Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘Dr. Jon Duncan’

Our Top Anthems and Solos for 2013

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

Click this image to go to our WorshipSounds website.

At Worship Sounds Music, all of our music is designed to be much more than a song.  Each Choral Anthem, Vocal Solo, or Congregational Worship Song is, most importantly, a message of God’s love.  Our mission is to provide very affordable music for worship that is Biblically sound, memorable, worshipful, and meaningful.  Our music is the work of Worship Pastor and composer Travis L. Boyd, written with a heart for local church ministry.

We are blessed to know many worship pastors and worshippers throughout the United States and to have made friends through our website and blog with many others in the U.S. and around the world.  May God bless those who lead God’s people in worship with a heart for Him, a love for God’s people, and compassion for those who need to know him.

Our downloadable music is very beneficial in these times of tight music budgets.

Choral Anthems are priced between $10.00 and $15.00, with no “per copy” fees, allowing an unlimited number of copies to be made for your choir in either Octavo or Full Page format.

*  Our Accompaniment Tracks are $10.00 and come as a downloadable Mp3.

*  Our Full Orchestrations range from $25.00 to $35.00, with the bundled PDFs including a Director’s Score, String Reduction for keyboard, and reproducible parts for all instruments.

Worship Paks for our Congregational worship songs are priced at $15.00.

We strive to keep our prices as low as possible (considering the expenses of our website, shopping cart, and Pay pal); and we hope to be able to share some special offers for our friends who serve in very small churches during 2014.

At Worship Sounds Music, we seek to provide a resource for music that will bring glory to God
and be a blessing to your worship ministry participants and to your church family.
We count it a joy to partner with you in sharing the good news of God’s love and salvation
through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Looking back over 2013, here are our
Top Anthems, Orchestrations and Trax, Worship Paks, and Vocal Solos
(as reflected by music purchases from WorshipSounds.com)

TOP  TEN  ANTHEMS
2013

1.  He Put the Joy

Click to view Video Demo

Click to view Video Demo

(SAB, optional A Cappella, general use anthem for Student Choir or Ensemble)

2.  Early in the Morning

Click thumbnail to view demo.

Click photo to view demo.

(SATB, general use, anthem of praise)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available

3.  A Mighty God

Link to Video Demo

Link to Video Demo

(SSATB, general use anthem)
Full Orchestration Available

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(SATB, general use anthem)
Full Orchestration available
Worship Pak available for use in Congregational worship
{Recorded by The Sons of Jubal, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan,
for their new CD, “Washed Away”,  during 2013}

5.  Greater
(SSATB or SSAA general use anthem)
Full Orchestration available, works w/ both voicings
{sung by The Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan}

6.  Where You Want Me to Be
(SATB or TTBB, general use anthem with Solo throughout)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available
{sung by The Sons of Jubal, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan,
and at the 50th Anniversary Concert by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma,
then under the direction of Dr. Ken Gabrielse and Dr. Bill Green}

7.  A Joyful Doxology
(SATB, general use anthem for Adult or Student Choirs)
Four brief Solos within anthem

8.  I Am Here
(SATB, general use or for memorial service)
Full Orchestration available, Anthem Trax available
{sung by The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green}

9.  O, For a Thousand Tongue to Sing
(SATB, general use anthem with hymn text)
FREE flute obbligato is ordered separately

10.  I Am a Child of God
Easy SATB for Sr. Adult or small Choir

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TOP  ANTHEM  ORCHESTRATIONS  AND  TRAX
2013

1.  We Have Met to Worship
(Worship Pak includes SATB vocal parts, Rhythm Section parts, & String Reduction)
Full Orchestration available, Accomp. Trax also available

2.  Early in the Morning
Full Orchestration, Accomp. Trax both available

3.  A Mighty God
Full orchestration

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Worship Pak includes hymn sheet, Vocal / Piano score, and lead sheet)
Full Orchestration also available

5.  O, For a Thousand Tongues
(free Flute Obbligato, ordered separately)

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TOP  CHRISTMAS  ANTHEMS
2013

1.  O, Come, O Come, Emmanuel
(SATB, Fresh, new arrangement of the traditional Carol)

2.  Christmas Joy
(SATB, joyous 6/8 celebration of Christ’s birth)

3.  Glory to the Newborn King
Bluesy, rockin’ SATB anthem
Anthem Trax available

4.  No Room
SATB anthem about the search for lodging before the birth of Christ

5.  The Praises of the King
SATB, Rhythmic Christmas praise

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TOP  CONGREGATIONAL  WORSHIP  PAKS
2013

!.  We Have Met to Worship
 (Worship Pak includes SATB vocal parts, Rhythm Section parts, & String Reduction)

2.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Worship Pak includes hymn sheet, Vocal / Piano score, and lead sheet)

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TOP  VOCAL  SOLOS and SOLO  TRAX
2013

1.  Where You Want Me to Be

2.  Much More Than a Song
(sung by The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green)

3.  A Mother’s Love

4.  A Prayer for the Saints
(Vocal Solo is included in the Worship Pak)

5.  The Father’s Beautiful World
A medley of beloved Creation hymns, with a new melody for
“All Things Bright and Beautiful”
and incorporating a portion of, “This is my Father’s World”

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New Orchestration on our Website!

Click the photo above to go directly to our WorshipSounds Music website!

Click the photo above to go directly to our WorshipSounds Music website!

Travis has added a new orchestration to the WorshipSounds Music website!   The Director of a large choral group which is singing Travis’ modern hymn and choral arrangement of “A Prayer for the Saints” in TTBB voicing requested a full orchestration for his group.   The new orchestration for “A Prayer for the Saints” was added to our website this morning.  Like all of Travis’ orchestrations, it is written to be practical for church orchestras as far as difficulty level and to work well with Church Orchestras with varying instrumentation.  Travis is always very careful to make sure that the instrumental parts complement the choral arrangement well without covering up the choir.  He has had more than one Director remark about the fact that his Orchestrations are very well written in that they enhance the choral parts without overwhelming them.

The Sons of Jubal in concert at First Baptist Church of Lilburn, Georgia, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan

“A Prayer for the Saints” is a through composed modern hymn that voices a prayer of longing to draw near to the Lord.  It essentially puts into words the desires of the heart for every Christian who wants to walk more closely with the Lord and live in a way that glorifies Him.  The TTBB anthem arrangement was selected by Sons of Jubal Director, Dr. Jon Duncan, as the theme song for this year’s annual Sons of Jubal retreat in January, 2012.   “A Prayer for the Saints” is also in the current repertoire of The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, directed by Dr. Randy Lind.  On our website, we currently have available the anthem arrangment of this hymn in SATB and TTBB Voicings, the full Orchestration, and a Worship Pak, which includes hymnal or bulletin size reproducible hymn sheets,  a Vocal Solo/congregational arrangment with piano accompaniment, and lead sheets for rhythm section.

Here is the link to our Adult Choir music page where “A Prayer for the Saints” can be found:  http://www.worshipsounds.com/Adult_Choirs.php

Link to Video Demo

Look for this identifying thumbnail photo on the website.  It will help you locate the song more quickly on the Adult Choir page.  Additionally, each of the items associated with this anthem on our shopping cart page have the same identifying photo.

Song Story: “For the Glory of God”

“For the Glory of God”  is a choral anthem written by Travis L. Boyd, which can currently be found on our website’s Adult Choir music page in SATB, SSAA, and TTBB voicings.  There is also a full orchestration available for this anthem.   “For the Glory of God”  features gently syncopated verses which lyrically extol the character and person of our great God, along with a strong chorus that begins with a statement of who God is in our lives, leading into an “Alleluia”  section that ends with a description of our praise for Him and a re-statement of the reason for our praise.  This anthem is in the current repertoire of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan

First Baptist Church of Dublin, Georgia

A SONG STORY
“For the Glory of God” has been a demonstration of love that began as a desire to glorify God while also encouraging the heart of a Georgia Minister of Worship.  Travis was contacted by some people who were active members of the Chancel Choir at First Baptist Church of Dublin, Georgia.  They wanted to commission an anthem in honor of the 25th Anniversary of service to the Lord and to their congregation by their Minister of Worship and Music, Dick Burrell.  It was the desire of these good people to encourage the heart of this dear servant of God through a worship song that could be sung by the choir on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary and would also then be sung by countless churches all around the world for the glory of God.  Travis normally takes as inspiration for any commission work the favorite scripture and favorite hymn title of the person or group the song is being written for.   In this case, there were no specifics given along these lines.   Travis was told that Dick likes rhythmic choral anthems.   Of course, the ultimate purpose of the piece would be to bring glory to God while also being a personal expression of love and encouragement from the choir members to their Director and Minister of Worship, who had served faithfully for many years and had recently lost his dear wife, Vicki.

The First Baptist, Dublin, ministry team did a great job pulling off the surprise for our brother Dick Burrell.  What a great testimony of love from these people, who began working on this surprise months in advance.  I know that brother Dick and all of their church would join with Travis and myself in praying that this song will go on to touch and reach hearts that we will not know on this side of Heaven.  Here is the thank you
e-mail that brother Dick sent to Travis on Monday, Jan. 9th, 2012, after he been surprised with the anthem the day before:

Dick Burrell leading in worship, with the FBC Dublin Chancel Choir

“Dear Travis,

Thank you so much for the anthem, For the Glory of God.  The Chancel Choir (over 40 voices yesterday) sang it in our morning worship.  They had rehearsed whenever I was out of town at our church and other times when I was in town at either Pine Forest Methodist or FUMC.  They did a wonderful job.  Our pianist was a piano performance major at Shorter in the early 70’s and did post grad work at the Mozarteum in Austria.  They all got such a kick out of keeping this from me—-I had no clue.  I look forward to a bit later working on it with them and doing the anthem again.  You may not know that the Jubals sang God Is Faithful at my sweet Vicki’s memorial service last March, so, it was most appropriate that they commissioned you to compose the anthem for my 25th anniversary.

Dick Burrell

Thank you, again.

Dick Burrell”
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May God use this anthem and all who direct or sing or play it for His glory!
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“For the Glory of God,”  like all of Travis’ anthems, is written to be performed with or without the full orchestration.  The piano part is supportive, and chord symbols are included on the music for a rhythm section.   The orchestration is written to be practical for church orchestra and will work with a wide variety of instrumentation, though all of the parts are available for full instrumentation.  Travis is always careful in the writing of an orchestration to allow the orchestra to meaningfully enhance the performance of the anthem but also to make sure that the choir is not “covered up” when the orchestra plays.  You will be more than happy with the results of this attention to detail and to the communication of the message.

“For the Glory of God” is available on our website’s adult choir page @ http://www.worshipsounds.com   You purchase the PDF master copy in your choice of full page or octavo format for $15.00, and then you are allowed to make an unlimited number of copies (for your own choir and rhythm section only).  The orchestration, which includes parts for all instruments, a full score, and a string reduction for keyboard, is $30.00.

“For the Glory of God” can be found on our Worship Sounds Music website, on the Adult Choir music page.  http://www.worshipsounds.com

Or, to view the VIDEO DEMO without going to the website, “For the Glory of God,”  go to:  https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=419798804706616&saved
There is a link to the website page within the information for the video demo, so you can still get to the page for purchase if desired.

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about a relationship to God through Jesus Christ or about life and eternity.

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?
Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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Song Story…”Much More Than a Song”

Wherever you go, God is already there.

“Much More Than a Song” was written as a result of a time of uncertainty and re-examination of priorities and truths in Travis’ life.  This time period began with the desire to sing a song and continues with the desire to bring God glory through all of life.  Several years ago, Travis was working on a powerful song that he planned to share as a solo at some point in the future.  The song was quite wordy and vocally demanding.  As Travis was singing the song over and over, trying to memorize all of those lyrics, he began to experience some vocal problems.  It was not unusual for him to have some allergy related congestion that affected his voice a couple of times every year, but this problem was obviously more serious than that.  Although he was not experiencing any allergy problems at that time, his voice was greatly affected, and he had significant pain when he tried to sing.  After the problem persisted and worsened, Travis did go to the doctor and to see a specialist about his voice.  He learned that all of his demanding vocal rehearsing had caused some damage to the vocal mechanism and created some strain and inflammation.  He was going to have to rest his voice and allow the damage to heal.  This was very difficult news for a Minister of Music and Worship.  He had no idea how long it would take for healing to occur or even whether the healing would be complete.  In other words, he didn’t know whether his voice would ever be fully restored.  Would it be as strong as before?  Would he still have the same vocal range?  Would there be any changes to his vocal tone or breaks in his range?  All of these were unanswered questions.

Travis prayed and waited and rested his voice, hoping to regain the full use of his voice but realizing that there was a possibility that he might not be able to sing in the same way that he had before this problem occured.  As in any season of uncertainty and waiting on the Lord,  Travis had an opportunity to re-examine his priorities and his own philosophy of living a life that glorifies the Lord.  He knew that leading God’s people in worship through music was not the only way that God could use his life.  Even though his passion for leading worship remained strong, Travis came to the point where he was willing to do whatever the Lord would have him do.  He was very aware that he could still live a life of seeking to bring glory to God, no matter what happened with his voice.   God gave Travis a song to express what He had been teaching Travis through the experience of losing what had formerly been one of Travis’ most important ministry tools.   That song was “Much More Than a Song”.

Through this experience, God gave the blessing of a song; but the lessons of the spirit that Travis gained were even more valuable.   It’s hard to put them all into words, but I will try:

Worship is more than a song.

Worship is more than any particular form of expression.

Worship is more than giving your best to God.  It’s being willing to give up your best and still give what you have left to God.

Worship is a passionate pursuit of God’s glory.

Worship may be expressed through what we do, but the act of worship never consists of any outward expression.  True worship always exists in the desire of the heart to bring Glory to God.

If I have ever truly worshipped God before a loss or a change in my life, I cannot allow such a change to alter my heart.

“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…” Psalm 96:3 &4a

 

Worship is a 24/7 attitude of the heart, a recognition of God’s supremacy and majesty that results in a constant desire to bring Him glory through my life.

Worship is much more than a song!

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“Much More Than a Song”  words and music by Travis L. Boyd, copyright WorshipSounds Music  is available on our website as a vocal solo or as an SATB choral anthem.  There is also a full orchestration available, which can be used to accompany either a choir or a soloist.  You’ll find the solo version on our home page and the choral version on our Adult Choir music page, where you can click on our unique video demo link to see and hear the music simultaneously at
http://www.worshipsounds.com

“Much More Than a Song” has been included in the repertoire of The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green.

“Much More Than a Song” has been part of the repertoire of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Jubalheirs, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan (a large choral group consisting of women who are active in music ministry from all over the state of Georgia).
The Jubalheirs also recorded “Much More Than a Song” on their CD entitled “New Every Morning.”  For more information about this group and their ministry, see our post entitled, “Blessings Through Choosing to Praise God.”  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/blessings-through-choosing-to-praise/

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Here’s my Sound Cloud recording of the Medium Voice Vocal Solo
(available on our website’s Home Page in the left sidebar)

The sheet music PDF (with chord symbols) can be purchased for $5.00, with permission to make as many copies as needed for your Soloist and Accompanists or Rhythm Section.
The Accompaniment Track is sent as an Mp3 download and includes the PDF for a full page lead sheet to assist you in learning the song.  The cost for the Mp3 and lead sheet is $10.00.

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Here’s our  WorshipSounds Video Demo of the Medium Voice Solo
(Accompaniment Track + Demo)

(VIEW  VIDEO  DEMO  IN  FULLSCREEN  MODE  TO  SEE  LYRICS  BEST!)

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This post was written by C. Boyd

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?

Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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Song Story…”God is Faithful”

One of Travis’ best loved choral anthems is “God is Faithful.”   This song will always be very special to us as well.  “God is Faithful” has been recorded as the title song on CDs by both The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma (then under the direction of Dr. Bill Green) and the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Sons of Jubal (Dr. Jon Duncan, Director).  It has also been recorded as a solo on individual CD projects and sung all over the world by church choirs, by the choral groups already mentioned, and also by The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma.  In addition, the women’s choirs who sang in Australia while their Singing Churchmen friends and spouses were there for a mission trip in 2003 sang “God is Faithful” in all the churches where they ministered in the Sydney, Newcastle, and Brisbane areas (see a story about “God is Faithful” in Australia near the end of this post).  Dozens of individuals have taken the time to express to Travis how much the message of “God is Faithful” has meant in their lives; but before the song was heard by anyone else or was published by Lorenz Music, it was a tender message from our loving God to encourage the hearts of Travis and Cindy Boyd.

Note:  Scroll down to the end of this post if you are looking for product information about the Song, Choral Anthem, Accompaniment/Performance Track, or Anthem Orchestration, which are available through the publisher, Lorenz, as well as other music distributors.  (Click the distributor links in our blog’s side bar to see what Travis L. Boyd products they offer.)

God’s promise

A lot of things were going on in our family and in our lives at the time that “God is Faithful” was written.  God had called us to a new place of service.  Our daughter was in high school, and our son was still in pre-school; and yet we left behind all 4 grandparents to move to the Church in Eastern Oklahoma which had just called Travis as their Minister of Worship.   We had moved from one side of the state of Oklahoma to the other and three and a half hours away from our parents.  It had been difficult to leave the only full-time church Travis had ever served where we were geographically very near our extended family, but that’s not the only reason the move was challenging.  We were concerned about how our daughter would adjust to the move, we were leaving behind many very close friends whom we still love and miss, and we were leaving a community that had always been very special to us.  It was the town where I grew up from third grade on, the town where I graduated from high school, the community where Travis and I had both gone to college, where we had met and married; and we’d both graduated from the University there.   Our roots were deep in the community, and we knew and loved so many people there.  We also loved our Church and our church family, and it was the church that Travis had longed to serve for many years before being called as their Minister of Music and Worship.  The Pastor of the Church we were leaving had not been there very long, and Travis had enjoyed serving with him and with all of the other staff members and support staff at the Church.

Of course, every time that God has called Travis to a new place of service, we have always felt a mixture of emotions.  Facing the task of leaving a Church and people that we loved, moving to a new place, and dealing with the unknown was always challenging, heart-breaking, exciting, both joyful for the new opportunity and sad to be moving on, and even a little scary.  Intellectually and spiritually, we’ve always known that God would be with us wherever we were.  Hovever, sometimes through the years, we’ve had to remind ourselves of this comforting truth.  Following the heart-felt welcomes and the initial settling in process in the new home, community and Church, real life adjustments still need to be made after any move.  As I’ve voiced to Travis in such times, it sometimes feels as though “we are so far away from everyone who really loves us”.   Again, we do know that God’s presence is with us; but as human beings we still long for the joy of familiarity and the comfort of being known.  Newness certainly doesn’t mean that we are loved any less, even by the ‘new’ church family.  It sometimes just feels that way because we are human.  [May God continually remind us what it feels like to long for home, to deal with uncertainty, and to step out on faith even when it’s heart-breaking or difficult to move on.  He longs for us to have compassion for the people all around us, people who struggle with change and difficulty and loneliness.   We can express His love and grace through a smile, a kind word, an act of compassion, and a warm welcome.]

In addition to the monumental changes that a major move brings, Travis and I were dealing with other issues that were of great concern around this time period.  The house we were leaving behind and trying to sell in western Oklahoma was the third house that Travis and I had owned in our 21 years of marriage.  Up to that point, it seemed that the timing had always been wrong for us to come out well on the sale of a home.  The first home that we bought was in Texas.  At the time when God called us to a new place of service a few years later, our Texas builder was adding an entirely new section of homes to our neighborhood.  The new streets had sidewalks.  There was a community playground in the new part of the neighborhood.  Furthermore, the new homes were selling for about the same price we had hoped to get for our home.  Of course, we had to come way down on our price in order to sell, and still the home languished on the market for months as the new homes were marketed and sold by developers.  By God’s grace, we did manage to hang on, but we did not come out well on the sale of the home.  When Travis was called to a new place of service the next time, we had to sell our second purchased home in central Oklahoma.  We hoped to come out better because we had added more livable square footage to the home by completing an unfinished bonus room over the garage.  However, just as we were preparing to make the move, the United States Government released their list of military bases that were in danger of being closed.  The nearby military base was on the list.  Eventually, the government revealed that the local base would not be closed.  It was removed from the base closings list and is still a functioning Air Force base today, but its future was in doubt during the entire time that our home was on the market.  As a result of the uncertainty and the possibility of losing the base, real estate values plummeted in our community and other nearby suburbs.  Again, we were forced to take less that we should have been able to get for our home.   A few months later, when the local base was removed from the list of potential closures, real estate values recovered; but the rebound was too late for us.

Now, during the time period surrounding the writing of “God is Faithful”, we needed to sell our third house, in western Oklahoma; and, once again, the circumstances were not great.  When we had moved into the community, we had rented a 3 bedroom duplex, where we planned to stay until we sold our central Oklahoma home and found a home we wanted to purchase.  A few months later, our landlady contacted us and told us that one of her family members had a life crisis and needed the duplex.  She was giving us a month’s notice and wanted us to move out.  We began looking at everything that was available.  Our central Oklahoma home had sold by then, but the lower price due to the uncertainty of the base closing list had drastically limited our options.  In addition, the Western Oklahoma community to which we’d just moved was experiencing a major housing shortage at that time.  It was a big enough deal to be featured in articles in the Daily Oklahoman (state newpaper) and even in video on Oklahoma City’s statewide broadcast of the evening news.  The Mayor of the community was featured in one report.  He had sold his home and could not find another to buy, so he was living in a local hotel.  The options were so limited that our family of four was very close to having to move into a hotel as well, with a 13 year old daughter and a 4 month old son.  We looked at everything that was available, which wasn’t much.

In the end, the only option we had (other than living in a hotel) was a 3 bedroom home where the single car garage had been turned into a small room (a very poorly done renovation).  The only things we liked about the house were that it was a roof over our heads and that our daughter and son each had their own bedroom.  Everything else was dismal.  We moved in just after Thanksgiving.  It was our first Christmas at the new, western Oklahoma Church, we had an event to go to every night from December 1st to December 22nd, and our lives were in total turmoil.  We had worked on cleaning the house for a week as we prepared to move in, while my parents took care of our children.  The whole house reeked of cat urine.  Walls and doors, and even cabinets (inside and out) were splattered with what looked like dried plum jam, but we never did figure out what the splatter really was.  We scrubbed and scrubbed.  I had to give up nursing our 4 month old son because we were cleaning on the house from morning until bedtime that whole week, and it was too filthy to bring the children into.  I scraped the bathroom floors with a razor blade to get all of the crud off, and every surface in the house was just that filthy.  We rented a machine and cleaned the carpets…twice.  They still reeked.  Travis was fixing things that were broken as well as cleaning.  It was a mess.  After we’d moved in, about 3 days went by before the sinks began to back up and toilets began to overflow.  We had plumbers out to the house 6 times the first month and a half that we lived there (all during the Christmas season!).   They even brought in “the big machine” to unclog our pipes, but the plumbing problems weren’t completely solved until we finally replaced the toilets in both the full bath and the half bath.  In all the 3 years that we lived in that house, we were constantly having to fix and replace things (exterior siding, the furnace and air conditioning units, storm doors, dishwasher, water heater, disposal, etc.).  The list went on and on.  We had to take a second mortgage to pay for all the needed fix ups; and later on, we had to take out a third loan for the new heat and air units.  So, by the time we made this move to Eastern Oklahoma, we had been through the wringer financially.  We’d even had to come up with an I.O.U. idea for Christmas for our daughter, which we called a “Santa coupon”, and that’s what she got 3 Christmases out of the 4 that we spent in that home (1993 – ’96).  We were now going to have to try to get enough out of that house to pay all 3 loans off; and after several months without a sale, even though the house was described by our realtor as “immaculate”, it was becoming apparent that we were going to take a big hit on this house as well.  Travis was really concerned.  God had worked a miracle to get us into a brand new home in Eastern Oklahoma, so we did have a wonderful break from the constant home fix ups for a while, but we didn’t know if we could keep handling the payments on the new home if we had to keep paying on loans from our western Oklahoma house even after it sold.  The months dragged on, and the house didn’t sell until October after we’d moved in January.  At one point, church members from our new Church helped by making part of the payment on the Western Oklahoma house for about 4 months; so we were very thankful that basic needs were met (but still barely surviving).  It was during this time period of adjustment, uncertainty, and financial hardship that God gave Travis the message of “God is Faithful”.

“God is Faithful” was one of those songs that just seemed to be born in a moment of inspiration.  Travis says that the whole song seemed to come to him at once and calls it “very much a God thing,”  meaning that God gave the song.  It was a message that we needed desperately at the time that God gave the song through Travis; and it was a message that we would need even more over the next few years, as we dealt with many events such as the loss of both of our fathers and of our own unborn child, some of our daughter’s struggles, and other things.  Some of the words would come to life even more vividly as we experienced different circumstances in our lives through the years.  In some ways, it has seemed to us that the message of “God is Faithful” has been to us both a message for a particular time and a message for all the times to come.   There were things ahead of us that we didn’t know about, but God knew.  He was re-assuring us with the message of His faithfulness, even before we knew how much greater our need for that encouragement would become at times.  But, even though the song has been very personal for us, it has touched many other lives.  Travis feels that he was just the vehicle that God used to share the message of His faithfulness with those who have been blessed by “God is Faithful.”

Dr. Bill Green, who was then the Director of both The Singing Churchmen and The Singing Churchwomen of Oklahoma, was one of the first people to hear “God is Faithful.”  Travis played it for him during a summer time meeting in Oklahoma City.  Brother Bill wanted to use the anthem with both choral groups, so Travis was asked to create an SSAA arrangement and a TTBB arrangement.  He also did an orchestration for the Churchmen’s instrumental ensemble.  “God is Faithful” was in the repertoire of both groups for several years.  During that time period, Brother Bill also sent the anthem to Mary McDonald at Lorenz Music.  Mary loved it, and it became Travis’ 4th choral anthem published by Lorenz (the first of his Lorenz anthems published by their Monarch Division, with others to follow).  The SATB anthem is still available through Lorenz  (See links below), as is the orchestration and the performance/accompaniment CD.  Although many churches probably still have and use the published octavos, there are other churches that use Travis’ self-copyrighted copies from before the anthem was published.  So many of the Ministers of Worship in the Churchmen wanted to use “God is Faithful” with their choirs that Travis did quite a bit of self-publishing before the song was accepted for publication.

Whatever methods God has used to expand the reach of “God is Faithful”, Travis and I are just thankful that the message of this song has meant as much to others as it has meant for us.  The most important truth to which  we can cling in difficult times is that God is faithful!  Circumstances don’t always work out as we had hoped, but God’s faithfulness is always there.  In fact, we did have to continue to pay on the heating and air conditioner loan for over 2 years after selling our western Oklahoma home.  Somehow, God provided.  The publication of “God is Faithful” and other songs even became part of that provision for our needs.

In 2012, we still have 6 boys at home, five of whom are currently in Elementary School.  As a result of circumstances in the past 4 years, we have started over again as far as acquiring equity in a home.  Our most recent home sale, after we’d moved to Georgia, took over a year and was completed in 2009 during the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The home in eastern Oklahoma, where we’d lived for 12 years, updating and adding a room addition, sold for far less than it would have before the recession began.  We could choose to dwell on the losses that we have sustained, but there is no point in that.  We know that in each situation, what appears to be bad timing was really God’s timing.  He has called Travis to each new place of service very clearly, and He has been faithful to meet our basic needs in spite of economic conditions and other external factors.  God’s faithfulness is not thwarted by the ups and downs of the stock market or housing values.  His faithfulness is not limited to the specific circumstances that surrounded the writing of this song or any song.  Just as God is eternal, His faithfulness is eternal; and it continues as He continues.  God is a keeper of promises, and He is faithful!

So, remember…

“When you find it hard to understand
And you’re just not sure you have the strength
To do all God commands…
When the task seems overwhelming,
You can rest within His hands.
For the One who called you is faithful!

God is faithful.
He will not forget His own.
God is faithful.
He’ll never leave you all alone.
He’s right beside you,
Waiting to guide you,
For the one who called you is faithful.
God is faithful!

He is always there when human eyes can’t see…
So aware of all your hurts and all your deepest needs!

God is faithful!  He will not forget His own.
My God is faithful!
He’ll never leave you all alone.
He’s right beside you,
Waiting to guide you,
For the One who called you is faithful.
God is faithful!”

Lyrics to “God is Faithful”  by Travis L. Boyd, SATB Choral anthem and Orchestration, Copyright 2003, Lorenz Publishing Company, a division of the Lorenz Corporation

Self-published copies of the SSAA, TTBB, and SATB octavos and the Orchestration that pre-date the Lorenz publications, Copyright Travis L. Boyd

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FROM  LORENZ  MUSIC:  “God is Faithful”…SATB Choral Anthem with solo throughout

A  full orchestration is available for this piece, as heard in the studio demo.

performance/accompaniment CD  is also available, and it features the orchestration as heard in the publisher’s studio demo.

Here is my Sound Cloud audio of the Lorenz Studio Demo Recording for “God is Faithful”.

*  Lorenz product page for “God is Faithful” :  http://www.lorenz.com/product.aspx?id=10_2978M

Here, you will be able to click the listening link (music notes) and then immediately click the sample pages link (Adobe icon) to allow you to listen to the professional studio demo recording of the anthem while you view the music.

To returen to this blog, please use the ‘back’ arrow

Note:  See our blog post entitled  “Blessings Through God’s Faithfulness”  for more information about the story of this song & recordings by both The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma and The Sons of Jubal.  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/blessings-through-gods-faithfulness/

*  Vimeo Performance Video link:  (TTBB arrangement, recorded at a Sons of Jubal concert in September, 2010)  http://vimeo.com/15390308

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Post written by Cynthia A. Boyd

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“GOD  IS  FAITHFUL”  IN  AUSTRALIA!
OUR  GOD  IS  FAITHFUL  EVERY  DAY  AND  EVERYWHERE!

Here is a testimony of a specific circumstance in which God used the message of His faithfulness through “God is Faithful” to bless and encourage.  In 2003, over 300 people went to Australia for an incredible mission trip.  The main performing group was The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma.  The group gave concerts in serveral large and well-known venues, such as the Sydney Opera House, and then split into smaller groups to minister in local churches.  Over 90 of the people on this trip were the wives of the Churchmen; and for the first time ever on a Churchmen mission trip, there were enough of us to form 2 women’s choirs, which ministered in Churches and even in a pineapple canning factory during our time in Sydney, Newcastle, and Brisbane.

Annerley Baptist Church near BrisbaneThe women’s choir that I was in, directed by Singing Churchmen member Tyrone Smith, sang at Annerley Baptist Church, near Brisbane, on Sunday morning, May 11th, 2003, which was Australia’s Mother’s Day.  Although the Singing Churchmen were no longer singing “God is Faithful”, the two womens’ choirs were singing an SSAA arrangement of the song.  I had been asked to sing the solo on “God is Faithful,” and I had done so during the Worship Service that day.

Our womens' choir rehearses with director Tyrone Smith prior to the service (minus a few members who were taking pictures of the group)

Our womens’ choir rehearses at Annerley with director Tyrone Smith prior to the service (minus a few members who were taking pictures of the group)

Later on, during the fellowship meal after the service, a woman approached me.  She told me that her name was Noela (pronounced Nola), and that she was not a member of Annerley Baptist Church and did not live in Brisbane.  She said that she was only at the church that morning because it was Mother’s Day.  She and her husband had driven from their home 2 and a half hours away to be there with his Mother.  Noela confessed that she almost did not make the trip to visit her Mother-In-Law.  She explained that she had been fighting cancer and that she was feeling discouraged.

A lovely lady with a beautiful smile, Noela spoke with a radiant faith as she said, "I believe that I am here today by Divine appointment."

A lovely lady with a beautiful smile, Noela spoke with a radiant faith as she said, “I believe that I am here today by Divine appointment.”

However, she did feel an urging from the Spirit of God to come to Brisbane; and, with her husband’s encouragement, she made the trip.  She told me that she now felt it was a divine appointment for her to be there.  Noela said that the message of God’s faithfulness had come across to her so clearly as she listened to “God is Faithful” that she knew why we were there on that day and why God had prompted her to come.  Several of us talked with Noela as long as we could, and it was an amazing conversation.  God had so touched her and encouraged her heart through the message of His faithfulness that she seemed radiant with faith in His goodness and faithfulness to her, and Noela in turn became an encouragement to all of us.  It was a very brief encounter, but I will never forget it.

I can think of many times when God has also touched my heart with His love and encouragement, just as he touched Noela’s heart.  Comfort or encouragement can come through a kind word, a prayer, a song, a note, a sermon, a scripture passage or verse, and certainly through God’s presence within us and as revealed to us through the kindness and compassion of others.  God is faithful to Noela, He is faithful to me, and He is faithful to you!  Be encouraged today as you thank Him for His faithfulness!  Encourage others as well.  Never forget that God is faithful!

– C. Boyd

Note:  For more information on this story, check these links:
Annerley Baptist Church website:  http://www.annerleybaptist.org.au/
Annerley Baptist Church facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Annerley-Baptist-Church/189082151110455#!/pages/Annerley-Baptist-Church/189082151110455
Information about the city of Annerley (near Brisbane, Australia:  http://queenslandplaces.com.au/annerley

Pray for the people of Australia and of Annerley Baptist Church.  Their Pastor, Brother Jim Johnston, retired at the end of 2012 after 16 and a half years of service there.  The people there were so kind, providing corsages for each of the women in our choir, plus a single red rose (mindful of the fact that mothers were being honored and that we had left our families to come).  They had prepared a meal for us and were so friendly as we shared time together that day.  What a blessing it was to be in the midst of Christian brothers and sisters who live on the other side of the world and to feel so welcome and at home.  🙂

Annerley Baptist Church Pastor, Brother Jim Johnston, and our womens' choir Director, Tyrone Smith

Annerley Baptist Church Pastor, Brother Jim Johnston, and our womens’ choir Director, Tyrone Smith

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Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Here is a Youtube video of singer Debra Eden’s solo version of “God is Faithful,”  recorded on Debra’s CD entitled, “It Was Love.”   The video was put together with the recording by Debra’s sister.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIdfLJOo3q8

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WOULD   YOU  LIKE  TO  READ  MORE  POSTS  LIKE  THIS  ONE?

Link to our  “Song Stories”  category to see all of the song story posts:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/song-stories/

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Introducing “A Prayer for the Saints,” a new Worship Anthem & Congregational Praise Hymn

“But I trust in You. O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14

At WorshipSounds Music,
we are introducing the powerful new SATB Anthem and Modern Hymn,  called  “A Prayer for the Saints” !

This incredible message has been brilliantly arranged for your choir.  You’ll love the recurring motif in the piano accompaniment and marvel at the smooth harmonic transition in the second modulation.  Even more importantly, the lyric content is a profound prayer, expressing the heart cry of every Christian who longs to grow closer to God and to become more like Jesus.
The melody is beautiful and singable, making this modern hymn very appropriate for congregational worship.  As a result, “A Prayer for the Saints”  is currently available in two formats on our Boydbrain Music website:

**  The powerful SATB Anthem PDF is available for $15.00, with permission to make an unlimited number of copies (for your choir and accompanists only).

**  A Worship Pak for  “A Prayer for the Saints”  is available for $10.00.  It includes a lead sheet for rhythm section, a reproducible hymn sheet (bulletin or hymnal size), and a Vocal/Piano score.

Subtitled  “Your Saving Grace,”  “A Prayer for the Saints”  is in the current repertoire of  The Sons of Jubal, a large mens’ choral group sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Convention and consisting primarily of Ministers of Music and Worship (and others who faithfully participate in local church worship ministry) from all over the state of Georgia.  The Sons of Jubal Director, Dr. Jon K. Duncan, chose  “A Prayer for the Saints”  as the theme for the group’s annual Rehearsal & Renewal Retreat in early January, 2012.  The men in this amazing choral group will be sharing this anthem in monthly concerts throughout the year, and the piece will be included in the concert repertoire for a trip to Korea (not South!) in a April.  The Sons of Jubal have been invited as a featured group at a large choral festival.  Prayers for this endeavor are greatly appreciated!

Ministers of Music and Worship from all over the state of Georgia, who have heard  “A Prayer for the Saints”  as a result of their involvement in The Sons of Jubal, have ordered this powerful prayer anthem for their choirs.  At our home church, Travis introduced it first as a Vocal Solo.   Our wonderful Adult Choir has also sung the SATB anthem version of   “A Prayer for the Saints,”  and our congregation has shared in this message as a worship hymn.  In the local church environment, many of our members have commented on the lyrics of this Kingdom message.  Our prayer is that this piece could have an impact all over the world, expressing the deepest longings of God’s people everywhere.

Your Choir could begin learning  “A Prayer for the Saints”  at your next rehearsal.  Or, if you do not have a choral group at your church, you can introduce this modern prayer hymn as a Vocal Solo and then use it for congregational worship.  Our Worship Pak contains everything that you will need (reproducible hymnal or bulletin size song sheet, reproducible lead sheet, and Vocal/Piano Score).

To see and hear the music, you can view the Video Demo for  “A Prayer for the Saints”, go to our WorshipSounds Music website.  You’ll find  “A Prayer for the Saints”  on our “Adult Choir”  music page.  Here’s the link to the website:  http://www.worshipsounds.com

ALTERNATE VOICING AVAILABLE!  The TTBB arrangement, as sung by The Sons of Jubal, under the direction of Dr. Jon Duncan, and The Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma, under the direction of Dr. Randy Lind, is also on our website.

A Full Orchestration is also  available for this anthem!

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Post written by C. Boyd

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Looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jeusu?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/ Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

Worship Planning and Preparation

“And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to Him!'” Luke 9:35

It is such an awesome responsibility to plan a congregational service of worship so that the people of God can express their praise and thanksgiving to Him through various elements of worship.

I believe that every congregational worship service should be planned carefully and prayerfully to include the following:

1.  Worship through prayer, (a musical or verbal prayer) inviting the presence of the Lord to inhabit the praises of His people
2.  Worship through musical praise, choosing songs that glorify, exalt, bless, and praise the Lord
3.  Worship through musical testimony (and/or verbal testimony), choosing a message of hopefulness that magnifies the Lord through a song or verbal testimony of His faithfulness and His work in the lives of His people.
4.  Worship through musical exhortation, choosing a song that exhorts and encourages God’s people in their walk with the Lord and their service to Him
5.  Worship through the giving of tithes and offerings
6.  Worship through a time of prayer and meditation
7.  Worship through the reading or speaking of scriptures (congregationally, or as part of the worship transitions by the worship leader, or by the Pastor in sharing his sermon text)
8.  Worship through the proclamation of the word (preaching)
9.  Worship through the invitation to respond to the leading of the Spirit of God (for salvation, re-dedication, a calling to vocational ministry, or other commitment)
10.  A worship benediction, a sending out of God’s people with a word of exhortation, usually from the Pastor (verbally), but this could also be in a congregational song that emphasizes a key point of the message or is a reminder to continue the focus on glorifying the Lord in every part of life as we go back into the world

Finally, it is important for the worship leader or worship pastor to teach God’s people about what worship really is (in brief statements of exhortation).   Worship is not preparing for anything.  Worship is worship.  The entire congregational service (including the preaching of the word) is worship.   The whole “worship service” is (or should be) devoted to bringing God glory in everything that is said, done, and sung.  That is worship.  We like John Piper’s definition of worship as “intentionally expressing the infinite worth of God’s glory.”
(see link below for the devotion in which this definition appears)**

NOTE:  For more information on living out the intentional expression of His infinite worth in all of life, see our page entitled “Lifestyle Worship.”  Here is the link for that page:
http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship/

The concept of bringing God glory through worshipping Him in all that we do can be found in the following scripture verses:

*   I Corinthians 10:31  “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
*   Colossians 3:17   “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
*   Colossians 3:23   “Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance of your reward; you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ.”
*   Romans 12:1   “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
*   Romans 12:11   “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.”

STEPS TO WORSHIP PLANNING AND PREPARATION

1.  Asking for God’s guidance and inspiration in all of your planning and preparation, wait on the Lord through meditation on His word for His guidance.

2.  Work with your Pastor and Ministerial Staff in order to support their ministry needs through worship planning by choosing music or Scripture that support the message or any special emphasis when asked to do so or led to do so in prayer.

3.  Consider the capabilities and amount of preparation time you will have and have had for any worship groups who will be sharing a song, skit, or other type of worship message.  In this area, it is vital to communicate with your worship leadership personnel about when they will be there for rehearsal as well as which Sundays they will be out of town.  If you really need certain personnel there in order to introduce a certain song or present a drama, make sure there is a commitment to the time frame that you have in mind.

4.  Consider the technical capabilities of your equipment, the expertise of your tech crew, and the amount of time needed to pull together any technical or media-related aspects of the worship service you are planning.  Not having the ideal set-up can be discouraging, but it is vital to work with what you have and seek to prepare with excellence and reverence.

5.  Work effectively with your worship ministry teams and groups in preparation for leading in worship.  How much time do you need for adequate preparation?  Remember to continually emphasize preparation through prayer.  Your ministry team should feel comfortable enough with their preparation for worship to have a freedom in personal worship and challenged enough to depend upon the Lord for the outcome.

6.  Keeping in mind the make-up of your congregation, strive to be wise in choosing music that is singable, appropriate, worshipful, and within the capabilities of your worship leadership and congregation.  Worship music should not be a challenging vocal exercise or frustratingly difficult to learn.  Make sure that the vocal range is appropriate for congregational singing…not too low nor too high.  If placing a song in the correct vocal range for your congregation will put it into a key that is difficult for your instrumentalists, make sure that you give players plenty of time to master the chords before introducing the song to your congregation.   Flexibility from your accompanists, worship band, and orchestra is a great blessing, but be realistic about where your players are.  Try not to put them ‘on the spot’ with too little rehearsal time for something that is challenging.  Keep tricky rhythms to a minimum in congregational singing.  Even if the melody is one that you love, make sure that the lyrics say something that should be meaningful to every Christian.  The meaning of the lyrics should never be vague and should be expressed clearly.  Remember to use a variety of styles of music as the Lord leads so that there is something familiar and especially meaningful for various age groups and for people who are most comfortable with certain musical styles within your congregation.  However, lead your worship teams and congregation to focus on worshipping God rather than focusing on preferences to the extent that worship is hampered by wrongful attitudes.  [See our pages on  ‘Lifestyle Worship’  and on  ‘Extending God’s Grace’   (specifically the “put aside preferences’ section of this page) for more perspective on this challenging aspect of worship planning.]

7.  If you have been asked to move toward a more contemporary worship style, feel led to do so, or have been leading a contemporary service for some time, think about the practical aspects of learning new worship songs for your congregation.  The people of your church will feel more comfortable participating in singing rather than simply watching the worship team if you will be certain to introduce no more than one new song per service.  Keep the arrangement simple when introducing a new song, chorus, or contemporary hymn arrangement so that the melody can be clearly heard.  You can add more to the arrangement after the congregation has learned the song.  A full new set of songs each week may be musically impressive and even be very meaningful spiritually.  However, it can become a weekly performance rather than corporate worship, and the congregation cannot keep up without the benefit of the rehearsal time that your musical groups have invested.  Be aware of where your congregation is in terms of musical taste and preferences and the ability to learn new music quickly.  Use wisdom in determining how quickly to make changes so that your people can move in this direction along with you.  Keep in mind that many contemporary worship leaders are also singing hymns in addition to their worship songs and choruses.  Read through the lyrics to some hymns in your own private worship time each week.  Remember that the Senior Adults in our churches are part of the gospel’s journey.  They represent decades of faithfulness that allowed the message of God’s grace to reach you!  They were the Sunday School teachers and servants in the church that have kept the flame burning.  Ask the Lord to open your own mind to what He wants to say through the messages of every song that is shared.  Your mix may be different each week, and that’s okay.  If you model a respect for what has come before and a worshipful blend of old and new, perhaps the worship leaders of tomorrow will remember your generation and be open to the validity of your worship music, teaching their congregations to embrace the heritage of faith.  All generations in this media saturated culture are exposed to a wide variety of musical styles and expressions.  A contemporary movie score may include some country or bluegrass, some classical, some jazz, songs by Sinatra and Celine Dion, as well as by Alicia Keys, Adele, or Daughtry, some classic rock, and even big band sounds.  Even the merchandizing music mix that serves as background music in nearly every store is increasingly eclectic.  While it is clearly important to be musically relevant as well as spiritually relevant in order to reach out effectively to young adults who are statistically most likely to make a decision for Christ, remember that “worship is not a church growth tool” (a very true statement from our dear friend, Dr. Jon Duncan).  Worship is the intentional expression of the infinite worth of our God.**  Nothing less, and nothing more.

8.  Be sure to match your arrangements of songs to the lyric content and the building or waning of intensity in a song.  Keith and Kristyn Getty’s song, “The Power of the Cross,” is a perfect example of a song that requires some musical moments of simplicity, quietness, and sensitivity, leading into the building of intensity and adding of voices and instruments that supports the victorious declarations about the power of the cross.  Everyone does not have to play or sing all the time.  There are times when a soloist or praise team only can be very effective in communicating a message through music in such a way that it brings additional focus to worshipping the Lord.  A transition from a more acoustic sound to an amplified sound is sometimes called for as well.  The addition of choir and orchestra can add an incredible power and emphasis to a message.
Important:  do be very aware that anytime your worship plan involves complicating your arrangements by either doing only portions of certain songs or by changing the instrumentation as a song progresses (in order to maximize the effectiveness of the interpretation of lyrics), everyone must be on the same page about what is happening.  A simple song list will not be enough.  The “expanded update” (as Travis has called it) for worship team members (praise team, rhythm section, orchestra, choir, and Ministerial staff) also lists
(A) measure numbers for any song that will begin at a place other than the beginning, with information about who is in (singing & playing) at that point
(B) information about how you will lead a particular song [Example:  verses 1 & 2 before chorus, skip verse 3, use 2nd ending after chorus, modulating in measure 40.  sing verse 4, then chorus at letter D, repeat chorus with tag ending].  Team members have the opportunity to arrange their music on stands accordingly, mark changes, etc., when this information is provided in written form.
(C) any transition information that team members will need to know.  If a the keyboard player or guitar player only does the intro to a certain worship song, when does everyone else drop out, and when do they re-enter?  Will the worship leader be sharing a scripture verse between verses 1 and 2 of a song, requiring a few measures of vamping?  Does the worship leader intend to begin the first verse of a new worship song as a solo done by himself or a praise team member, or is it to be sung by everyone on the platform?  For your orchestra, do you want woodwinds only in a certain section that leads into the next song, or do you want the orchestra to lay out until verse 2?
(D) any arrangement notes about which players or singers should be in or out during certain sections of each song.  Notes such as:  ‘Orchestra enters on verse 2’, or ‘Piano only until the chorus’, or ‘Guitar only on this intro’, or ‘Only praise team sings the bridge section’ will tell all of the musicians exactly what they are supposed to do.
Then, at the end of the service, if you are doing a reprise, using only a portion of a worship song, hymn, or choir special as a worship postlude or benediction, what’s the measure number for the spot where you’ll begin?  Do you take each repeat or play section(s) only once?  Is there any change to the ending for the reprise?
Giving your worship leadership team members as much information as possible will help them to be more effective in their ministry.

9.  Pray for the people, pray for the ministry teams, pray for your ministerial leadership, pray that God will remove barriers to fellowship with one another and with Him, pray that His spirit will be present in power and that there will be openness among the people of God to His Spirit.  Lead your ministry teams to pray over every aspect of the worship service.  Pray for your Pastor as he brings the message, and for any other Ministers or lay leaders who have a crucial role in the worship service.  Pray for anyone who has a part in greeting and interacting with others.  Pray that the focus will be on the worship of our merciful and loving God.  “Sirs, we would see Jesus!”

10.  Finally, don’t forget how important the flow of the service is to the overall atmosphere of worship.  Transitions are vital.  Make sure that there is musical flow in terms of key signatures and any tempo or meter changes.  The message of the lyrics of one song should flow into to the message of the next in a way that makes sense.  It should be like a continuation of thought and an expansion of thought to include some new content in our worship mindset.  In addition, if you can work with others in your ministerial leadership to avoid interruptions in the flow of congregational praise, that will be so beneficial.  Announcements and such should really come at the very beginning or very end of a service if they must be made verbally.  Having your announcements on slides or in a bulletin, by e-mail, on your church facebook page and/or website, or even having a downloadable cell phone app for your church’s announcements will prevent the distraction that occurs when the focus changes from the eternal (worship) to the daily (who, what, where, when) and back again.  Hopefully, your ministerial team will be sensitive enough not to follow a truly holy moment of reverence with a joke.  While it is true that humor can unite us in sharing a moment of lightness or levity, sensitivity to a moment of reverence is always welcome.  Perhaps a prayer would be a great way to acknowledge our awesome God and the intimacy of His presence during the worship time before moving on with whatever message opener is desired by the speaker.  Hopefully, it will be possible for your ministerial staff to partner together in prayer for every element of worship, and in an attitude of awareness about what contributes to a meaningful worship time during which God’s people meet together with Him in praise and

What process do you use

 

Feel free to comment on the methods and opinions that are expressed here.  If you have additional thoughts about the subject of worship or about worship planning and preparation, please add them as a comment.

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** John Piper’s definition of worship has been paraphrased.  His original wording can be found in the devotion titled  ”Bodies, Breakfast, and the Marriage Bed”  and subtitled  “A Meditation on Daily Worship”.
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Post written by C. Boyd, based upon decades of learning and growth in the area of worship ministry through the study of scripture and many books on the subject of worship, years of deep conversation with Travis and many other worship leaders and mentors, and observation of effective worship leadership by people who love the Lord and seek to praise Him.
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Do you know Jesus?
The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/
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