How about a book about reproducing worship leadership in others? I am simply inviting you to take a fresh look at my book, The Six Hats of the Worship Leader. If you haven’t read it yet or haven’t read it in a while, I’d love to hear from you and have you check out the book. I am always game to follow up with my readers and some have even become good friends! This book has helped many over the last few years. When a lot of training has been on simply skills or technology my book takes a different angle. People are who we need to lead since gear can only take you so far. What if there were very practical ways to take the role of worship leading and grow it? One of my favorite things about being a book author is in interacting with readers. I assume I am not smarter than you! What I aim to do is offer something helpful that you need to solve. Even if it is simply reframing what you already know to be true, the value of such is worth investment. Over the last four years, I have shared this material in person with pastors and worship leaders all over the country and am humbled by the positive response. I never set out to write a book. The bumps…
There arrives with raising a family that one day where your child discovers a profound truth. My teenage son in passing mentioned how he loved Frank Sinatra. “What!” Then I queried with barely contained excitement. “How did you find out about one of the greatest singers in history?” My son then, with a typical teenage eye roll, “Youtube, of course.” In a moment my world was shattered, my mind was blown, and expectations destroyed. You see, how does a 21st Century teen discover amongst the noise of the web such greatness? How does one filter clips of kittens, video game memes, and feats of stupidity to find the gem of Frank Sinatra’s music? As my pastor reminds us, faith is caught–not taught. More precisely, you cannot tell your son who the greatest singer in the history of the planet is, he must find his way there. Truth rises to the top. Even when it comes to the church music of yesteryear. How much “new” church music can we truly handle? In a world where church music is built on moments, catching anything is looked at as a disease rather than a blessing. Anything in worship music before 2012 is officially forgotten! The idea of singing “Oceans”–written in the ancient year of 2013–is frowned upon. Even Brian Houston declares that the song that made the Hillsong brand many millions…
Over the past few weeks, my worship team has been reading The HD Leader by Derwin Gray. The book speaks about building multiethnic churches and embracing diversity. According to the book, a homogeneous church is one that is made up of 80 percent or more of the same ethnicity. Ring any bells? I certainly grew up in a church that was homogenous. Every Sunday we had a full-on production: big choir, praise and worship team, a loud and passionate preacher, and it wasn’t church without a b3 Hammond organ. My church experience shaped my perception of what worship was “supposed” to look and sound like. It was what I was comfortable with, and for a long time, it was all I knew. I moved to Nashville, the music mecca, a few years after college and my perception of worship and church began to change as I was exposed to new styles and sounds. But just as fast as I was learning new sounds, my walls went up even faster to defend the sound I knew and loved. I was quick to become defensive when I’d hear from other people that the worship style I was used to was not “true worship” because it was too busy, or too loud, or too distracting. However, at the same time, it helped me realize that homogenous churches have…
In the original post, “Five BAD Ideas to Make Your Worship Services FAKE,” I discussed some ways of thinking that seem to reinforce inauthentic worship. Hundreds of shares and thousands of readers later, the new year has brought us a new and even worse list! I know, it’s not the best moment to be negative with our discourse in the public arena these days. However, a new year brings with it an opportunity to evaluate and refocus our worship leadership. And, it is important to find a clear way to articulate what we may actually be feeling—for better or worse. If we can form a lingo to describe something very subjective like our worship services, then it helps us to clarify where our closely held values come into play. 1. You use EDM-pop dance worship music written and recorded for a youth-oriented market for your intergenerational congregation. If we don’t have inspiration from our younger sounds, we end up isolating ourselves. However, if your church’s average attendee is 45-plus and you target 17 in your worship music you are probably creating a group of worshippers who try very hard to connect to what they are asked to sing, but most likely don’t. That can feel rather fake! In some settings, anything with a beat is called for! But, I have seen many services where the…
This is the eleventh year of blogging for me here at RKblog.com, so it is always nice to be appreciated. This is the fourth time and third year in a row that RKblog.com has been selected by the editors of Worship Leader Magazine as a Best of the Best Blog. The conversation we have here does matter and I am thankful for the many years of support and engagement by you, my readers. This truly is not as much a personal recognition of achievment. In my opinion, it is the community lived out here because of RKblog.com that is celebrated. Why? Without a tribe, a website means little. You make this all worth it!
From the first note to the last, what is played musically in church matters. Music is one of the historically prominent and powerful vehicles for our Christian worship–today as well as in the past. Whether the worship is expressed on a Fender strat or sung by a choir in full robes the music matters. Like the beams of a building need competent engineering, the execution of our music leadership requires skill. You can compensate all you want with automated loops, tracks and auto-tuning but in the end polished bronze is still bronze. Gold is the real thing. Just because something is shiny does not make it valuable or worthy in the long run. Is what we are offering as valuable as we think it is? Good musicianship and the several components that it contains matter.
At least two extremes exists when describing the role of the worship leader. Today, we ask for rockstar-monks to lead us in worship. I have heard an influential leader say repeatedly at conferences, “Your role is more important than mine as the preacher.” Really? This made me feel important at the moment, but reality says something else. As a worship leader we prepare people to hear the word, lead them in prayers, but how is that more important than leading and forming a congregation spiritually through preaching? As a worship leader, my role is surely significant as I serve the whole congregation and have a part in the spiritual formation, but not a superior part. I am simply just a part. And, to put that on me or any worship leader is to raise this role to monk status.
My blog, Rich Kirkpatrick’s Blog (RKBLOG.com) has been honored as an Editor’s Pick for 2014 in Worship Leader Magazine this month. This recognition is among other worthy bloggers in the online worship community, as well. Here is the full quote from Worship Leader Magazine this month:
Since 2005, Rich Kirkpatrick’s blog has consistently been ranked among the top 50 Christian blogs, that and the fact that he is specifically writing from a worship perspective makes the RK blog a must bookmark. He’s also a beloved faculty at NWLC (so you can tap into his wisdom both online and in person). – Worship Leader Magazine
Doomsayer or realist, you can decide. But, this year will continue a negative trend for worship leaders set in place by a variety of cultural, economic, and other changes in the Church in America. Basically, the outlook is not good when seen through anecdotal and insider data. I talk to many worship leaders on a regular basis and the stories are heart breaking. I also talk to lead pastors and am disappointed about how decisions are currently being made across our country. This year will be a tough one if you are a worship leader.
My daughter Emilie and I are attending the National Worship Leader Conference and presented today three classes that I wrote called “The Six Hats/Roles of the Worship Leader” and were pleasantly surprised at the positive response from the talk and conversation. If you attended one of the three sessions, I am glad you came to my blog. Most of you, my readers, did not attend my class. But, I have a remedy for that. Anyone who signs up for my Newsletter (once a month email) will get the session notes as well as chapters of the eBook “Six Hats” exclusively before it is published or posted on the blog. Here are some links I mentioned in the class: Emilie’s music project My Newsletter copyrightsolver.com My podcast about worship Come and say hey in the comments if you attended the class!