Seminar Ideas for WorshipGod East and West

photoWG11-0374Okay, a very brief post today. The main content is going to come from you.

What seminars would you like to see offered at WorshipGod East and West?

Feel free to suggest speakers as well as topics. We plan on covering vocal skills, tech skills, instrument skills, songwriting, as well as some general topics.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

41 Responses to Seminar Ideas for WorshipGod East and West

  1. J. January 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM #

    I was encouraged last time by a session for those leading in smaller churches, and would love more sessions specific to that demographic. My church isn’t tiny–there are probably 300ish on a Sunday, but our resources (especially tech-wise) are limited. And I’m the only worship person on staff, and only work part-time.

    Also interested in how to communicate to my church the things I know about worship: how do I effectively communicate that worship is more than just “we sing songs on Sunday because that’s what we do at church” without a lecture between songs?

    And sessions on spiritual encouragement as well as staving off burn-out are always good, for those who are in that season.

    And how to care for my team.

    Thanks for listening!

  2. Paul Ellsworth January 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM #

    Assortment of things that sound interesting to me (or guesses based on who is planning on coming from my church):

    * Practical instrumentation stuff: guitar and piano in contemporary worship settings (e.g., what to do with two electric guitars, with electric + acoustic, that sort of thing)
    * Song leading
    * Mixing – how to setup for practice, what should be done the morning-of, etc…
    * Anything related to mindset-type-things for those leading (horizontal vs. vertical, “performing” without giving a “performance,” those sorts of things… in other words, “I am playing guitar [or singing or whatever]… what is the purpose for me being up here anyways”
    * About the tension of relying on Jesus and the Spirit for worship, yet being practiced and ready and planning, as best we can, for how to most effectively lead the congregation to musically worship Christ.

  3. Lindele Elliott January 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM #

    How to write piano scores that don’t sound completely lame, from lead sheets or chord charts.

  4. Dave January 23, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    Lots of great seminars- it’s hard to think of more. The only two things I can think of would be either a walk-through of the history of Contemporary Worship with what we can learn from each movement or an introduction to a number of great sources for new music that most people may not know about.

  5. JoeS January 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM #

    I always need help in the areas of recruiting and developing musicians, and also providing spiritual leadership to the team. (Our rehearsals are always crunched for time so we often rush straight into playing and singing)

  6. Chris Edwards January 23, 2013 at 3:59 PM #

    How about something on using loops, samples and sequenced tracks in a ‘live worship’ setting?
    Both the practicalities (ie how to actually do it), and the principles (ie what are the potential benefits and pitfalls).

    PS so good to have all the seminars up online last time!

  7. Joel Cook January 23, 2013 at 4:18 PM #

    I was thinking similar to Joe S: how do you train others in leadership and musical skill? When is it appropriate to tell someone to go take lessons and come back in 6 months? And things like that.

    The seminar that I probably got the most out of last year was the practical guitar session with the guitarist from Enfield. In the same vein, I would be interested in something that would help and acoustic person like me transition to the electric world (and vice versa for others).

    Lastly, another idea is practical tips for arranging songs using various kinds of musicians. For instance, if you have just a guitar and two singers, here’s how you can still make this song dynamic and exciting. Or if you have a violin, a tambourine, and a piano, here’s how you can keep each verse interesting. Or, regardless of instrumentation, here’s a trick for making it sound really cool going into a chorus, or how to do a sudden acapella moment.

  8. Dustin January 23, 2013 at 8:59 PM #

    -Coordinating dynamics with a band (i.e. not doing the same thing all the time, but also playing songs consistently so that the band and congregation can track along)
    -How to guide during music in worship without being too wordy
    -Building a band
    -Developing musicians in a small church setting (i.e. tryouts, lessons, etc.)

    Thanks Bob! Very excited for the conferences. :-D

  9. Ryan Stockton January 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM #

    I had mentioned this in your last posting, Bob, so apologies for sounding like a broken record, but perhaps a seminar on leading worship in a house-church environment? We have been doing that for almost a year after having been a more “traditional” church since our founding. Anyway, any thoughts, advice, etc… about this sort of set up would be great. Thanks.

  10. Jimmy M. January 23, 2013 at 9:47 PM #

    I found your ‘Band on the Run’ seminars extremely helpful for leading a band and arraigning music. Please do that seminar again. Thank!

  11. Sam January 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM #

    1) How to be creative in worship presentation with no tech skills and no money.

    2) How to solve sound problems in a crappy old building with, again, no money. (For instance, this winter, we can improve our sound system or we can replace the dead HVAC system. Reckon where the money’s going?)

  12. CherylB January 23, 2013 at 11:50 PM #

    I would love to hear a well-taught seminar on any of the following:

    1. Recruiting, or how to attract team members and KEEP them.
    2. Leading through adversity.
    3. How to instill “best practices” or incorporating useful professional processes in setup and soundcheck; etiquette for rehearsals.


  13. Daniel Baker January 24, 2013 at 2:15 PM #

    There’s always an enormous selection of quality offerings, but here are some that come to mind:
    1. How to effectively incorporate the ordinances into our worship–baptism, Lord’s Supper;
    2. A Theology of Worship from the Psalms;
    3. 1 Corinthians 14 and what is says about being both spontaneous and orderly in our churches;
    4. Key elements in creating a truly charismatic church–not just in theology, but in practice;
    5. The pros and cons of formal liturgy.

    Thanks for the hard work, Bob. Your lifelong diligence and fruitfulness is exemplary!

  14. M. January 24, 2013 at 2:26 PM #

    More guitar seminars by Patrick Anderson. His practical teaching (on chord voicings) and mammoth handout have served me well in improving my understanding and skill in playing guitar.

    This is a sensitive issue that I can’t quite wrap my head around. I ask this with humility after wrestling in prayer over my own heart attitude on this for years. A church musician was placed in a worship leading role when the church was small and has continued to maintain that position over the years. Though a good musician, he lacks skills of spiritual leadership and communication. We sing rich gospel centered songs & hymns which carry our worship. However, worship in our church has been very systematic and unchanged for years. As a result, our team is not spiritually nurtured, and therefore, lacks unity and growth.

    I am not really sure what I am asking for here. Perhaps the request is twofold: 1/ for worship leaders – practical teaching about their primary pastoral function of caring for peoples souls in the church and on the team; 2/ for worship team members – how to nurture and encourage the leader and other team members without assuming a pastoral role. This is actually where I have been stymied on this issue for years. Any Biblical and practical teaching on this would be gratefully appreciated.

  15. Riley January 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM #

    I would like to suggest Tommy Green. Great guy with a true fire for God. He is the lead vocalist of the band “Sleeping Giant”, A great band that connects with us teens everywhere. Please consider this awesome man of God for the conference.

  16. Joey January 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM #

    This might be a little “outside of the box” of the normal seminars, but in light of the theme of the conference being “Called to be Faithful”, how about a seminar on being a faithful leader of a life of worship in our homes? The main text can be Duet. 6:4-9.


  17. Neill January 25, 2013 at 1:42 AM #

    Something that any music leader will have to deal with sooner or later, whether by choice or because no one else is available to help lead or there is just no one else in the church, is the privilege of leading the congregation by oneself. No band, no extra stuff to cover a multitude of mistakes, just one guy (and probably an instrument). This situation seems to have some unique challenges. Most music guys usually aren’t monologic preachers.

    So I guess, “how to lead effectively, alone.”

    Thanks for doing this. I’m excited for whatever ends up on the list!

  18. Jefferson Bennett January 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM #

    Laura Story on songwriting. She does a songwriting session that is so good. Mainly: go to the Scriptures. I haven’t heard the session before, but Laura’s a friend and is a great encouragement in both songwriting and also female leadership that is godly and biblical, as she leads worship for a PCA church.

    Looking forward to the conference, I think our volunteers will greatly benefit from the time. Thanks for the hard work and thought into this guys!

  19. Jack Wickwire January 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM #

    Why Music ministry is a teaching ministry.

    Using music to memorize Scripture. (calling Altrogge)

    John Standefer does a wonderful job teaching praise guitar.

  20. Dan January 25, 2013 at 10:59 PM #

    Maybe Patrick Anderson and/or Jonathan Baird on advanced electric guitar…perhaps tips on developing parts or working on complementing other instruments/guitars, etc.

    I think one that is essential would be the “How to put together a worship set” not too dissimilar from what Bob did last conference.

  21. Rick January 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM #

    Cultivating Worship in Small Group Gatherings

    Personal Struggles and Temptations of Church Planting Worship Leaders

  22. Lindsay T January 28, 2013 at 1:58 AM #

    I would love to attend a session on the lay person who does not typically sing, play, or lead worship but still actively participate in preparing my heart, praying for the worship leader, etc.

  23. Mary January 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM #

    I love JoeS’ idea of recruiting/developing team members and how to help them spiritually grow.

    Another idea: how to effectively use liturgy in a worship service.

  24. Neill January 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM #

    Also: how to effectively lead music for kids without feeling like I have to wear a clown suit or something.

    • Bob Kauflin January 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

      Neill, there will be a seminar on how to lead a Christ-exalting children’s ministry.

  25. Rob January 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM #

    Hymnology, history of Christian worship, how to shepherd the team, devotionals for rehearsal/sunday morning, crash courses on sound so the worship leaders can help the sound guys (even if just a little bit). The thinking surgically while leading litugically by Jamie Brown was a great resource, so things similar to that would be good

  26. Justin Parrish January 29, 2013 at 9:04 AM #

    I’d like to see a seminar that focuses on church discipline and accountability and how that looks in relation to a worship leader and his team.

  27. Michael January 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM #

    How about something on blended worship? Or wisely leading a traditional congregation to embrace a blended service.

  28. Earl Swigert January 31, 2013 at 12:03 AM #

    I would love to see something on engaging the congregation with Jesus directly during worship. What methods do you use to try to engage people more directly to God when leading? How can we step back more and put God further in front of us without sacrificing quality?

  29. RJ Grunewald February 1, 2013 at 4:07 PM #

    I’d love to see something regarding using media/visual arts in worship. Video production, graphic design, staging, lighting, etc…

  30. Michael Sanelli February 4, 2013 at 5:07 PM #

    It would be very helpful to have a session on Band Dynamics: that is a session specifically speaking to band members, teaching them to be careful listeners of the other musicians (especially ones in your same eq range) and so they can learn to think through dynamics of a song on their own (ie. that they would consider not playing at all in Verse 2 and the Chorus, or almost nothing in an entire song, etc.).

    The issues I’m thinking of is people playing to much but just telling them that they’re playing to much doesn’t help. I take lots of time in our mid-week practices to “arrange” the music (having certain instruments drop out at certain times) but it would take way to long to tell each of them when to play and when not to play and how to interact with the other musicians.

    I have pretty good musicians (as far as knowing their own instrument and being pretty good at it) but not the best “band players” who play well WITH other players.

    This would be a great resource and teaching tool to take them through if it was specific to the musicians and not the leader.

  31. Michael Sanelli February 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM #

    How about “A Biblical Theology of Worship”? Maybe David Peterson (who wrote Engaging With God) could take a couple Seminars and walk through the Biblical theology of Worship. That would be awesome.

    Another guy that would be great at teaching this would be Ryan Rippee (he’s a Prof at a local Seminary and a Bible School here in the CA Bay Area). He’s working on his PhD under Bruce Ware right now. He’s a Pastor at Great guy. He teaches the Theology of Worship class there.

  32. Christopher Croley February 4, 2013 at 6:53 PM #

    I would personally appreciate aid in learning how to rest well and how to balance for a bivocational Pastor/Leader. How to lead and develop a team in the midst of an already full-time (or more) schedule.

  33. Carri February 5, 2013 at 3:32 AM #

    I think the greatest ministry that goes on in a worship team beyond Sunday, is learning to be a team player with godly attitudes, learning humility and seeing the big picture. That would be a good topic (heart issues) You can be an older Christian and still not be very mature in your understanding of serving together as a team without an agenda. Also, the sometimes tension between the worship leader and the sound man. Who has the authority to say how the sound should be EQed and other issues that arise as a power struggle. What to do when your sound man doesn’t like you.

  34. Carri February 5, 2013 at 3:47 AM #

    Oops thought of some more. This is the hardest thing for me as a worship leader because I feel insecure as to being any kind of an authority on singing: How to help your singers sing better. How to tell them their vibrato is too strong, they aren’t blending, their phrasing is off, They’re too harsh or loud without them being offended or embarrassed in front of others. Is there a tactful way of bringing these things up at rehearsals so that we can all grow in our craft? Are there exercises we can all do that in a round about way teach these important aspects? I am not the greatest singer but I have a really good ear and that is my only confidence. Should teams listen to their live Sunday worship recordings and glean from them?

  35. Mike February 6, 2013 at 10:34 AM #

    I loved the seminars I attended last time around! In a world of “practical” conferences where one can learn all sorts of instrumental and sound tips and tricks, a conference that refocused our priorities and purpose on the Word of God was so very refreshing and needed in my life. I can go to Guitar Center or a local school for practical tips on playing or singing. As a worship leader, I learn each week that it is so much more than leading a good “set.” So there is suggestion one: seminars that focus on our hearts on God and our minds on His Word.

    A second area that I think worship leaders need training is how to reach and teach multiple generations. (Perhaps this is my “practical” suggestion.) I’ll be honest. I’m most comfortable working with a band of 30ish or 40ish year-olds that all speak the same language, all agree on the type of chart we want to use, and understand my illustration when I bring up a song from the 80’s or 90’s. But, I’m called to leading more than just people like me.

    In my current position, I’ve been working hard on making a connection with and discipling younger musicians. After four years, it is exciting to see a strong team of youth who lead their own Wednesday evening worship yet qualified members of that group also serve as leaders on our adult Sunday morning team and play the role of coach and mentor to the less experienced on the youth’s Wednesday team. God has blessed both teams (adult and teens) through this. I’d love to learn from and dialogue with others who are working with multiple generations in ways like this or new and creative ways I’ve never experienced. I’d love to hear from others who have implemented “how to play the guitar programs” or simple tips in how to coach and shepherd “future” worship leaders.

    This can be flipped the other direction as well. How are we mentoring and encouraging our older talented musicians and worship leaders in our churches?

  36. Drew M. February 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM #

    I’d love to get more ideas on how to incorporate other “arts” in the service that would engage people with God – besides music. i.e. – painting, sculpting, photography, dance, etc.
    I believe worship encompasses all the senses and I’d love to find creative ways on engaging those in a worship service.

  37. Angelica February 10, 2013 at 2:02 PM #

    I have been blessed by the Sovereign Grace kid’s albums. At our church we have whole family worship (no childcare) every other Sunday. How can we engage every age together in musical worship? Or how can we utilize music to preach the gospel and lead children to Behold God?

  38. Paul Huxley February 12, 2013 at 2:08 PM #

    I’d love one on ‘how to sing if you’re not brilliant at singing’.

    In other words – simple stuff on improving your voice if you’re leading worship. I play guitar (mainly) and sing (somewhat reluctantly) but feel the need to improve the latter.

  39. Hope February 18, 2013 at 12:59 AM #

    Best practices in the areas of: Music Selection, Musician Development, Recruiting talented folks, time management for practices.

  40. Allen Kelly March 19, 2013 at 5:27 AM #

    Don’t know whether their is still room but may I suggest:
    Mount Zion: The Place of Worship Heb 12:22-27

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