Worship Reflections, Palm Sunday 2009

Song setlist:
Hosanna (Peter Wilson, Stuart Garrard)
All About You (Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff, Israel Houghton)
Cry Out Your Name (Jeff Moore)
In Christ Alone (Keith Getty, Stuart Townend)
The Stand (Joel Houston)

I thought I’d try the video reflections again.  And I invited a guest to sit with me.  Give it a watch….

(a little slow in the beginning; gets better around 3:18)


So, questions for worship leaders & musicians:
– how do you recover from near-death-of-song situations while they’re happening?
– what is your method for keeping instrumentalists together?
– do you have any great near-train-wreck stories to share?

17 thoughts on “Worship Reflections, Palm Sunday 2009

  1. What a wonderful vlog; I really enjoyed watching. How long did it take you to produce? DIY? I especially appreciate the transparency conveyed.

    In answer to your questions:
    “how do you recover from near-death-of-song situations while they’re happening?”
    Depends. Sometimes we can keep it going. Then, there are times when mercy and grace tell us to embrace the death and believe in resurrection. I love those. Weakness => strength & all that. Yeah, that’s what it is.

    “what is your method for keeping instrumentalists together?”
    I don’t have a full rhythm section, so I program a lot into AL. I follow it (as it ‘follows’ me) & and they follow us. If they crash, I keep going and they catch up. If I crash, we’re all going down anyway, so enjoy the ride. :) AL always follows direction and never crashes; he’s a worship machine.

    “do you have any great near-train-wreck stories to share?”
    …got the T-shirt. …wear the scars. Too many for a comments section. Maybe we’ll compare notes sometime.

  2. brent. brent. brent. I’m going to go look for that ‘ban’ button in the wordpress dashboard. :)

    thanks for sharing your train wreck. I had a similar one. A while back I was leading worship at a summer camp for kids. I started leading ‘Here I Am to Worship’ on piano out of a prayer time. I had the chart in front of me but I started playing without looking at it. I knew a minor chord was coming up so I glanced down at the chart and played the F#m. But it sounded SO WRONG that I immediately stopped and started over. ‘Light of the world you stepped down ….” again, totally wrong horrible chord. I was totally confused. I’m playing an F#m!! How is it sounding so wrong? and then…. I noticed…. I had started playing in Eb for some reason. So I had been playing this progression: Eb Bbsus F#m. Go try it. It’s quite a mood killer.

    We were working with a band made up of jr hi & high school students at the time, who still (like, 8 years later) mention the time ‘Kim killed the song all by herself’. :)

  3. My train wreck?

    Haha. A couple of years ago…

    We had finished a set of music and then headed off stage. Later the band and I came back to close with a song. The problem was, that I had used the digital transpose button on my keyboard and had not changed it back. So, I started the song in the wrong key. After I had sung the first verse, I suddenly realized this and had to stop the song before we got into the chorus, because in this key…I could not sing it. I apologized, changed the key and kicked back into the song.

    Ya…that happened…

  4. Kim and Neil…so good to see you both :) Our worship leader at one service we attended turned around and in very exaggerated motions started stomping his foot, moving his whole body while still playing guitar and singing without missing a beat…the band was kind of all over the place but got right back on!

    You will find it rather humorous that on occasion I lead rehearsals for the band that plays for our kids program. During one rehearsal the electric guitar player COULD NOT get the beat so I jumped up and down on the down beat. I actually had to do it when the kids were actually there…I just stood at the back behind the kids and jumped on the beat so he wouldn’t cause the train wreck :)

    • JO!!!! I can’t stop laughing at the image of you jumping on the downbeat in the back of the room. You now and forever will be known as the Beat Nazi. :) thank you thank you thank you for writing!

  5. Janaki…. thanks for the story! The pain meds make it even better. :) Thank goodness for great drummers who save us all from certain doom on many occasions.

    Fred…. thanks for the comment. And you know, anytime you’re passing through the prairie states on a weekend, you are welcome at our church!

    christy…. you’re SO bad. :)

    james…. yes. sight lines. can you remind me of that next rehearsal? and the capo story…. was that at fmbc? I’m trying to remember if I remember that.


    The problem with the Aviom system is that we hear each other so well that we get distracted listening to the interesting things that each person is playing.

    My trainwreck spot was when we started a song and I immediately turned to the guitar player and loudly and firmly said, “Capo!” After a long second, his eyes widened and he removed his capo.

  7. Since children in services (especially when they are singing) are not my cup of tea I was aware of the timing issue…good job Neilage! But seriously…not that big of a deal. I had more questions about why Neil changed guitars in the middle of one one of the later songs…

    Loved the vlgo…keep ’em comin!

  8. The train wreck that comes to my mind happened last November, three days after I had gotten my wisdom teeth pulled. And, yes, I was still on pain meds o_O! I had the guitar player do the singing because I was not really up for it at that point and I think he got nervous because he came in a beat too early on the chorus of Here I Am to Worship. Thank God for our drummer, who is amazing, and just skipped the beat right with him. It was THISCLOSE to being a disaster. I wish you could have seen my face.. it was sheer terror.

    Looking back, I’m not sure why I felt like I was up to playing that morning anyway.

  9. Kim,
    If Sunday worship was a train wreck it was a great one that went unnoticed by probably most everyone. I think most of us were watching the kids! It was pretty special watching them walk through the auditorium waving their palm branches while the rest of us sang “Hosanna”. I love that song. I might need to purchase a new CD today. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Debbie! It did occur to me that the kids’ processional probably got everyone’s attention. You have confirmed my thought that our mistake was probably not that big a deal to everyone else. To us, it really did seem like things might come apart! I credit our musicians, all of them, for quickly pulling together and going on with confidence. They are amazing people!

  10. david… haha! thanks for sharing your story!

    ‘stopping and starting is reserved for very special trainwrecks….’ SO TRUE! I’ve had one of those in the 9 years I’ve been leading worship, and it was when half the band did a key change. Half.


  11. Good to see the vlogging for worship confessionals has picked up again :)

    One train wreck story…

    We decided to do Israel’s Not Forgotten. This was ambitious for our all-white, non-soul oriented rock band praise team. However, rehearsals went well and it was sounding good.

    On the day though, something happened and everyone began playing in multiple tempos. Thankfully my years of choir training, where singing in multiple bizarro times and keys for our contemporary stuff stood me in good stead for such situations.

    We pushed on as stopping and restarting is reserved for very special trainwrecks (we’ve had one of those in 5 years). Ultimately I didn’t need to say anything to the team because they were all painfully aware. Sometimes we’d try he song again, but that song has been dropped…probably permanently.

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