2016 By The Numbers

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This has been quite a year! At this time last year, we were just beginning to understand what God meant when he said,

“Share everything.”

The Springbrook venue was just getting going, the Preteen ministry was about to kickoff, House Worship was still at a house, and Knoxville wasn’t even on the radar.

God has formed our little tribe of artists, and the Vineyard has become a safe place to connect with God and other creatives. One of the beautiful side effects is incredible worship services where people experience God. New ministries and multiple venues not only mean more of these services but also more opportunities for worship leaders to take risks and grow.

The numbers bear that out! These stats reflect the services of the Maryville venue, Springbrook venue, Knoxville venue, Vineyard Youth, Vineyard Preteen, House Worship, and a few special services we hosted in 2016. I also included the 2015 numbers when possible for comparison.

Services

  • 414 total worship services (266 in 2015)
  • 197 Sunday services outside our building (10)
  • 245 rehearsals (158)
  • 1,125 hours in rehearsals and services (762)

People

  • 113 musicians & technicians served (72)
  • 36 people led our church in a song (27)
  • 43 led worship from the sound booth (25)
  • 6,978 man-hours in rehearsals and services (4,975)

Songs

  • 154 total songs sung in all environments (108)
  • 86 songs used for Sunday morning gatherings (93)
  • 30 songs from the Vineyard tribe (21)
  • 15 homegrown originals (6)
  • 19 hymns (18)
  • 10 Christmas carols (7)
  • 24 songs unique to Vineyard Youth or Preteen (15)
  • 23 songs incubated at House Worship (0)

Songwriting & Recording

  • 24 active songwriters (17)
  • 15 songwriting small group meetings Feb 16-May 24
  • 1 songwriters night at Vienna Coffeehouse on May 31
  • 3 attendees to Southeast Song Summit Sept 19-20
  • 9 songwriters attended our annual retreat Nov 4-5
  • 22 original worship songs finished
  • 2 original songs translated to Spanish
  • 9 recording sessions
  • 4 songs recorded

Training

  • 15 attended training lunch with Dan Wilt on May 14
  • 2 students & 1 faculty attended Worship Leaders Bootcamp in Nashville June 14-17
  • 21 kids K-5th attended kids’ worship jam on July 7
  • 37 attended training with Mike O’Brien on July 16.
  • Guest worship leader Mike O’Brien on July 17
  • Provided 2 worship leaders & equipment for Vineyard Southeast Regional Conference July 18-21
  • Guest worship leader Sarah Pemberton on Aug 21
  • 17 attended youth worship circle & training on Oct 12

If you helped facilitate any part our worship gatherings in 2016: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I’m so grateful to get to serve alongside you as we put God’s beauty on display and cover the hills of East Tennessee with the songs of heaven. Who knows where the sound will reach next?!?

Thanksgiving Wisdom from Ray Hollenbach

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The peace of Christ to each of you on this Thanksgiving week!

Each year, this holiday stirs up a wide range of memories, emotions, and interactions with family or friends.  For some, this time is full of joy and rest, while, for others, this week comes bearing painful reminders of loss. We believe that the Lord is near to us through it all.

However this week meets you, know that those of us that get to serve and worship alongside you are indescribably grateful that the Father has brought each of you into this Kingdom work with us.  You are all a sincere delight to the worship staff and to our congregation.

We hope that this week would be a reminder to us all that we are called to live as a people of daily thanksgiving to the Lord.

Ray Hollenbach, our dear friend, author, and pastor from Campbellsville, Kentucky, has written two very timely blogposts about the Christian’s act of giving thanks.

Below are excerpts from and links to these two articles:

  1. “The Dangers of Thanksgiving”

In this first reflection, Ray examines the ways in which we express thanksgiving and what kind of gratitude is pleasing to God.

“But there is a path that leads to life, thanksgiving that enters the gates of God’s estate. Healthy thanksgiving is absolute. Without qualification. It has no need to look about. Absolute thanks focuses on the Giver and the gift. Absolute thanks understands that the gift says everything about the Giver—and next to nothing about the one who receives it, other than the receiver is the object of perfect love. Relative thankfulness looks around; absolute thanks looks up. Absolute thanks yearns for everyone to know such joy. Absolute thanks is the little boy who hits a home run, and wishes every other boy on the team will get the same chance to experience the thrill of taking the victory lap.”

Read the full post here

2. “The Current of Thanksgiving”

This piece works through giving thanks as a daily practice and act of worship and how the Spirit can shape us in the gratitude.

“Anyone can recite the major blessings of their life if they are called upon to do so every once in a while. But the daily practice of thankfulness either becomes dull via repetition or a mere formula we rush through before we move on to the next task. Unless we apply ourselves to the substance of the prayer: can we develop the skill to discover God’s goodness day-by-day? My ten-minute morning prayer exercise has begun to sharpen my awareness of God’s mercies, which after all, are new every morning. As I go about my day I try to gather up in my memory the Father’s small kindnesses—and I’ve discovered there are hundreds each day! But we only find those things we are looking for.”

Read the full reflection here

Kids Worship Jam

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Vineyard-Kids-Worship-JamOur first Kids Worship Jam was incredible! Seven members of our worship team spent a few hours teaching 20 kids from age five to 5th grade. We got to see them engage in worship as they stretched for new musical skill… I’m pretty sure the team got more out of it than the kids!

We spent the bulk of our time together working on the song “Holy Spirit” by Bryan & Katie Torwalt. Not only is this a favorite of our church, it’s also easy to play. There are only three chords, and in the key of D, they’re among the easiest chords to learn on guitar.

We only scratched the surface on Thursday, and we want the kids to continue, so we put together some resources to help them learn more. Download the PDF and check out the videos below:

Download PDF

“Holy Spirit” Piano Tutorial:

Guitar Tutorial For Key of D:

Other free resources to check out:

Don’t Limit Your Musicianship

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Happy Thursday, everyone!

I just finished reading a fantastic blog post from one of my regular favorites, Mr. David Santistevan.

In the post, David drops some truth about the need for us, as worship leaders, to dive deep into the rich well that is musicianship.  Even if the only place you play in front of anyone is at church on Sunday’s, it is critical to draw and learn from the vast musical experiences and works that the world shares.

I won’t ramble anymore, because you really should read David’s teaching, but I think our musical development makes for better leading of worship.  Music is a deeply spiritual gift the Father gives humanity, so lets steward it well.

Check out the article here!

David Santistevan: Why Corporate Worship Is Good For The Soul

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Happy Thursday, worship people!

Today I want to invite you to check out a wonderful excerpt from David Santistevan’s blog.  In his article, “Why Corporate Worship Is Good For The Soul”, Santistevan speaks to 5 powerful components that make church-family praise what it is.  Read the full article and check out David’s site here, and reflect on his 5 points below:

“1.Corporate worship reorients – left to myself, I live for myself. I pursue my goals, my happiness, my fulfillment. This is great except for the fact that it’s an unbiblical way to live. Worshiping with my church family is a weekly reorientation to prioritize the Kingdom of God and live for more than myself. It puts me in contact with the timeless truth of Scripture rather than the passing fad of culture.

2. Corporate worship is a reminder – Primarily, it’s a reminder of the Gospel. “Christ Jesus and Him crucified” isn’t a one-time salvation experience. It’s the truth my heart needs to encounter every day. And corporate worship is a weekly reminder to trust in Christ as my sole source of hope.

3. Corporate worship is community – When I physically attend a worship service, I’m thrusted into a healthy awkwardness. Young people, old people, rich people, poor people, cool people, weird people – all singing together. But I’m a part of a movement that is global – the global body of Christ. I need to see this and feel this every single week.

4. Corporate worship is encounter – God reserves a special blessing for when His children gather. We all know the popular verse:

“For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20).

We gather not to criticize, complain, observe, police, or be entertained. We come to encounter the presence of God. Anything is possible in the presence of God.

5. Corporate worship is where I can contribute – Whether I’m on the worship team or not, church is a place where I can invest my life into others. I can encourage someone. I can serve somewhere. I can pour my life into another.”

Great stuff from a great teacher on worship ministry.  Let these reminders guide our perspective for our worship gatherings this week, whether we’re on or off the stage.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend that’s filled with God’s presence.

Mike O’Brien: 3 Tips for Music Stands

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Alright folks!

Today’s post is SO crucial for those of us leading from the various stages of Maryville and Springbrook worship.

In his video “3 Music Stand Tips For Worship Teams”, Mike O’Brien gives incredibly practical advice that has deeply spiritual implications for how we make ourselves accessible to our church family.

Click here to watch the video and read the short article.

 

Each one of us on the worship team will be at a different stage in this process,  BUT I believe our goal is to intentionally take forward steps.  Whether your eyes are glued to your charts for every minute of our worship set, you’re ready to lower the stand for occasional reference, or you’re close to ditching a stand altogether, working for progress matters.  We want to engage with our people and with the Spirit in the room, and the less we’re staring at charts the better.

Love you guys, let’s work on this together to remove walls between us and the family.

 

Owning The Music

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Happy Friday, everybody!

I hope this weekend finds you safe and as warm as possible. Pray for everyone’s safety and protection as the snowpocalypse draws nigh.

This week’s resource post comes to us in a truly insightful, practical article titled, “Owning The Music” by Will Doggett. Will Doggett is the Director of Training and Development at Multitracks.com and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He has a passion for training Worship Leaders how to use technology as a tool for leading worship. He brings a unique perspective to worship leading and technology having served the Church as a Worship Leader, Music Director, and Creative Director.

In the post, which you can find and read here, Doggett gives really clear and easily applicable instruction to worship team members about how to “own the music” we sing each week. Whether you’re someone who chooses the tunes or if you’re serving another’s choices, check out what Will has to say about:

– Choosing songs with purpose
– Making each song personal
– Understanding writer and message intent
– Serving the song and congregation
– Preparation and excellence
– And more…

So dig into this teaching, lead with intention and compassion, and have a safe weekend everyone. We hope to see you on Sunday!

Setting Goals as Worship People

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Happy January, worship people!

To start a new year of blogposts and devotionals, we’ll take a look today at an article by worship leader and teacher, Mike O’Brien (you need to know this dude, he loves our church and has already taught Matt and I a bunch!)

Mike, in his blogpost titled, “Designing Goals for Worship Leaders”, gives some really eye-opening reasoning for the importance of yearly goal-setting (ESPECIALLY as people who lead worship). The article reminds us of a huge truth about training and growth:

IF WE DON’T LISTEN TO JESUS AND ASK HIM TO HELP US SET GOALS TO GROW, WE WILL REPEAT OR START CYCLES OF SIN AND SETTLING FOR “GOOD ENOUGH”.

I deeply love this worship team and all of your hearts for God’s Kingdom and our church. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you guys for truly exceptional job you do. BUT, let’s start this year by digging deep, each one of us, and talking with the Lord (and each other) about how we can grow as leaders of God’s people. Share your goals with me (Grady), Matt, and anyone on our team. Let’s grow together, for the glory of our Savior!

Spend time reading Mike’s post here, and I’d encourage you to dig around his website for all kinds of wisdom 🙂

2015 By the Numbers

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Here are some stats from our year as a worship community… This reflects Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Vineyard Youth, Springbrook Venue, La Viña, and a few special services.

Services

  • 266 total worship services
  • 158 rehearsals
  • 10 services & counting for the new Springbrook venue
  • 762 hours in rehearsals and services

People

  • 72 musicians & technicians served
  • 27 people led our church in a song
  • 25 people led worship behind-the-scenes in the sound booth
  • 4,975 man-hours in rehearsals and services

Songs

  • 108 total songs sung
  • 21 from the Vineyard tribe
  • 6 homegrown originals
  • 18 hymns
  • 38 modern worship songs
  • 7 Christmas carols
  • 3 La Viña songs with no English translation
  • 15 songs used only for Vineyard Youth

To everyone who helped facilitate the worship gatherings for our church family: THANK YOU!

God is leading us and forming us into a community where artists thrive while helping people experience God’s presence. I’m so excited to share that with more people in more places in 2016!

The Ministry of Private Worship by Spence Parkerson

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To follow up last week’s resource post, Spence Parkerson (worship pastor at CrossPointe church in Valdosta, GA) gives a wonderful reflection on the power and importance of private worship. Check out this killer quote from the article:

“There is nothing on this earth so sweet, so fulfilling, so satisfying than His presence in the private because that is where our intentions are the most pure. We must seek after this place with everything that is within us. We must fight for this place as we continue to pour out. We must never forsake this place of private worship and intimate fellowship. This is place where our identity is clear and our motives are pure. This is the place where we are filled and ministered to. This is the place where He sings over us and tells us who He is and how much He loves us (Zeph. 3:17). So, if you are spending more time showing Him your shiny gifts and riches than you are worshiping and adoring His worth here are a couple of things that will hopefully lead you back to that place of private worship.”

Please take time before the end of this week to read the full post here. Thank you guys for all you do in our church family. Fight for the time in God’s presence. Make it a priority. We are only as effective in our public, congregational worship as we are diving deep in the arms of Christ.