Fresh New Worship Songs – August 2015

Screen-shot-2015-08-05-at-9.37.46-PMIt can be hard to find solid, new corporate worship songs for your congregation, especially if you don’t subscribe to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality of only pulling from the CCLI Top 100. Well, I collect new songs year round, listen, play along, & analyze to see which ones float to the top – that’s to say, I’ve done some of the work for you. Here are my most recent picks. [Read more…]

Saint Lewis live at the Gathering Place MAIN EVENT

Jamie Miley with Saint Lewis at the Gathering Place Main Event

Photo by Chris Moncus Photography for the Gathering Place, featuring Jamie Miley on lead guitar.

Have I told you how much I love the Gathering Place?

Late Summer, 2002, I was touring the midwest in support of my CD at the time, when I received an urgent call. I needed to immediately make my way to St. Simons – an island off of coastal Georgia (at the time I didn’t know Georgia HAD a coast), between Savannah, GA & Jacksonville, FL. My job for the Summer?: Worldwide Discipleship Association had assigned me to oversee/disciple the college-aged guy Summer interns when the current leader had to leave due to a family emergency. I had no idea what I was in for! [Read more…]

REVIEW: Stephen Miller – “Liberating King”

LiberatingKingARTIST: Stephen Miller
RELEASE: Liberating King
LABEL: Independent

I admire Stephen Miller. Having reviewed his book (Worship Leaders we are not Rock Stars) just a few months back, I was looking forward to hearing this new CD. Stephen’s commitment to solid Biblical truth, balanced in equal measure with passion, & creativity shine bright on his latest release. [Read more…]

Worship Pastors pastor Worshipers

icecreamIt’s easy as worship leaders to clock-in on Sunday mornings, and pour all of our effort into the “performance”; pulling for an impassioned & expertly played set of epic corporate anthems & ballads, familiar to all in attendance, & sung at the top of our lungs. And there’s nothing – in & of itself – wrong with that: God deserves our best. [Read more…]

Saint Lewis at Converge

ConvergePicI have a deep love for college ministry… I often miss the three years I served as a Campus Minister/Worship Leader at the University of Georgia with Worldwide Discipleship Association, so I jump at opportunities to serve with college students. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Matt McCoy – ALIVE & FREE E.P.

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailARTIST: Matt McCoy
RELEASE: Alive & Free
LABEL: Independent

Though I’ve known him loosely through various Social Networks for several years, I first met Matt McCoy at the Experience Conference ’13 in Orlando where he was showing his brilliant Looptimus midi-controller. By the end of the week we’d traded CDs – up to then I had somehow entirely missed that he was a musician, & a member of one of my favorite worship teams, the Vertical Church Band – & out of all of the “schwag” from the conference, I ended up listening to his for most of the ride home. When I heard that he was releasing another, I was first in line for a review! [Read more…]

The Golden Key?

GoldenKeyMany of my “heroes” have said it – all men I admire and respect. I’ve read their books, listened to their teaching, and sung their songs. Most worship songwriting “experts” teach that there is an ideal range or “sweet spot” for worship songs. And I used to believe it – I really did – I towed the line. In fact, I still use their suggestions as a guide, but I’m not convinced it can be applied universally – here’s why: [Read more…]

Why I Believe…

WhyIBelieveIt forever shaped the world, & impacts every moment of history since (& according to Christian theology, before as well). What could have possibly occurred that had the power to quickly reshape a great many long-held convictions of a people radically opposed to change – the “new” was immediately suspect – to the point which they would all be willing to lay down their lives for this new truth?

Every year I edit & repost this because it IS the message I want my life to speak: Jesus, God with Skin On – the true King, defeating sin & death.  As a former Atheist, I did quite a lot of study before I was convinced that Jesus had not only existed, but that the resurrection was quite honestly the most logical explanation of what could be historically known about Jesus’ death and the origins of the early church. This is that research compiled for quick study…

One more thing: though I don’t go into it in any detail here, if you’ve heard somewhere that the Jesus’ story was based on earlier, pagan mythology, please don’t stop digging! Read THIS ARTICLE LINKED HERE as your next step. Really. For your own sake. PLEASE!

[Read more…]

REVIEW: Kristen Gilles – PARKER’S MERCY BRIGADE

41730s31FlL._SL500_AA280_Kristen Gilles
PARKER’S MERCY BRIGADE
Independent

 

I’ll be honest – I’ve struggled to review this CD. It is simultaneously utterly unique in my worship music collection, & at the same time absolutely familiar, & comfortable. [Read more…]

New, Popular, & Undiscovered Songs: a response

AsAPastorJust a few weeks ago my friend & fellow worship pastor, Chris Vacher, published a thought-provoking blog: “Thoughts on New Songs, Popular Songs, & Undiscovered Songs“, which has also been edited & republished over at TWC. In it he states that we should generally consider using the more popular worship songs because “…the reason that songs become popular and are sung around the world is that there are very talented songwriters who understand the craft of songwriting and have put together these various elements in a way that allows people of every musical skill level to sing as an expression of their worship to Jesus.” Though I have nothing against talented songwriters, I don’t necessarily agree with the first half of the blog.

[Read more…]