Archive for September, 2010


Broken.Restored.Loved. Part 7

This past Sunday I was reminded of how much God has restored my life and it brought me to tears of gratitude. If you had told me fifteen years ago that I would be working at the 14th fastest growing church in America, doing what I love to do, it would’ve been hard for me to believe. I had messed up my life in so many ways. Yet the journey is why I am so grateful today. I remember not having a home and today I have more than a home – I have a beautiful wife and son with a child on the way. Dreams that I thought would never happen continue to happen over and over because of God’s grace and mercy.

You may feel hopeless today. Perhaps you feel like you are in a dark tunnel that seems to never end. I want to encourage you to keep walking toward the light even though you don’t see it. God has a plan for your life greater than what you could ever dream of. Today, take time to be grateful for all that he has brought you through. Take time to thank him for the things that you are believing He will do in the next years. God has a plan and it is all about the journey.


ten things

10 things I wish someone would have told me about running a student worship band:

1 ) Start small. Don’t start with a band of seven players because it seems like that would make it a legitimate “band.” Only start with what you can handle. Concentrate on helping your small band achieve quality first before you start adding other players to the group.

2 ) Most students don’t keep calendars – parents do. I have learned over the years that no matter how many email reminders I send out, no matter how many calendars I pass out, some of my students still manage to completely forget things. Parents should be included in any communications from the very beginning to save you future headaches.

3 ) Students are busy and don’t have a lot of extra time to study songs for the weekend. I always give my students the resources to listen and prepare in advance, but I have accepted the reality that many of them just won’t ever do that. I come into the weekend ready and prepared to deal with the weakest link.

4 ) Students can’t make my praise band their only priority if they are going to be well-rounded. I encourage and make room for them to play football, be in choir at school, and do anything else extracurricular that they enjoy. If they have to miss a weekend of playing for me because of one of these activities, they know I will never give them flack about it, and God always provides a sub for me in their absence.

5 ) Let students give their input on song arrangements during rehearsal. Many times I will stop and ask, “does anybody have an idea of where we can take this next?” This gives them ownership and lets them know I value their opinions, and you would be surprised at how they light up when you actually decide to use their idea.

6 ) Students need time to just jam and play for fun. For some of them, this is their only time they get to play their instruments loud without disturbing the neighbors. I have learned that when I allow time for them to just play for fun and get it out of their system, they are more disciplined in rehearsals to not try and squeeze in “impromptu noise” every time we stop.

7 ) Know when to stop trying to fix something if it’s just not happening. If you have rehearsed a trouble spot nine times and they are still not landing it like you want them to land it, let it go. Pick your battles on what you want to spend time trying to make perfect.

8 ) Insist that students tune their instruments, not only at the beginning of rehearsal, but don’t be afraid to stop in the middle of a song and say, “We’re all a little bit out of tune, let’s all check to make sure we’re lined up.”

9 ) Have your drummer play with a click. Today’s technology has made this very easy. My drummer literally runs a click off of his phone, believe it or not. He knows I also expect him to keep a running list of BPMs (tempo settings) so that when we dial-up a tune we don’t have to waste time trying to play trial and error to remember the tempo.

10 ) There is always a positive way to give constructive criticism. Students typically do not have thick enough skin yet to accept direct criticism in front of their peers without taking it personally. If you need to correct something in a rehearsal that might hurt a student’s feelings, always start by pointing out the things you like about what they are doing, and then say, “what if we tried this instead?”


Small Diaphragm Condenser Vocal Microphones – Lo Cut Switch

Some of you may know that I am in the middle of testing several small diaphragm condenser mics to use for recording vocalists.  (Note that this is NOT FOR LEAD VOCALS but for multiple tracks of background vocals)

Shure SM81 ($350 from Sweetwater)

Audio Technica  4021 ($250 from

Octava MK-012 – a Russian microphone ($260 from RecordingServices)

Shure KSM137 ($249 from ProAudioStar on eBay)

Shure SM94 ($163 from

So far, I have found that it is very helpful if the mic has a bass roll-off switch (also called a “low-cut” switch).  All of the above microphones DO have a switch to take away the low frequency response EXCEPT the Octava mic… its frequency response goes down to about 20 Hz!  When I am recording kid’s choir vocalists that bump into the mic, the rumble I hear in the control room is obnoxious!  (I don’t have a lo-cut switch on the preamps I am using…)  They DO sell a LO-CUT capsule, but it costs $95!  So, that is “Strike One” against the Russian mic.

More results later!



Worship Is A Verb

Years ago, I heard another worship leader say this and it really stuck with me. You see, a verb is an action word and if there is not action, it really is not worship. That does not mean you have to be jumping around or raising your hands or laying down on the ground to be a true worshipper. It simply means you have to invest your energy and engage your heart.  My coat of worship fits pretty loosely and a lot of how we respond in worship has to do with personality, but the big question is not the external – it is the internal response. When you are in worship, do you sing? Do you engage with the songs lyrics and take them to heart? Do you have your focus on God or are you interested in the way the song is being performed?

I personally know that I am fully engaged when the corporate experience seems to go away and it is just me and God (even when there are crowds of people around me).

What makes worship Real to you? Let me hear your responses.


In Worship, Are We Facilitators Or Just Performers?

There is a fine line in worship leadership between the act of leading worship and merely performing music on a stage in front of a group of participants.  Worship is not (nor has it ever been) a concert or any other performance that is presented by an onstage emcee or performing artist. Corporate worship is a group participation experience, usually with a leader who serves primarily as a facilitator to encourage everyone in the congregation to join together in praise, prayer, and presentation of the group before Almighty God.  God is the Audience. The worshippers sing, pray, and present themselves before Him, to voice their praise and adoration and to listen for Him to speak to them through the presence and power of His Holy Spirit.

Take care that your worship leadership never becomes merely a performance in front of those whom you can see.  Our purpose is to lead worshippers to an encounter with God through a corporate worship experience.  We are facilitators, yes, but we are always worshippers too…never just performers.  Almighty God, the Unseen Guest is the Audience and Observer of our worship, our adoration, our petitions, and our praise.  If we become more preoccupied with how we look or sound than what we say or sing, then our purpose is defeated even before we begin.The objective of our worship is always to open our hearts for Him to inhabit our worship, and to listen for His voice to speak His truths to us through the power of His Holy Spirit.

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’”

(Psalm 122:1)

Be blessed today as you serve Him and lead others into his presence.

Ron Blount


Broken.Restored.Loved Part 6

I heard this story today and wanted to share it with all of you.

A young man was stuck in a deep pit. In his distress, he cried out, “Please someone help!” The first person that heard him looked down in the pit, threw some money down to the man and said, “I don’t know how to get you out but I hope this helps.” The second person that heard him said, “I don’t know how to get you out, but let me pray with you.” The man was thankful for the prayer but he was still stuck in the pit. Then an older man passed by and actually went down to the pit. The young man looked the older man and said, “Now we are both stuck, why did you do that?” The older man replied, “I’ve been down in this pit before and know how to get out. Let me help you.”

Many times we have a story that can rescue someone out of their pit. We have opportunities every day to rescue people. It takes having the courage to remember how we were rescued and reaching and sharing that with someone who needs it today.


Why Give HIM The Glory?

When I was younger, I always had a secret question. Did God have an ego? After all, He asked us to worship Him, and Him alone. He is a jealous God, He is to be feared and obeyed. But this “glory” thing I needed to understand. In reading thru Revelation,  I began to see things in a better perspective. We give Him glory for two reasons. First (and not even debatable), He is the ONLY one worthy of GLORY! Revelation 7, verse 11 have the following 7 attributes of our God: 1. Praise 2. Glory 3. Wisdom 4. Thanks 5. Honor 6. Power 7. Strength. I’m sure with 7 being the “perfect number” in Scripture, this also relates to these.
Here’s another reason we give Him glory, and I’m sure HE knew this before we were created. He’s the ONLY one that can handle it. OK, that may sound a little trite…but it’s so true. What does praise, and honor and glory do to us? It makes us weirder and stranger and totally off balance. We think we deserve it, we actually believe out press releases and album covers are really true and “untouched.” And we think the “rules” have somehow changed and we can make our own standards. As we look everyday at Hollywood celebs, we see them needing more lawyers, doctors, security, recovery, addictions, and higher fences, just to keep them “protected” from the outside world. When we bow the knee and offer any earthly honor back to our Creator, it keeps our lives, our worlds in balance. Only HE is worthy of glory…let’s give it back where it belongs.
In His service together,
David T. Clydesdale

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