Ideas for WorshipGod09 Seminars

I’m in the midst of planning for our WorshipGod09 conference, “From Generation to Generation.” It will be held Aug. 5-8, in Gaithersburg, MD, right outside of Washington, D.C. I announced earlier that John Piper — pastor, theologian, author, and friend — will be taking two main sessions. I’m also looking forward to doing a session with C.J. Mahaney where we’ll talk about what we’ve learned about worship over the past 30 years.

We got some great responses from our evaluation form this past year on things we can improve about the conference. I’m excited about some of the changes we’ll be making.

But one area I’d love to hear your thoughts on is workshops. We’ll be offering from 24-32 workshops this year. Any ideas for topics you’d like to see addressed? Speakers you’d like to hear? The more specific the better. Thanks.

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61 Responses to Ideas for WorshipGod09 Seminars

  1. Dave Hause January 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM #

    Hi Bob,
    One area that I know we need to improve on are muscical transitions from one song to the next. Are there some guiedlines or tips that could be shared? What type of songs go good together, what keys flow well together? Musical guidelines for modulations, etc.
    Looking forward to the conference.

  2. Deborah Thompson January 9, 2009 at 1:49 PM #

    I’m the worship coordinator of a church that is lacking in the “middle-aged” category. I have many senior citizens who have their opinions on music and expectations for services; I also have a large group of attenders in their 20’s/30’s who have their own ideas on a worship service. My constant struggle is not a blended service (which I’ve been working to accomplish for about 8 months or so), but maintaining a spirit of cooperation and a desire to feed and acknowledge both of these groups while keeping the focus on Christ. I would love for the worship of our Lord to UNITE these groups, not divide it, and yet I feel that the lines are being drawn more strongly over “personal” ideas on worship than anything else. A session on “Bridging the Generation Gaps” would be LOVELY!!

  3. Marla O. January 9, 2009 at 1:53 PM #

    Band on the Run was GREAT last time. it helped me so much and i would love to have that all over again.

    it would also be helpful to have scheduled “jam sessions”. like in between sessions have anybody who wants to practice what they’ve learned meet in one large group and then break into smaller ones (with either new people to practice working with people they don’t know very well or people they do know to practice working together) and go to smaller rooms and practice. that may be impractical, but it would be much easier to cement what we’re learning, especially if we came in small groups or by ourselves and can’t find people to play with.

    the only other thing is a topic. i’m almost positive this was covered last time, but it would be great to have a seminar or meeting on encouraging physical expressiveness in worship again. it would be helpful to have it covered from both the worship-team perspective (how to encourage it while leading worship) and the audience-member perspective (how to encourage it while participating as a congregation member in those around us.)

    Thank you so much for all the work you and your team are putting in!

  4. John Kuvakas January 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM #

    Here are a few I would attend:

    Engagement – How to exhort and encourage participation during a worship service. What is vital and enthusiastic worship leading as opposed to “performing”?

    Flow – How does the worship set move within the songs chosen and how does it fit into the overall service?

    Women – Where do they fit in the overall scheme of things in a complementarian church. What is appropriate for them to do? What is inappropriate?

    Choosing congregational worship songs – What do we look for in a song that will edify, strengthen and promote worship in a congregational setting.

    • Bob Kauflin January 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM #

      These ideas are excellent! Some of them are confirming thoughts I’ve already had. Please keep them coming.

  5. Collin January 9, 2009 at 3:35 PM #

    I suggest a session with a focus on how to lead our team members through practice with a focus on God and caring for one another. It would add discipleship as a focus in our practices and time with our worship team members.

    There are usually plenty of sessions that cover working on the flow and musicality of songs as a band but I think that an area lacking is leading practice with a worshipful attitude.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Lindele January 9, 2009 at 5:00 PM #

    How to write piano arrangements when you really don’t know what you’re doing! I have a couple of situations I’m dealing with. One is when I’m introducing a new song to my congregation and I have to come up with a piano accompaniment. I don’t have this problem with SG songs, because you guys so GRACIOUSLY provide piano arrangements! But in other cases I only have a lead sheet, and my only instrumentalists are 2 piano players who are completely dependent on sheet music. The other situation is when I’m trying to write a new arrangement of a hymn so that it’s not the same 4-part one that’s in the hymn book. Both of these are really difficult for me because I haven’t been formally trained other than piano lessons when I was a kid (LONG ago).

    I also like Dave’s suggestion about transitions, and Marla’s “jam sessions” idea.

    I took the Fundamentals for Bass Players and the Fundamentals for Keyboard Players last year and they were great, though I’m such a novice on the bass that most of that seminar was over my head. I’d kind of like to try that one again now that I’m a little bit more advanced than I was (very little).

  7. Steve Moore January 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM #

    I would benefit from hearing about the Sound/Tech Team vision, structure, and history. What did it look like 20 yrs ago, 10 yrs, 5 yrs ago? What have been the major lessons and turning points along the way? What does effective pastoral leadership look like in this area of ministry?

  8. matt d. January 9, 2009 at 5:08 PM #

    Some ideas from a younger (23) worship leader:

    1. How to avoid getting in the way during a worship service. Trying to balance encouraging a congregation and not being a distraction.

    2. Confrontation. How to address situations when people within the worship ministry are hindering its effectiveness via their (lack of) giftedness or unhealthy motives.

    3. How to balance the tension in song selection between celebration and introspection.

    Just thoughts, they may not be good ones.

  9. Alaina W. January 9, 2009 at 5:45 PM #

    Considering the theme, seminars on the following could be beneficial:

    – encouraging children to engage in worship (corporately & at home)

    – keeping worship to the Lord & its music foundational in the family despite our culture’s influences

    – making music choices for oneself and one’s family

  10. Gabe Zepeda January 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM #

    I couldn’t help but notice your recommendation of David L. Ward’s ministry on If you are looking for or still thinking of workshop speakers for the conference, I think David would be valuable to this end. As I see it, Reformed Praise and Sovereign Grace Ministries commonly share in the passion for preserving old texts and intertwining these old texts to new tunes. I think that since a large percentage of WorshipGod attendees are basically your average pastors and worship leaders, why not hear it from an average worship leader himself who has been serving God in this way for years. He would be great in teaching how to take old texts and put them into new tunes and encouraging average worship leaders to make that their practice and pursuit for the joy of the local church and the glory of God. Those are some thoughts for your musing. Thanks. Psalm 96:1

  11. Daniel Kush January 9, 2009 at 7:14 PM #

    Pat Sczbel (or however you spell it) did a seminar on “Leading Worship In A Small Church”. If you simply repeated this one, I would greatly appreciate it. Perhaps he could (re)develop the themes he set out in the first one. That seminar was instrumental in keeping me from “bailing out” from the church I am currently in love with. Thanks.

  12. Colin January 9, 2009 at 7:19 PM #

    I really enjoyed Pat Sczebel’s seminar Leading Worship in a Small Church and would love to hear him speak again. I second Collin’s (yes, I’m a different Colin :-D ) suggestion for a seminar on leading practices.

  13. Josue Valero January 9, 2009 at 8:32 PM #

    Some names of speakers come to mind

    Do you Know?
    Bob Sorge
    Ross Parsley
    Jared Ming

    what about something about family and worship? Rasing up your kids as true worshipers, from generation to generation…

    Mentoring strategies. diferences betwwen mentoring and discipeling..

    How to be a mentor…etc…

    God Bless

  14. auntjess January 9, 2009 at 8:41 PM #

    Hi, just a random thought:
    “From Wesley to WOW Worship”
    That title just came to my mind…. thought it might bring some inspiration…=)

  15. jesse January 9, 2009 at 9:41 PM #

    i’d like to hear Pat Sczebel teach a workshop. whatever that mite be.

  16. Terry Foss January 9, 2009 at 11:08 PM #

    I would love to see:
    1. A seminar on a typical week of a worship pastor. Planning, preparation, connecting with team members, practicing(instrument), personal study etc. How to fit it all in.
    I begin each week with a usual plan and prep schedule but when it comes to connecting with team memebers practicing(instrument) and for improvement knocking off all the books you recommend, I can’t get it done. I’d love to see a panel of worship pastors sharing what has worked and what hinders.

    2. A seminar on the “fear of man” and the worship leader.

    3. Using programming i.e. drum loops, synth souds (Reason, Ableton Live etc.) to enhance the band sound in worship.

    4. Verbal transitions in worship. How to write them effectively.

    5. Band on the Run….it’s just good.

    I’m looking foraward to my first Worship God conference. I’ve been listening to the online seminars for the last couple of years. Thanks for all you do Bob.

  17. Trillia January 9, 2009 at 11:10 PM #

    Hey Bob!

    Hope you are well. Mark Altrogge did a seminar at our church once and right now the entire topic escapes me but I remember a section of it that really stood out to me. He was talking about enjoying God and glorifying him while listening to secular music. He spoke about how we can praise God and give Him glory by acknowledging His creation and by enjoying music in general. Obviously Mark said it better. But- it was just a very encouraging and grace-filled seminar and it has stuck with me for years. So, I’d like to suggest Mark and maybe something about how to glorify God while enjoying secular music and also learn from secular music of the past and present to become better at the gift God has given…Hope that makes sense.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Emily January 10, 2009 at 10:26 AM #

    something that was really helpful for me last year were the songwriting evaluation seminars. i would love to hear some more thoughts on ways to improve in songwriting, especially if only one area is a strength. for example, i write lyrics but really hit a block when it comes to writing the music. i know there are probably others that are completely the other way around. i’d love to hear some ideas on how to balance those and grow as a songwriter. or ways to connect with others who have strengths in areas where I’m weaker.

    also, the seminar that Mark Altrogge and the Cooks gave on “what the Psalms teach us about songwriting” was great. I’d love to see another seminar like that.

  19. Larry Harrison January 10, 2009 at 10:54 AM #

    Here are some areas that would be helpful I think:

    1) If the church is to be multi-generational and the old are to mentor the young, how do we effectively keep everyone around the same ‘table of worship’? How do we teach the old and young to be tolerant of each other’s preferences? Just a real practical seminar on keeping our congregations together as much as possible in style and expression.

    2) A seminar on values of worship planning. What kind of values drive the corporate gathering of our churches each week? What are some very practical, modern day ‘regulative and/or normative principles’ type values that can help us keep from falling into the style and latest/greatest trap? I loved the 9 Tensions in worship section of your book Bob…maybe a seminar or two built around those tensions could be helpful.

    3) A seminar on leading and shepherding your worship ministry staff/leadership. How do you consistently challenge your staff/leaders spiritually, in leadership, in dreaming, etc? What are some team building exercises you incorporate? What are some traditions intentionally begun?

    4) A seminar for worship pastors that have been in their current role, at the same church for more than 10 years. How do you keep it fresh? How do you keep yourself from fallling into the ‘same old, same old’? What do you do when you’ve led beyond your dream or vision? How do you go beyond? How can you make sure the next 10 years are more effective and brighter than the previous 10? What are your ‘roadblocks’?

  20. Chris Scott January 10, 2009 at 11:05 AM #

    I LOVE the idea of “Jam Sessions”. I feel these are all great ideas and am excited to see what comes forth and goes into the conference. Can’t wait.

    In Christ,

  21. Daniel Baker January 10, 2009 at 1:14 PM #

    Bob, I think a cool 2-part seminar could be “1 Corinthians 11-14 and our Sunday Meeting.” Part 1 could be on 1 Cor 11 and the Lord’s Supper, Part 2 on 1 Cor 12-14 and spiritual gifts.

    Thanks for the work, bro. You rock….’heroically.’

  22. Zach Ramsay January 10, 2009 at 4:44 PM #

    1. How to choose worship songs that fit the culture of the church and ultimately edify participants through the lyrical worship of God.

    2. Transformation to understanding the difference between music for expression of self experience related to the Christian life and direct worship to God. Lots of worship leaders get the two confused and mix both in a worship service.

  23. Zach Nielsen January 10, 2009 at 5:25 PM #

    1. How to audition potential musicians. What does one look for? How do we determine who is in and who is not?

    2. How do we develop musicians who are not ready yet?

    3. How to pick good songs. What makes great church music great?

    4. How to manage time in a rehearsal.

    5. Something I am thinking about it how to shepherd my people when I already feel like I don’t have enough time to get things done musically. How do we establish good relationships with those we lead apart from the music?

    6. What about unbelievers on stage with a community of other believers that lead? A good thing or not?

  24. Ben Miller January 11, 2009 at 6:06 AM #

    I think a session on the Theology and Purpose of Corporate prayer. I think a lot of worship leaders (myself included sometimes) don’t prepare well enough for leading the congregation in corporate prayer because the purpose for it is misunderstood at times or a little misty in our minds. Sometimes worship leaders just use prayer as a transitional element, when it should be so much more.

    Also, the effective exhortations by Grant Layman from a number of years ago was a good seminar that I like to listen to on CD from time to time. A similar seminar would be great.

    One more: I really like the idea mentioned earlier about the “Intergenerational” worship. Sometimes as a young worship leader in a church committed to a contemporary style (still with the use of contemporized hymns), it is difficult to discern where I am holding fast to the commitment of the church or selfishly defending my preference as the way we should express ourselves.

  25. Lisa January 11, 2009 at 3:49 PM #

    Thanks for asking, Bob. We had 12 people attend a wide variety of workshops last year, and not one was a disappointment. I hope many workshops will be repeated. A few other thoughts –

    1. Using hymns in contemporary worship – both the why & how of it, including demonstrations of ways to incorporate both traditional & non-traditional versions of hymns into the service.

    2. Visual media and worship – suggestions on how to enhance rather than distract from worship using projection and/or video.

    3. I’d love to get some real-time feedback for our church’s musicisians. What about a session led by you & your team, where music team leaders and/or teams agreed to go under the microscope. They could lead a song for everyone else, then you folks could give feedback. Hey, if nothing else, we’d grow in humility!

    Looking forward to WG09,

  26. Bryan Nelson January 11, 2009 at 10:49 PM #

    Syncing your band to technology…loops, metronomes, video click-track.

  27. Greg January 12, 2009 at 1:43 PM #

    There are some sweet ideas so far…and I’m a little late in the comments, but I would love a seminar on doing theology through the arts. That’s a huge area and could be done just theologically, or could be done practically, and doesn’t have to limit itself to just music, even though there’s more than enough to go into with music.
    Basically, how can the arts give us information on who God is, who we are and what this world is all about?

  28. Tom Esch January 13, 2009 at 1:14 AM #

    For the tech teams, sessions on serving are always welcome. One session from a past conference was called Santification Through Serving by Mark Mitchell, addressing matters of the heart — still my favorite download from the SGM website (I like several of yours too, Bob!). It really impacted me personally and addressed many questions I had about serving as a tech.

  29. JC January 13, 2009 at 10:17 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    although the following suggestions probably aren’t full workshops/seminars in and of themselves, it would be great to see them covered somewhere:

    1) exploring the fine line between “exhorting” and “preaching” and how that line affects what a worship leader’s role is during worship service

    2) not to propagate stereotypes, but i think there is a real schism between classically trained musicians and “informally” trained worship musicians and how they can learn from one another rather than be tempted to look down on the other group or resent “musical snobbery”.


  30. Jamie Brown January 13, 2009 at 10:53 AM #

    Hi Bob —

    Some ideas:

    (1) Heart Attitudes for the Worship Team
    – This one never gets old.

    (2) Avoiding Burnout
    – For musicians and singers who have been on the team for a while. How do you avoid getting weary, feeling like your participation is a “gig”, or thinking the church won’t survive with you?

    (3) How a Worship Pastor should spend his week.
    – More on the administrative side of things. How should we spend our time? How can we be efficient?

    (4) The Solo Instrument in the context of a worship team

    (5) Hand Percussion Seminar
    – Many people think they can play hand percussion because they can bang on something and keep time. How can drummers play congas/djembe more skillfully than just playing like they would on the dashboard of their car?

    (6) How to Have Hard Conversations (for worship leaders)
    – Singers who think they can sing but they can’t, or need improvement
    – Musicians who are becoming divas
    – Team members who offer us criticism (warranted or unwarranted)
    – Pastors who (we think) don’t “get it”
    – Congregation members who are hostile, off base in their criticism, or off base in their appreciation (i.e. you really made God’s glory fall today!)

    (7) Acoustic Guitar – How to get past playing OK

    (8) Bass guitar – How to become a bass player drummers will love

    (9) How to lead worship in the context of the church year
    – For those of us who lead at more liturgical churches. How to lead/pick songs for seasons like Lent, Holy Week, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, etc.

    (10) Leadership and Management 101
    – Many worship leaders (full or part-time) are thrown into situations where they have to manage a large number of volunteers and/or staff, supervise volunteers and/or staff, create budgets, develop long-term plans, etc. How do we manage and supervise staff effectively?

    • Bob Kauflin January 13, 2009 at 11:25 AM #

      These ideas are excellent. And in case you’re wondering, I’m still taking contributions…

  31. BC January 13, 2009 at 7:09 PM #

    Hey Bob how’s it going?

    Two fairly random topics that came to mind:
    1. Reciting memorized Scripture is incorporated into corporate worship. I loved hearing whoever it was this past New Attitude recite Psalm 19; in my opinion that is the best thing I can hear (and anyone else who is one with Christ) – someone who has stored the word of God in their hearts now proclaiming that throughout the body of Christ.

    2. Dancing to corporate worship (Psalm 149:3). Random? Very, but some folks (myself included) doesn’t really know what that’s like, and how that can be done while maintaining order throughout corporate worship.

    Some food for thought… thanks for the consideration!

    Take care,


  32. Sarita January 13, 2009 at 8:39 PM #

    I really appreciated the songwriting workshops of last year and also some of the previous years that you’ve graciously made available online and would love the evaluations to continue – maybe with more time as Mark was so overstretched last year trying to fit everyone in.

    Maybe several songwriters could do evalutaions simultaneously and we’re notified which group we need to go to that session? This would also allow for those who write in different styles to be best matched to similar writers but that would mean more songwriters being available to help us!

    I’d also be interested in sessions that covered things like:

    1) How to arrange and/or record a new song to make it sound current & fresh without losing musical integrity trying to be popular for the sake of it.

    2) How to support new writers who are in small churches and/or are not singers/worship leaders.

    3) Perseverance – personally and in worship, especially for leaders who feel under attack from their pastor or congregation members (sadly that happens).

    4) How to introduce more songs of repentance, sorrow and crying to the Lord from pain. So many of our church are suffering in some way but so little of our church music allows us to cry to the Lord from that pain. It’s not as simple as writing a few songs that cover that subject as these types of songs also need to be accepted by worship leaders and fit within the overall structure of the service and that’s tough to do as a worship leader or a songwriter. Any advice appreciated!

    5) Using the keyboard/piano as a rhythm instrument – styles and techniques. This would be especially useful for the classically trained who now play in a band and don’t need to play the tune anymore!

    Basically, anything to do with songwriting, keyboards and using our suffering in worship would be fantastic.

    As for other speakers – I’d love to see some other well-known songwriters. Stuart Townsend’s seminar online is brilliant (for example).

    Also – maybe you could have a board or something somewhere that people could use to link up with others. A lyricist could request a composer, a songwriter could request a singer and/or arranger, a worship leader in a small church might request a mentor from another small church environment etc. A chance for people to meet and make contacts while at the conference and maybe some new working/discipling relationships could be created?

    Oops – sorry to write so much – I do tend to ramble!

    THANKS for all the hard work you do for us on behalf of our Savior

  33. Kyle January 13, 2009 at 11:05 PM #

    Not sure how widely applicable this would be, but since you’re asking, an issue I face in my ministry continually is how to seamlessly and effectively incorporate a choir (which has been around for years) into a contemporary band-led corporate worship ministry.

    Also would love some specific helps and how-to’s about verbal exhortations during congregational singing.

  34. Michael Schutz January 13, 2009 at 11:52 PM #

    Hi Bob, thanks for opening this up! I’d just like to echo JC’s 2 requests, and offer a specific example on each.

    For his #1, I went to another church on a recent Sunday off (I’m a full-time Worship Pastor) and during the first song of the church’s songs during the offering, the worship leader stopped because enough people weren’t singing and “exhorted” them to make him believe they were into it. From what I hear that type of thing is common, but it felt more belittling than encouraging.

    On #2, connecting those groups is tricky. A practical example of this is I develop my own lead sheets for our ministry for a number of reasons, but one is to help those who don’t read music well to learn how to do it, and for those who do, to learn more quickly. But I have seen personally the “looking down” going both ways, and there can be tension there.

    And then, one suggestion of my own, related to Jamie’s #9 – writing for local contexts, especially in more liturgical settings. In my Lutheran tribe, there is a great lack of songs appropriate for different liturgical settings, which is a challenge (because for those who rely on the CCLI Top 25, there’s really nothing there) and an opportunity (to engage in writing with those who have similar contexts). So maybe a seminar on writing? Either for local contexts in general (how to speak to your local context in song), or specifically in the more liturgical/church year contexts.


  35. Sarah January 14, 2009 at 9:35 AM #

    Really excited about WG09 and looking forward to what God will do there!
    As a vocalist, it would be really helpful to have a session on expanding your use of different vocal techniques, and also tips on how to nail the intro when starting to sing the song.

  36. Shannon Lewis January 14, 2009 at 9:48 AM #

    I was VERY blessed by the songwriting seminars at ’08, and the song ‘critique’ sessions. I would love to see something similar again this year (if I am able to swing it – it’s not in our church’s budget, but I think I’m going to do it myself). The practical sessions were some of my favorites, honestly.

    I hope you’re well…


  37. Jonathan Hunt January 14, 2009 at 4:04 PM #

    I think a cool workshop would be “Practical ways to lead your team other than Sunday morning.” In other words I believe that one area where I lack, and many lack is the area of leading your team spiritually throughout the week.

  38. B. January 14, 2009 at 9:50 PM #

    Hey Bob,

    First off let me say that I am a big fan of Sovereign Grace Ministries even though I don’t think I would consider myself as ‘Reformed’ but I love how you guys are passionate for Truth and passionate for the Spirit. I also like the gracious vibe that you guys have, from some of the audio I have listened to.
    What about a workshop on how worship and evangelism and spiritual warfare are connected? Or how Worship is the fuel for evangelism and missions and how the area of spiritual warfare comes into the picture. Or what about something on the Spirit-filled worshipper?

  39. Scott January 15, 2009 at 11:13 AM #

    Hi Bob-

    Jamie’s post (#31), point #2 would be an interesting and beneficial talk. The balancing act between admin, music prep and spiritual is always tricky for me. I would encourage you and your staff to address this topic. I will be attending my first WorshipGod Conference this year and am looking forward to the time of worship, instruction and renewal.

  40. Mark Pritchard January 15, 2009 at 11:49 AM #

    How about a workshop on how much experience a person should have to lead worship.

    I am the Worship and Arts pastor at our church, and I have been approached by the Pastor to take a college class on music theory. I have been leading praise and worship since 1995 at a different church before coming here in 2006. Where should my skill level be for a paid servant of God. I want to give my all to Him, but need some help.

  41. Craig Sterling January 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM #

    Hi Bob –

    I am amazed how you are able to take so many suggestions, mull them around with thought and much prayer and discern the best course of action for the conference – oh, and then know exactly which speakers to pair with the topics. May God continue to give you much wisdom and grace.

    One topic I would appreciate is how to approach worship in the small group setting; at CLC this would be our care groups. Sometimes we do not have the skilled musicians or instrumentation we are so accustomed to. People really seem to try to engage, but there is more trying than actually engaging our magnificent God.

    A second topic to consider might be how to teach/lead those with special needs during times of praise. Folks with hearing impairments, vision impairments, cognitive disabilities, limited mobility, and various other temporary and permanent disabilities may not be able to fully engage during congregational singing. How can leaders best help these folks to encounter God in the church setting?

  42. Tom Barrett January 15, 2009 at 5:21 PM #

    This thread is making me really sad because I’m from Australia and won’t be able to get to the conference, but every single one of these topics is something I want to learn about!!

    So my suggestion is to make full video of all the seminars available online (not a small task, I realise!)

    Praise the Lord for Sovereign Grace music, all the fellow-workers posting above, and this blog!

    • Bob Kauflin January 15, 2009 at 5:47 PM #

      Tom, I hope to get more on video this year. We’re even talking about live streaming. Thanks for the encouragement.

  43. John January 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM #

    A workshop on how to creatively use MediaShout (or similar softwares) during worship service.

    A workshop on how to record live music and/or a full worship service (audio and video).

  44. Shawn January 16, 2009 at 9:47 PM #

    I believe many would benefit from a seminar that addresses balancing worship (through music) ministry and other assigned ministries (outreach, Senior Adults, publication, Website, and Upward Basketball).

    • Bob Kauflin January 17, 2009 at 9:52 AM #

      Shawn and others, thanks for these very helpful ideas. Obviously won’t be able to incorporate all of them, but it’s giving me an idea of what kinds of topics will serve folks.

  45. Terry Foss January 19, 2009 at 8:38 PM #

    I know I’ve already pu this in a previous post a couple of weeks ago. But now I’ve finished reading “When People are Big and God is Small”. A seminar on the “fear of man” would be so helpful.
    Thanks for the recommendation Bob!

  46. Aaron Bower January 22, 2009 at 8:23 AM #

    As a new ‘music guy’ (just finished year #1) I would be interested in a discussion about navigating the tension between leading people in the worship of God vs. manipulating them into an experience that feels like worship. This is my greatest caution to myself as I seek to raise the affections of God’s people unto him. Some conversation on the postures of worship may also be helpful.

  47. Michael Souders January 26, 2009 at 6:50 AM #

    Wow, I was looking at all these great responses, and one that seems elusive and yet on the hearts of several people I’ve heard from at our church is “worship dance”. I saw the comment above about dance in corporate worship, but I was thinking more along the lines of WITH the worship team. Any thoughts? Can this be an appropriate and tasteful way to enhance worship? And how do you incorporate it without being overdone? This would be a huge eye opener.

  48. Mike Ruel January 27, 2009 at 6:33 AM #

    Something we are starting to wrestle with, forgive me if some of this has been discussed already, but this is coming up more and more these days —

    Establishing practical working guidelines for serving with regard to someone’s walk with the Lord. What about those that are “struggling” but so want to return to the Lord…and are saying music will help them and they want to be on the team?

    What about those on the team who’s only service is worship and may not be around at all any other times?

    What about those who have no family support for their involvement in ministry?

    What about those who fall into sin?

    What does judging fruit and judging the heart look like?

    How do we communicate this to folks without turning them off and having them leave the church entirely and then have no walk with Him?

    In a relatively small church with no full time worship pastor, the only touch point with Him may very well be the worship ministry – how should we effectively mentor, shepherd, disciple them into seeing more of Him?


    • Bob Kauflin January 27, 2009 at 9:40 AM #

      Mike, very helpful thoughts. I hope to have one of the workshops at the conference address some of these questions.

  49. Lauren Cremean January 27, 2009 at 12:22 PM #

    First of all, is the conference really August 5-9 now, or is that a typo??

    I think it would be great if someone led a seminar on youth-led worship. There are several young people from my church who are considering attending this year, and we’d really appreciate a message geared towards us. (not to sound selfish or anything… there’s “heroic worship” for ya’)

    • Bob Kauflin January 27, 2009 at 1:49 PM #

      Lauren, thanks for the typo info. We’re planning on a seminar for youth bands.

  50. Randy Mattson January 30, 2009 at 9:32 AM #


    Suggest “getting started” seminar for small churches or college/high school ministries making the transition into some contemporary worship. Where do you start? What equipment should you buy? Electronic drums? (no!!), keyboards, amps, drum kits (yes!), PA’s etc.

    I think folks just starting out are intimidated by the kinds of choices they need to make and the variety of things to sift through. For better or worse they need guidance and a place to start. (Who would be better than Roger for this?)

    Also would like to see some musical direction for rhythm sections. Again, younger folks just need a place to start. They need basic direction for combining piano/guitar, bass/drums etc. The idea that rhythm section instruments have various roles might be helpful.

    Also think there is lots of (bad) ideas about the necessity for everyone to have a monitor and their own customized, gift-wrapped monitor mix. Teams that don’t need monitors but instead need repititions and practice time often spend a disproportionate amount of their precious time together trying to solve technical issues. Our smallish 200-seat sanctuary doesn’t need instruments amplified (again) through the PA. Guest musicians are often surprised about this choice. I think it is the right choice for us and lots of other churches that have over-tech’ed themselves. PA’s are for sound reinforcement, not sound creation. I remember Chick Corea’s Acoustic band (trio) deciding not to use monitors at all on their original tour, instead playing acoustically, (bass amp of course), adjusting their own playing volume for whatever was appropriate. Sorry to ramble here.

    Our team has been so fortunate to attend the last two conferences. I find myself re-listening to messages while working in the kitchen.

    Our team and church have benefitted greatly from Sovereign Grace’s choice to publish music that accurately reflects your recordings.

    Randy Mattson
    Reston Presbyterian Church
    Reston, VA

    • Bob Kauflin January 30, 2009 at 10:27 AM #


      Thanks for your encouraging words. These are great ideas. I agree with what you’re saying about monitors. Every situation demands something different, and we don’t have to follow some unwritten rule book that says we have to have the best technology available…

  51. daniel January 30, 2009 at 4:38 PM #

    It’s great to hear that you’ll be doing a worshipGod conference this year.

    I would love to hear you talk about the one another’s in musical worship…and how that might affect practical things like lighting/video/sound/song selection…..

    thanks for asking.

  52. Stefani February 2, 2009 at 12:24 AM #

    We do a combination of choruses and hymns. We are exploring ways to put together quick arrangements of hymns. I would appreciate ideas on modernizing hymn arrangements, while keeping the framework of the hymns in place.
    Thanks for all you do!

  53. Boyet Lisbe March 5, 2009 at 8:45 AM #

    Hi Bob,

    Do you have a plan to bring this kind of seminar to Asia in the future? I’m from the Philippines and I’ve heard about this seminar about 3-4 years ago but I’ve noticed that it’s only done in the U.S. I am sure that believers and churches in Asia will also benefit a lot if you’d bring this seminar to us. It’s very expensive to go to the U.S plus the visa is also a problem. I hope to hear from you about this. Thank you and I have been blessed by your blogs and I already have a copy of your book Worship Matters. May God continually bless you as you honor him with your life and ministry. :-)

    • Bob Kauflin March 5, 2009 at 11:22 AM #


      Very encouraged by your email. At this point we don’t have the resources to hold a conference in Asia. I pray that the resources we provide via the internet will be helpful in the meantime. Thanks again for asking.

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