On this 4th Sunday of Advent, the Lectionary readings takes us to Luke 1:39-55. This year the readings do not give us the account of the visit by Gabriel to Mary, but we do read of Mary visiting Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John. Mary’s magnificat (“My soul proclaims…”) is not recorded as a direct response to the annunciation by the angel, but rather to Elizabeth’s greeting:
“Visitation” by Ghirlandaio, 1491
For the past 3 days I’ve been attending the Charles Wesley Society annual conference, held at the Global Board of Discipleship (United Methodist Church) here in Nashville. The event was hosted by Tom Albin, (Dean of Upper Room Ministries & Ecumenical Relations) and Dean McIntyre (Director of Music Resources). From noon Thursday through noon today, it was a chance to meet with both academics and church music practitioners and focus on the music of Charles Wesley.
Part 2 of my interview with Chaplin Mike at Internet Monk continues [HERE]
Recently, I was interviewed by Chaplain Mike for Church Music Month at Internet Monk. Internet Monk is a blog that was created by the late Michael Spencer in 2000, and is one of the most widely-read Christian blogs. Spencer was the author of the “Mere Churchianity.“ Since his death in 2010, the InternetMonk blog has been continued by Jeff Dunn (his literary agent) and Chaplain Mike (a hospice chaplain, who is also my brother-in-law). Read part 1 of the interview [HERE].
For the past two years, most Thursdays have found me at Lee University (Cleveland, TN), a 150 mile drive from Nashville, as I work on a Masters of Church Music.
Two weeks ago, I was asked by Lee University Church music instructor Randy Sheeks if I would share from my experiences as a church music director with his undergrad Music Ministry Leadership class. Here’s what I covered:
What I wish I had known about Music Ministry:
A Pyramid for success:
5. PRAY IT
4. PRACTICE IT
3. TEACH AND PREACH IT
2. DEVELOP A WRITTEN THEOLOGY OF WORSHIP
1. LEARN THE CHURCH’S CULTURAL & THEOLOGICAL CONTEXT
• How you do ministry is as important as what you do in ministry.
• You are a pastor first; musician second.
• Know your strengths; get help with your weaknesses.
(No one has ALL the skills asked for.)
• 80% on time is often better than 100% late.
• Learn to say no; practice it until it rolls easily off you tongue. “That’s a wonderful idea, but that’s not something I can take on right now. I’m sure you’ll find someone to help.”
• Program to the level of your current talent, not your future dream.
• Invest primarily in people, over equipment, programs, events.
• You shine when you shine a light on your volunteers.
• You can not say Thank you often enough.
• Job interviews are a 2-way dialogue – you are interviewing each other. Come prepared with your questions.
• The salary offered is not the complete picture of compensation, only a portion. Look for a healthy environment, generosity, benefits, mentoring, continuing education, professional development
• Build a part of your life outside your church.
If you’re in music ministry leadership – what would you add to this list?
To all hymnwriters (traditional to modern worship):
Here is information about a call for songs based on the Gospel of Luke for next year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference, April 8-10 in Orland0.
For more information:
Songs for the Book of Luke.
The deadline for submissions is August 15
The current (March/April 2012 ) issue of Worship Leader magazine has article by Dr. Reggie Kidd on a timely subject– silence in worship. Reggie included the contemplative (in the style of Taizé) musical setting that my good friend Darrell Harris and I wrote of Psalm 46:10a, entitled “Be Still.”
I have used it at St. Bartholomew’s, it is included in The Christian Life Hymnal and according to Reggie, it was recently used in the chapel services at The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. The magazine included the score of the song (which is also available on my page at ScoreExchange). Additionally, Reggie made reference to “Our Father in Heaven (The Lord’s Prayer)” which Darrell, who is chaplain at the institute, introduced to the IWS several years ago. Continue reading
This past Sunday at St. Bartholomew’s, after 40 days of Lent, and then the contrast of joy and passion during Holy Week, we welcomed Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with joy and gladness, lift our voices in songs of “Alleluia!”
We began the services with a new acclamation, based on the traditional Easter proclamation:
LEADER: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
PEOPLE: The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
I wrote this setting to be easy for both celebrant and congregation to sing, with a desire that in its simplicity it not be trite or quickly boring. For “learning-as-we-go,” it seemed to go pretty well on Sunday. I’ll use it each week of Easter up until Pentecost. For a PDF of the score, which you are free to reproduce and use if you desire, click [HERE].
We began the Processional with a choral introit I had written last year for the choir, based on Antiphon 2 the Antiphons for Easter, segueing to “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” Continue reading
Posted in A cappella, Charles Wesley, Choir, Descant, Easter, Faux Bourdon, Keith Getty, Modern Hymns, Offertory, St. Bartholomew's, Tom Howard
Today marks the first Sunday in Lent, our 4o day, 6 week journey to the Cross and then to Resurrection. During the season of Lent, we bein the Sunday service with the acclamation:
LEADER: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sin.
PEOPLE: His mercy endures forever. Amen.
For our church (St. Bartholomew’s Nashville) I wrote a new setting (available here at no cost) that we introduced this morning. We’ll use it Continue reading