Hope you all had a great, restful, relaxing Christmas and New Years with the people you love.
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We got a chance to gently ease back into the swing of things around here. We opted to have one of our stripped down Sundays, with just one or two people on each side. (No bands – just a Worship Leader and an empty stage)
Eddie Kirkland led from acoustic on East, while Kristian Stanfill lead from acoustic on West. Also, Jared Hamilton joined Kristian on West on “piano” (the Roland X8).
Having just one or two people on stage creates a really cool, unique feeling in the room. But what ends up being the greatest thing is that the crowd can really hear themselves sing, and it causes them to sing even louder!
It’s really quite a phenomenon – the less sound coming from stage (meaning no full band), the more the congregation sings. Very cool.
However, if you choose to do a day like this, 3 things are IMPERATIVE:
#1 – The Right Leader.
Not all Worship Leaders are appropriate or capable of this kind of scenario. Some are not strong enough players or singers to carry the whole crowd by themselves. And there is a very high level of natural personal charisma needed to lead a whole room of folks without the aid of a band.
There’s almost an indescribable unbridled passion and confidence needed to lead a big room of people in “naked” worship.
#2 – The Right Songs.
Not all songs in your current catalog will work. Some rely too much on instrumental hooks and riffs. Others have too many spaces and gaps between lyrics. Some have too many weird chords that are simply not reproducible with one acoustic guitar.
And many are just not familiar enough (yet). There’s one thing to remember with these acoustic weeks. If the audience is expected to sing, then you need to do songs they know. And know well!
That probably means digging deep into some older, familiar songs. It’s actually amazing to see how un-cheesy some older stuff becomes when there’s no band.
This week we did:
How Great Thou Art
Glory To God (Fee)
I know Glory To God is a newer tune, but it’s an easy, catchy tune that our church has really latched on to.
#3 – The Right Time
Obviously this is not the type of Sunday that is appropriate for every week, but it’s something we’re going to try to do about every 8-12 weeks. It’s a nice change of pace and is certainly helpful to our budget.
The change of pace is the key factor – the budget issue just ends up being a nice benefit.
It also helped that there was no need for a special song. That’s been a deal-breaker in the past when we’ve scheduled an acoustic week. We’ve had acoustic booked, and then decided to do a full band special, thus having to book a full band.
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What change of pace are YOU going to implement / continue this year?