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Posted on May 28, 2013 in Tools | 4 comments

Who Makes the Best Acoustic Guitars for the Money?

Who Makes the Best Acoustic Guitars for the Money?

When you’re in college, everyone “plays guitar” and I remember cringing every time an inexperienced or careless peer would want to pick up the snazzy Ovation I owned at the time.  So I decided to buy a cheap guitar that I could keep out for such occasions and never worry about.  I never dreamed I’d fall in love with my cheap guitar! Since then, I’ve sold that Ovation but still own and love to play that same ol’ cheap guitar.  It’s a Dean Exotica FM (Flamed Maple) Acoustic Electric in Transparent Blue (is it ironic that it’s blue???). You can still buy the same model today for about $369. In my book, Dean makes the best quality acoustic guitars for the price. Period. Here are three reasons why: Beauty.  What can I say? I like my guitars and women to look great! So I married Julie and I mostly steer clear of plain-jane guitars. In fact, I think this is a big reason why I’ve never had much love for the...

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Posted on May 21, 2013 in Worship Ministry | 2 comments

What You Say on Stage: Are You Helping or Hurting?

What You Say on Stage: Are You Helping or Hurting?

What you say or don’t say from the stage can make or break a worship service!  Say too much and your words become a distraction.  Don’t say enough and you could miss opportunities to spur the church to greater worship or—even worse—leave them confused and aimless. Let’s look at the two main categories of “stage talk” that the worship leader needs to use effectively: 1. Instructional.  Through vocal cues we help the church know when they should be sitting, standing, singing, reading, shouting, clapping, praying…you get the idea! Tips for Instructional Stage Talk: Be clear. Don’t allow confusion to reign and, thus, distract from the purpose of worship. Speak positively and with energy. If our instruction lacks enthusiasm, we can expect half-hearted efforts from our church. Their leader’s heart does not appear to be in it—so why should theirs? Use the witticisms sparingly. There’s value in a little humor. But too much cleverness and no one will be able to take you seriously. Keep it succinct. Give just enough...

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Posted on May 18, 2013 in Featured Slider, Resources | 0 comments

Cross Backgrounds I Can’t Believe Are Free!

Cross Backgrounds I Can’t Believe Are Free!

I don’t know about the rest of you but this blue collar worship leader is always on the lookout for FREE resources! But I also try to maintain really high standards regarding what I’m willing to place on the screen Sunday.  I’ve noticed a great trend lately of more and more artists creating cool, high quality stuff.  And more and more of them seem willing to share their work with the rest of us for free. I want to share some of what I’ve found…maybe it’ll save you some hours of sifting through haystacks! Here are 4 Cross Backgrounds that I love. 2 are stills, 2 are motions. STILL (I still believe in stills–see what I did there???–there are some things a photo or image can say that really can’t be captured by motion): This is great artistry! This slide would work great behind the lyrics of “In Christ Alone” or “Jesus Messiah”…cross-oriented songs with more positive-feeling music. (Click the image to visit original site with download option)     I use images...

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Posted on May 14, 2013 in Featured Slider, Leadership | 2 comments

The Extra-Divine Guide to Better Communication with Your Team

The Extra-Divine Guide to Better Communication with Your Team

Get ready! I’m about to offer you 3 lists, each with its own list of 3 (so that you know it’s extra-divinely inspired!!!), on what I consider to be the linchpin of leadership: Communication. Leader-to-team communication has been making or breaking leaders since the dawn of time. And it can take place in a million ways these days (face-to-face, phone, text message, email, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc).  These principles will apply, no matter which mediums you use to communicate with your team. Why Communication: Gathering and Dispersing Information. This is obvious, isn’t it? Leaders have to initiate communication because nothing gets done without knowledge: “Here’s the next quarter’s schedule.” “Penelope said ‘no’ to this volunteer opportunity, any suggestions for a next ask?” And so forth…  Perhaps the next two reasons for communication will surprise you. They are often unexpected by-products of communication. Buy-In.  Healthy, consistent communication leads team members to buy in to the leader and into the team mission.  At an elementary level, this works because people cannot...

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Posted on May 8, 2013 in Featured Slider, Tools | 6 comments

Why You Should Consider the Behringer x32 for Your Next Mixer

Why You Should Consider the Behringer x32 for Your Next Mixer

I was never a sound guy. Give me a guitar and a mic and leave the feedback wrestling and monitor mania to someone else! But I’ve gradually come around to the notion that–for blue collar worship leaders–a certain amount of audio know-how is a must.  Most of us can’t afford to pay a pro and, even if you are blessed with a great volunteer sound tech, what are the odds they’ll be available for your every mid-week practice or even your every Sunday?  AND when something starts going up in smoke, how much time will they have to invest in helping you find the best tools for your worship environment? Speaking of going up in smoke…our old board did! So that brings me around to the true topic of discussion in this post: the Behringer x32. When our old board was clearly dying, I had no idea what direction to take. Another worship pastor in the state connected me with a guy who turned out to be a regular sound genie...

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