“Why don’t they sing with me”?

For the worship leader with a heart to see others engage, the most disheartening thing is when it seems you can’t get through!

There are far too many elements that factor into this “merry go round” of a subject but lets just look at one…..


ok two…..


alright three…..


and “our” ability to connect!

To connect with the congregation, the team, and most of all, GOD!!!


Here are my quick three:


1. Smile

– Not just because it looks good but because we truly enjoy when God is worshipped

– Not just when we feel like it but especially when we don’t feel like it

– Even when it doesn’t look cool

– Especially when it doesn’t look cool

– Because we love to do what we do, and it truly should show


2. Worship

– Not just because it’s a given, (because it does take work at times), either way, let’s let “OUR” worship be the gauge

– Even when it “seems” that no one else is

– Especially when it “seems” that no one else is

– Because our first calling is to Him, and it surely should show

– Because when someone is “just watching”, they ARE watching, watching to see if it’s real to US


3. Connect

– Look at someone in the eye, look at another in the eye, who knows, the spirit that is guiding might just show something behind the eye

– Know that whatever we went through this week, “they” are going through too, maybe not the same, or, maybe just the same

– Not just with the congregation but with the team standing beside you, if they follow, chances are, others will too

– Not just by telling a story, or maybe by telling a story, with out words…..there’s such thing as countenance

– Speaking of countenance, they might just be following, use discernment to see if “their” countenance shows


If you’re having a hard time “getting through or getting others to follow, these three things have helped me, hopefully they can help “us”!




13 Reasons why “Singing songs is such a small part of our worship”!


1. Most of us only do it once a week, twice if we’re “real churcheez”…..

2. Most of us who only do it once a week go to a church that relegates it to 17 minutes (not knocking, I COMPLETELY understand the parking issues)…..

3. Most of us who only do it twice a week don’t appreciate the midweek worship team so we really only do it once a week (see number 2)…..

4. 4 of our 17 minutes is a top 40 opener so “the reality is”, 13 minutes of our week is spent singing in worship (if we fall into the number 1 or 2 category)…..

5. Some of us can’t sing at all, and are afraid that “Simon” is sitting next to us so you won’t catch us even trying, giving us our own category (see number 6)…..

-it’s starting to get serious

6. Some of us don’t ever sing songs as worship…..

7. worship is a lifestyle (see number 8)…..

8. If worship is a lifestyle and “singing songs” is such an important part of it than very few are really worshipping, and those few are doing it very seldom…..

9. If that is true than there’s a book (or an app if you don’t like carrying that leather thing) that says “the rocks would be crying out”…..

10. Rocks aren’t singing…..


11.  Prayer is also a form of worship, and the app (or GIANT leather relic) says “pray without ceasing”, giving the notion that we should probably be praying more than singing…..

12. There are way too many other forms of worship that are constant in our everyday lives like actions, re-actions, routines, habits, etc. etc. etc…..

13. See numbers 1-12…..


Just to throw in some clarity, here is just a bit about the word “worship”…..


Worship*       (wər-shəp)


1. reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence

2. extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem


1. to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power

2. to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion


*The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning, worship, honor shown to an object, which has been also described in history as “worthiness or worth-ship”—to give, at its simplest, worth to something




Song Selection, Comment Cards & pleasing EVERYONE!!

It’s a well known statement and, a 100% true statement that says, we worship for “an audience of One”!

A statement without if’s, ands or buts…..

However, (which is not an if, and or but) the team that programs, plans and works hard on our worship services has a lot to put in to play when it comes to creating an atmosphere for ALL that would lead to our worship being the best presentation for the “One” who is on-looking, receiving & inhabiting it!

Let’s make sure we all agree on one thing……the platform is only a part of that presentation, those who are in the congregation or crowd or community, whatever term you wanna use, has a HUGE part of it.

Most worship leaders are driven by participation, which is a GOOD thing, coupled with the right heart and intent.

If a leader does his or her best to lead from a Christ centered perspective or a Holy Spirit guided direction or a God’s eye view than he or she are gonna have a crazy drive in them that looks to please God with the whole package……”What does God want for His people, what does He want to do here, what does He see that we miss all too often”, and many other things that go on in “our” hearts.

To do that, to at least try our best to do just that, there are many things that need to be in action…..







Just a few, but a few that I personally have found to be the constants!

There is no formula to a great worship service and the truth is, a lot of people would say, “how do you know when it’s great, that’s for Him to judge”, well, very true but if He’s entrusted some to lead those things than hopefully He’s equipped them to discern when it’s going in the right direction and fulfilling it’s purpose, and hopefully they are submitted to that, right???

If there’s no formula than how do we do it, how do we build a consistency, how do we approach it weekly, daily, or whenever it’s in “our” hands to determine what’s right for the “whole”!

Just a couple of my own personal thoughts that have worked for me over some time now…..

If you’re doing “too many”* new songs, expect the “engaging” to be limited

*too many – 2 out of 4, a new one every week……just a couple of thoughts, try a new one for a couple weeks, if it seems to be working give it a week off than come back with it as a regular

Have a “staple” song”*, Mighty To Save, How Great is Our God, The Stand, 10,000 Reasons, just to name some obvious ones, your church might have a few of their own that are always great for EVERYONE to engage in…..

*just 1 out of 3 or 4, it’ll make the difference for that few that are looking for a reason not to engage

*maybe even just a chorus, or a chorus and bridge

Know your Pastor’s heart, know the people’s hearts, know that YOU are serving them and in that, God will honor it

Know that when comment cards come in, it may not mean you have to make a change, but it BETTER make you think and discern if there is any truth to it

Know that the phrase “played out” is only used by “us”, you might be “over it” but “they” might not be…….if it’s the right one, it’s the right one

Know that shifting a culture takes time, trust and a true heart for the “why” and every single “how”…..this topic we’ll save for another post 🙂

Know that YOU may not like a song or style but the person next to you may love it

And for you personally, on stage, off stage, in prep, out of prep…..

Know that your gift, talent & calling is ALL from Him, be confident, but be confident in Him…..

and SMILE, it truly does make a HUGE difference when it comes to building trust and ultimately, people wanting to follow YOU as a leader in your planning, preparing and building what is needed and/or desired.

There are many other truths and constants that you may have found, but these are just some that I’ve found and wanted to share.

If you have any to add or inject, please do…..





Things ur worship leader NEVER wants to hear

Lets take a look at a few things that a modern day worship leader NEVER wants to hear…….

“Dude, is it cool I brought my double bass pedal”

“Is that your wife’s scarf”

“I just can’t worship to that song”

“Check it out man, I found my chorus pedal”

“I can’t hear myself (while plugging one ear)”

“What U2 song can we do this weekend”

“You sound just like blahhhh blahhhh blahhh”

“Uhh, you don’t mind wearin’ long sleeves to cover up that tattoo do ya”

“If it wasn’t so loud, we’d be there on time, but, we usually show up right before the message”

“Hey, btw, you’re doing announcements this week”


The reality is (as my good friend Jluv coined)……

If a drummer rocked the double bass and made it work, bring it on…..

If it’s below freezing and your neck is fragile, wear that scarf with pride…..

*even if it is your wife’s

If a song is not engaging for people, think twice about it…..

-If a song is engaging for people and somebody’s got a problem with it, let ’em talk to Jesus about it…..

*you might not wanna be THE one to tell ’em that

If you gotta worry about your guitar players tone, you mighta forgot why you were called to do this…..

*if your guitar player ISN’T worried about their tone, they might wanna focus more on their cover band

If ANYONE can’t hear themselves, politely ASK the right person to give ’em a little more in the monitor…..

*than tell ’em that plugging don’t help


If you sound like someone else, thank God for the gift…..

*unless they’re british…..and you’re not

If you have tattoos and your church doesn’t support your views, you might be at the wrong church…..

Maybe it is TOO LOUD…..

*maybe it’s not, install an earplug dispenser

Sing the announcements, they won’t ask you to do it again…..


All in all, yes, there are many things that the creative, artistic, eclectic, “original” worship leader doesn’t like to hear, BUT, if WE aren’t flexible, adaptable, thick skinned and most importantly focused on what’s best for the WHOLE church (and many times our personal likes and dislikes are shared by a very small minority), than I’m sure the coffee shop down the street would make room on their roster.





“Special 2 Me”

Every place I’ve ever gotten the opportunity to worship at holds a place in my heart, and really I mean EVERY. When you GET to lead people into worship you see lives changing on the spot and that is never not special! BUT there are a few places that hold a “special” place in my heart and Generate @ Crossroads Church in Corona, CA is one of em!


I’ll give you 5 reasons:

1. They genuinely love the next generation and are building them to lead the future

2. I’ve been blessed to be a small part here and there for 5 years now

3. So many of my close and even best friends are involved and/or on staff (or have been in the past)

4. My little brother Jony is there 🙂

5. Just because

There are a few more like Generate out there but today, they’re special……



“Sundays are my favorite”

I know you’re proly thinkin’ “uh ya don’t you lead worship every Sunday”?? Negative! I USUALLY lead worship every Sunday but sometimes not, and even if I did, that’s still not the reason.

(I hope you read that sentence in a very 8 yr old smarty pants accent…..yep, 8)

I’m gonna confess something to you right now……

I pretty much cry at some point or another during every movie, tv show, play, service or any other type of thing that people are involved in. Even reading a book, or an article, blog, whatever. It’s ridiculous, if you only knew, sad moments, happy moments it doesn’t matter, whenever something significant happens, I’m biting my cheek, doin a quick wipe of the eye, a few times, and doing everything I can to NOT!

What does any of this have to do with Sundays????

Well, I cry because for some reason my heart is tugged on easily. I cry because that’s what is supposed to happen isn’t it, an emotional moment that makes the watcher, reader, attender say “this is so good”, even when really it’s not. But, the writer, director or creator whoever, he/she thinks it is, or thought it was, that was the original goal right!

God created us in his image and even though we’re born into sin, we still have a desire to connect back to the heart of who we are, the image and likeness of the creator. If you asked yourself what’s the thing that matters most to the creator, what would you come up with? I come up with people, I ALWAYS come up with people, them coming together for him, changing for the better, lives being touched, hurts being healed, restoration taking place, salvation becoming real, and so on and so on. We want our worship to always be about him and yes, it always is, but it is even more so when it’s so much about him that we begin to see, hear and think like HIM! When THE creator of EVERYTHING originally created this whole life thing, he wanted us to get to that “this is so good” point, and for me, that point is on “Sunday”.