A couple days ago, my girlfriend, Michelle, and I went to Outcry 2016 in Omaha. It was refreshing to be able to sit back and simply worship for a change. There were four notable churches/worship leaders there leading worship. Elevation Worship, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe, and Hillsong (a combination of all of them, even Hillsong London lent a bass player).
Because I am a worship leader, there is always a part of my mind that is observing, analyzing and trying to learn from other worship leaders. Here are some of the things I noticed from that night of worship.
Kari Jobe Is Experimenting
She didn’t play any new songs, but she didn’t play any of her familiar songs in familiar ways. It was like hearing a post EDM remix with keys and synths that survived the apocalypse. There were static sounds, winy violins, loops and drum pads and minor chords where you were expecting major chords. Very unique and it really worked.
Lights Are Important
I was in the back of Omaha’s Centurylink Center. It’s pretty big and we were told there were 14,000 people there. When you are in a venue that big, lights (and screens) are a big deal. It’s amazing how much context matters. In a smaller venue, a full-fledged light show might be would be distracting. In this venue, it was necessary.
Special thanks to Michelle for the pic.
Brian Houston Does Voice Acting For Disney Films
Not really. But he did point out that he sounds like the shark, Bruce, from Finding Nemo.
Bruce The Shark
Martin Smith Is A Humble Guy
Kim Walker wasn’t with Jesus Culture, but Chris Quill and Martin Smith were. Chris Quill probably led most of the set. Martin Smith is on my Mount Rushmore of Worship Leaders. If Delirious never happened, nothing I heard would have ever existed. Here he was, the grandfather of everything that was taking place that night and he was gladly serving as “the opener.” He seemed perfectly content. Feels like a guy who is more interested in worshipping than being worshipped.
Jeffrey Kunde’s Tone Is pretty good.
All the guitars were present in the mix. Jeffrey Kunde’s sounded especially good.
Old Songs Are Just Fine
Yes there were new songs, but Kari Jobe still led Revelation Song. How many times do you think she’s sung that song? Hillsong led Mighty To Save. Do you think they’re bored of that song yet? There is a lot things to consider when planning a worship set. Maybe our personal boredom isn’t one of them.
What lessons have you learned from other worship leaders? Let me know in the comments.