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New Podcast Episode with Temitope

Temitope is a singer/songwriter and activist based in Nashville. His name “Temitope” means “mine is thanks” and originates from the Yorùbá tribe in Nigeria, where his dad grew up. Through his Nigerian dad and British mom who both immigrated to the United States, TEMITOPE experienced the beauty of diversity within his multicultural household. He and Chris Baker discuss fostering diversity in the local church and being agents of racial reconciliation.

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Four Practices for a Healthy Year

written by Todd Fields, Worship Circle

Originally posted on LeadWorshipWell.com

A few years ago as I was taking time for a sabbatical a friend reminded me of one of the greatest commands that Jesus passed on to us: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

For many of us in ministry, our lives can be so focused on reaching others and caring for others that we live unaware of the need of the care of our own souls. The “as yourself” part Jesus mentioned is often missed and as a result our body, soul, and spirit can be spinning at a pace that doesn’t allow us to actually be present with God, ourselves, or anyone else in a real way. If we can pay attention to caring for ourselves…others will definitely benefit.

The following practices can help us pay attention and also become more aware of what we need.

Slow Down

For much of my life I’ve been in a hurry…without even knowing it. I’ve learned that good things rarely happen fast. Sending that text or email too soon without slowing down to be still and let the emotions pass is usually not a good thing. If you find yourself running at a pace that seems fast, be ok to be curious about the why. 

Are you afraid you’ll miss out? Where does that come from? 

Bring the pace of your life to God. Ask Him to help you pinpoint the insecurity or fear that could be driving your fast paced life.

Be Present

As worship leaders we make it our life’s aim to help people experience God’s presence. Oftentimes we neglect paying attention to experience His presence ourselves.

For us to make it a practice of becoming aware of God’s presence in all things each day…in the profound and the mundane will only go to help us and those we lead experience that same presence.

Open your eyes to God’s beauty in creation, friends, and family around you. Go on a walk and pay attention to the simple good things in life and make time to “get away” like Jesus did to be still and silent with Him. You will be blessed and everyone you lead and those in your family will as well.

Yes’s and No’s

Some of us have a problem with saying yes to everything for fear that we will miss out. I know this has been true for me throughout my life. Matthew 5:37 reminds us to let our “yes be yes and our no be no.”

I’ve learned that a good “no” can leave room for God to meet me in those spaces and for my life to be balanced.

Look at your calendar and make sure you have margin to rest and allow God to minister to you in those spaces. Jesus said no many times. He was God in a body and He modeled what our bodies need. He withdrew often to lonely places to help us know that down time is needed to live well. 

Arrive On Time

Years ago a youth pastor friend shared this principle with me. He said, “Todd…if you are on time you’re late.” I didn’t understand…he then said, “always show up 5 minutes early to any meeting or event you’re a part of…that is on time.”

I never forgot this word of advice and so to end, I’m sharing it with you. By arriving at least 5 minutes early to everything, you give yourself time to come down from whatever you just experienced and prepare to be your best at the next thing. Being even 1 minute late can become a habit that people mark you by. Once this happens trust is eroded.

We get one name in this life. Let yours be one that’s dependable and on time.

 

Read more Equipping Articles on Lead Worship Well

New Podcast Episode with Dwan Hill

The Lead Worship Well podcast is back! Today we share an episode with Grammy Award-winning songwriter, producer and musician, Dwan Hill about the impact and influence of the gospel choir. A little over a year ago, he started The Choir Room in Nashville. Its purpose is to bring choir back and inspire a diverse group of people to unite in song and mission.

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INTERVIEW | The Worship Initiative

Robbie Seay talks about the first original record from The Worship Initiative: a truly communal record in every sense of the word.

Originally posted on LeadWorshipWell.com

 

The Worship Initiative has released their first original album, Psalms from The Well! Before we dive into this record, tell us about the initial vision and purpose of The Worship Initiative and how it has evolved into what it is today.

From the very beginning, Shane and Shane had a vision for The Worship Initiative: to equip and encourage worship leaders serving local churches across the country. Their vision encompassed practical aspects, such as learning to play songs, studying corresponding devotionals, and improving instrumental competency. It also included training for leaders and musicians longing to grow as ministers serving on a ministry team and needing help in areas of theological understanding and pastoral care. Today, we see the immediate need to not only serve leaders in the areas of musicianship and pastoral ministry but also in the area of team leadership and developing other leaders. We are committed to helping leaders grow in all three areas - musician, minister and leader/developer of others.

 

Tell us about the community of writers and worship leaders you all have cultivated over the years that were involved in this project.

For the first time, we hosted six young songwriters from across the country here in Dallas for a six week Residency intensive. Together, we studied the Psalms every morning, spent daily time in worship and prayer, and then wrote new songs from the Psalms every day (for weeks on end). Our staff of experienced songwriters, producers and leaders invested in the Residents each day and were a part of the co-writing sessions in our studios (including Davy Flowers, John Marc Kohl, Aaron Williams, Robbie Seay, Shane Barnard, Dinah Wright, Bryan Fowler and others). The Residency culminated in the recording of the album together with our team, Psalms From The Well, produced by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler. Nearly forty songs were written during that time and twelve were chosen for the album.

 

All of these songs are rooted in the book of Psalms. Why was Psalms the book that was chosen and how did that decision come about?

The Psalms are the hymnbook of the Bible. They are the template for corporate worship in so many ways and there is a never ending well of truth to be sung from them. Joy, Doubt, Fear, Trust, Sin, Redemption — all of it is found in the Psalms and informs how we should be writing for the local church. Our passion for the church to return to a more robust singing of God's word begins with the Psalms, so this record is a culmination of that vision.

 

What did the writing process look like? Did it involve a combination of having the writers be in solitude with God and his word and then have them collaborate with each other?

For The Residency, we chose to write primarily in group settings but only after in-depth study and prayer together in community. So many of the Residents had expressed the desire to write with others and that was such a special part of the album. Rarely do you have so many writers under one roof for six weeks straight, so we varied the groups every day. That kept it fresh and exciting, not knowing who you would be paired with for the afternoon writing sessions. It was truly a communal record in every sense!

 

Tell us about Psalms From The Well’s place in Writers Well: a new space at The Worship Initiative for songwriters.

Writers Well takes our vision to equip and encourage and aims it directly at those longing to grow in songwriting for the local church. "Psalms From The Well" embodies that vision because most of the writers who came for The Residency were not experienced writers. Helping them grow in their craft so that they would leave our studios ready to go write for their own local churches is the biggest win, even beyond an incredible album from the Psalms. We say often around here — BY THE CHURCH, FOR THE CHURCH. We are so excited about all of the resources offered now at the Writers Well corner of our site that will do just that — empower local churches to write for their own congregations.

 

INTERVIEWS ON LEADWORSHIPWELL.COM

NEW RELEASES | 1/19/2024

The Belonging Co | Zeal (allskate remix)

The first single from this new project, "Zeal (allskate remix)" featuring David Dennis & Shantrice Laura, is out now!

Gateway Worship | Who Else

 

"We pray that as you listen you will be reminded that there is no one like Jesus. Let’s join together with all of heaven in exalting the King of kings."

The Worship Initiative | The King of Love My Shepherd Is

 

"Our new release of the traditional hymn 'The King of Love My Shepherd Is' featuring Skye Peterson is out now! It was written in 1868 by Henry Williams Baker based off of Psalm 23. These lyrics remind us that our God is a Good Shepherd and he is worth trusting."

Bridge Worship | That's My King (Reimagined)

 

“This song seeks to elevate Jesus to his rightful place. While our culture seeks to de-throne Jesus, these lyrics works to counteract that by declaring him King!" A reimagined version of Bridge Worship's 2022 release, "That's My King," is out now!

Equippers Revolution | Brand New

 

Written from 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Brand New" celebrates that we find our identity in Christ and that in Him we are made new. 

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NEW RELEASES | 1/12/2024

Josh Baldwin | Made For More

“Made For More” is a song that calls listeners back to the identity and purpose placed on their lives as a child of God. This powerful anthem is a reminder that the Creator of the universe calls each of us by name (Isaiah 43:1), bringing us from death into life.

Jekalyn Carr | JEKALYN

We are excited to introduce award-winning Gospel artist Jekalyn Carr to the MultiTracks.com platform! At the age of 25, she was inducted into the Women’s Songwriters Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., making her the first gospel artist and songwriter to be inducted. Jekalyn is a preacher, singer, songwriter, and published author. Resources are now available for her self-titled album! 

Ricky Dillard | Jesus Jesus Jesus

Chicago native, James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award-recipient, and legendary gospel staple Ricky Dillard shares his latest single “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” featuring Lisa Knowles-Smith, from his forthcoming album Choirmaster II. The new song and project is a perfect example of why Dillard is, and will always be, “the choirmaster.”

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NEW RELEASES | 1/5/2024

Katy Nichole & Naomi Raine | My God Can

“This song is so special because I got to write it with some of my closest friends (Josh Havens, Jordan Mohilowski, Ethan Hulse), and I got to collaborate with the beautiful and talented Naomi Raine, which was such an honor. I am so excited for you guys to hear it and I hope this song gives you the confidence to trust fully in God as you walk into 2024!”

Jeremy Camp | These Days

Returning with his latest single, “These Days,” Jeremy Camp re-writes his sound to address a constantly evolving world. In the middle of the tensions we experience from all over, this song is a reminder to you that you’re created for a purpose and a light in a dark world. 

River Valley AGES | Prayer Journal

"Prayer Journal is a collection of songs lifted straight from our team's daily devotional time with the Lord.  We set out to create a project that would serve as a soundtrack to your personal time of prayer and devotion. We pray that these songs would inspire you day after day to chase after those precious moments of revelation, correction and communion found only in the secret place."

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NEW RELEASES | 12/15/2023

Planetshakers | Christmas Chill, Vol. 1

 

Internationally recognized praise band Planetshakers releases Christmas Chill, Vol. 1. Written and produced by Joth Hunt, the EP features instrumental versions of the Christmas classics “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” along with a rendition of “Hark” and “All Glory” from Planetshakers' latest full-production album for the season, It’s Christmas Live.

We Are Messengers | Come See (Let Us Adore Him)

We Are Messengers is unwrapping “Come See (Let Us Adore Him).” Assisted by a choir courtesy of worship/songwriting collective The Church Will Sing, frontman Darren Mulligan relays the timeless message of Christ’s birth as he puts a holiday spin on the 2020 original first heard on the band’s sophomore album, Power

Equippers Worship | Forevermore

New Zealand group Equippers Revolution releases their debut track from their upcoming album. The song, titled “Forevermore” was produced in Auckland by David Darby and Joshua Huirua and co-written by David Darby, Joshua Huirua, Rachel Stevens, Kenan Stephenson. The devotional’s lyrics mixed with its pop sound will surely encourage you as you sing along. “Forevermore” is a song about remaining in Christ, and declares that we are His forevermore. 

Jesse Frohling, Kenzie Frohling, Remnant House | Silent Night

 

Jesse and Kenzie Frohling’s alternative take on “Silent Night” is a timeless rendition of the classic song. This version seeks to transport the listener to an ethereal place of imagination and creativity.

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