|Worship Leaders Point of View|
Living in a small town with limited resources regarding musicians and natural musical talent, I wanted our church to enjoy and experience a more exciting worship time with the Lord, despite our limitations.by Duane Genders
Having been involved in music for many years, I have come to understand the important role music plays in our lives as Christians. Being able to enter into Gods presence is one of the most fulfilling acts to experience as a Christian.
Living in a small town with limited resources regarding musicians and natural musical talent, I wanted our church to enjoy and experience a more exciting worship time with the Lord, despite our limitations. We merely had accoustic guitars ( sometimes accompanied by keyboards ) making up our music team. Having heard the Vineyard CDs, I realized that we could only achieve close to their feel if we had more experienced musicians. As that was not an option, I turned to my experience in using sequenced music to achieve this result.
Using sequenced music does limit you in many ways, but if used in the right way, it can be very effective and provide the dimention you desire. I usually sequence more of the praise orientated songs (this does not mean that I will always use it on the day, but it is there). If I feel lead to tone down and do one of the sequenced songs, I can always play it acoustically. Worship songs can be as effective when sequenced.
The limitations are that you can not deviate from the rigid structure of a sequence (especially when you feel like doing another chorus, for instance). Also, it places a bit of pressure on the worship leader as he has to know the sequence very well (know how long your intro is or how many times you do the chorus at a given point). You can, with the help of additional controls, deviate from the format by using for example a stop/start peddle (if you feel you want to cut the song short or go into an acoustic feel).
Using sequencers also helps other musicains grow musically as it gives them the freedom to experiment and explore (the basic structure is played by the sequencer). This gives them more confidence and they become more creative. Sequencers can also be a major benefit to experienced musicians. If the group has no drummer, for example, a sequencer can fill the role, especially if it is a small congregation and volume is a problem. Also, it can give a musician freedom to be more creative (this does not mean the musician is not capable of playing a specific piece, it merely means that, like in recording studios, for instance, a keyboard player might lay down four tracks in a song. When playing live he can only play one of those parts. The sequncer can help with the rest). Musicians should, therefore, not look down on sequncers. It can be an invaluable tool. In fact, many international acts rely on the use of sequencers or other playback facillities.
Worship is one of the most important dimentions to Christianity. I believe we should strive to create, as best possible, an enviroment for others to draw close to God in worship. By this I dont mean just playing a few songs a couple of times. Music is one of the most powerful mediums we have. It can effect emotion and create atmosphere. If used in the right way, it can bring people into Gods presence. Experiencing God in this way is what makes Christianity a reality. God is no longer just a character in a book, but a tangible entity. We can only begin to experience God once we allow ourselves to be consumed by his presence and power.
Copyright © 1998 Duane Genders <firstname.lastname@example.org> is the worship leader of the East London Vineyard, South Africa. Visit http://www.gis.co.za/elvine/duane.htm for more on Midi, including some files you can download.
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