Drums bring a powerful sound to worship. They can also bring dynamic changes to people’s lives. Native American Richard Twiss explains just how deep the beat can go…

Richard Twiss is a member of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux tribe. He is a member of the International Reconciliation Coalition, and has been a national conference speaker for Promise Keepers. Richard is married with four sons, and lives in Washington state.

In this practical piece, Tim Hughes unpacks the secrets - and highlights the obvious steps we can sometimes miss - in building a band.

The twelve apostles had quite a dilemma. Their community was growing wonderfully as God was moving. However, the Greek-speaking Jews were complaining that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Something had to be done fast. The apostles decided to choose seven men to deal with the problem. What qualifications should they have been looking for in what was essentially the job of a waiter? Perhaps a stint at TGI Fridays would have been the most useful. Instead the qualification that the apostles looked for was being full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.

STUART TOWNEND sets out what every team leader needs to know about PA systems.

In an ideal world, worship teams could remain blissfully ignorant of PA systems and how they work: you could just leave it to the sound guys, safe in the knowledge that your carefully crafted band sound is being faithfully and accurately carried to the ears of your congregation.

However, the reality is rather different. Underfunding in PA equipment often means you have to make compromise decisions in terms of sound quality, what instruments get amplified and what don't, and so on. In addition, most PA people are not experienced mix engineers, and may need your input in order to understand what kind of sound you are looking for. In practice, it's a partnership between band and sound team, and your role is crucial in getting the best out of both sides. (...)

Thereís little doubt how important the vocals are to the overall sound of the worship team. Just as a song without the melody makes little sense, so a band without one or more singers fronting it sounds incomplete and meandering.

Do we really need vocalists?

But, I hear you ask, isnít the melody the job of the congregation? Surely there are enough people singing the tune without having even more of them standing at the front! Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are just a few of many reasons why your team will benefit from a vocal team: (...)

Singers are something of a breed apart. They may well be the only part of your team who have never had any training on their ëinstrumentí. They may well never have considered practising with vocal exercises during the week. But they are probably the most sensitive to criticism. Tell a bass player heís out of tune, and heíll get out his tuner and sort out the problem. Tell a singer theyíre out of tune, and you could be looking at weeks of counselling.

© G. Baltes / T. Schröder

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