Thoughts on Being a Guest Worship Leader

Zac HicksWorship Leading Tips3 Comments

Jono Linebaugh preaching yesterday at Coral RidgeI was blessed yesterday to do a quick in-and-out trip half-way around the country to worship alongside my brothers and sisters at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.  Their music leader, Mark Miller, is a fabulous musician, a great worship leader, a funny guy, and a friend of mine, and it was a privilege to step into his very big shoes for a Sunday.  He needed a break!   I’m not sure what percentage of worship … Read More

How Passive Worshipers Become More Active

Zac HicksWorship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & Thought4 Comments

Contemporary worship has been criticized over and over again for its ability to form spectators, but I’ve actually witnessed passive worship all across the stylistic spectrum. (I see it at my church every Sunday in BOTH of our services, one of which is “traditional” and the other our version of “contemporary.”)  Worshipers, sitting or standing with blank looks on their faces with little to no movement of their bodies, stare bored at the leadership, screen, bulletin, or song-sheet.

Want to Be a Better Worship Songwriter?

Zac HicksSongwriting, Worship Leading Tips, Worship ResourcesLeave a Comment

I love it when I find a good online destination that “free-sources” quality material to the public.  Last week, I highlighted Fernando Ortega’s post calling out modern worship to embrace a more lofty vision for songwriting.  If you are or aspire to be a songwriter, and if you agree with Ortega’s assessment and admonition, I can think of no better site that will serve as a resource for you than My Song in the Night. Its masterminds are Bobby & … Read More

What Visiting the Sick Has to Do with Worship Planning

Zac HicksWorship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & Thought2 Comments

Not long ago, this blog was inundated with hits because of a little post, “The Difference Between a Lead Musician and a Worship Pastor.”  Today’s post teases out the first item on the list given there: “A Worship Pastor is equipped in and engages in aspects of classical pastoral duties, either formally or informally—visitation, preaching/teaching, catechizing.”

I just got back from visiting a dear man (I’ll call him Ron) who is a part of our church in Denver. 

Long-Range Worship Planning in a Large Church Setting: Why and How

Zac HicksWorship Leading Tips2 Comments

I don’t know how other folks in my shoes do it, but, in my opinion, successful long-range worship planning in a large church involves (to be honest) nearly obsessive, hyper-anal behavioral patterns.  I’ve been spending the morning mapping out our church’s 2011 calendar (ideally, I would have done this in September), and perhaps the exposure of my methodology will be helpful for some of my readership.  I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone has their own style and every church has their … Read More

Wesley’s Words to the Free-Spirited Singer in the Congregation

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

This is the third installment on a series of posts exploring John Wesley’s Rules for Singing. Reflections on Rule #1Reflections on Rule #2 3. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, as to be heard above, or distinct from, the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound. Just as rule #2 was an expansion of rule #1, so this rule is a check … Read More

On Technology, In-Ears, and Personal Sacrifice for the Sake of the Congregation

Zac HicksCulture, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & ThoughtLeave a Comment

My friend Mark will be contributing his mad electric guitar skills to our band this Friday night for Ascent GA, a fusion of modern worship and rich liturgical elements.  We had our dress rehearsal last Saturday, and it was Mark’s first experience with in-ear monitors.  The listening transition is always a shock.   I can always count on Mark to think deeply and reflect biblically on every aspect of life.  It’s something I admire about him.  Sure enough, Mark has … Read More

Worship as a Cross to Bear: John Wesley’s Anti-Consumeristic Approach

Zac HicksCulture, History of Worship and Church Music, Worship Leading Tips, Worship Theology & Thought7 Comments

The following is part of a series of blog posts dedicated to exploring John Wesley’s Rules for Singing. 1. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing. For every Sunday that I have led worship; for every special event where I have led congregational singing, there is … Read More