Why your church doesn’t sing… and what you can do to fix it (Part 4)

I admit it… I may be the most un-hip guy on the planet.

This became immediately clear when I stopped by a local high school recently and I saw up-close what pop-culture looks like. If that’s hip, then I’m not!

Hip is a hot topic in worship circles these days and much of the new music coming out for churches reflects it. Worship Leaders are wrestling with the question of whether certain styles of music for congregational worship are just keeping with the times, or creating a culture of congregational onlookers and worship team performers?

Recently I kicked off this new series about what has become one of the major issues facing worship leaders and churches today: the decline of congregational singing.

Let’s face it… more and more congregations are singing “less and less”.
This new series is about identifying what’s keep YOUR congregation from singing and helping you remove the roadblocks to genuine worship engagement in your services.
We’ve already talked about music being to high and too hard. And today we’re going to look at the third reason your congregation isn’t singing…

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Why your church doesn’t sing… and what you can do to fix it (Part 3)

Want to know a sure-fire way to keep your church from singing this Sunday?

I didn’t think so 🙂  But the truth is, if you’re making one of these THREE BIG MISTAKES you in fact are keeping your congregation from singing.

Recently I kicked off this new series about what has become one of the major issues facing worship leaders and churches today: the decline of congregational singing.

And whether or not you believe your church is experiencing this right now, the recent trends point to the fact that more and more congregations are singing “less and less”.

Today we’re going to tackle the second reason for this decline in congregational singing, as well as what you can do about it in your church.

But first an important reminder — while it is within our power as pastors and worship leaders to remove all of these obstacles to singing in our churches, it will take some work (and willingness) to make small, but important adjustments to our worship leading.

If that’s you and you’re willing, then let’s talk about the second reason…
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Did the Worship Leader Really Say That?

Recently I was having a conversation with a young worship leader and sharing with him my philosophy of preparing in advance not only the music of Sunday, but also the specific things that you want to “say” in the worship set.

To my surprise, he was having none of it!

In his mind taking time to think through what you want to say during the worship set on Sunday instead of just trusting the spirit (i.e. winging it) was somehow less “spiritual”.

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Does your worship order for Sunday have one of these? It should…

You have probably heard me say before…, “Don’t just sing songs . . . create moments!”

So, what is a “moment”?

Specifically, it’s a “moment of life transformation”. It’s more than just a good worship set or a good sermon. Moments are intentional ideas, creative expressions, or times during the service where people can connect with God and experience life transformation.

The great thing about moments is that they are in EVERY worship order. They’re just waiting to be discovered.

Unfortunately, too many times we don’t look for them or ways to maximize them every week, which is why your worship orders may be feeling stale right now.

If you want to utilize moments in your worship order and break free of the ho-hum feeling that you’re doing the same thing every week, then you need to know these two truths about creating moments…

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Make This Sunday Another Easter (here’s how…)

What an exciting week! God showed up in a BIG way at The Journey on Easter weekend and I hope the same is true for you.

And though Easter Sunday may have passed, I’ve been thinking this week . . . that doesn’t mean that this Sunday can’t be “Easter” all over again.

Let me explain.  Read more

Don’t Finalize Your Easter Set List Until You Read This!


Easter is just around the corner!

By now you are starting to finalize your Easter worship set. And whether your Easter service is completely planned or you are just beginning, now is the time to go through your worship order and make sure you have selected the best worship set for your team this Easter.

Below is a 5-point checklist that we use every year at The Journey, and that will help ensure that the music of your Easter service is powerfully focused.

Here we go:  Read more

Where’s the Slack in your Worship Team?

Do you remember the old Wendy’s television commercial from the 1980’s where the lady asks, “Where’s the beef?”
Jason Hatley
It was on of my favorites as a kid and a hugely successful advertising campaign because the question was so pointed (and true!).

As you approach your worship ministry in this New Year, you should ask some pointed questions as well.  Not, “Where’s the beef?, but rather,Where’s the slack?”

Where is there slack in your worship ministry?

What areas have you let slip over the last few months? Where is there slack in your volunteer recruitment, in your worship planning, or in your personal growth?

Here’s why this question is so important…

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The Worship Leader’s Guide to Planning (and Surviving) Christmas — Save over 73%

Does your Christmas Checklist look something like this:

Listen to dozens of Christmas song arrangements… this week!

Select, arrange and chart music that we never sing for four straight Sundays in December

Juggle my volunteer’s holiday travel schedules (is anyone even in town!)

Plan a full-scale production for Christmas Eve

Try to find musicians for above mentioned Christmas Eve production

Buy a Christmas present for my spouse before Christmas Eve (this year)

Attend 15 Christmas parties and my kids’ school Christmas concerts

Try to enjoy Christmas in spite of all the other items on this list


Christmas is coming and already the pressure for worship leaders is mounting.

For many Worship Leaders Christmas can be anything but “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Many are hoping to just survive Christmas…

…but what if you could actually THRIVE this Christmas?
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Sing Something Classic this Sunday!

Halloween is fast approaching, so the topic of conversation with my kids this week is what they plan to be for Halloween.  And strangely enough… this has a lot to do with the worship set at your church this week!

You see, to my surprise, Abigail and Charlie have decided to be Mary and Bert from the 1964 Disney film, Mary Poppins.

The movie is definitely a classic… so much so that you may have never seen it. 🙂

But in a world of “here today/gone tomorrow movies”, films like Mary Poppins somehow have real staying power. That’s why they call them classics!

So, what does this have to do with your worship set this Sunday? I’m glad you asked.

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How to Find Powerful Moments in Your Worship Set

“Don’t just sing songs . . . create moments!” That’s the advice that I received several years ago while attending a Tom Jackson’s Expressive Worship Conference.

I couldn’t agree more. In fact one of our core values here at The Journey has always been to not just ‘execute the service’, but to create moments of life-transformation in our worship services. It’s not enough to just play good music or teach a good message. We need to plan our services so that there are intentional moments where people can connect with God and experience life transformation.

This idea — creating moments — is central to the third question that you want to ask in preparing your music plan each week.

Here’s the question:

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