Shoreline’s Music Ministry is hosting another Open Mic Night! It’s coming up on Friday, September 14th at 7pm, and we encourage you to not only come enjoy the performances but also invite some friends. This is a free family friendly event, and snacks and drinks will be provided. Come join us for a night of musical performances, poetry, and maybe even a puppet show.
If you’d like to get on the performer list, please contact Jonathan Ryan
See you there!
This month I want our prayer focus to center around lifting each other up. We have a great community of musicians and singers that make up our Music Ministry, and we need to constantly grow closer together. Prayer for one another is a great way to do this, so I encourage you to pick one or two people on our team and pray for them throughout the month of April. Pray that God would continue to grow and strengthen our team, and pray that God would continue to give us each a heart that is constantly growing in passion for worship. Because we’re on stage, people can often mistakingly get the impression that we ‘have it all together.’ But we all know that we get tired, stressed, and challenged just like everyone else. Let’s lift each other up!
Spring Cleaning: Time to Refocus
Serving in the Music Ministry on Sunday mornings can become a routine just like anything else. We accept the Planning Center request, read Jonathan’s email to the band, hopefully practice, attend rehearsal, play the three services. Done! The logistics of serving in our ministry are, of course, of great importance. However, I’d like to challenge each of us to take some time to reflect on our service and how we can do an even better job at it. As spring is right around the corner and we’ll all be clearing out our junk, let’s also throw away some bad habits we might have as we serve! Here are a few ways we as musicians and singers might grow in our service:
Punctuality. We all run a few minutes behind from time to time, but let’s be sure to try our best to be on time at both rehearsal and on Sunday mornings. When you’re late it can often hold up the band from beginning their run through of the songs, and it can cause monitor checks to be inaccurate. On mornings where we might have more challenging songs to play, this can waste precious minutes of rehearsal time.
Preparation A. Before you start practicing the songs vocally or instrumentally, are you taking a few moments to quiet your heart and focus on what the songs are actually saying? While physical preparation is important, spiritual preparation is even more vital. We can often simply rely on our own talents or our own familiarity with the songs we play to carry us through a Sunday, but I challenge each of us to prepare our hearts spiritually before our individual practice times. On Saturday evenings, I lock myself in our spare room and have a final time of reflection and practice for Sunday morning. But I don’t just play through the songs – rather, I spend time worshipping and praying through the songs. Try this in your own time – I guarantee it will add even more depth and meaning to your Sunday morning worship times.
Preparation B. Once you’ve prepared your heart for worship, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty! All of us have found ourselves coming to rehearsal unprepared after a busy or stressful week. These weeks happen, and we completely understand. However, most of us do have some time in our weeks to sit and listen to the songs if we don’t know them. Make it a habit to listen to and practice the songs before Thursday rehearsal – let’s not make a habit of relying on our ability to play/sing on the fly. In addition to practicing, I urge you to memorize what you can of the songs. Again, with your busy schedules this isn’t something that is doable for everyone. However, even if you memorize how to play the choruses of songs, it can allow you to look up from the music and worship freely with the rest of the congregation. I’ve found the memorization has actually freed me up on stage, and it adds a sense of ownership that the congregation will feel.
Research & Development. We will always continue to mix things up at Shoreline – sometimes we have acoustic sets, sometimes full band, sometimes gospel music, and sometimes folk or blues. This keeps things interesting, but we also have a ‘main flow’ stylistically. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with certain bands and styles that you may not normally listen to. This knowledge and experience with this music will ultimately enhance your experience of serving in the Music Ministry. Here are some great bands to search on YouTube or iTunes: Hillsong United, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Jesus Culture, Elevation Worship, Bethel Worship.
This month, begin to pray about what it is in your life that God wants you to surrender to Him. Is there a circumstance or relationship that you’re trying to handle on your own? Is there something in your life that is standing between you and God? As you pray, be open and honest, and ask Him to reveal what these things might be (if you ask, He’ll show you!). Begin to surrender these things to Christ, and trust His wisdom and guidance. As you come to church each Sunday, begin to surrender yourself in worship in an even greater way than before. Maybe you don’t normally lift your hands – try it as an act and sign of surrender to God.
Thanks to all the great performers at our first Open Mic Night of 2012! We had the privilege of hearing over two hours worth of talented musicians from around the community, and we are very much looking forward to having some of them return at our next evening together. If you missed this one, stay tuned for information about our next gathering – we are trying very hard to have one of these events downtown during the summer months. If you’d like to be on the contact list of performers for the next event, please email email@example.com. See you next time!