This was an interesting set because we introduced our new percussion setup. (Full post coming on Wednesday!) We had a few mic problems in our first set but made a couple of changes in between services and that seem to make all the difference.
Call To Worship
Back in December, we started using the “Collects” from the Book of Common Prayer. I liked it so much, I’ve kept doing them. While it was the 2nd Sunday After Christmas (according to BCP), it was also Epiphany. Instead of doing the Epiphany reading, I stuck with the 2nd Sunday reading but did a tiny bit of explaining about Epiphany. I’m guessing my high church pals can tell if I was right or wrong..
One of my favorite things about this is having some of the instrumentation already playing behind us as we read, though not for the reason you might think. I couldn’t care any less about the emotional manipulation of music behind talking or praying – but I have changed my position on starting big songs “big.” For some reason, it just feels more congregational to ease into songs – even the rockers.
COME AND WELCOME (Indelible Grace)
Man, we love this song at Bethel! Not only is filled with such beautiful language, but it is a JAM to play. Perfect combination, right? Song went great in both services – first service sounded like there was a hiccup when we started, maybe got off the click slightly? Not that big a deal. For this Sunday, I had both my drummer and percussionist play the intro on kit and cajon. They did a good job of making room for one another.
The previous song modulates from A to B, so when we ended in B, I had our keys guy start with a cool, arpeggiated synth pad as I talked about being welcomed into God’s family because of Jesus. In rehearsal, we had rehearsed this keyboard part to happen on the last beat of the previous song, but on Sunday, he waited a beat or two before starting it. I had that first second of panic, “Where’s the keyboard part?” but I think it was a good call. Still felt smooth and ensured that he land on the right patch
ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS (Fee)
When playing with click, I’m always surprised at how un-fast this song is. We struggle – like most bands – with speeding up intentionally, but click always reminds me that this song doesn’t need us to play frantically! Guitarists did a great job with the riffing and tambourine gave this one the lift it needed. I wish I could speak to every worship leader in the world and say, “Hey, tambourine on choruses really does make a difference!”
Our Executive Pastor preached today, so he was in charge of the welcome. He did a great job and was great on timing! He read some scripture, welcomed folks and gave two brief announcements. It was smooth.
RUIN ME (Jeff Johnson)
Another favorite for us! On Thursday night, I had asked our guitar player to try and get closer to the album version’s tremolo part on the riff. He warned me that his pedal was tap-equipped so it would be perfectly synced with the tempo. I told him it was fine because the band is really good on click. NOT SO MUCH. Ha! Actually what happened is the drummer mixed too much guitar in his headset and couldn’t hear the click over the guitar part. Our bass player and percussionist were trying so hard to keep us on, but the drummer had other ideas! For second service, drummer changed the mix so he could hear click better. We do this song a lot – I can feel myself getting personally tired of it although it’s a great song with an excellent message. Worship leader woes, right?
Seated folks for Communion. This year, we’re having our Family Pastor lead the communion service. He’s a great speaker and it’s nice to have him up there in front of folks. He gave a brief explanation of communion and prayed and then we played as they passed out the elements.
HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR (Aaron Ivey)
This one was a bit shaky during both services, but probably only enough for the band to notice. I liked starting the tune with caxixi shakers – very cool tone! Our guitarist did an excellent job on the riff. I felt like we went too big on the big stuff. The song’s got a lot of dynamic shifts and I think we could have eased into it better. Have to say though, the melody is so dang singable. Dig hearing our people sing it out.
This is a new tune for us. We did it as a closer as people were leaving. This is a good way for us to try new songs without the added pressure. We had some good feedback from folks in the crowd who hung around to listen, but the song felt empty to me, which I expected. I think Hillsong tunes are far too produced for most normal worship bands to duplicate, but I think we did a good job. It’s a long tune – I dig the jam at the end, so I may end up cutting the double chorus. Plan on doing this one next week in the set.
What about you? What did you do in worship?