What Are Your Questions?

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Hello there, gang!

I’d like to kick off the month of August with a round of Q&A.  As you can see, this blog is primarily focused on a few primary categories:

Leadership:  general leadership in business and life, with a primary focus on worship leadership within music ministry in the local church.

Music:  songs, arrangements, theory, and styles

Christian Faith:  devotions and life as a Christian

I’ve always hoped that this blog space would be a source of encouragement and equipping for people who read it.  That’s why I’d like to invite you to post your own, specific questions about any of these three topics.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer each of them but I’ll choose some of the questions and answer them in a separate blog post over the course of the next few weeks.  You’ll be invited to chime in as well.

Sound like fun?  I think so.  I can’t do this without you, though — so, start posting your questions below in the comments space.

Ready?  Set …
GO!

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Pianist/Composer
About the Author
Fred McKinnon is a Pianist/Composer from St. Simons Island, GA. Checkout the full BIO for more information and a complete bio. Worship Interludes Podcast - This podcast features instrumentals for prayer, meditation, soaking worship, relaxation, study music, and rest. Visit the Podcast page to listen or subscribe. Follow on Social MediaFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitter

32 comments on “What Are Your Questions?

  1. Lauren says:

    How do you get kids to be engaged in worship? Its tough being a worship leader for children’s service at my church.

    1. milo says:

      what age group?

    2. fmckinnon says:

      Lauren, great question and topic — I’m with milo — what specific age group are you referring to?

      1. Lauren says:

        5 yrs thru elementary school age

        1. fmckinnon says:

          Lauren – just to clarify, this is specifically for a kid’s service, not in corporate/adult service, right?

  2. Peg says:

    how do you plan music for a service when the musicians are all on vacation, and the only ones left to lead are vocalists?

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Ooooh, Peg, great question …. we’ll definitely talk about this in an upcoming blog post … thanks!

      1. Peg says:

        Sooner is better….this is my task for August 19

        1. fmckinnon says:

          Peg – coming tomorrow (or next day at latest)

    2. Donna says:

      Peg, do you think one of your keyboardists would mind altering his/her vacation plans a little to be there on Sunday? Short of that, I would suggest your vocalists be ready to lead worship without music. It can still be powerful when the anointing of God is present and we rely on Him to usher us into His presence – with or without music. Pray, girl!

  3. rev87mom says:

    Is there a formula for blended, bilingual worship???

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Hey Rev87mom,
      Thanks for the comment. Sorry for the delayed reply – still wading through these questions. I could certainly address blended worship but I’ve never really had any experience with bilingual worship. It seems that it would be pretty difficult to have 2 languages in the same service, and give them equal attention.

  4. larrykane says:

    whats the best way to get a sound engineer onboard if he’s not really paying attention to detail?

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Larry,
      This is great — I’ve got a post coming up soon on relationships between the worship leader and tech leaders.

  5. Bill Horn says:

    What do you prefer, or what have you found to work best, regarding the format of your projected lyrics? Some examples would be how many lines per slide, how you handle capitalization, etc. This isn’t talked about very often, and I would be interested to hear how you do it at SSCC. Thanks!

  6. Musikk Leder says:

    My question is how do you plan for musicians of varying abilities and levels of commitment? It is a small church, so I am lucky to have interest in Praise Music. Also, some congregation members prefer only “traditional” music … any ideas on that?

  7. ftedperkins55 says:

    In your experience, is is preferable for the drummer play with a click track?

    Without a very skilled sound mixer – tech, not equipment – what is your opinion of having two harmony vocals instead of just one? It seems exponentially more difficult to mix three voices rather than two. There’s always the vocal harmonizer.

  8. Christopher says:

    Opinions on worshiping as a musician? possible or need focus on the music to lead?

  9. Elgin Combs says:

    I have 2 questions.

    1) Should a worship leader ask his/her musicians and vocalists to practice their parts on their own time prior to coming to rehearsal? If so, what do you do when you have people give you the “I don’t have time” reasoning? My team has been using our rehearsal time as “practice,” to learn songs (many for the first time, without ever listening to the songs I send out). I feel it’s a time-killer and not advantageous for the band to listen to a new song during rehearsal. Our current schedule (that I inherited) is Tuesday night rehearsal, Sunday morning run through/sound check.

    2) Should the entire team memorize their music, and ditch the stands? I personally would love to have ZERO stands on stage, but I don’t know if that’s too much to ask from our volunteers.

    Thanks!

    1. Keith says:

      #2 first – we have stands. I don’t see how you can expect part time, “volunteer” musicians to get prepared enough to play from memory. It’s not a skill everyone has developed, and even though I can do it, with the constant change of numbers every week, it really is *not* time I would have to spend.

      #1 – It’s not asking too much that people practice before coming to rehearsal. It’s not always possible, but it should be reasonable to expect some familiarity with what is going to be gone over. Just make sure everyone has charts they can work with and reference recordings or YouTube links to help them get familiar. If you are introducing something totally new, don’t wait until the practice before the service; do it a couple of weeks before, so you have at least 2 rehearsals.

  10. Chris says:

    My company is soon going to release its first worship CD and I was wondering what medium is the best at selling music; like itunes or Amazon; etc. Also, where do you hear new worship music at; radio stations; like Pandora?

  11. I have played with distortion on guitar during worship and have heard from some that distortion is not proper for the church. I use it only when I feel it is proper and at times have been told GOD has used my playing to minister to people. I look at David who danced before the ark of the covenant so intensely that he danced into his underwear. When confronted about it, he said he would be more outrageous the next time. I play the way GOD has talented me and look at it as offering Him my best. As Doyle Dikes says, he plays for an audience of one and let’s GOD’s anointing fall down and bless the people, himself included…what are your thoughts?

    1. Keith says:

      Distortion is found in a lot of CCM. The key, IMO, is using it appropriately, and knowing when *not* to use it. There are some songs where I have it on all the time, some where I bring it in as the song builds, or for a lead/fill/break, and some where it gets left off, and I use something else. You have to keep in mind the purpose of the music at the point of the service, and where the congregation needs to be led, or allowed to go, with the help of the music. We don’t want our own experience to be what keeps others from getting closer to God, so use your ears and heart, and listen to everything that’s going on in the service. That will help you determine how you should play, and what effects can work best.

  12. Melanie says:

    Fred,
    Our congregation recently moved to a “family worship” format. By that, I mean children of elementary school age and older worship with their families instead of the typical “sunday school” format. Since we are a small congregation, it does not seem too difficult to maintain. At the same time, I’ve found it a struggle to teach my children worship WHILE worshiping. Since my husband is on the worship team, much of this responsibility falls on me. Is there something I can do/try to encourage my children to worship? How can “family worship” be successful? What does it look like?

  13. jerrym says:

    How can I encourage my praise team leader to step up and assume more of a “worship leader” role? I am allowed to have worship responsibilities and I lend my voice to the team but do not play an instrument that lends itself to leading into the music after we open our service or restart after we have our fellowship time, I just feel that the transition is awkward sometimes, I would really like it to be smoother, so until I learn the guitar, or the keyboard…..you get the idea.
    Thoughts??

    1. Dave says:

      A good way to introduce this would be to see if he/she would be willing to read scritpture applying to the song before it is sung. For instance, if you use a projector post the scriptre, the scripture could be read outloud by the WL while the intro for the song, or outro of the previous song, is played. Encouraging worship can be built on this. It can give a level of comfort to have something ready to read that the WL can springboard from at the prompting of the Spirit.

  14. fmckinnon says:

    Hey gang – one of the first questions has now been posted as a new blog post at http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/2012/08/07/5-ways-to-still-lead-a-worship-service-without-musicians/ – check it out!

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