Never Stop Learning
I've been leading worship for almost 20 years, but I still have a ton to learn. Lately I've been a sponge for learning about songwriting, leading worship, and being creative.
I think it's vital for worship leaders and creatives to admit that they're not as great as they think they are. Sounds a bit like something from Romans:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
(Romans 12:3 ESV)
I have to say, I've not been as humble as people might think. I know, I know I'm Nate-Mr-Nice-Never-Mean-Guy, but actually I'm pretty full of myself. I've written well over 100 songs, lead worship in front of thousands, and played with all the big boys. For years I thought I was something, when really I was just a skinny dude who has had a handful of pretty fortunate moments.
I'm not saying I have tons to boast about, but I am saying that I could get to a place (and have) where I stop learning from others, thinking that I've arrived.
My 30 Day Commitment
So this is going to be fun. I'm planning on diving into 10, carefully chosen blogs pertaining to worship leading and songwriting. Some of these guys you may not have heard of, but as I looked around I found some sites that make me want to just sit down, grab a pen and some paper, and learn. I'm enrolling into a new-media school with 10 classrooms.
For the next 30 days I plan on reading whatever comes in through the RSS reader from the sites below, and then taking what I learn and making application in my own life. As I learn along the way I hope to share my thoughts here with you.
The Chosen Blogs
Adrian has been blogging for a while now. He wrote the book Raised With Christ, a great book on how Christians need to emphasize the resurrection more. The reason I like Adrian is that he's a strong voice for the Reformed Charismatic movement. Check out his stuff if you haven't. I'll be diving in even more.
I technically found out about Chris on Twitter, but was further introduced to him by my friends Page CXVI. It's been great following him. He's Director of Worship at Orangeville Baptist Church in Canada where he often talks about his experiences there as a worship leader. His recent post on how they set-up their new connection kiosk is pretty fantastic - loads of useful posts like this one.
VP of publishing for Centricity Records, Steve Rice, has a great blog on songwriting. This guy has contributed a lot to the "modern worship movement". I met Steve about 15 years ago at a Worship Together Conference. He's personally coached me in my songwriting and I look forward to mining his site for even more gold on how to become a better writer.
David's a worship leader at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, PA and has a very content-saturated blog on being a local church worship guy. I'm really looking forward to this class! David's eBook on writing worship songs looks like a valuable resource. Planning on purchasing it today in fact.
Fred is also a local church worship pastor where he and his family live in Georgia. His blog is a loaded resource of info. He also runs http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/ which is dripping with great content. I guess this technically is two websites!
I'm an Ableton Live user, and have used it a few times on Sunday mornings, but quite frankly I can speak Chinese better than work this stuff. I desperately need help here. Excited to grow!
This one is a little more daunting. It could totally be a course at a liberal arts school. Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson came up with this great idea for an online community surrounding creativity in the life of a Christian. I could just do this blog and I'd be thrilled.
I met Rich Kilpatrick, a blogger and worship leader from California at a conference last year called Forge. We connected over Skype a few times and he was a great encouragement to me. His heart is to see creative people grow in their leadership abilities without losing their unique creative-ness. His other site WorshipMythBusters is also a helpful resource. I totally enjoyed meeting this dude. Fun guy. GREAT blog.
Another Twitter connection. Rob has been blogging for a few years now and is also a worship pastor at his church. He's written this eBook on how to lead a successful rehearsal that I'm totally planning on diving into. Stoked.
I literally just found out about this guy yesterday morning. John Cordes recently started following me (on Twitter) and when I checked out his blog, I was a fan right away. Looks like we have a lot in common: A worship guy, a pastor, a singer/songwriter artist-type, AND he did a version of the Whole30 which is completely awesome. (Katie and I recently did that; I may write about it at some point)
So there's my list....
Now I need to go crush it as Gary would say...