Two Sunday’s back we had Keith and Sharon Lancaster at Northwest for their Praise and Harmony Worship Workshop. This is the second year we have had them come and I have to say the second year was even better than the first. We had better attendance, more people participated, and area churches were able to benefit from the workshop as well. We had over 600 on Sunday morning, which is the most we have had in quite some time. The singing was so powerful on Sunday I thought for a brief moment that my singing actually sounded good. I was singing out and couldn’t even hear myself sing because just about everyone else was singing out. Keith did a great job on Saturday night working with us on dynamics and reminded us on Sunday morning just how much energy a worship service can have. We sang 26 songs! Keith said that is a record for him. One thing I learned from Keith that was helpful is that leading singing is more than just starting a song. It is actual leading – giving cues as to what is about to happen or what is expected (faster, slower, louder, softer, etc) so that people actually have to look at the song leader to know what is going on. It really draws people in to participate in the worship unlike anything I have ever seen before. I highly recommend having Keith come and do one of these seminars at your congregation. One thing I love about Keith is his sensitivity to worship styles at the congregations he leads in. He doesn’t come to rock the boat. He comes to encourage and to teach.
For information on how to schedule a seminar see this link to the acappella homepage. For Keith’s personal blog see this link. Thanks again Keith for motivating us to invest more time and energy in our singing! It has been a blessing at Northwest and has been one of the reasons we have grown over the last year. Keith also does a great job of training song leaders. Keith mentioned that our preachers get so much education but our song leaders usually get little attention when it comes to education. Yet the singing makes us a large % of our congregational worship on Sunday morning. It is time we re-examine our worship and put emphasis on praising God. I appreciate that there are people like Keith and Sharon who have the talent and desire to do exactly that!