Worship Leaders as Kohathites: Called to Serve in Most Holy Things

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

Chalkboard Devotionals at Coral Ridge Every week, I gather our music/worship staff together for some team time.  We devotionally reflect and process different aspects of what worship is and does, and as a new leader in a new context, I find this time invaluable for casting vision and shaping the sanctum sanctorum of Coral Ridge’s worship culture at large.  It starts here. We recently threw up some chalkboard paint on a wall and bordered it with some leftover trim, and it’s … Read More

Deflating the Myth that We Worship Leaders Serve Perfect Churches

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry, Worship Leading Tips6 Comments

Image from americangreetings.comWe’re Not Any Better I’ve had a lot of back-door conversations with fellow worship leaders, slugging it out week after week in the local church.  This blog has connected me with many of you, and we’ve met at conferences or just on the road when I’ve been to your towns or when you’ve been to mine.  When we get down to the deep conversations where we’re sharing the joys and woes of pastoral ministry in the context of … Read More

Praying in the Trinity: Good News for Bad Pray-ers

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies1 Comment

image from anglicansablaze.comA few weeks ago, I preached at Coral Ridge on the opening two words of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father.” It was inspired by yet another soul-crushing sermon by Tim Keller on the same two words, though I took a different approach.  Our shared sermon series, “The Pressure’s Off” was a thematic series on the Gospel’s liberating ability to relieve the pressures of life.  I chose a sermon on the “pressure of piety” that we Christians place on … Read More

Driving the Fear of Tradition out of Our Evangelical Psyche

Zac HicksConvergence of Old and New in Worship, History of Worship and Church Music, Personal Stories & Testimonies1 Comment

My Story I grew up in the free church tradition (some people say “free church tradition” is an oxymoron, buy it’s only an apparent one).  This means I had a healthy skepticism, even fear, of anything that would subvert the raw, naked authority of Scripture…which means I had a special fear of and kept a healthy distance from anything related to “church tradition.”  Perhaps the Apostles’ Creed wasn’t suspect, but reciting it in worship was.   I carried the default … Read More

Praying Over People As They Sing

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry4 Comments

Liturgical Art (folded cranes), Prayers for AIDS Victims, by Nancy ChinnObsessing Over Details is Part of Our Job If you’re a worship leader in the weekly grind like me (whether you’re on staff, part of the team/ensemble of musicians, a choir member, or someone who leads spoken elements in a worship service), you know how regularly your mind flies from this to that during a worship service.  In fact, I’ve often taught young worship leaders just starting out that part … Read More

Three Books That Changed My Life as a Young Worship Leader

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship Resources6 Comments

I began leading worship as a young teenager who wanted his youth group to sing.  I had fiddled around on the ukulele (Hawaii’s instrument of choice) for a few years, and I was ready to step up my game.  My mom had an old nylon string guitar buried in a closet along with a wrinkled sheet of chord shapes.  I found some Hope Chapel Hawaii praise songbooks and started plowing my way through them one Saturday morning.  Eight hours later, … Read More

Why God Rarely Lets Worship Leaders Have a “Perfect” Worship Service

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship Leading Tips1 Comment

Courtesy of despair.comIt happens every Sunday, but some Sundays “it” is more pronounced than on others.  Yesterday, I experienced a small- to medium-sized “it.”  We celebrated Reformation Sunday, and our church was hosting some of the leaders of the international gathering of PEAR USA, the (conservative, evangelical, Rwandan) oversee of the Anglican church in the United States.  In our presence were important figures, including our guest preacher, Bishop Nathan Gasatura and a few of my Anglican worship-leader acquaintances from across … Read More

In Memoriam: Kim Anderson, Artist and Worshiper Par Excellence

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies6 Comments

One of my favorite photos of Kim. It says much about her.My heart has been heavy throughout the evening and into the morning.  We give one of earth’s best worshipers over to the courts of heaven.  This is a worship pastor’s tribute to Kim Anderson: an amazing woman, dedicated mom, passionate artist, and fierce weekly worshiper of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Kim went to be with the Lord last night after a fight with cancer.   Every worship pastor … Read More

Gutsy Worship Leading, Confronting Idols

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry10 Comments

Amos, 18th c. Russian Icon (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia)Because leading worship is a pastoral endeavor, it makes a lot of sense that most, if not all, facets of pastoral ministry would show up in the work of a faithful worship leader.  In many ways, we can dissect the role of a pastor by examining how a person with such gifts mirrors (albeit in an extremely secondary way) what theologians call “the threefold office of Christ”–Christ as Prophet, … Read More

Worship in the Wake of Aurora

Zac HicksPersonal Stories & Testimonies, Worship and Pastoral Ministry4 Comments

There was a lot of crying in worship yesterday.  Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church sits on the edge of Aurora, separated by the Cherry Creek reservoir.  Many in our flock are Aurora residents, and one of our own, Petra Anderson, was in the theater and was hit in the face from a shotgun blast.  Our Senior Pastor, Brad Strait, recounts the miracle of how she is alive and well when she should have been dead in two hours, despite the fact … Read More