Posts filed under ‘Insight’

Jeremy Riddle added to NWLC Southwest! And a glimpse into the top-secret happenings in Suzie and mine’s office

Moving closer to our conference dates means filling up more holes on Suzie’s whiteboard. Have you met Suzie yet? Well let me tell you about Suzie. Suzie is the “Director of Training and Development,” aka NWLC conference planner extraordinaire. Each phone call, email, grid, plan, and every other intricate detail she tackles, propels all of us towards one purpose: to make NWLC happen. I am so thankful for her, her hard work, and her commitment to everyone around her.

Suzie is generous enough to let me share her office, which is practically like being roommates. And with most roommates, you get to know each other really well. Suzie often talks to herself but I’ve learned to tune her out, which is good, except when she’s actually trying to talk to me. Oh, and we both love Oreo McFlurries. This comes in handy when we’re having a stressful day and need something to lift our spirits (because everyone knows that’s what Oreos and ice cream were made for).

So now that you’ve met Suzie, let me introduce you to Suzie’s whiteboard. Now, this whiteboard is somewhat top secret, but I’m sharing it with you anyways because it’s pretty awesome. And don’t even try to zoom in—I’ve blurred out anything you shouldn’t know yet. Yeah, it’s that top secret.

The whiteboard is the conference matrix, if you will. It is the inanimate version of Suzie, the wealth of knowledge and organization. This whiteboard displays each grid of the three conferences, reminding us who is speaking in which timeslot, which artist is performing where, and which timeslots need to be filled. Each time we announce a new artist, a hole on the whiteboard gets filled, which is like filling up your coffee cup after you lost an hour of sleep because of daylight savings time. And as the conference dates approach, the holes are slowly being replaced with amazing artists and speakers faster and faster.

Speaking of which, we’ve recently added Jeremy Riddle to NWLC Southwest! Filling that hole is better than just a cup of coffee–more like a caramel macchiato if you ask me.

One of my all-time favorite worship songs is “Sweetly Broken,” by Jeremy Riddle. I was outside of the sanctuary working the last NWLC when I heard the muffled guitar followed by the lyrics that never fail to cover me with awe-inspiring chills. Needless to say, I left the Worship Leader booth to be swept away by the current of worship that filled the room.  I can’t wait to see what Jeremy will bring to NWLC Southwest!

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March 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm 1 comment

10 reasons to attend NWLC Southwest in Albuquerque

One of the greatest parts about planning and attending a National Worship Leader Conference is the opportunity to travel and explore new places. And with those new places come new friends, new insights, and new outlooks. After helping plan and promote NWLC Southwest, I’ve learned a few things about Albuquerque, it’s culture, and what makes it such an intriguing place to visit. Thought I’d share.

Here are 10 reasons why attending NWLC Southwest is not only good for your ministry, but also good for you.

1. The location

I’ve never been to Albuquerque but all I hear is great things. Its sunny climate and artistically diverse culture are reasons enough to explore this Southwestern area solo or with a team.

2. Refresh and reconnect

Worship leaders like you constantly pour out so that others may fill up. This conference is designed for worship professionals and volunteers to refresh and reconnect with the heart of God and the art of your ministries.

3. Dr. Leonard Sweet

Esteemed author, preacher, professor, and scholar, Sweet is a communications expert and has valuable insights and teachings that every worship and ministry leader should hear.

4. Air adventures: Balloon rides

Albuquerque is the “Balloon Capitol of the World.” Why not take time to sail the skies in perfect summer weather conditions? I know I want to!

5. Vicky Beeching

Worship leader, songwriter, and teacher, we’re excited to have Vicky join us once more with not only her music, but also her encouraging words and teachings.

6. Calvary of Albuquerque

Calvary of Albuquerque is one of the largest churches in the nation. Senior pastor, Skip Heitzig, reaches people around the world through his multimedia ministry, several books, and his teachings on God’s Word.

7. Anthony Evans

Worship artist and songwriter, Anthony Evans, invites and inspires others to join him in worshiping God with passion and soul. He was one of my favorites from last year’s NWLC in Kansas and I’m excited to hear him again!

8. Unique and Diverse Culture

Recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, Albuquerque’s ethnic tapestry is reflected in its architecture, artwork, cultural centers and cuisine, making the city an epicenter of authentic Southwestern culture.

9. Israel Houghton

With a cross-cultural style of worship music, Israel Houghton is a perfect fit with Albuquerque’s diversity, creating a unique and compelling atmosphere for NWLC Southwest.

10. Southwest Cuisine

Food is always an incentive, at least for me. Enjoy the Native American-inspired tastes such as blue corn, squash, chili peppers, and other ingredients brought by Spanish settlers. Sounds like true soul food.

Old Town

Register on or before 3/26 to receive the next best pricing! Visit our website for more information.

March 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm 1 comment

DJ Chuang in “New Media Pioneers” panel at the NRB conference, and will also join NWLC pre-conference “Stewards of Technology in the Service of Worship.”

As we’ve seen with online communities and interactive tools, technology is a powerful tool the church needs to be taking advantage of.  Technology and media create countless ways in which we can spread the word about Jesus, and get others to join in. The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is helping church leaders and influencers to do this more effectively and just finished a conference in Nashville, TN this past weekend. Here, our very own DJ Chuang joined a panel for “New Media Pioneers.”

DJ in action

DJ is our media guru here at Worship Leader, and we’re thankful to have him on our team. Especially me, because he helped inspire this blog and trusted me to manage it—an idea I’m sure he must have been hesitant over, but hopefully I’ve done something right. There’s really no keeping up with him though, especially on Twitter. He tweets so often that I’m pretty sure he’s part bird. But there’s always something to learn, which is why we’re excited to have him on our panel for the NWLC pre-conferences.

The pre-conference title for all three conferences this year is “Stewards of Technology in the Service of Worship.” You can see now why DJ is a perfect fit in this topic, and why it’s a relevant and essential topic to cover. The pre-conference begins the first day of the conference and includes two speakers, a panel, and a worship leader. It’s a great time to get your heart and mind focused and in the right place before the conference starts, as well as learn about an important subject that is relevant in today’s church. Don’t miss this opportunity and make sure to sign up!

March 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

This is true community

McRae Family

I’m young, I’m hip, and I’m in-touch with the latest technology and social media trends, right? Not so much. I’m trying, but I tell you—the “older” generations are often much more up-to-date than I am.

Social media comes up a lot in my classes, and I can’t tell you how many times we dance around the argument that all this blogging, tweeting, and facebooking are just acts of narcissism. Are we that self-indulgent that we believe everyone really cares what’s going on during every hour of our lives? While this view may hold some validity, as a Christian community we should be connected in this way—knowing each other’s joys, hardships, struggles, and celebrations.

As I do research online for NWLC, I’ve been blown away how the Christian community has infiltrated the Internet to create this beautiful portrayal of God’s family, online. It’s constantly moving, growing, and seeking a deeper connection I believe we’re called to. I’m not trying to take credit for this discovery; it’s definitely more of a personal revelation. Because, I admit, I’m that fan who jumps on the bandwagon as it parades towards the Championships because it looks too great not to jump on! But isn’t that how Christianity should be? It should look much too grand that it would be impossible to just stand still and let it drive by, without at least chasing it for a block or two to see what your missing.

So, as I’ve followed and browsed many of your own blogs, jumping from thread to thread of the online Christian community, it has truly changed my perspective on social media all together. It certainly has its purpose, and if used correctly, can truly be a powerful tool in advocating and connecting God’s kingdom.

In my browsing, I came across the McRae family on Brian Wurzell’s blog, and their beautiful daughter, Kate, who is battling against an aggressive brain tumor. The McRae family, and their supportive surrounding community, believe in the power of prayer and have called the online Christian community to join in and pray for Kate’s healing. How easy to post a simple notice and reminder to get your community to lift Kate in prayer! You can also go to Pray for Kate for more information and their story.

Beautiful Kate

February 10, 2010 at 12:04 am 1 comment

From pieces to picture: I’m no longer the “new kid”

To offer some perspective of how we’re getting to 2010, I wanted to take a quick glance back at the 2009 NWLC, when I first joined Worship Leader.

(well okay, not literally, but you get the idea)

You know the pathetic “new kid” that transfers mid-school year, and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in class with no spot to sit at during lunch? Chances are he will mess-up and fail before he does something right, and will forever be referred to as “ the new kid” until another, newer kid, comes along? Well, that was me last summer when I first joined WL for the NWLC 2009. Lucky for me, the WL staff is way nicer than clicky middle-schoolers. But I still had no idea what I was getting myself into or what to expect from a NWLC.

Attending a NWLC evokes descriptions such as “encouraged,” “totally revitalized and energized,” “challenged,” and “refreshed.” But planning and hosting a conference is a whole other experience.

I was supposed to help plan and promote an event that I had never been to, nor even heard of. The hardest part was convincing the office that I did know what was going on. But I can honestly tell you that no words can fully describe witnessing something you’ve worked so hard on spring from Word docs, Excel sheets, and emails, into life.

It’s something like holding all the tiny pieces to a jigsaw puzzle in your arms, but not having any idea of what picture they are supposed to form. I knew every nook and curve of every piece, but the picture I referenced as the end goal was hazy and blurry. So watching, hour by hour, that picture turn clear and crisp over the course of the conference, was like finally being able to see. The blurs of color finally developed shape and texture, giving meaning and significance to every piece. It was then that I realized that every piece mattered, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Even the small, tiny piece that I contributed mattered. And so does yours.

The picture may still be a little blurry this year, but with adequate teamwork, a lot of dedication, a touch of grace, and a series of fervor and prayer, it’s guaranteed to come together to create another beautiful picture.

February 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

If you want to submit songs to a publisher, what is the best way to go about doing it?

Above was a question asked to our panel of professional songwriters last Thursday, Jan. 28, during Song DISCovery in the Round, in San Antonio, TX. Song DISCovery in the Round is a one-day songwriting conference for anyone interested in sharpening their skills as a worship songwriter.

I didn’t actually get to go to the event myself, but we have some video from it (it’s like being front row… well, just pretend with me). Watch and listen as professional songwriters Glenn Packiam (“Your Name”), Jennie Lee Riddle (“Revelation Song”), Laura Story (“Indescribable”), and Lenny LeBlanc (“Above All”), all answer the question, “If you want to submit songs to a publisher, what is the best way to go about doing it?” Check out the answer below in the video!

And don’t miss the next one-day Song DISCovery conference in Nashville, TN, April 22!

February 3, 2010 at 12:45 am 5 comments


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