Worship Leader/Songwriter Laura Story

Once an aspiring symphony orchestra conductor, Story didn’t even know she could sing – much less write songs – until she was in her early twenties.

The start of Laura Story‘s life in music & God’s call on her life reminds me of my own story, at least thus far, as a flutist being turned into a worship leader & wondering how God will glorify Himself next…

Laura Story wrote the worship song Indescribable (also recorded by Chris Tomlin), and can currently be heard singing Mighty To Save (Hillsong) on Christian radio.

Next week she’ll be leading in worship at the choral festival I’m attending & I look forward to it. I love hearing what God is doing & has done in His children’s lives!

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Worship Planning & Organization

I’ve just posted a blog entry at my blog with tips on being organized for worship service planning. Decided I’d share it with all of you as well. Hope that it can be of help!

I’ve only been leading worship for a short time, but I’ve already learned that being organized makes worship planning much easier! Some things that have worked for me that fellow worship leaders may find useful:

#1. Use dry-erase boards.

A good way to keep post-its & such from cluttering your workspace! Use it to write down song ideas for upcoming worship services & even use magnets to hold chord charts for quick review. When ideas for services other than the one being planned come to mind, this is where they can be written them down for your next planning session.

#2. Keep your sheets organized.

Keep chord & lead sheets in a filing cabinet or binder sorted alphabetically for quicker access. This can also save printing from CCLI (or other services) when you can access sheets printed for prior use.

#3. Utilize spreadsheets.

Our previous worship leader had a great system for keeping track of songs by title, hymn # (if applicable), key, dates used, & CCLI number. You can even color-code for things such as tempo, seasonal, song prospects, or to note which instrument you play on certain songs. (Be sure to make a color key though!)

#4. Make use of document templates.

Another idea I’ve inherited from our previous worship leader: Make a layout for the service or services you plan, then save as templates in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. When planning services, you can simply open the template & enter the song or hymn titles for that worship service. Copy/paste into email for your worship team & you’re ready to go!

#5. Stackable documents trays = less clutter.

Many already use these for filing papers & such, & they are great to prevent paper clutter on your desk. You can use more or less depending on your need. I use 3-4 stackable trays in this way:

  • 1: Current week’s music on top (for both Sunday & Wednesday choir rehearsal)
  • 2: Music for future rehearsals/Sundays
  • 3: Song prospects for review
  • 4: Miscellaneous (upcoming conference/festival literature, music to purchase, etc.)

Did this help you to become more organized or give you other ideas? Share some tips of your own in the comments!

from Jan’s blog: A Painful Joy

One of our fellow women in worship, Jan Owen has recently written an entry at her blog in response to her experience of being a part of the ordination of a fellow woman in ministry.

In it she also talks about some of her own experiences of being a woman in ministry & hearing God’s call for her life.

An excerpt:

This event affected me in a very deep way. I received my calling into ministry at the age of twelve and really didn’t know what I was called to exactly, just that God had something special for me to do. As I served in youth ministry I truly loved that and enjoyed our kids so much. But it was in worship ministry that I felt my truest sense of calling confirmed. When I lead worship I feel a great peace and joy that THIS is what God created me to do. As I direct others to focus on God I know that “yes, this is what I was made for”. But acceptance in that position as a woman has not always been a given for me.

Check it out for a thoughtful & uplifting read!