Just today, I relived a phone call I have received so many times in my last two years working for the Convention. A pastor calls to ask for help. He has no musicians to lead times of worship–whether on Sunday morning or another setting. They call hoping I have some solution for them. Thankfully I do. After walking the callers through some solutions, I hang up the phone and breathe a prayer, thanking God for the folks at LifeWayWorship.com
This very problem is epidemic in churches throughout our state and the country. Because of this need, I adapted the Worship Leader Boot Camp training to offer intense training for churches with limited resources, showing how various technologies can offer hope in what may seem to be a hopeless situation. In the Special Edition boot camps, I introduce two main technologies – using tracks and using virtual worship bands.
Today, I want to focus on tracks offered through LifeWayWorship.com and accompanying resources that can help your under-resourced church.
In today’s title, I mentioned a “help for churches with many resources,” and indeed LifeWayWorship.com is that, offering great arrangements in congregational-friendly keys of practically any song you want your congregation to sing–both old and new. All the lead sheets and instrumental parts are purchased a la carte, so you only have to purchase the parts you actually need. There are many more benefits for the church with many resources, but today, I want to focus more on the limited resource setting–“a hope for those with few” resources.
For a very small investment of your church’s budget, you can purchase accompaniment tracks for most any song you desire to sing in worship on the LifeWayWorship.com website. Merely go to their homepage, type the song title into the search box, click “go,” and then see all the settings of that song that are available. You can listen to an audio demo of the song and even preview all the parts available. Once you select a song you want, you simply purchase the track and any accompanying print music you may desire and download all of the products.
I frequently use LifeWayWorship tracks when I lead worship without the luxury of a band. When it is just me to provide all the musical accompaniment and lead the singing, I incorporate a mixture of just keyboard, just tracks, tracks with keyboard, and keyboard with virtual worship band (I call this tracks on steroids!) So, if you have one or two musicians, you can have them play along with the tracks to add more realism–more of a live feel–to the tracks. For instance, if you have a high school instrumentalist, try using a track with a single instrument. At a recent boot camp, we used a track with a sax and a trombone to produce a really nice setting of a congregational song. I downloaded the instrumental parts and the accompanying track. If you don’t have any instrumentalists…no problem; just play the track and lead the congregation to sing along.
If you want to produce medleys of songs (song sets), you have two good options. LifeWayWorship produces ready-made Worship Sets. You can see the songs that make up these sets. The products come with the songs already put together in the track and the print products. If you want to produce your own medleys, you can easily do so by importing your single song tracks into audio software, such as the free Audacity, and make your own merges of the individual tracks. (A word of caution: to do this, you need to have a good understanding of key relationships between the songs. I will write on this soon).
There are so many great features and products available at LifeWayWorship.com that I do not have space to cover today. Be sure to check out the SongMap feature where you can change up the sequence of the songs and produce tracks and coordinating print product to match your custom arrangement. You can also save 30-70% with one of their prepay plans. Be sure to check out the fantastic contemporary arrangements of older hymns–a great way to breathe new life into some older songs with great texts. (To find these, click here and then check to show only “Contemporary Hymns.”) What’s not to love about all this? LifeWayWorship.com is a 21st century, living, breathing, organic hymnal that expands every day to meet the needs of today’s church.
Want to take your church’s worship to a new level even without the musicians that you feel are needed? LifeWayWorship.com provides great tools. Come, check out one of our Worship Leader Boot Camps: Special Edition to gain insight and understanding of ways to do all of this with biblical integrity and musical excellence.
Thanks, Mike Harland and all the great people at LifeWayWorship.com for giving great hope to so many churches!