INTERVIEW WITH JARED ANDERSON Reviews:
Brothers McClurg, Jeff Deyo, Jared Anderson, Covenant Worship
Worship Leading: Hard, But Worth It by Richie Fike
Interview with Dave Fitzgerald
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SEPTEMBER CONTENTS DEVOTIONAL: GUARDING THE GATE.....5 LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE.....7 THE SONGWRITER’S CAFE: INTERVIEW WITH DAVE FITZGERALD.....8 WORSHIP LEADER OR LEADER OF LEADERS.....12 INTERVIEW WITH JARED ANDERSON.....14 WHERE TO BEGIN (part 2).....19 HARD BUT WORTH IT.....22 REVIEWS: BROTHERS MCCLURG, JEFF DEYO, JARED ANDERSON, COVENANT WORSHIP.....26
Credits Editor-in-Chief Wisdom Moon Creative Director Wendy Lane Editorial Team Barry Westman Brie Moon Joe Brookhouse
Contributing Writers Barry Westman Chris Olson Ed Rotheram Joe Cameneti, Jr. Julie Terwilliger Richie Fike Sean Hill
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook.com/allaboutworship Twitter.com/allaboutworship
The Leadership Roundtable Barry Westman Ben Abu Saada Chris Olson Erin Cameneti Julie Terwilliger Keith Terwilliger Kelly Puckett
Email questions for The Leadership Roundtable to email@example.com
Address All About Worship PO Box 3082 Olathe, KS 66063
Letter from the Editor I’m sure we’ve all heard the statement: “worship is a lifestyle”. We as worship leaders love to say that when we talk about worship. We want people to know that singing songs in church does not encompass “worship”. This is true, but sometimes I think we get so used to saying that statement, we forget to stop and think about what it truly means to live a lifestyle of worship. Worship is not automatic. Meaning, just because we say our life is worship doesn’t mean that we are always worshipping God. We have to be intentional. In all that we do, we have to intentionally do it as unto the Lord. One of my favorite verses regarding worship is 2 Samuel 24:24 where King David says to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” It is a great reminder that worship is supposed to cost us something. For many in our Christian history, it cost them everything. It cost them their life. We can get so comfortable living in our comfortable house eating comfort food, driving a comfortable car to go sit in a comfortable chair in a comfortable church, sipping our comfort drink while listening to
a comforting sermon, that we forget that worship is supposed to cost us something. We’re so comfortable that we complain and argue about little things like the music being too loud or too quiet. Or, about that song that we’ve sang three Sundays in a row, that we’re so tired of. Or, about those new visitors that took “our” seats! Why, we get irritated when someone sits down in the seat next to us at church! Don’t they know church etiquitte?! You’re supposed to leave at least one empty seat in between you and the person next to you?! What sacrifices have you made recently as an act of worship? What costs have you paid to bring honor to His name? What has worship cost you? And, no, I’m not talking about the latest “worship” album you bought on iTunes for $9.99. I hope and pray that as you read this September 2012 issue of the magazine you are challenged to live out worship in a way that is NOT comfortable to you. In a way that maybe costs you something, but maybe makes an eternal impact in someone else’s life. It is time for each and every one of us to truly live out a life of worship and not just say it because it sounds spiritual. For His Kingdom, Wisdom Moon Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
BY JOE CAMENETI, JR. Are you leading in a local church? You are a gatekeeper. 1 Chronicles 9:22 gives us a picture of this high calling, describing a fascinating position among the Levites, or ministry leaders, in God’s house: “…The gatekeepers had been assigned to their positions of trust by David and Samuel the seer. They and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the Lord—the house called the tent of meeting.” It’s funny how relevant the Old Testament is to leadership in today’s Church. Read through the entire chapter, and you’ll see that not much has changed over the past several thousand years. They had C.F.O. Gatekeepers “entrusted with the responsibility for the rooms and treasuries in the house of God” (Verse 26). There were facility Gatekeepers, “assigned to take care of the furnishings and all the other articles of the sanctuary” (Verse 29). Verse 33 even mentions the worship Pastors of that day. They were a special breed back then too. “Those who were musicians, heads of Levite families, stayed in the rooms of the temple and were exempt from other duties because they were responsible for the work day and night.” Maybe it will help a few other “Type-A” leaders like myself to know that creative people couldn’t be kept on a schedule back then either! Seems like musicians have always done their best work with fewer restrictions. As I was reading this a few months back, the term gatekeeper jumped off of the screen. We really are called as leaders to “guard the gates,” protecting the presence of God and owning the vision He has given our church. Verse 22 says it well. This is a “position of trust.” We are responsible, and no one else. Our primary mission: Keep what is God-honoring and full of life in, and keep everything else out. As a fellow gatekeeper, I thought it would be helpful to address three key issues that can infiltrate the four walls of the church, and how to guard against them. Guard Against Division This is the fastest way to stifle vision. In fact, it literally means “two visions,” and it is a cancer to a healthy church culture. Division may even apply to our alignment with the Pastor’s vision. We have to ask ourselves, is my ministry supposed to be a second head on the body, creating a “side-show” entity vying for everyone’s energy and attention? Or, is it designed to be a supporting and contributing piece in the local body God has entrusted to me? Be on guard against statements laced with “us” and
“them” vocabulary. “Pastor wants us to sing this song… He has it on his heart.” What if we owned his vision like it was our own? Maybe some of us aren’t seeing God breathe life into our dreams because we’ve never invested in the dreams of another. And what makes us think God will trust us with our own ministry if He can’t trust us with our Pastor’s? We are all on the same team, and fully committing to one vision led by the Sr. Pastor is crucial in accomplishing our mission. Guard Against Offense I’m sure you’ve heard, “The best offense is a good defense.” I’ll take it a step further. “The best offense is a good defense against offense.” Are you following? In other words, building a healthy defense against being offended is the only way to move forward in ministry. Numbers tells a story about Miriam (Moses’ sister) who became discontent and offended with her role in the wilderness. The result: Number 12:15 “So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days (She was afflicted with leprosy during this time), and the people did not move on till she was brought back.” This is a good example of what offense can do. It infects, isolates & incapacitates, keeping us stuck in the past and present. And worst of all, keeping us from moving forward. Guard against Everything I’ll keep this one short. Some of us are so focused on doing everything that we do nothing well. It’s so helpful to play to our strengths and be who God created US to be. Not everyone is called to make worship albums, host a leadership conference or write a book. But all of us are called to advance the Kingdom of God in the way that He uniquely created us to. Let’s take our cues from 1 Chronicles 9 and recognize that we each have a role, and there’s no shame in recognizing our weak points and playing to our strengths! Are you guarding the gate? Joe Cameneti, Jr. Joe serves as the Connections Pastor at Believers Church in Warren, Ohio. www.believers.cc
The Leadership Roundtable
Each month in this section we answer questions from our readers related to leadership and worship ministry. Submit your questions to email@example.com
Is it practical for a worship team to have only a 20 minute soundcheck on Sunday if they have had a full rehearsal earlier in the week? We are switching things up and the worship team will only lead in our second service. That means they have time to rehearse at 8:00 for an 11:00 service or during the 1/2 hour between services. Any suggestions you have, will be much appreciated.
Great question! I can say from experience that yes, this is very possible and practical. We have a 2 ½ hour rehearsal on Thursday evenings with the full team (singers first, then everyone together, then just the band). The tech crew is there on rehearsal nights to run through the lyrics, sound and cameras. Then, on Sunday morning, we have an 8:00 Traditional service, and 9:30 and 11:00 Contemporary Services. This means our Contemporary team only has from about 9:00 – 9:20 for the soundcheck. On a typical week (what’s that!?), that’s plenty of time to do a quick soundcheck and run through a bit of each song. In order for that short window of time to be effective, though, you need to be on top of things and have a plan. Ask your team to be there 5-10 minutes ahead of the time you want to start soundcheck, so they can get their instruments out, tuned up and ready to go. Have fresh batteries ready for whatever you need. Have a plan for the order of soundcheck; establish a routine so people know what to expect. Don’t try to run through too much; rely on people being ready from your rehearsal earlier in the week, and expect them to come prepared. Make sure you leave time for prayer! No matter how hectic that 20 minutes can sometimes feel, we make sure to save a few minutes before each service to pray together as a team. When we don’t, it is sure to feel even more chaotic and hurried. Remain calm. If you seem worried and concerned, your team will follow. Have confidence in them and assure them they’ll do a great job. Of course you will always have those weeks when the first service runs long, or there was a wedding that weekend, and you have to redo the whole stage setup, or my favorite, the pastor asks you to add a song at the last minute! Whatever the case, just be flexible, trust your team, and trust God to see you through. 20 minutes may not feel like much, but when well thought out and expectations clearly stated, you will be just fine.
Barry Westman is a husband, father to three wonderful kids, and Worship Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Janesville, WI www.betheljanesville.org @bkwestman
THE SONGWRITER’S CAFE
INTERVIEW WITH DAVE FITZGERALD
ecently, Chris Olson of The Songwriter’s Cafe had the opportunity to catch up with worship leader and songwriter, Dave Fitzgerald. Dave’s debut album, Hope of Heaven, was recorded live at Bethel Church in Redding, CA with the help of Jesus Culture, Brian & Jenn Johnson, Chris McClarney, and Rita Springer, among others. Chris: It has been a while since your awesome album dropped! What have you been up to since then? Dave: Ha! Thanks for your kind words. I’ve been traveling a ton the last two years. Leading a lot of worship for conferences, events etc. I absolutely love it. I also am still very involved in the “Events & Concerts” world...producing large events, conferences and concerts that are not “worship”. I love the business & logistics side of life very much! It’s a really nice balance in my life right now. I’ve also been spending a lot of time at the beach. My wife and I live in a small town south of Tampa Bay, Florida, very close to the Gulf of Mexico, so we spend a lot of time at the ocean and love it! Christy & I just celebrated 10 years of marriage and I am the luckiest man ever! Chris: Do you do more solo writing or co-writing these days? Who initiates the co-writing process? Dave: I am doing a lot of co-writing these days. I’d say about 90% of what I am writing these days are co-writes. I think that some of today’s best worship songs come from leaders who are collaborating ideas, melodies and lyrics. It’s so nice to have a fresh perspective and “fresh ears” on my song ideas. Not saying that I never write songs on my own because that still happens too! As far as who initiates...there really isn’t a definitive answer there. It’s a group of friends that all send stuff each others’ way and often times get together for sessions. We all trust each other and are open and honest with each other for critique, which is super important. Chris: What is your process when you find yourself hitting a case of writer’s block?
Dave: Most of my writer’s block comes lyrically. I feel like I have a vault of melodies and songs that have partial or bad lyrics and when I get stuck I usually set up cowrites! Chris: When do you know it is time to kill off a song idea? Dave: I usually beta test a song or idea off my wife, Christy. She is a huge worshiper and a great judge of whether or not a song will work in corporate worship. There’s been lots of times when I’ll think I have a great chorus or bridge for a song and I will play it for her over and over and she’ll be like, “Nah, I think it’s too complicated for people to sing corporately.” That’s not always easy to hear, especially when you feel like you have this GREAT idea, but she’s almost always right. Here’s the thing, if people have to focus more on remembering the melody and memorizing a lyric and song structure than they do on worshipping God, then it’s not a good song for corporate worship, ever. Chris: Are there certain aspects of the Christian walk that are off limits in songwriting in terms of lyrical content? Dave: I don’t think there is anything off limits. That’s the beauty of our freedom in Christ and the beauty of our amazing Nation. I do think that maturity in songwriters and leaders develops profound wording and lyric delivery. When it comes to corporate worship, I always default to uplifting and declarative phrasing about God’s goodness, mercy, faithfulness, love etc. It’s hard for me to feel like I am worshipping when I am singing a song that focuses on how horrible and wretched I am and how unworthy I am of God’s love. I can’t sing songs like that anymore. What I am saying is, we WERE sinners... we WERE unworthy...we WERE wretched...but not anymore, especially if we believe in salvation and His Mercy. Jesus sees us as pure, adopted, righteous and LOVED children. If we could see ourselves like this (through His eyes), it would revolutionize our identity and totally change how we think about ourselves and the way we sing and write songs. Chris: I am a bit of a foodie, and I have eaten at a few spots around the Tampa area. What is your favorite thing to eat in the Tampa area, and where can I find it?
Dave: Obviously, the seafood here is amazing so we love to eat fresh seafood and sushi. There are far too many astounding places to mention. The Cuban & Spanish food in Ybor City is amazing. Again, too many to mention. The beauty about living very close to the water is you can drive a few minutes and be sitting at a Tiki Bar overlooking the ocean and watching the sun set into the Gulf of Mexico and it really does not matter what you are eating because of the insanely gorgeous views. Chris: If there is one thing missing today in the message of corporate worship songs, what is it? Dave: I’m not sure there is anything “missing” in the message. There’s too many great worship leaders and songwriters out there covering so many aspects. If anything, like I said before, I think the missing element is often too many times in the hearts of the people worshipping and not understanding their identity and how redeemed they are. It’s time to get out from under the warfare of the cloud. Time to stop dwelling on who & what we are not and start celebrating how good and wonderful He is because of what He has done for us and much more importantly, for who He is! Huge thanks to Dave for taking the time to share with us! You can find out more about Dave by visiting www.DaveFitzgerald.com. You can also find him on Facebook.com/davefitzgeraldmusic and Twitter.com/iDaveFitzgerald.
Worship Leader or Leader of Leaders? Julie Terwilliger “Be fruitful and multiply.” I’ve always agonized over this and thought that I had to bear at least 10 children to fulfill this command. As I can barely keep my sanity parenting 1 child who is the equivalent of 4 (says my sister, an actual parent of 4) thankfully, I’ve realized this verse is not just about childbearing. Being fruitful (increase and to bring forth) and multiplying (become great, grow, give, enlarge) is really the only hope the future has. What does this have to do with worship leading? Everything. That is, if you care about who will lead your children’s children to worship the Lord! Let’s start with a trip down memory lane: Who sowed into you? Who encouraged you? Who gave you opportunities? Who believed in you? Who guided you? Next, change the questions to: Who am I sowing into? Who am I encouraging and believing in? Who am I helping and guiding? “What if Jesus never made the time or commitment to disciple the disciples? They would’ve never changed the world.” says my WL friend Kevin Melton of Southlake, TX. And before you let that little voice plant doubts in your ear, let’s address some misconceptions about being fruitful and multiplying: I am too young. You don’t have to be an old wrinkly person to start considering the next generation! I was 24 when I started helping sow what little I had into others. I also had the privilege to watch a young WL at 23 raise up a 15 year
old who can now lead an adult service all by himself and is leading the youth band as well. They are too young. Subjects do not have to be ‘of age’. Kevin recognized the ability in his children when they were just months old, and all 3 grew to help lead worship at a very young age. I am too new and/or inexperienced. You don’t have to be a seasoned geaser to begin, nor do you have to ‘have it all together’ to sow into someone. A formal or extensive education is not required to pour your heart into another. I don’t know any ‘good’ candidates. Maybe you are looking for people who are just like you, what about that eager beaver who always hangs around after service just to get a chance to say hi? As annoying as they may be, they are hungry and ready, and may be a future WL. Also on the subject of cloning, my friend Dustin Peckinpaugh of Three Rivers, MI says “It is important to not reproduce yourself in them, but rather draw out who they are as a leader.” Yes, it would be boring if every single WL was a Chris Tomlin. I don’t have money for a curriculum. Jesus didn’t have an official intern program, He merely did life with His disciples. I let ‘_______’ lead a song last week and helped them learn the right chord progression, I’ve made a disciple! Throwing them a bone or helping them
with their craft is not discipleship. Help them with their heart, motives and how they see things, this is real mentoring!
It takes a humble, unselfish person to raise up another, rather than raise themselves up.
I’m afraid they might be better than me and eventually take my job. It takes a humble, unselfish person to raise up another, rather than raise themselves up. “If we reject the gifts of others because of our insecurity then the world will suck them up and the church will never benefit from them because of our inferiority complexes and insecurities.” ~ Kevin Melton (I almost didn’t quote you on that one Kevin, because of my inferiority complex, I wanted everyone to think I made that one up!). I love how Jesus said in John 14:12 that we could go on to do even greater things…that is true leadership straight from the King of the universe!
A few things: If you were removed from your team what would it look like? Would it suffer so badly because the star of the show was missing? Or did you raise up other ‘stars’ who could step up in an instant? Fail to plan then plan to fail. God’s plan is eternal, so we should plan eternal. Leave a legacy. Train your disciples to train disciples! Are you happier knowing you just got the job done today or knowing you’ve planted seeds for tomorrow? These 3 things will guarantee the future generation of worship leaders: 1. Learn to RECOGNIZE gifts and natural abilities in others. 2. COMMIT to come alongside at least one person and help guide them in heart, skill, and leadership. 3. WALK with them for a season as Jesus did; learning happens best organically. More is caught than taught. I will close with this. The joy of watching someone you’ve poured into, and them leading others is far greater than leading worship yourself.
Julie is a business owner, designer, worship leader, and iPhoneographer. She loves Jesus, elevating others, laughing & living life to the fullest with her husband & son in Michigan. 13
JARED ANDERSON A
fter over three years since his last solo album, singer/songwriter Jared Anderson is releasing his new project, The Narrow Road, this month (9/4). Most of us are probably familiar with Jared’s songs. They include top CCLI songs like: “Rescue”, “Amazed”, “Great I Am”, “Glorified”, and others. Jared is a worship leader at New Life Church (Colorado Springs, CO) and former founding member of Desperation Band. In addition to recording The Narrow Road and leading worship at New Life Church, Jared, along with his wife Megan, are actively involved in missions, and are in the process of adopting two orphans, John Diego and Christine, from Haiti. Amidst the pulls of ministry and creative pursuits, it is the love of his family that grounds Jared. He and his wife, along with their four children (Everett, Beckett, Francie, and Lyla), are taking this step of faith after much prayer. I recently had the privilege of interviewing Jared about his new album, adoption, and more: Hey Jared, thanks for taking the time to share with us today. You have a new album called The Narrow Road, coming out on September 4th. This is your first solo album in over three years. Did the process of making this album take three years?
I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep going, honestly. I was at a point where I was looking for the next dragon to slay. The task of writing worship songs doesn’t compare to the task of making disciples. I know music is a gift the Lord has given me to serve His people, but the point of it is making disciples. That’s more my focus now.
Three disciplines that nurture song ideas for me are reading classic literature (sacred and secular), practicing classical music on the piano, and maintaining a lifestyle of prayer.
You are no stranger to congregations worldwide. You’ve written top CCLI songs like “Rescue,” “Amazed,” “Great I Am,” “Glorified” and others sung in church services around the world. You are also a worship leader at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO and a former founding member of Desperation Band. How did you get started on this journey? I hate to say I was born into it, but it’s kinda the truth. I grew up at New Life. I come from a line of missionaries. My parents watered the musical seed in me. I was at the right place at the right time. What’s your favorite worship song to lead not written by you? “In Christ Alone” by Getty/Townend What men and/or women would you say have been most influential in your growth as a worship leader and songwriter? Ross Parsley, my wife Megan, my buddies Jon Egan and Glenn Packiam. You are a phenomenal songwriter. Here’s a question from Laura Chambers on Facebook: Where do you get ideas for songs from most often? Thanks. Three disciplines that nurture song ideas for me are reading classic literature (sacred and secular), practicing classical music on the piano, and maintaining a lifestyle of prayer. These address language, music, and prayer. Most inspiration comes in these categories for me. Speaking of songwriting, The Narrow Road, offers some incredible songs, one of which is called “Great I Am”. We’ve had the privilege of including the song on the All About Worship Collective, Volume One. Could you share with us the story behind how that song was written? “Great I Am” was written in early 2009. I had a revelation that drawing close to God included a lot more power than I had anticipated. Power that maybe I wasn’t ready for. The power and presence of God is not something you can contain but only something you surrender to.
I was in a busy season of moving. I wasn’t leading anywhere on a weekly basis where I would have tried the song out congregationally. Toward the end of 2011 New Life Worship was getting ready to record and was looking for songs. It was one of the last to be considered, but it became a major piece of the puzzle for that record and for this project as well. Who were the key people that were involved with this new project? On the writing side, Don Poythress, Anthony Skinner, Jason Ingram, Jonathan Lee, Seth Mosley, and Jennie Riddle. On the production side, the guys on my team Kyle Scott, Chad Tipps, David Lee stepped up huge and Michael Rossback took the helm as producer. My manager Rick Thompson helped steer the ship a lot as well. I’ve never done so little on a project and had it sound this good. Hmmmmm……maybe that’s a bad thing :) What do you hope the listener takes away from the project? Fuel for the narrow road. You have four children (Everett, Beckett, Francie, and Lyla) and you and your wife Megan have decided to adopt two kids from Haiti. How did that come about and did you ever think you would have six kids? Adoption is one of those, “Yes, we would love to adopt one day” things that many families consider. We have always loved the idea of adoption, but never really knew how it would play out. We lived in Nashville for a year at the same time the earthquake happened in Haiti. Our neighbors were really involved in Haiti already and were in the process of adopting. Watching that firsthand was what got us involved. In 2011 we had two miscarriages and at the end of the year felt a real peace about being done having biological children and starting the adoption process. In January 2012 we went down with our old neighbors and the rest is history.
What has the Lord taught you during this adoption process? That he goes to prepare a place for me. He has a place waiting for me that is better than anything I’ve ever known. I have the choice to live as if that place doesn’t exist. To make the best of what there is here. That I am missing reality if I choose to live like I belong here. For readers who might be thinking about adoption, but maybe are hesitant due to various reasons, not the least of which might be finances, what would you say to that family? God finishes what He starts. I don’t know where the money is coming from either. Like someone told me, “Jump and the net will appear.” You’ve been involved in worship ministry for a while. You’ve seen artists and songs come and go. “Worship” has been made into an industry in a lot of ways. What are you most concerned about in regards to “worship music” and the “worship industry”? Like Matt Redman sings, “I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it.” Sometimes church, music, talents, and things we offer to God get in the way of Him. Like too much cologne. The infatuation with worship music will go away like all fads do. But the hunger for God will remain and hopefully grow and worship music will contribute to that. There are more “worship artists” and “worship songwriters” popping up everyday than I can keep up with. We, at All About Worship, hear from them daily, especially through social media. What word of wisdom could you share with the up-and-coming “worship artists and songwriters” that want to be where you are? It’s nothing new. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these THINGS will be added to you.” Lastly, you’re planning some ministry dates around the country. What are some of the cities you’ll be in coming up and where can readers go to look up your dates and get booking information?
We are set up to do 6 regional tours a year. Each tour is 12 days. If you’d like us to swing through your area, hit the website jaredanderson.com and let us know where you are. The regions are as follows: September – southeast October – Midwest November – New Mexico and Texas February – West April – Northeast June – East Central
God finishes what He starts.
I thoroughly enjoyed conducting this interview and hearing from Jared’s heart. Along with his role as dad, his former work with Desperation Band, his appearances on New Life’s worship albums and leading worship at churches and conferences around the country, Jared previously recorded three critically acclaimed solo projects for Integrity Music: Where To Begin, Where Faith Comes From and Jared Anderson: Live From My Church. For more information on Jared’s ministry and music, visit jaredanderson.com or follow him on Twitter: @jaredanderson. You can also follow the Andersons’ adoption journey through their blog: theandersonsadoption.blogspot.com To enter to win a copy of The Narrow Road, email us your comments about this interview or magazine to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept 20, 2012. We will pick three random winners. You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. resident to enter.
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SOUND & LIGHTING
WHERE TO BEGIN Part 2 (Read the August 2012 issue of this magazine for Part 1 - finding the right studio/producer.)
by Sean Hill
PRE-PRODUCTION o you’ve locked in with your favorite producer (that you can afford), paid a deposit, signed a contract, and you now have two months before your actual recording start date. What now? Now begins the ever so crucial process called pre-production. Pre-production is a time when key signatures are selected, tempos are set, songs are mapped out and arranged, and the creative direction of each song is established. Pre-production may be the most crucial part of the recording process as it sets the stage for everything else that will occur. Let’s take a closer look at pre-production, how you are involved, and how your new-found producer will be involved.
PRODUCERS Who did I just hire? In short, the producer is responsible for taking the songs proposed for your album and representing them in the best possible light. Period. This takes on different meanings throughout the recording process. I believe the most crucial decisions, however, are made in the pre-production stages. General producer responsibilities in the pre-production stages: ● Control/manage the creative direction ● Hire the right musicians ● Song selection ● Key signature selection based on the vocalist’s ability ● Establishing the tempo and feel of each selected song ● Make sure, overall, that the artist’s best foot is going forward in the project
The producer-artist relationship is built around one word… TRUST
FALSE EXPECTATIONS Many first time recording artists expect to have complete control over what goes on their own record, which only has a little bit of truth to it. The producer that you have hired now has the final voice on what songs make the CD and what songs get put aside. The producer will ultimately drive the direction, feel, and instrumentation of the songs…with some limited input from the artist. Remember that the producer’s name is now going to be attached to the album 19
with the name of the artist. Although many artists initially cringe at the thought of giving up some control, in my experience, producers are truly looking out for the artist’s best interests. The producer-artist relationship is built around one word…TRUST. explain it to my clients this way, “If you trusted me enough to hire me and pay me for my work, you have to be able to trust me to get the job done.” If you tell the producer, “Hey, I want to sound like Chris Tomlin” the producer then sets a course to make you sound like Chris Tomlin. 99% of the time, the artist doesn’t know how to make themselves sound like Chris Tomlin or they would have already done it. So clear out, let the producer work and watch as he pulls things together.
Things producers may do that make first-time artists cringe: ● Hiring professional studio musicians versus using the band you have put together. Tones and performance are so crucial in the recording process, and oftentimes the players that happen to be around you are not on the level of players that producers use. ● Taking a song a different direction, either in arrangement or with a co-write. Often first time artists who bring their own songs to the table for consideration for a record always tense up when a producer begins to make adjustments and changes to a song. Key word again: TRUST. The producer who is good at what he does is only improving upon the foundation that you have created. ● Completely scrapping songs you’ve written from the project. Not every song you write is gold (that’s why shelves were made), so don’t be offended when a producer passes on a song. Producers have a vision for the whole project and can pass on a song that is potentially good, but just doesn’t fit the project. PREPARING FOR PRE-PRODUCTION So you’ve already begun the steps to be prepared for pre-production just by simply reading this article. Knowing how the process works is the first step to being prepared for the journey. Of course, every producer does things a little differently, so you have to be able to be flexible, but there are several other things you can do to be prepared logistically and mentally.
How to be prepared for pre-production: ● Have many songs written. I’d say if you want an EP of 5 songs you shoot to have 10 songs written so that your best 5 can come out on the EP. The more songs to choose from the better. ● Be flexible. Let the producer do his job, have control, and make you sound good. A slow song to you might work better as a fast song, and vice versa... just be open. ● Voice your opinion on what parts of your songs you are absolutely “married” to, so the producer can avoid producing “you” out of the project. ● Be timely to pre-production sessions. Whether it’s co-writing, song mapping, or just general meetings, be on time! When you are timely you get more time to spend on your project that you paid for. ● Be prompt. When the producer reaches out to you for lyrics or a voice memo, get back as soon as possible. Don’t make the producer wait on you. They likely have several projects going at once, all with moving parts; don’t be the non-moving part that is hindering your project’s progress.
WRAP UP Always remember that you hired the producer for a reason. You liked the producer’s portfolio and he is going to do what it takes to get your project to that level…even if it is painful. The key word is TRUST. Producers see hundreds if not thousands of songs come across their desk every year, and they tend to know what works and what doesn’t. Let them get you to where you are trying to go. A good friend of mine has a great policy as he uses many different producers to produce his songs, “Let producers produce.” Seems elementary, but I can assure you once you get in the process you’ll be looking over the producer’s shoulder wanting to take control! Stay tuned to this series as I continue to reveal the workings of the recording process. Next time we will take a step back and look at “Producing Great Demos at Home”, a quick guide to producing solid demos from your home studio.
Producers see hundreds if not thousands of songs come across their desk every year, and they tend to know what works and what doesn’t. Let them get you to where you are trying to go.
Sean is a full-time producer and songwriter in Lawrenceville, GA. www.uphillstudiosonline.com 21
Hard, But Worth It M
y wife and I have worshipped together since before we were married, and since that time, music has been the best and hardest part of our relationship. Hard, but worth it. When you put two alphas in a bullpen, they’re gonna go at it. Dana and I are downright alphas when it comes to music. We’re strong-willed. We’re competitive. We’re moving targets. We’re artistic. We’re emotional. We are short on attention and long on opinion. We take our craft seriously, and we expect a lot of one another. People have asked me, “How do you make working with your spouse in music work?” Jokingly, I often say, “When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.” But, the truth is, she and I have figured out quite a lot in our years together. Much like Paul’s blueprint for a healthy marriage in Ephesians 5, such is the formula for marital co-habitation in worship leadership. When I lead with Dana by serving Dana, and Dana leads with me by supporting me, we seem to find ourselves out of the Holy Spirit’s way. That’s our number one priority… to facilitate an environment in which the Holy Spirit of God has His way with His people. Gosh, that’s a really hard thing to do consistently. Hard, but worth it. So, what do those two action items look like? I’ll share some practical ideas that I’ve learned through the years, mostly by failing to do so and realizing it afterwards. To serve my wife in music, I need to pay close attention to her heart. I create our worship setlists. It’s on me to decide what songs we’ll use to lead God’s people to His heart. I’ve often chosen songs for Dana to sing that I’m excited about… good songs with great depth and high energy and obvious accessibility… and
watched them fall flat because what’s happening in the heart of my sweet wife is not lining up with what’s happening in those songs. So, I’ve learned to probe her a bit before I pick a setlist. “Sweetie, what songs are moving you right now in your personal times of worship?” “Babe, what prayer do you find yourself praying over and over lately?” “Beautiful woman of God, what are you sensing our church needs to say to God this weekend?” You get the point. Some of this is intrinsic, meaning, because we try to pursue connectivity in our marriage, I am expected to be aware of what’s stirring in her heart most days. But, I am frequently surprised at her answers to some of these questions when I discipline myself to ask. My wife is a force of ministry when she’s set up to ‘win’. God put us together, we like to say, because she’s everything I’m not, and vice versa. I don’t (and I believe that God doesn’t either) want Dana to be Richie Fike made over. God made Dana to be Dana, and, Mrs. Dana Fike is pretty great. But, when I put Dana in a Richie-sized box, (or a Darlene-sized box, or a Kari-sized box, for that matter), it hinders her ability to operate in the very specific anointing God has entrusted to her. So, I’ve learned to seek out her heart… to listen to her and serve her so that she’s set up to be exactly who God is asking her to be when we get on a platform to lead His people in worship. This can be as ethereal as the stirrings of her heart and as practical as the key of a particular song. It’s all connected and it all matters. The ugly way to look at it would be that I’m just kowtowing to a diva. And, that would be true if it
It is her place, and her place alone, to be so intimately connected to the fire in my heart that she knows when to fan it into flames and when to quell it into something manageable.
weren’t for the 2nd part of this formula. Dana shows me value as a leader by supporting what God is doing inside of me as the worship leader of our church and the front man of our ministry. Paul’s formula is not one-sided. We are to submit to one another, not just woman to man, or man to woman. It doesn’t work as an ‘either-or’ situation. It has to be ‘both-and’. While I make it my intent to serve my wife in our ministry together, she has to make it her aim to support me in my leadership. To support me in my leadership, Dana needs to be my raving advocate. Before I get too far into this explanation, I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about empty gestures aimed at ego-boosting. I genuinely believe that the heart of what Paul was communicating was the delicate nature of a man’s heart, and its need to feel supported. We live in a culture that cannibalizes talented people. Our culture is infatuated with building people up for the blood-sport of tearing them down. At any given point in my life, I am neither nearly as good as my greatest fan believes, nor nearly as bad as my greatest critic would suggest. Leaders need supporters. But, leaders need honest supporters. My wife has the ability with a glance to communicate more about what’s going on in my heart than Aaron Sorkin could accomplish with a screenplay’s worth of words. She knows me. She loves me. She believes in me. She’s with me. She’s for me. She won’t allow me to be fake. She’s not comfortable with me cutting corners. She cares too much about me to let me get a big head, and she loves me too much to allow an outsider to penetrate my soul with mean-spirited words. She wants to see me walk in the anointing that God has entrusted to my life. It is her place, and her place alone, to be so intimately connected to the fire in my heart that she knows when to fan it into flames and when to quell it into something manageable. It’s a precious thing to be known. How many people really know you? My list is pretty short. Dana is at the tip-top. But, in ministry, as in relationships, drift happens if you don’t pay attention. Dana’s #1 tactic in supporting me is in paying close attention to me. She MUST pay attention to me. She must ask me probing questions. She must do it in a way that doesn’t arouse my defensiveness. And, she has to find a way to not patronize me in the process. She must communicate a genuine belief in the stirrings of my heart without making it seem like I can do no wrong. She’s got a tough gig. We both do. Hard, but worth it. We’ve been married 13 years, and we still find ourselves bickering about music from time to time. That’s normal, though. There are a rare few more preferential subjects in the world beyond taste in music. What we have resolved, however, is to never bicker about ministry. We have resolved to live out Ephesians 5’s blueprint of mutual submission and support as our way of pouring kerosene on the fire in each others’ heart. Dana would tell you that the times we are most satisfied in ministry is when we each see God working through our very specific, very different gifts. That doesn’t happen effortlessly. It’s very hard work to die to self, to serve, to support.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”- Ephesians 5:21
Hard, but worth it.
Richie is the Worship Pastor at Vanguard Church in Colorado Springs, CO, a songwriter with Integrity/Kingsway, a husband, a father, and an amateur tennis player. www.fikemusic.com
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The National Worship Leader Conference is the premier event for worship thinkers, leaders, and innovators. Conference includes: • 3 General Sessions • 3 Nights of Worship • 9 Workshop Times (over 70 workshop choices) • 3 Lunches • Access to over 40 worship related exhibitors • Much more In church leadership you are constantly assaulted by the rollercoaster of everyday. From being a worship planner to keeping up with the technological and musical trends, to the emotional rigors of partnering with and pastoring your worship community. NWLC is designed to pull you away from the things that often overwhelm, and place you in a house of worship with others like you—musicians, pastors, worship team members, and multimedia artists gathering together with one mission: Engage with God to deepen our understanding of worship and bring it back to our communities.
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Join in the Sound Brothers McClurg
“The song of heaven” is a recurring theme across Scripture - the allusion to the Lord singing over us in Zephaniah; the angels calling out “Holy, Holy, Holy” in Isaiah 6; and the brand new song sung in front of the saints and elders in Revelation 14. Here, in Brothers McClurg’s first fulllength album Join in the Sound, we find an invitation to join that song - to tune our lives into Him and His Spirit. The album begins on this theme through the instrumental “Tune Up” and straight into the title track, a strong riff-based song with a great driving feel to it. I really like the layered texture of this song. There’s lots going on with intricate electric guitar parts, call & response in the vocals, and a strong backbeat from the drums. Most of all, you get to the core of Brothers McClurg’s “community” values - there’s a real feeling of togetherness in the multiple vocal parts, lending itself perfectly to a “congregational” song. acoustics. The lyrical composition in this track is deeply evocative, “You Shine Through” (a co-write with drawing you in to the vision of God’s power, grace, and love Rend Collective Experiment) begins pouring out over us as we worship before the Mercy Seat. with a mellow acoustic-driven “Forgiven Forever” is a song I’d previously heard on Glenn verse, but builds amazingly Packiam’s Forgiven Forever EP and if anything I like it even into a powerful chorus. more as a result of this new arrangement. A catchy, vocal I particularly like the introduction leads us into this wonderful composition of This isn’t just a unison-harmony split in poetic lyrics and subtle instrumental undertones. Look out good album, this chorus. The first 2 for the bridge in this one. The words of Paul in Romans 8:38 it’s a great album in every lines are sung in unison, are set powerfully to music here. sense of the then it opens into a deeper, Collaborations abound on this album, with the 2 songs word! harmonic feel for the last written with David Leonard & Leslie Jordan of All Sons & 2 lines. Rend Collective’s Daughters being worthy of particular note. “Lean Not” is a influence is very apparent in pure acoustic track speaking of our need to lean on Him and to this lively acoustic praise track. trust Him - echoing the words spoken in Proverbs 3:5-6. “Alive” is My standout tracks on the album come a longer version of the opener to All Sons & Daughters’ Season One in the form of two reflective songs: “From album, though with a very similar feel. Chris & Anthony’s version Every Stormy Wind That Blows” and seems a little lighter on the arrangement. The bridge is an addition “Forgiven Forever”. Brothers McClurg’s speaking of our desire to be filled with Him so He can use us for undoubted strength is in the harmonies His Kingdom. that Chris & Anthony generate. It really This isn’t just a good album, it’s a great album in every sense of does sound like one voice in places. Both the word! Get these songs into your churches, there’s some truly of these songs showcase this beautifully. great material here. “From Every Stormy Wind That Blows” sits the vocals right to the fore of the mix, Ed Rotheram backed in the verses only by soft picked @edrotheram 26
Covenant Worship If you don’t like music that moves you both physically and spiritually while you worship then you might not like this album. Covenant Worship of Dallas, Texas released a brand-new album Standing as a first after their partnership with Integrity Music. This album encompasses many different elements including congregational, declaration and intimate worship, reflecting the diversity of their church. Worship Pastors David and Nicole Binion, along with Joshua DuFrene and Colin Edge and the Covenant Church choir lead their congregation, along with the listener, in a passionate live recording. Starting with their title track, “Standing”, this is a declaration song for the people by the people. The energy of the next two praise songs, “We Sing” and “Faithful”, feature full vocals and horn section creating a lively, modern gospel sound. “Your Great Love” - a stunning song in both depth and craft that possesses a lovely hymnish melody. Humble yet glorious. More congregational choruses and declaration with faith-based lyrics in “Never Going Back” and “We Will Believe”: “We will believe the report of the Lord, no matter what the world says…” a wonderful statement of faith sung in harmony. The highlight of the album is the last few songs of most holy worship. Beautiful ‘Disney worthy’ female vocals by Nicole Binion sparkle in “My Heart Cries”. Appropriately, the album ends in a glimpse of our destiny “…and the glory of the Lord is filling this place,” followed by shouts of joy and triumphant praise. Congregationfriendly for use in your own worship gatherings. Predictable enough for sing-a-long-ability (yes I just made that word up!), yet fresh enough to renew your spirit. Julie Terwilliger @JulieIsJoyful
The Narrow Road Jared Anderson
he Narrow Road, the newest solo worship release from Jared Anderson brings us a few songs you’ve likely heard before, but lots of fresh new worship music that will inspire the soul and minister to hearts. Produced by Michael Rossback (Gungor, Paul Baloche), this album includes cowrites with some heavy hitters in modern worship music, like Don Poythress, Jennie Lee Riddle, and Jonathan Lee, just to name a few. Regardless of the partnering writers, you can hear Anderson’s distinctive style all over this album – and that is a very good thing! The album begins with “Bless the Lord,” which you have heard previously from New Life Worship. The New Life version featured a female lead vocal, so Anderson leading on this version certainly adds a different dynamic. Another track we’ve heard before is “Great I Am.” This rendition, while very similar to the “original,” has more textures and layers, leading to a more dynamic overall sound. The kicker on this song for me, however, is the chorus after the 2nd bridge. At this point, the arrangement completely cuts out, leaving us with just pure gang vocals proclaiming “Hallelujah, holy holy . . .” I wasn’t expecting this, and while I heard it for the first time sitting on an airplane for a business trip, the simplicity and purity of this worship moment literally made me tear up. Well played, sir. Well played. “Narrow Road,” the title track for the album, is an absolute highlight. The groove and feel of the song is wonderfully understated, yet textured well and paired with a solid melody. At the end of the song the listener is treated to an instrumental that builds up to a spoken word portion where Jared reads Matthew 7:1-14, solidifying the truths we just heard sung in the song. Another bright spot early on is the (single from the album) “Impossible Possible.” This is a fun song, combining the classic Jared Anderson sound, along with some chunky guitars and a memorable melody. This song is also great for the kids! My kids love it, and I heard elsewhere that other kids have enjoyed
the tune. Lastly, this wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t mention the final song on the album, “I Am Free.” Written by Jon Egan, this is one of the main songs any worship leader thinks of when the Desperation Band is mentioned. I have heard Jared’s solo rendition of this song previously, so I expected the same. I was happily surprised to then hear guest vocals from both
Jon Egan and Glenn Packiam! It’s like a mini original Desperation Band reunion! Admittedly, the mixing of the vocals seems a little off (lots of Glenn, not a lot of Jon), but it’s a great way to end the album. here is SO MUCH to say about this album, but I don’t have the ability to cram it all in here. After listening, I imagine you will want to “Bless the Lord” as you “Behold Your God.” You will believe that “When the King Comes,” He will make all things new. You will know that when you “Call On the Name of the Lord,” “Jesus Makes the Impossible Possible” and will provide for your needs “According to His Word.” You will be encouraged to walk the “Narrow Road” and “Go Ye” into the world proclaiming that “The King is Coming.” See what I did there?
Chris Olson @cro9710
Moving Mountains Jeff Deyo
Jeff Deyo, best known for being the lead singer of Sonicflood, and the voice behind such songs as “In the Secret”, “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” and “Saturate”, recently released his fifth worship album, entitled Moving Mountains. The overall theme of this album is to encourage listeners to trust in God’s goodness, even in the midst of difficult times. Jeff says, “In recording this CD, my heart burns particularly for people to be stirred in their faith to trust God for rescue in the hardest of times.” The title track opens the album with a rich tapestry of pads, giving way to Jeff’s recognizable voice singing, “You alone have the nations in Your hands, You alone are moving mountains in these lands… You alone are worthy of my praise.” That sets the stage for the rest of the album – ten original songs of praise, many easily usable for congregations, pointing people to God. The melodies on these songs are so easy to learn and sing along. It seems like we’ve known these songs forever after only a few listens. Just when you think you have this album figured out, then comes a song like “Perfection of Beauty”, with an intro that either reminds me of a scary video game from the 80’s or a Trans-Siberian Orchestra instrumental. This is a driving song, heavy on electric guitars, and just plain fun. The upbeat drive continues with “We Delight”, an intricate and fastmoving carefree song of praise, and “Shake This Place”, perfect for a service-opener. One of my favorite tracks on the album is a song called “Rescue Me”, which takes things in a completely different direction. This is an ethereal, peaceful prayer for God to rescue us in our time of trouble. With the lush pads, clean electric guitar lead, techno-sounds, and smooth vocal harmonies, this is definitely a song that gets your attention. Overall, this is a very solid and fresh-sounding collection of songs written by Jeff with help from cowriters Jonathan Lee and Sarah Reeves, and producers Otto Price (Nicole C. Mullen, BarlowGirl) and Mark Heimermann (Downhere, Newsboys). Barry Westman @bkwestman
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