Light show concept #124,072

Not sure about this one folks — but an interesting concept for our annual light show at Topeka Bible Church.


Free Online Worship Study | got worship?

Everyone can benefit from sharpening their game at what they do — whether is someone who is raising kids, a team preparing for the superbowl, or the president of a world power.  This hold true for worship leaders and pastors.

That’s what peaked my interested when was facilitating a webinar for worship leaders with the book by Tim Hughes.  What a great chance to sharpen the focus of worship leading with others.

If you are a worship leader/pastor out there…maybe you’d enjoy a little sharpening this month. Why not join us?  Here are the details…

Free Online Worship Study

January 30, 2011 in Leadership Course,Worship Training

If you are a worship leader or worship pastor interested in growing your team, starting a team, or simply learning to become a better leader – then I want to invite you to a free online worship study that we will be launching next month.

The course is free – but we will be going over a book by Tim Hughes entitled Here I Am To Worship for the course.

We will break apart the chapters each week and have a set time that we can discuss the content and have devotionals and lessons designed to help you become a more effective leader.  These weekly lessons will be in webinar form – and you can chose to actively participate in the discussions or sit back and absorb.

Interested?  Grab your copy of the book by clicking the picture of the book cover or by clicking here.

Then, use the form below to sign up for the course.  We are scheduled to begin the first week in March – so you will have plenty of time to pick up the required book and have it shipped to you.

via Free Online Worship Study | got worship?.

Worship Loop and Click Track Library –

In a minute, I’ll mention the loop contest is running, but first — how we use loops and click tracks in worship.

This past week at Topeka Bible Church we ran the majority of our worship songs with loops and click tracks. Though I played keyboards for the band this week, it was nice to have additional sonic material happening in the mix.  It allowed me to play less, sing more, and focus on playing my 1/6 part of the role of the 6 member band.

The nicest part of using click tracks is having steady tempo and smooth song starts. You know those nasty drummer stick clicks.  With a silent count in, the band simply starts.  Flow is much smoother as a result.  Also, no more subjective “it feels fast” or “it’s dragging” thoughts.  The tempo is set.

The final advantage with the loops and click tracks are the vocal cues into the song sections. It serves the song on a silver platter.  There’s no questions where the verse, chorus, bridge, turns are — because you have a voice counting you in.  Sure, it’s not as flexible as a custom roadmap — but there’s never harm in dialing out the volume of the click when you decide to veer from the stated roadmap.

So do you use loops and click tracks in worship? If not, it’s not difficult once you have it set up.  If you’ve ever wanted to get started with loops…here’s an easy way to get started — is giving away it’s entire loop library to a lucky Twitterer — but you can also pick up $10 of free loops.  Here’s the deal from

For the launch of our new site at, we’d love to get some free loop goodness out. Yes, it’s the same awesome site — just a new look.  So we are giving away $10 worth of loops on orders over $30.  And to top things off, we are giving away our entire worship loop library ($200 worth of loops).


To grab the free loops, enter FEBLOOP on orders over $30 (your cart will be discounted $10). We know, it’s a discount — but that’s more change in your pocket.  Code is good through Feb 28, 2011.

And for the full blown chance to grab the entire library giveaway, all you have to do is tweet this.  “Awesome. @mymusicwriter is giving away free worship loops and click tracks.  Go get some.

We’ll pick on March 1, 2011. Good luck.

via Worship Loop and Click Track Library –

Loops for A Beautiful Exchange by Hillsong — some of my favorite songs right now

The recent album by Hillsong has some great songs on it. I have to think God smiles when music for worship is written like these. We will be teaching some of these song in the near future at our church. And finding loops and click tracks that go with new music can be difficult — but has 6 of the songs off the album posted (here). I’m excited for these fresh batch of new songs that Hillsong is cranking out. These were very fun to work on. It’s easy to create stuff for songs that are clear cut awesomeness.

Baby’s first audition [video]

Never too early to start.

Worship…Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes « Vertical Resonator

At Topeka Bible Church, we are worshipping with fewer prompts from the stage (let’s stand together, let’s sing together) and giving worshippers more space (time) to respond to God in worship.

We we publish the following in the bulletin this week…

Worship is simply a response to God — giving Him the worth He’s due. While there are many expressions of worship in the Bible (singing, bowing down, standing, clapping, lifting hands, being still), we invite you to worship how you are wired or simply observe if this if your first time with us.

Which reminded me of a post from back in 2006 on this blog…

Consider the following. Which ones are accepted in your church? Which ones do you feel comfortable doing? Which ones would you not be caught doing?! Why or why not?

Our Voice

1. Speaking – Psalm 34:1 says, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”

2. Shouting – Psalm 27:6 says, “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”

3. Singing – Psalm 47:6 says, “Sing praises to God, sing praises to our King, sing praises.”

Our Posture

1. Bowing – Psalm 95:6 says, “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

2. Standing – Psalm 119:120 says, “My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.”

3. Dancing – Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.”

Our Hands

1. Playing Instruments – Psalm 33:2, 3 says, “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”

2. Clapping – Psalm 47:1 says, “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”

3. Lifting Hands – Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.”

[Content taken from “Nine Ways to Worship” by Stephen M. Newman]

God help me to express Your worthiness like David did. I don’t want to be concerned about what others think of me as I worship You. I want You to be concerned with how I worship You. God, there are times I don’t fully express how I love you because of what others think of me. Forgive me for putting others before You when it comes to how I worship You.

via Worship…Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes « Vertical Resonator.

Your children would rather go to T-Rex than church

Last weekend, my family and I visited another semi-local church since I had off from our own church. It was about an hour away — so my local other church ministry friends who are reading this don’t have to worry.  Here were some of our take aways.


  1. Their website really helped us in advance.  We were able to figure out where the church was and even look at where to drop off our kids.  It explained in detail what a walk through would be like.  Several places the church said to arrive 15 minutes in advance…and I’m glad they did.  It made me (the husband) look pretty good in the morning and lowered the stress level.
  2. It was easy to find the church.  The church was off a main road with a large sign to identify where to pull in and park.
  3. Parking and access to where we needed to go was inviting and easy.  The walk to the building wasn’t too long, which I was thankful for since it was cold and windy.  It’s amazing how much this makes a difference when you have kids in tow.
  4. We didn’t appear like newbies — and I liked that fact.  Because the website told us where to drop off our kids, we knew exactly where to go once we entered the building.  This was great because I really dislike going to someone I don’t know (or worse a volunteer staff) and saying, “Um, we are new — so you can you just run us through your embarrassing process.”
  5. Their children’s pastor made an effort to connect with our kids.  When we arrived at the check-in station, they alerted their children’s paster that we were new.  He came over, gave a quick introduction to us as parents (10 seconds), and then began to interact with our two oldest kids.  They both seemed to connect with him.  That was a plus.

Improvements Needed

  1. The sermon had great points — but was too long.  While I loved the points the sermon had, the communicator keep attention.  I found myself and others around me looking at their watches.  The one speaking that morning wasn’t their lead pastor, although their lead pastor was there that morning and spoke briefly at the end (which I was thankful for because it gave us a chance to hear him).  Again, great point, not great execution.
  2. The kid check-in process was OK, but not stellar.  They didn’t ask for our mobile phone # or let us know how they might alert us if there was a problem with our youngest.  Not good.  I need trust right away — that people would have thought it through and tell me who they’d contact me if my child was choking and an ambulance had been called.
  3. The music was fairly decent — but sound didn’t rock my world.  The music was good…well done, thought out — yet the audio didn’t feel dialed in to me.  It sound got better as the morning went on — but it almost sounded as if they were sound-checking (dialing in the mix) as it was happening.  I appreciated it was getting better — but I went in hoping it was dialed in right away and nailed on the first song (so I could turn off that part of my brain).
  4. They didn’t have a class for kids on this particular weekend due to New Year’s weekend.  This made listening to the sermon a challenge — as the people behind us were receiving a lesson from us in how (not) to rear your children during a church gathering.  I’m glad they didn’t select “How parents can and should train their children in the Lord” for the morning’s message.


The Most Frightening Aspect

Then there was something that was alarming more than anything. Following the morning at this church, we decided to surprise our kids with a visit to T-Rex Cafe at Legends. If you’ve never been there before, it’s a place kids love.  The food price is high, it’s out of your way — but they love the experience.  Not only do they love the experience, but they WANT and ASK to return.  The sad part is — we are willing to pay the prices and go our of our way.

Frankly, our kids would rather go back to the restaurant we went to than the church. What’s frightening is that our kids drive our decisions (not every, but a lot of them right now).  This means what clicks and connects with them…works for us as parents too.  If my kids end up leaving a church and the experience they had has them WANTING more and ASKING for a return…we’d most likely do it — especially if our kids were learning spiritually while they had a good experience.

Hit a home run with the Nelson kids in the experience department + show mom and dad they learned something spiritual that will influence their lives = return visit from the Nelson family.  That’s the sad reality.

Unfortunately, our kids will ask for us to return to T-Rex Cafe instead of the church. It’s going to cost us financially and time-wise to make that happen again.  It’s not easy to get to and the prices aren’t fair.  Yet, I wonder if our kids would have had a similar experience at church — maybe, just maybe, they would be asking for a return there.  Heck, I might even give them what I would have given T-Rex as a visitor in their church in the offering plate.

So lies the debate…

  • Where do parents draw the line at kids influencing their decisions (gifts, restaurants, church, etc.)?  You can’t argue that kids do not influence decision — because they do.  But there’s a line there.  And it’s different for every family.  The trick is figuring out what God’s Word says the line of influence should be.
  • Should churches attempt to compete with other kid experiences like T-Rex Cafe?  Think about it — T-Rex is in it to make money, a church is in it to win souls — so which which experience ought to win?
  • Are parents overly concerned over experience in other ways at churches (similar to children)?  If so, in what ways?  Things such as — the music has to be ‘such and such,’ the preaching needs to be ‘fill in the blank,’ the people that attend this church ought be ‘fill in preference,’ my first 2-3 experiences should include ‘this and that,’ and the list might continue.

How about you or your kids?  Where would you rather be than church?  Why?  And what should the church do about it?