Would be good to see what resources other worship leaders use when looking for new (and old) songs. Do you have music books that you always use or do you listen to new worship CDs and work out the chords yourself?
What praise and worship "ministries" do you follow for inspiration and to keep things fresh?
The family of churches that my church belongs to tend to have annual conferences and I guess we pick the majority of songs up from those. Practically in the past we've purchased the books on sale at the conferences for details of tunes and chords although we're now moving much more to using the internet. Here in the UK the Kingsway site is very good and for a small fee you can download the details of a song. Also I used Resound for the first time this Easter and that worked really well. I've also got an older compilation book called "The Source" which has a lot of the oder material in which I sometimes go back to.
Hi Cheryl - thanks for the suggestion...I think i'm going to restrict the music on Worship The Rock to songs written and recorded by members though, to avoid breaking any copyright laws. Feel free to add any videos of them on here though...
When I used to lead a young adult group I regularly visited the christian bookstores for new CDs and listened for new songs in the radio. Worship conference inspired me lots too (went to Saddleback church, it was awesome!). Our band leader was a gifted musician, so he took care of the chords.
Now I don't have to be so 'up to date' b/c we're leading a small congregation and some of them are very conservative (the hymn type - no drums, we're trying bass right now); a different wide-range crowd (from sr. citizen to youth). That's not bad b/c I'm married with a pre-toddler now, no time and cash like a single person :) We mix new & old songs & hymns. My husband is the guitarist (we're a duo team), we look for chords through CCLI - very convenient. I recently watched Paul Baloche worship workshop DVD; it's encouraging and I learned again. Hearing new music from my faves and going to concerts inspire me. But remaining in God would keep things most fresh for me (John 15).
I have been blessed to partner with my good friend, Don Maresh, who is a gifted songwriter and musician. He writes many praise songs and encouraged me to write original praise music about ten years ago. Now we collaborate on all our praise music.
My inspirations for songwriting come from living life in freedom and from the observations through my police work. I see people in all states of despair and turmoil because of sin. Yet when I read the gospel or hear a sermon, I am challenged to look at these people and situations through the eyes of faith. Often, I will be driving to work and God will speak right to my heart and words start flowing out. So far I have not crashed in my attempts to write the words down!
Don and I have incorporated many of our songs into our church worship celebrations. The pastors and congregation comment often about them. Stop by my page and sample some of our music. I pray you will be blessed as well.
The original material I do is from my own walk with God. It reflects where I am or where I have come from. Most of my current original material is on my page. Other than that, I have a real good friend who also is a songwriter and I do a lot of his material. Then we get to old Integrity! Hosanna stuff (like we are doing Change My Heart, Oh God this week), Matt Redman (lots), Chris Tomlin (lots), old Hymns (like Victory in Jesus), Desperation Band, Clint Brown (not nearly as much as I would like), Mark Condon, and the list goes on..... : )
I usually listen to a few worship leader friends of mine. They are the ones that have the patience to sift through the mountains of CDs available these days. I let them go through those CDs to pick out their favourites, then when one of those songs resonate with me I take it and make it mine. (i.e. better than the original, in my 'humble' opinion)
I personally believe strongly in God speaking to me through the other worship leaders I fellowship with. Many the songs I do are songs I heard them do first. Then I'll have this 'yes!' in my spirit. That's how I know it's time to learn another song...