Archive for August, 2011

What is a worship leader exactly? Ever had to answer that question? I have. It’s a surprisingly hard question to answer. Depending on where you are and who you’re talking to they may already have a preconceived notion of who you are and what you do, or they may honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. Awkward. We get so used to being defined by what we do and we never stop to think what ideas the recognition on their faces is really connected with. How would you answer that question by the way?

It scared me, and for a split second I had several questions running through my mind: “Is he a believer?” “Has he been in church recently?” “What notions about the word ‘worship’ has he already formed?” The task is simple: define “worship leader.” But the answer to each of those questions might change what I want to say, how I would describe my profession. The easy answer is to find a category in that person’s mind and declare myself to fit there. The harder answer is to carve out a new category in that person’s mind and then say that’s where I fit in.

What is a leader? To me it is someone who loves and serves those who follow. To this person it might mean a politician sitting in an “untouchable” office getting paid more than he really needs or deserves. To you it might be something else entirely. You can explain what a true leader should be or leave the connotations undefined. To this person you may seem arrogant or incongruent when you define what you strive to be, or your answer might alienate him from the gospel. How would you answer the question?

What is worship? To me it is the act of putting God in God’s place, praising the Creator to whom praise is deserved and living according to his desires and not your own. To this person it might mean superstitious foolishness, emotional manipulation or just boring music in a church service. You can explain exactly what worship is or assume you mean the same thing they do. They may think you a blind follower of a mythical supreme being, a sick manipulator of the otherwise innocent masses or just a nice guy who picks out the worst music. They might not listen to anything else you have to say. How would you answer the question?

You see, it may not be just what you do that you’re defining to this person, but also who you are. Know who you are. Know what you’re answer to this question is. Yes, you are a child of God. Yes, you are a teacher. Yes, you are a pastor. How do you say that? This conversation could open this man’s heart and mind to the gospel. So….

How did I answer the question?

“I am a worship leader. I show people how to live life to the fullest, giving glory to God in all of their words and actions, and sometimes I play a guitar and sing in front of people.”

Writing this is a lot easier than letting it come out of my mouth in a conversation. I pray that we all find that kind of boldness and confidence in the truth, always ready to answer for the hope that is within us.

How would you answer the question?


Have you ever asked yourself why your church has a CCLI license? I mean, what about the legal mumbo jumbo about the religious service exemption to the copyright law? What is a CCLI license anyway? I want to answer these questions and more so I am going to spend some time and several posts exploring the issue of copyrights for the church and the individual. I pray that the information I provide here will be of immense help to you and your organization. Here is a short overview:

Many of those in churches and organizations today have some knowledge of the CCLI license and often have a general idea about copyrights: we shouldn’t pirate music or movies. But all too often churches assume that the CCLI license covers things that are explicitly not covered, such as duplicating rehearsal tracks, a practice that has never been covered by the basic CCLI license. As vague as those details might be, the general public knows even less about it. Thus it is commonplace to find Christian families, especially teens, that possess copies of music, movies and other copyrighted materials that have been illegally obtained. Both federal and international laws consider illegally obtaining copyrighted materials as stealing.

Copyright laws are the regulations that govern the usage of what is referred to as “intellectual properties” and protect the owners of said properties by granting them certain rights to restrict how and in what way those properties may be used. Simply stated: this is what allows artists, writers, videographers, photographers, choreographers, composers and songwriters to make a living. These people, and many others, have legal rights to be paid for their work and creativity and violating those rights is quite literally stealing their paycheck.

Copyright compliance is simply a term describing the respect of all intellectual property and its owner(s) in accordance with copyright law. Intellectual property can be anything within a wide range of areas and I will cover those in a later post, however the most important question you need to ask yourself in any given situation regarding the arts or entertainment is “Do I have permission to do this?” There are many other factors concerning copyrights and the laws providing them but that never overrides this pivotal question. If the answer is no then, please, refrain from doing it. If the answer is yes then double check it and have it in writing somewhere.

There is much more to come on this topic so please come back and visit! In the meantime, here are some links that might interest you.

Copyright Law

Christian Copyright Solutions