Kid in Candy Store.
That was me on Sunday morning.
I was playing on East along side some of my great friends. Oh, and they’re killer musicians and worshippers too… I’m sure this goes for anyone – it’s always a treat to do something with people with whom you have a great history and rapport.
The learning curve, both musically and personally, are so low that it reduces the stress level and increases the enjoyment.
So that was East: Todd Fields, Candi Pearson Shelton, Steve Thomason, Ashley Appling, Earl South and me. We’ve all done countless services and special events together, that the Stage Manager’s biggest job was interrupting us in the middle of an old story and telling us it was time to get on stage.
West was different situation, but a great example of musicians from different backgrounds bringing their unique abilities to the table. Some of the guys are staples around the NP Ministires’ campuses and Strategic Partners, while others we just see every month or so. Still, they came together as professionals and did a great job.
The personal history is not there – yet. But the more they play around here and with each other in different environments, the stronger those relationships (both musical and personal) become.
So which model is better – the band that plays together all the time, or the large pool of players that rotate in and out?
Well, they both have their pros and cons – but that’s a whole other topic for discussion at a later date…
Anyhoo, West was lead by the always effervescent Danny Dukes, along with Mike Hines, David Norwood, Richard Meeder, Joe Lee, Mike Bielenberg, and the complex multi-talents of Mr. Jonathan Shelton!
I found this picture of Jonathan on the World Wide Inter Web – that’s the one with email. (quick – name the movie!) Apparently he’s praying to the god of “what’s wrong with my pedal board?”
We’re in a series called “I Want To Be Great”, and we played off that theme during announcements.
Clay Scroggins started the welcome on West, where he posed the question to Jonathan, “What’s the greatest song of all time?”. Jonathan replies, “I could tell you, but I’d rather sing it for you.”
The band and Jonathan promptly did about 60 seconds of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” complete with Mike Hines on talkbox!. Needless to say, mad hysteria erupted. And some golf claps.
As Clay tried to continue the welcome, Candi interrupted from East. “Jonathan, honey (they’re married), that WAS great, but I’d like to share the greatest song ever made famous by a woman.” We, on East, then play 60 seconds of “Respect”. And yes, Candi BROUGHT it!
Clay once again tries to regain control and finish the welcome, only to be interrupted by the undeniable magnetism of THE Danny Dukes. “Hey Clay, hey Clay! We ARE in the South, and the GREATEST song ever, as we all know, is…”
Enter guitar intro riff for “Sweet Home Alabama”. It was then as though the crowd then rose for the anthem, to pay respect for this sacred land. And add some yips and hollers.
And so, after a couple minutes and some killer guitar solos, order was restored, and we used the energy of the crowd as momentum straight into worship and Todd’s new fast song, “Salvation’s Chorus.”
“Salvation’s Chorus” by Todd Fields, from the Louder Than Creation CD, available HERE.
Dude, I love this song. Instant classic. Thou must buy it, learn it, and lead it. Done!
Todd and Danny had the great idea of getting the crowd engaged and participating right off the bat by teaching them the “alleluia” bridge and having them repeat it about 8 times. Helped a ton.
“Mighty To Save” by Hillsong United, also available HERE.
Yep, the full 6:00 version. Love it! As much fun and inspiring as it is to play, the best parts are the 2 breakdowns where most of the instruments drop out and you can really hear the crowd sing. Each service I would pop out my in-ear monitors a bit just to hear the crowd sing – THAT’S the biggest win for me. Hearing them sing, seeing them worship.
We then went into Baptisms (when the bands leave the stages). After Baptisms, just before we prayed for the offering, Todd lead a couple reprise choruses of Mighty To Save, just him on guitar. The coolest part was that he’d start the chorus and then back off the mic, letting the people’s voices be the loudest instrument.
Well, there you go. Fun AND worship, all on one day. It CAN be done!
What caused YOU to worship this past week?