Notes from Wonder09 Breakout Sessions

to WorshipBelow is a continuation of my series of notes from Wonder, the Willow Creek Arts Conference 2009.  Click here for notes from Day 1. These notes are from Day 2 – the breakout sessions where we were able to pick sessions that most interested us.  Please feel free to share your thoughts or comments as well.  If you attended other workshops, share the link to your posts about them here as well!


How To Build A Rockin Praise Band

  • The team should work it’s best to help the Worship Leader do the best they can do in leading the congregation
  • Keep room for creativity in rehearsals
  • People first experience music as entertainment – so it must be engaging / exciting enough to capture their attention before it will be able to minister to their souls.
  • Get on the phone or have conversations before the day of rehearsal to get the creative juices flowing within the band
  • Brokenness and Celebration are key to a worship band. To really build community, people must be able to bring their pain and challenges as well as be able to celebrate their victories within the team.
  • To help your sound tech learn your expectations for the mix  –  watch a concert DVD on Mute with him or her and ask them to point out what sounds should be ‘in focus’ during various shots / parts of the concert.
  • Bands should rehears the musical pad / fill / open spaces that happen in services.
  • Layer rehearsals by doing each song for about 7-8 minutes then moving on to the next song. Repeat this process until each song has been rehearsed several times to improve memory / retention




Building and Audition System with Jason Hathey from The Journey Church

  • Churches everywhere often share the same challenges.  “Go with what God gives you”
  • The Majority of worship team members have a different ‘daytime’ profession
  • Ministry / Serving is a pathway to Discipleship – people who are engaged in serving are more likely to be taking steps to grow in their faith to be come Christ-like, and to serve like Christ
  • Auditioning is key in part because God has put us in a place to protect the platform where we worship.
  • We don’t want people to only be committed to the team but also to the church.
  • Make serving something that can be done in seasons – allow people to take a break – and have someone to replace them.
  • Keep people in a place where they will succeed.
  • Make an Audio recording of important meetings or orientation so that everyone can listen and learn even if they missed the meeting.



Inspiring Your Church to Worship – with Sam Middlebrook of DevelopingWorship.com

This was one of the most powerful sessions I’ve ever experienced at Willow Creek!

  • Why People Don’t Engage in Musical Worship: 1) people don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord. 2) They know Him as Savior but not as Lord. 3) They refuse to worship outside of their musical preference. They Worship songs, not the Lord. 4) they come from a tradition of reverence – which is actually a modern tradition.
  • We often haven’t looked at what should go into our worship.
  • Paul and Silas (Acts 16) were praising God in jail – it’s part of who they were. Praise is a common thread in the life of believers.
  • Praise is 1) a response to God’s goodness. 2) gives us perspective on who God is verses who we are, 3) is based on God’s character and the things he does for his Children, 4) is a function of our will – not just our emotions.  Our emotions will motivate us to action.
  • How we can be biblically inspired to Worship:
    • Lifting our Hands – Psalm 63
    • Clapping our Hands
    • Playing of Instruments
    • Standing – Nehemiah 9:5
    • Kneeling / Bowing – Psalm 95
    • Singing  – Psalm 47
    • Dancing and Leaping – Psalm 149
    • Shouting
  • Every Believer should use all eight of those expressions in different seasons of praising God.
  • These are the ways God has shown us in the scriptures that he likes to be loved.
  • Worship is respect for the Holiness of God
  • Worship is an intimate language of Love that comes from the attitude of our heart.
  • Mark 12:41-44 – draws attention to not only what she gave, but just how much everyone else had been holding back in the offering of their lives.
  • God sees when we hold back our lives and our praise.
  • Preach to the excited the importance of Stillness and Reverence
  • Preach to the Reverent the importance of Excitement
  • Worship Leading is Teaching as well.



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  • Will Saunders

    This nice and I would love to have attended. The session on inspiring the church was very moving. A friend of mine is a part of a new church. It is just getting started. I will refer him here. I am sure he will find some useful tips. Thanks for sharing Darren. God bless.