Firstly, I go to church and I am a Christian, I believe that Jesus died for our sins and that God rose Jesus again and that Jesus is seated next to God in heaven!
Now, I have decided that I haven’t really discussed what I do as Pastor/Director of Music at my church. Surprisingly, most of that I do is actually in the background, as I have to be prepared before I meet the team, Sunday morning is not the time to be preparing for anything! My role involves the following:
Have a real relationship with Jesus
This might sound like a given for a role like this in a church but sadly it is not always the case. I cannot get on the stage and lead worship if I do not have a real relationship with Jesus. A friend explained it to me like this:
“What you do in public should come from what you do in private”.
I totally agree with that. How can I lead people in worship of Jesus if I don’t worship Jesus myself? It’s like trying to teach with no subject knowledge of what you are teaching.
Here are some of the things that I have found helpful in maintaining a relationship with Jesus:
- I read my Bible and pray every morning before I get out of bed and every evening before I go to sleep
- I have the Bible on me all the time in the form of an app on my phone
- Sometimes I get out my guitar and have a private worship session in my room
- Once a month I go on a date with Jesus, I go somewhere nice just Jesus and I, like a coffee shop or the cinema
- I also like to rent movies and watch them with Jesus whilst eating a nice meal.
Like every human, I am a work in progress, no one is perfect and I am thankful that God loved me enough to send Jesus to die for me and that Jesus pleads for me day and night in heaven and that The Holy Spirit helps me everyday to learn more and more how to be Jesus’ friend.
I took this upon myself, it also includes maintaining the songs database and making it available to other members of the team (I’m still working on the last bit and the bit before that). If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you will see a lot of these on Saturdays:
That is because I try and prepare everything before hand, surprisingly this takes a while as I also collate other pieces of news given to me by other memeber’s of the church and I like to make it nice, with fun transitions and stuff!
Dealing with CCLI
During worship (and at other times as well) churches perform songs written by many very talented artists and like any venue a licence is needed to perform these songs. That’s where CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) comes in, I have to make a note of each song that we sing and play and every film that we show and then send a report to CCLI to make sure that the artists are paid, you can do it online very simply (see the picture below)
Creating arrangements (and print them) and rehearsing the band
I believe in making the lives of the musicians as easy as possible. So I make sure that they have music to follow, printed and handed to them (so they don’t have to print it themselves). The music I give them will state not only the chords but the keys as well. I do this because I recognise that a church is a community institution and not a music school, not every person playing in a church band is always trained, some people can read sheet music, some can’t, some can read chord charts and some know chords only by their “feel” within the key. I feel that it is not constructive to dismiss people because they cannot read music. I like to give people a chance to play what they can meanwhile encouraging them to learn more as we rehearse. It is always lovely to see the musicians grow in their musicianship over time! As a rule of thumb my music will look like this:
Another thing I often have to do is rework the arrangements as I am a Soprano. Here’s an example of my singing voice: Click here to listen to Jesus Loves Me Better (A Capella Arrangement) or play it through the embedded player below
The worship leader has to lead worship in key that suits them. For me it is simply not practical to do some of the songs in their original keys as it is outside of my range. I tend to hover around D major and G major, depending on the song obviously. I try to pick keys that are in the lower parts of my range in songs that have melodies with wide intervals in order to make the songs accessible to the congregation e.g. Blessing And Honour (Ancient Of Days).
On that note I also have to come up with songs to sing!!
I also am responsible for: the overall mix of the sound, the set up of the stage, maintaining the all that AV the equipment and instruments and training people to use it (something I admit I need to do more of).
Composing songs for the church to sing
We’ve sung one of them already and they really liked it. I’m excited to sing some more!
Recognise this picture from my previous post?
Keep up with trends in worship
This includes basically listening out for new music and new techniques in worship, recently I have introduced singing/improvising from the bible, a technique which I would like to continue to integrate into worship session at church: Click here to play the Improvising From The Bible playlist or use the embedded player below.
Continual Professional Development
Basically, in a nut shell this is just practising my guitar and singing or whatever it is that I choose to play. This also includes visiting/gigging/workshopping at other churches and organisations and talking to other worship leaders and church leaders to see how they do worship and to get their input, with a view of incorporating new useful techniques into our church that will help the team to worship and function more effectively. Currently in the works in my calendar, I am planning to visit a church in North London.
Marketing and any other jobs
From time to time I will also do other things like graphic design or getting cakes (Yummy!) etc for the church because they just need doing!
Get on stage and lead worship
After all of these things are done, I then get on stage and lead worship…
After that, I review the WWW’s (What Went Well’s) and EBI’s (Even Better If’s) of the worship session and try to work on any areas I feel need improvement in order to make the worship session be more beneficial and accessible for the congregation, helping them to worship Jesus in sincerity.
As I part this verse of scripture comes to mind:
[Psalm 51:17 NLT]  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Lots of Love
P.S. I updated my orchestral cover of Majesty by Delirious to include the Tenor Vox part in the MIDI recording. Click here to listen to Majesty by /delirious Arr. C. Waithe-Arnold or play it in the embedded player below:
“Psalm 51:17 (NLT) – The sacrifice you desire is.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 16 Aug, 2016. <https://www.blueletterbible.org//nlt/psa/51/17/s_529017>