for repairs, but I guess I should have put new strings on before I used it! I grabbed my “second” guitar, which ended up sounding pretty terrible. Lesson learned – just tune up the 5 strings you got and keep going. Sarah did a great job leading this tune once again!

Fortunately, my broken string was covered up by Ross forgetting his microphone during first service. Hopefully, people were more focused on his forgetfulness than my furious guitar strumming! He read from James 4:3:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

This is a much “harder” word than Ross opens with, but it was perfect for our sermon on depravity.

Another STRONG song for this band. As people were greeting one another, I let our drummer and percussionist just groove for a bit before we came in. We’ve been doing a lot of hymns lately, which I love, and this one is always a favorite.

We used a Responsive Reading from Colossians 1:21-22 before we taught the new song. I found this on the Sojourn church website and really dug it.

You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. 

As a result, he has brought us into his own presence, and we are holy and blameless as we stand before him without a single fault.

I came across the David Potter hymn remake months ago and have had it on my “to do” list for awhile. Since we were studying depravity, I thought this song was a beautiful picture of our state before the Father. This is an old Fanny Crosby hymn, but Potter’s version is so subtle and beautiful. One of my guys said it was like a “John Mayer hymn.” The whole band did a stellar job on this one. We’re definitely bringing this one back.

We did this Enfiled hymn awhile back and it went great. After Thursday’s rehearsal, a couple of my folks felt like the extra refrain at the end wasn’t working. They mentioned it to me, so I thought it about it on Friday and Saturday. While I didn’t have a problem with the refrain, I did realize that it made the song feel long. And since “The Greatness Of His Mercy” was already quite a lengthy tune, I killed the repeat refrain and opted for the simpler ending. We definitely worked THAT in our Sunday soundcheck because we had rehearsed it differently on Thursday. In the end, I think the slightly shorter version worked better.

It was a fantastic day giving praise to God with people I love! What could be better?



  1. Liz Reeves

    Dude. Like I mentioned on FB earlier, I reallyyyyy didn’t want to stop worship time this morning. Could’ve gone on & on and I would’ve been tickled. But then Ross’s sermon was awesome, too. It was just an all-around awesome day at Bethel! Thank you for being a part of that!

  2. toddwright

    Yeah, I kinda’ felt that way, too. Had the thought during “There Is A Fountain” and wondered how many verses there actually are…


  3. Flo

    Todd, sounds like you are doing well at Bethel. I can’t believe it has been three years!!! I hope Kristen and the kidos are well. I enjoyed your postings as they were very encouraging. Don’t know if you heard, but Galen and I moved to south of Houston this past Spring. We have settled in and still adjusting to a new chapter….blessings on you and your family…..

  4. Matt Owens

    I’ve been considering forgoing the rehearsal aspect of our Sunday morning soundcheck too. It makes for such a long morning, and I’m pretty beat before even starting the contemporary service — I also participate in leading the earlier traditional service.

    • toddwright

      Yeah, I was pleased with it. I’m sure there will come a Sunday soon enough where I think, “Gee, I wish I had some rehearsal time!”

      I’m never impressed with a worship team’s flash or wardrobe or ability to perfectly nail cover tunes – it’s the teams that are comfortable and prepared that make me want to be better!

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