Hey now, you’re a Rockstar!: A review of Stephen Miller’s “Worship Leaders, we are not Rockstars”

WorshipLeadersWANRIt’s hard to keep up sometimes with the deluge of new music & books, so sometimes one gets overlooked. In this case, it was my loss. Worship Pastor/Artist Stephen Miller has penned a helpful little gem with Worship Leaders, we are not Rockstars – one that will be added to my “must read” list for all beginner worship leaders, & a suggested read for anyone in worship ministry in general. Two added bonuses: it’s a speedy read, & the price is RIGHT!

As a baby believer in college, a local campus ministry realized I was 1.) a Christian & 2.) a musician, so I was given a prominent roll on the worship team. Don’t bother that I had only arguably been a Christian (that’s a long story in itself for another blog) for a few months, & had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what worship WAS (“You want me to spice up these awful songs with a few friends in front of 400 college kids, 65% of which are girls? I’M IN!” the young college me responded wholeheartedly), I was encouraging fellow students to sing along, while – quite literally – going to FISTS with others on the team in the hallway before and after our set. It was a mess. I wanted to be the next Bono, or Sting – if you gave me a platform, I’d take it. But I wasn’t a “worship leader”, at least not in any Godly sense. How I wished this book had existed back then. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Cameron Moore – self-titled e.p.

CamMooreEPCameron Moore
Self-Titled E.P.
Independent

Highlights: “Drowning”, & “Unrelenting”

 

 

 

This past Summer I took First UMC‘s youth to CROSS MISSIONS in Charlotte, NC. While there one of the staff that led our team was a fuzzy, kind, humble young man named Cameron. He worked hard & served our team well. One morning he pulled out his guitar, & we co-led a song or two – some popular covers, & I began to see a side of him I didn’t expect. Over the course of the week, I realized he was a writer & was recording a CD – so I asked if I could hear a track before the week was out. Let’s just say that I was more than pleasantly surprised! [Read more…]

Waging War on our Poison Tongues

PoisonTongue
I once had an acquaintance state an observation they’d made about me that seemed out of the ordinary (they could take their pick, I suppose – “ordinary” is NOT something I’m often called). They said, You are almost completely without sarcasm, and that’s refreshing.

Oh how the mighty have fallen. [Read more…]

REVIEW REVISITED: Aaron Keyes – “Dwell”

By my standards, Dwell by Atlanta area worship pastor/artist Aaron Keyes – is one of the all-around best corporate worship CDs of all-time. Serious! StuG’s production is fresh, even by todays standards, the songwriting is Grade A, & the songs are almost all corporate, & adaptable for almost any style of congregation. To top it all off, this is where Michael W. Smith‘s latest hit single, “Sovereign over Us”, originated from! If you’re looking for a great listen, but also would like to find a number of singable, new-to-you corporate songs to use for your congregation, look no further. Here’s the “revisited” review…
(stick around after the review for links to my live interviews of Aaron, as well)
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Artist: Aaron Keyes
Release: Dwell
Label: Kingsway

 

 

 

Highlights: “I am not the Same”, “Sovereign over Us”, “Song of Moses”, “Dwell”, & “Lavish Your Love

I vividly remember when I first heard Chris Tomlin’s newly released CD “Not to Us”.  Up to that point, apart from a couple “worship hits”, Tomlin’s catalogue had been pretty pedestrian, yet out of the blue he released a CD from which I used no less than 7 songs corporately, & which was a trend-setter production-wise for the next several years. Enter “Dwell” by Aaron Keyes. [Read more…]

REVIEW REVISITED: Paul Baloche – “The Same Love”


For Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday of this week I’m going to be revisiting “classic” reviews I’ve written of a few truly excellent worship CDs. Todays is The Same Love by a wonderful pastor & worship leader, Paul Baloche. To be honest, the first few times I’d heard it, I wasn’t sure what to make of it – the flavor & feel of the CD was quite different from all of his earlier work. In hindsight, I now consider it one of my favorites from among his recordings. As best I can describe, it’s still Paul, but deeper – the melodies are richer & more complex, & the lyrics deeper. Though I don’t use many of these songs corporately, it’s one of my favorite listens for personal worship. Below is my original review
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thesameloveArtist: Paul Baloche
Release: The Same Love
Label: Integrity
Highlights: “the Same Love”, “We are Saved”, “Just Say”

 

Paul Baloche needs no introduction. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve sung his songs.  I regularly use no less than 12 of Paul’s originals in corporate worship, which is significant given the number of new worship songs that flood the market daily – he is truly a masterfully gifted songwriter.  What’s better, however, is the Jesus-centered heart of the man, which overflows in his lyrics & personally, for those who’ve been face-to-face with him.

[Read more…]