Archives For distractions

Transitions, Flow & U2

Andrew Stanley —  June 20, 2013 — 1 Comment

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Their main set was over.  Any one of the over 50,000 people in the Rogers Center would have said they got their money’s worth.  But the show went on … 1st encore, expected … 2nd encore, wow! … 3rd encore, only U2!

And for those of you expecting me to say I was at the Taylor Swift concert the other night, you’re way off.

Anyways, my point … the band walks out for one of the encores to the voice of Desmond Tutu preaching about love and unity, and Bono begins to belt out Amazing Grace.  Just him and a guitar.  Sure enough, in a matter of seconds the entire stadium has joined in. Who knew this many people knew the words to Amazing Grace!? Who knew people could sing this loud!? (no reference to Sunday mornings intended …) Continue Reading…

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I just want to just post just on a specific just aspect of just speaking normally just while just on stage.

There is an epidemic that has swept through the church and it has found a home in those who speak into microphones – typically in those who pray into microphones. Since when did the word “just” become so common in our everyday language?  Have you noticed this?

I know I have been in services where I didn’t have enough fingers to count the number of times the word “just” was said by the person upfront (I have been guilty of this too …).

The grammatically correct folk are thinking, “What he said didn’t make sense.”
The rest are thinking, “Wow, he said that word a lot …”

In either case, no one was listening to what you were trying to say.  They were distracted by the way you said it.

Stop overusing the word “Just”.
In fact, try to avoid it all together.

Hey, let’s just stand up.” — Really?  Is that all you’re asking them to do?
Let’s just take a second and pray.” — There’s power in prayer. I wouldn’t say it’s “just” praying.
Let’s just sing that one more time.” — “Let’s sing that one more time,” works well instead.

If you spend the time planning what you’re going to say and practice it as much as you practice the music (if not more), the word “just” won’t creep into your sentences so much.  To me, the number of times the word “just” is used in one’s speaking often reflects the amount of time they spent preparing what they were going to say.

Listen for it the next time you’re speaking in public — you might be surprised at how often you’re actually using that 4-letter word.

SIDE NOTE: Don’t get me started on overusing the name of God in prayers. I might post about that one day, but until then, watch out for that too. You don’t have to say His name 10 times in one sentence – He already knows you’re talking to Him.

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Date: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Location: Oakville Site at The Meeting House
Time: 9:30am service

One of the most common conversations I have with worship leaders across our sites is how to eliminate as many distractions as possible to allow for a clear opportunity for people to worship our God together in community.  Sometimes, the “distractions” come whether we like it or not.

We kicked off the 2nd service on a fairly energetic note — full band dropped in at 0:00 on the clock leaving me no time to say anything but, “Hey, let’s stand up and sing together” … and we’re off.

I immediately regretted this “strategic planning decision” to start without saying anything because I couldn’t shake the feeling that this group needed a bit of refocusing to get into the zone.  As I’m leading through the first song, the back of my mind is fast forwarding through the planned-to-the-second set, trying to find a window of opportunity to say something that might bring us all onto the same page … I couldn’t find it.

We had transitions planned that flowed seamlessly, so without pulling the plug on the whole thing and throwing my team for a loop I decided it was best to play this one out, lead well, drop a little prayer between the first couple of songs and see what God does through it.

Three songs in, the “refocusing” came in the form of a loud pop through the sound system, projectors going black, the house and stage lights going black and the emergency lights turning on … the power to the whole building cut out.

… I guess we’re now going acoustic! Continue Reading…

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Worship leaders should have one approach to their leadership:

Lead in such a way that only provides encouragement towards (not distraction from) an opportunity to join together in singing declarative truths about who our God is and who we are as His people.

That may seem very self explanatory, but think about the things that could be a potential distraction for someone wanting to engage in musical worship.  Anything from inappropriately placed screaming guitar solos to lyric slides that show up a line too late (and everything in between) can fall into this red flag zone.

There are many things that can distract us from entering into engaged musical worship experiences, but I would say towards the top of “The Most Distracting List” can be the key a song is led in.  If a song is too high or too low, what are people going to do? They’ll just stand there. If they’re wanting to be singing by they physically can’t, it can be frustrating.

REALITY CHECK FOR TRAINED VOCALISTS WHO LEAD: If you choose a key based on where it sounds best or is even most natural to sing in your range, it’s probably not a good key to lead that song in corporately.

Continue Reading…