Looked back through my bookmarks and found some stuff that my worship leader pals might dig. And just to make it more fun, comment below with your recommendations. If something has been working in your church, share the wealth!
I get linked to "why aren't people singing" posts all the time and to be honest, I find most of them pretty awful. But this video from Graham Kendrick is a thoughtful, encouraging reminder of the responsibilities and challenges worship leaders face when leading people. Graham's been doing this a long time and offers some solid wisdom in this short video.
Of course, after watching the video above, I got sucked in and found myself following Graham Kendrick clips down the YouTube wormhole. He and I don't line up perfectly on theology (like the filing-of-the-Holy-Spirit he references) but as a guy who writes hymns, I think this song is solid through and through. And he's right, we need more songs that express the surprising mystery of all God is. I had never heard it before but thought it was about the most hymn-like "modern" song I've heard in awhile.
This is more an observance than recommendation, but I have been excited of late to see how many churches are using Bandcamp to distribute their music. (Example A, Example B) That's not to say these folks aren't also using other platforms, but I think Bandcamp somehow has retained an "indie" sensibility that folks respond to. Seriously have considered using Bandcamp only for any future releases. I also like the fact that you can listen to the whole song for free AND buy it from the same source.
I have a tense relationship with motion backgrounds. I don't think they've run their course, but moving backgrounds on church screens have just become expected among churches. But, if chosen wisely, I think they can add some color and vibrance to sanctuaries that are utilitarian to the point of invisibility. Last year, I started a subscription to churchmotiongraphics and I've been consistently impressed. We don't use everything they provide, but for $10 a month, it's providing tastefully done, glitch-free backgrounds that fit our space. I also love that all of the motions are also included as stills. (In fact, some of them look better as stills!)
I love Micahel Farren's songwriting. He has a unique gift to write modern, accessible songs that still prioritize reverence and poetry. Caught this song a few weeks ago and am trying to find a place to work into our sets as soon as possible. And yes, I'll admit it sounds like a hymn and that's probably why I like it so much. (HYMNBOY strikes again!) I think the "oh oh" bridge is a fad that's almost run its course. Regardless, a beautiful song that sings great.
My feelings on mega-church "live" albums/videos notwithstanding, the Church Songs album from Vertical Church is quite good. The songwriters and arrangers on this album do have a knack for crafting singable songs, specifically choruses and bridges. In fact, of all the big church music releases, I think Vertical Church is the best when it comes to congregationally-singable songs. (North Point's a very close second, btw.) I don't think every song is doable, simply based on post-production value, but the ones that hit, really do HIT.
Okay, your turn. What else out there is good?