Sing Unto the Lord

Bernies 2 (revenge of bernie)
October 14, 2008, 9:42 am
Filed under: Doing music

Haven’t blogged in ages. Heaps on. Thinking about heaps of stuff. This weekend coming is our 2nd muso weekend for the year. The first one (weekend at Bernies) was a hit. We had a mad time being encouraged from the Bible, encouraging one another and re-focussing on our vision.
Pray for this weekend that it would be another killer time.
I’ll be putting together a little bit of material for it and hopefully will post some of it next week.


Jacob I loved
June 27, 2008, 9:54 am
Filed under: Doing music

Well a few weeks ago I asked about bands having their own names and identities in order to avoid the ‘bob’s band’ syndrome. Tonight the first of our nitechurch bands to take on a name are playing at Coast Youth Revolution (CY revolution is a combined youth event with churches from Gosford to Newcastle hosted by our church).
While I’m not totally sold out on the name ‘Jacob I loved’ yet, I love that there is a name. Jacob I loved play kind of blocparty/killers-esque rock stuff. Hopefully we’ll record something tonight as a bit of a teaser for nitechurch live.

Syd Anglicans making music
June 3, 2008, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Doing music, Thinking Music

A recent article on Sydney Anglicans dot net speaks of a couple of ministries where music is playing a large role. In particular the Dean is supporting Richard Maegraith in his ministry to Jazz musos in and around Sydney. I reckon this is a sweet thing to be highlighting. We have a band at nitechurch called Dissonance who play for our evangelistic cafe nites and are looking to get some more gigs. They are a tight jazz standard band and I can hook you up if you want some jazz action. We got Dissonance started because we saw a need to have good music at our events. We don’t want to put off musically minded people by having sub-par thrown together stuff.

I’m intrigued though why Christians always seem to go for jazz. I love it. But where are the evangelical industrial goth bands? Is it because we are all nerdy and so is Jazz?

Pride, Humility and my suckiness
June 2, 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: Doing music

I don’t know if you have experienced something similar to this but… Last week I found out I was leading on Sunday night at nitechurch. I was stoked because I haven’t had an opportunity to lead in a little while. I have been thinking lots about what it means to lead people in response. I thought ‘woo hoo. Here is an opportunity to use all this stuff I’ve been thinking about.’ I even had a new song to teach that I thought would go down really well. It fitted with what we were going to be looking at in the Bible and I thought it would be relatively easy to pick up.

It got to Sunday and I turned up at 4. We spent an hour setting up so we didn’t get to start practising the song till 5. Although the singers were saying that it wasn’t enough time to learn it properly, I just pressed on thinking that we’d be ok on the night. I got stressed out because the computer wasn’t working so we couldn’t record. When I got up to start singing with the church I was totally bummed. Nothing was going as I wanted. Then song after song I led badly I stuffed intros. Because we hadn’t had good rehearsal time the band forgot what we were doing. I got so angry at myself during the whole night.

At the end of the night I was really down. This isn’t how its all supposed to be I thought. We are supposed to rock out. And then it hit me…

Why am I even doing what I’m doing? Where was my heart of worship? Where was my humble attitude? Where were my prayers? Did I really think that on my own I could do anything remotely good? I forgot my God. He uses the worst of our offerings to bring his word to people’s hearts. Who am I to think that I can do anything right – ever?

True worship of God begins and ends with humility. Realising that we are nothing and God is EVERYTHING! How can I lead people to see God’s greatness and their vulnerability, blindness, helplessness – their need for him – if I am relying on my own great efforts and putting all my trust in myself. How can I do anything without prayer?

Thankfully true worship doesn’t depend on me. It would never happen if it did. Worship happens when the Spirit works in peoples hearts to make them see God for who he is and to compel them to live unswervingly for him. Praise God and pray for my humility.

Weekend at Bernies
May 19, 2008, 11:41 am
Filed under: Doing music

This weekend was the first in what we hope will become a bit of a tradition at our church. The musos from Nitechurch, Saturday EV and the Sunday morning congregations went away to Nelson’s Bay for Friday night. It was unreal to just relax and refresh each other. We spent a bit of time singing praise together, reading, praying and sharing songs. Because our church is committed to writing our own songs, we often miss what other congregations are writing. It was cool to teach each other.

It was also cool to not do something ‘rehearsally’. We spend so much of our time together practising new songs, talking about our method, our arrangements, it was refreshing to just muck around together.

We also spent some time reflecting over how this quarter has gone so far. We have been experimenting a bit with our bands, particularly in terms of genre. Last night Max and his band played around the theme of Christ and his glory. You can download ‘Glory to the Lamb’, a song written in our church from

the inner workings
April 8, 2008, 8:09 am
Filed under: Doing music

As I’m writing this I am admiring the new WordPress dashboard. It looks cool but you won’t be able to see it unless you are on WordPress.

I don’t know what your schedules are like but this is the time of year when we write new rosters at nitechurch. We have decided that across the board (sound, music, set-up, pack-up, mc etc.) we would work on a quarter basis. So we will have four rosters: Jan – Mar, Apr – Jun, Jul – Sept, Oct – Dec. This means two things. It firstly means that those writing rosters and trying to get availability and the rest have a big job as they need to do it four times in a year. The second reason – and the reason why we do it this way – is because it allows teams to spend time regularly assessing the way things have been going and reforging direction for the next three months. It allows people to step out of a certain ministry and step back in again if they want after not too long. It also gives time to pick up new servants and incorporate them into the new roster.

In the music team we have a meeting every quarter to go over expectations, vision and future direction. It helps us think intentionally about our area of ministry. At this meeting I also encourage people to think and pray about their involvement in the next roster. I don’t want anyone just being involved because that’s what they have always done. I want people to actually own their involvement. Thats why we go through expectations. It allows people to assess themselves and perhaps realise that this area of ministry is not the best place for them this quarter.

I myself also spend time thinking about my place in this ministry area. Is it the best place for the gifts God has given me? Am I being too proud or self-seeking? Do I need to step down?

This term coming we are trying some new band arrangements so that we can explore different genre options. This means that we are shaping our bands to fit the genres we are seeking to hit. In doing this I know that lots of churches have missed the mark by trying to play punk versions of Highest Place and all other kinds of bad stuff. We are holding onto principles like singability and appropriate expression and aiming to not let the genre govern our music but rather we aim to use the genre and bend the generic rules in order to accommodate the two principles mentioned.

It should be a good quarter as we experiment a bit with this stuff. Hopefully we will be doing a bit of recording this quarter and songs will keep going up at so you can listen in on how it’s going.

While on the subject of churches recording, Doxologist have embedded a radio into their blog so that you can listen to Mars Hill music without having to download or continually going back to your playlist to update. Check it out.

Good Friday song list
March 20, 2008, 9:16 am
Filed under: Doing music

Our church is getting all the congregations together on Friday for one big event. I’m not sure what your church is up to but I thought you would be interested to know what we are singing.

Count The Mercies (ccecmusic)

Nothing But the Blood (Redman)

How Deep the Father’s love (Townend)

At the Foot of the Cross (as an item) (not sure of writer – as performed by the Northern Conspiracy)

Amazing Grace (Newton)