It's such a privilege to get to serve with you. I love that we get to use our gifts together to glorify God and to lead others in worship. I don't take lightly what we get to do and my goal is to treat worship on the weekend with reverence and excellence. Every week, whether people are joining in person or online, we have to encounter God in new ways and create moments that stick with people through their difficult moments.
I want to put a greater emphasis on our weekend worship than ever before. From stage presence, to transitions, to how we communicate on stage, I want our team to be excellent in every area so we can create a worship environment that is distraction free and easy for people to connect with God.
My goal for this page is to be a single place that you can go to for all things culture and how our team operates. As you read along and watch these videos, please keep an open mind and heart. The intention is that clear expectations are communicated and that we are unified as a team.
| A CENTURY OF BLESSING
Bethany is a church over 100 years old with baptist roots. It's so awesome to be part of this amazing story and God has richly blessed our church. However, it can also come with certain unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectations, preferences, and opinions about worship. We want to acknowledge and honor what has come in the past, still engaging those in the older generation, while still being current and relevant in today's world.
Our services have about 16 minutes of worship at the beginning with a closing song after the message. Typically we will play 3 songs (fast, medium, and slow) and often times we will play a hymn or tradition song towards the end. By starting with a fast song and getting gradually slower, we get people on the bus and take them on a journey to focusing on Christ.
| SETTING THE TONE
What's the point of worship leaders? Why are we up there singing and playing these songs when we could just play a produced mp3?
First off the Bible tells us to glorify him with our bodies:
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. -Romans 12:1
I hope to honor Christ with my body if it be by my life or by my death. I want to honor Him without fear, now and always. -Philippians 1:20
What does the Bible say about expressive worship?
Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. -Psalm 47:1
Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord. -Psalm 134:2
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! -Psalm 100:1
Our job is to be an example of biblical worship for those who might not know how to worship or those who may not feel comfortable being expressive in worship.
WE ARE ALL WORSHIP LEADERS
A worship leader's job is to point people to Jesus and create an atmosphere that is easy for people to engage in worship. When a guitar player in the back is shredding and lost in worship, people engage. When the MD is calling chords and leading us through a musically complex moment, people engage. When frontlines are dancing on stage and celebrating what Christ has done, people engage.
Our team has been blessed with so many talented people who come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with music and other worship teams. A certain hand signal or phrase might mean something different from person to person. Thus it's critical that we are all on the same page and "speaking the same language" when we are on stage during a weekend. Whether it be what our MD is communicating, or a worship leader signaling to repeat a song section in the moment, we need to all understand how things are communicated, so that it doesn't take us out of the moment.
| Nashville Number System
If you're not familiar with this, it means we use numbers when talking about chord progressions instead of the name of the chord. For example, instead of saying “E-B-C#m-A”, we would say “1-5-6-4”. So for example, if the MD said "end on the 1", we'd end on E.
With this system, each song will always have the same numbers, no matter the keys we are playing it in. Also, numbers stay major or minor no matter what key you are in. Here is a chart that can help you know what the number is for each given key (1 being the key you are in):