Church Musicians: Should You Pay Them?

As a freelance drummer in Minneapolis, MN, I’ve had the opportunity to play at several churches in the area. I have gotten the privilege to share the stage with volunteer musicians at new church plants meeting in high schools and theaters, as well as at megachurches. Playing at several churches has given me the chance to see how different worship pastors approach building worship teams, scheduling, and compensating musicians, and I thought I would at least share my perspective on the topic ...

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Creating an Engaging Christmas Worship Setlist

It’s that time of year again, where we all run around panicking about Christmas services and that our ideas won’t be executed properly. We’re kidding... kind of. Hopefully you’re more organized this year than ever before, and we’re sure that no matter what you choose to do, everything will work out fine. However, for worship pastors, there’s always a lot of stress around building an engaging Christmas service setlist. Building a Christmas worship set isn’t the same as just...

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How to Lead Efficient Worship Team Auditions

Developing a tight audition process can save you headache and awkward conversations down the road. Setting clear expectations and hosting intentional auditions sets new musicians up for success and makes it easier for you to find good fits for your team. Here are some suggestions for running efficient, heartfelt auditions from the first introduction to the inevitable follow-up. Pre Screening Process Questionnaire Save yourself time and energy down the road with a pre-screening pro...

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5 Reasons Your Church May Not Be Growing

Paying attention to your church attendance is important for many reasons, but obviously it can be incredibly frustrating at times. Unless your church just happens to be exploding in attendance right now, the majority of churches struggle to grow their attendance – especially as church plants. Growing a church is a slow process, and while the chances are high that your ministry will expand just fine in the future, almost every pastor can attest to going through “valley seasons” where church...

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4 Indisputable Qualities of Church Tech Directors

Being a church tech director is not an easy job, and everyone knows it. While they may never be in the spotlight like the pastor, worship leader, or musicians, they are always arriving earlier and leaving later than anyone else. They’re setting everything up, organizing, running the slides, planning lights, and doing everything else related to Sunday morning production. And just like the band, they are there for both the rehearsal and Sunday morning. As you might guess, a difficult job requ...

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Best Places to Find Youth Ministry Countdown Videos

Finding church media can be really difficult – especially when you’re looking for quality stuff on a low budget. It seems like there’s a million different companies offering countdowns, motion backgrounds, and mini-movies, and it’s hard to know which one is right to go with. Some services are hundreds of dollars per year, while you can find free media in other places – but it all varies in quality and usability, and you need something reliable, affordable, and worth your money. All ...

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Effective Feedback Management as a Service Producer

Working as a service producer at a church is tough work. You’re always right in the middle of everything. You’re responsible for everything going as planned, but the actual execution of everything is often in the hands of others - the worship pastor, the sound engineer, lighting people, other volunteers, etc. Naturally, you’re put in a predominantly managerial role. You get to decide on several aspects of a service and oversee everything unfolding on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, tha...

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Worship Tracks: 5 Most Common Ableton Pitfalls

Ableton is an incredibly powerful tool, especially in worship music. Churches of all sizes around the world are using it during live services for a variety of purposes. It enables keyboardists to run synth patches, pianos, and other instruments. It can be used for complex automation of keys patches, tracks, and other instrumentation during a worship service. And of course, it can be used as a simple click track and guide. The capabilities of the program are pretty much limitless. However, giv...

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Worship Pastors: How to Talk to Your Drummers

Worship pastor to drummer communication has got to be one of the most stressful things to be a part of within a worship team, but I think there’s a reason it’s so common. The drum set is such an oddball instrument, and also the only one who’s role is entirely different than most contemporary worship instruments. Unfortunately, it also happens to be the loudest and one of the most important and impactful instruments on the stage (don’t agree with me? Compare playing a single wrong chord w...

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3 Tips to Improve Your Church Screen Media in Youth Group

It seems that the youth room is often the most neglected when it comes to quality gear, sound systems, and stage setup. Obviously, most churches don’t have an infinite budget to spend on every single room in the building, so most attention is put towards enhancing the main worship center. However, improving the atmosphere, appearance, and experience in a room doesn’t need to cost a ton of money - simply using the appropriate graphics and visual screen media can greatly enhance the experience...

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4 Best Practices: Motivating Your Volunteer Worship Team

Many volunteers live for worship team rehearsals and playing on Sunday mornings. It’s where they get their energy and they’re absolutely ecstatic to be a part of the team. But unfortunately, it’s not that way for everyone. When worship team volunteers are excited and motivated to be a part of the worship band, your team thrives. But when it feels like a weekly “to-do” item, they’re not putting their best foot forward. If that’s the boat you feel like you’re in, you are not alo...

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5 Tips for Being Efficient at Church Media Production

There are so many moving parts in church media production. As a media director, you’re constantly doing things on the fly – changing song setlists, replacing lyrics, reordering songs, switching backgrounds out, importing and adjusting sermon notes, etc. You know the story. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to have a good grasp on ways you can make your work more efficient. The quicker and more efficient you work, the smoother rehearsal and service flows. Church Media Directors: ...

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3 Strategies: Get Youth Ministry Students to Bring Friends

Youth pastors want for nothing more than to have students develop community which each other, build genuine loving relationships with God, and grow in their faith with one another. And I’d argue that you would be hard pressed to find any youth pastor where “growing the youth ministry” isn’t one of their top 5 priorities. But growing a youth ministry is tough. Usually, a youth ministry is the size it is because the students’ parents attend the church. Every youth pastor understands t...

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Hiring Church Staff: Tried and True Practices

Hiring the right church staff is incredibly important if you are actively working in ministry. It’s especially important in churches smaller than 500, as all staff are working closely with each other every day and weekend. Hiring a bad candidate doesn’t mean one department of the church suffers - it can drag down the efficiency, morale, and culture of all church staff. Unfortunately, many churches depend on “the luck of the draw” to find a good candidate. Regardless of the location, s...

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3 Ways to Make Sermon Slides Look Better

Accompanying a sermon with visuals helps to clarify and drive home the message exponentially. That’s what sermon slides are for. It’s meant to reinforce the message and give an easy-to-digest summary of the main points of the sermon. But sermon slides aren’t always helpful. In fact, in many instances they can detract from the message. Bad design, poor font choice, improperly sized text, too much/too little text, lack of flow, poor color contrast… I can keep going, but I’ll stop ther...

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Healthy Church Tech Director to Worship Pastor Communication Tips

Communication is everything in ministry. Good communication practices can help a ministry to operate ats fullest potential, while poor communication (or a complete lack of communication altogether) can cause a ministry to crumble. The same is absolutely true for worship ministries. More specifically, the communication practices between a tech director/media director and the worship pastor are super important. A worship leader can’t take care of all the details related to lyrics, church vide...

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When is My Church Ready for a New Building?

Many church leaders dream of the day when their ministry grows enough for them to be able to move to a new building. It’s an exciting prospect! Having the chance to search for a place that will be the ideal building and location for your ministry is huge. But knowing when the day has arrived can be tough. You may be financially ready for the move, but is that the only thing that matters? If you’re struggling to figure out when your church is ready for a new building, here are a few though...

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What Drum Equipment Needs to be Replaced at My Church?

Drums are supposed to be the life, dynamics, and foundation of any worship song. But usually… church drum sets sound BAD. If you’re reading this article, you probably are experiencing it firsthand. Obviously, as with anything sound-related, getting a good drum sound is a multi-facetted topic with endless factors including equipment, room, acoustic treatment, mics, mixing, the drummer who’s actually playing, etc. Everything else aside, sometimes the issue actually is the gear. You either...

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How to Plan Ahead as a Church Tech Director

You’re the first one to band rehearsal and often the last one to leave. You may frequently be in charge of setup and teardown in addition to all the work you have to do during rehearsal and on Sunday morning for all services. Being a church tech director is a lot of work. We understand! Most church tech directors will agree that the most valuable thing to them is “time”. You need time to set up. You need time to structure services in your presentation software. You need time to make ...

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Getting Your Congregation Excited About Giving

Giving a sermon on tithing is difficult. Obviously, we all know it’s a Biblical teaching, and the church survives only as a result of people’s commitment to and generosity for her mission. But everyone tends to think of giving as a necessity. As a chore. Giving 10% of your income as a tithe to the church frequently feels like an obligation rather than a joy, and it seems that in the last several decades the attitude towards giving to the church has shifted. So how is it that you can get your...

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