Modern Drumset Techniques For Today's Worship Drummer

‘I Wanna Know You’ – Allan McKinlay & Pete Crockett: Scottish Worship EP

I really hope you enjoy this Scottish ceilidh ‘anthem’ –  ‘I Wanna Know You’ – the first of 5 videos from the recent release ‘Scottish Worship EP‘! This was such great fun to play! Co-Written by Allan McKinlay and Pete Crockett.

 

New Scottish Hymns Band Album Release & Scottish Tour

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The New Scottish Hymns Band are releasing a new album on May 19th, 2016, and touring throughout May and June. This will be a great tour featuring wonderful new hymns written by Greg deBlieck. The band features Ellyn Oliver on vocals, Greg deBlieck on acoustic guitar and vocals (Greg is also the bandleader and will be sharing the stories behind the songs throughout the tour), Pete Crockett on keys, Gus Stirrat on bass, Richard Kennedy on drums (I will be playing kit for the dates Richard can’t do) and myself on percussion for some dates. Danny Robinson will be doing the live sound for each event. Really looking forward to being a part of this exciting tour and all the great Christian music currently coming out of Scotland!

New Scottish Hymns Blog: The Heart of Worship

This is the 2nd blog post is from a series I recently did as seen on the New Scottish Hymns website.

What does it mean to have a heart of worship? Good question. We could talk about this for the rest of our days, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet!

Romans 12:1 says to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” What does that mean? Simply put, I think it means being in a right relationship with God- that I’m on good terms with the Bible’s author. Do I please or grieve the Holy Spirit with the way I lead my life? That’s a challenging question I face each and every day.

Whilst I will admit that there have been a few times I have ‘gone through the motions’ in Church, especially if I’ve had an ‘off-day’, or just feel that the worship ‘isn’t great’, I know that the fruit of my ‘sacrifice’ to God is that I give my whole self to Him. I submit to Him. He knows best. So I’m reading my Bible, praying, confessing sin, spending time with Him experiencing God’s great love. Whatever that looks to me might be different for you. And the fruit of that ‘sacrifice’ to me is to know I deeply loved by the Father. My identity is secure in what He thinks of me, not what other people say or think!

When I am in a place of heartfelt worship, I know that I am chosen by God, anointed by God, and saved by God to serve the One who saved me from my sin. And that I know and can experience His love. For me that is the heart of worship. As one of my heroes, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said:

Holiness is not something we are called upon to do in order that we may become something; it is something we are to do because of what we already are.”

I don’t confess to be a ‘holy’ person by my own strength, but through Christ who strengthens me and makes me holy. Weakness is the way- because He is strong. I love the quote from the great preacher Robert Murray McCheyne: “Lord make me as holy as a saved sinner can be.”

So when it comes to playing drums in Church, I try to pray a short prayer. When I pray this simple prayer in faith, I believe that God will act.

“Lord, help me to fix my eyes upon You today.
Thank You for your mercy, for Your love & grace.
Thank You for sending Your Son to die on the Cross for me.
Thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit. Fall on me afresh and fill me to overflowing. Grant me the humility to play, help me to play the best I have ever played.
Come in Power in this place today, that we as a Church may know and experience You. Change us Lord, from the inside out.
Let there be freedom for You to move today.”

Every Blessing,

Brian

New Scottish Hymns Blogs: About Playing Drums In Church

This blog post is from a series I recently did as seen on the New Scottish Hymns website.

When I was asked to write a series of blogs on playing drums in Church, it conjured many thoughts.

Firstly – the great privilege to play drums in a worship band! The enjoyment of being able to make music to my Saviour, help lead people in worship, and to be able to worship with other people.

Secondly, the technical aspect of drumming. The practice, the dos and don’ts of what that is. The joys and frustrations that come with all of that!

Thirdly, the enjoyment of listening to music. I love listening to new worship & secular music, and my love of music continues to grow year after year.

Fourthly, the challenges that come with playing drums in a church setting. Drums can be loud (dependent on whether you have an electric or acoustic set), offensive to some people, and at times overlooked. While this has softened to a degree with the development of mainstream Contemporary Worship Music over the last decade in particular, drums can still be a controversial matter. Let’s not forget drum gear & getting a good sound from the drums in Church. That’s a toughie!

So with that in mind, over the next four posts, I will be going over the following four things:

  1. The Heart of Worship
  2. Practice & The Technical Aspect of Drumming
  3. Listening to Music
  4. Sound, Other Helpful Suggestions & Tips

So unfortunately, no posts on ‘Gospel Chops’, ’How To Play 20 Minute Drum Solos’ or ‘How To Twirl Your Drum Stick Like A Boss,’ – as fun as that would be!

Every Blessing,

Brian

Prof. Donald Macleod on Worship

A few years back I sent Prof. Donald Macleod,  former Principal of the Free Church of Scotland College an e-mail about “the heart of worship.”  I was intrigued on his opinions as one of the most respected Scottish theologians in recent times. I also have a strong connection with the Free Church myself.

Here are the questions I asked Professor Macleod:

With regards to Worship Music, how important is it for a musician leading the praises to God to know about a “theology of worship”? What does that look like?
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Happy Birthday A. W. Tozer

from LogosTalk:

Aiden Wilson (A. W.) Tozer was born in a small farming community in Western Pennsylvania on April 21, 115 years ago. His spiritual path opened up when, as a 15-year-old, Tozer responded to a street evangelist. Five years later, with no theological training, he began pastoring his first church.

Tozer spent the rest of his life as a pastor, rising to national prominence during his tenure at Southside Alliance Church, Chicago, IL (1928–1959). Tozer wrote the spiritual classic The Pursuit of God during his time in Chicago, and over his lifetime authored more than 40 books. His steadfast call to repentance and faith earned him the nickname “the 20th-century prophet.”

On May 12, 1963, he went to be with his Lord after suffering a heart attack. The epitaph on his tombstone simply reads: “A. W. Tozer—A Man of God.”
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Revival and Worship Interview with Tom Lennie Pt.2

1) As a music reviewer, how do you think Contemporary Worship Music has changed over the past number of years?

 

I’m not sure there’s been a truly significant change in the essence of popular worship music in the past decade or so, to be honest. Pop/rock praise anthems, with punchy hook lines and congregationally singable choruses have been very much the order of the day in modern worship music for many years now, and that’s still the same today. British worship writers/musicians like Matt Redman and Tim Hughes remain hugely popular both sides of the Atlantic, as do American dudes like Chris Tomlin and David Crowder. What changes over time is the number of new names in worship that are cropping up – the market is saturated with worship albums and mp3s, and so much of it is really good. My only issue is there’s often not much variability – much contemporary worship music sticks to a very similar, indistinct format.

 

I am impressed, though, with a number of fresh sounds in worship that are cropping up from time to time. I’m thinking, for example of that Northern Irish team, The Rend Collective Experiment. or that energetic group from Colorado, known as Gungor and led my Michael Gungor. Or the original, rootsy sound of Australian four-piece Sons Of Korah, who have yet to become widely recognised, but who’s impressive output focuses almost exclusively on the Psalms, into which biblical pieces they breathe wonderfully fresh and inspirational life.

 

 

2) You mentioned in Cross Rhythms that two of your all time favourites ‘Back Home’ by Caedmon’s Call and ‘Myself When I Am Real’ by Bebo Norman, is that still the case or have you changed from that?

 

I’m listening to Caedmon’s Call right now as I write – their Chronicles album!  Love that group. their combination of folk and rock with catchy melodies and great harmonies really appeals to me. And yeh, I still think Bebo Norman is great too. His songwriting skills are first-rate; in terms of both lyrical content, which is rich in spiritual depth, and in catchy hook-lines, which stay with you. He has a great voice, too. Among other favourites, I’d include the above-mentioned Sons Of Korah, Jadon Lavik and Canadian Steve Bell. Actually, one of the most beautiful, Spirit-led worship albums I know of is a very early recording by Rita Springer called ‘Love Covers’. It’s out of print these days, and very hard to come by, but the album contains a whole string of the most spiritually-sensitive piano-led worship songs I’ve ever heard. Love listening to that album (or I would do, if only my friend would return it to me!). Another worship beauty is ‘Divine Whisper’ by former Vineyard worship leader (now based in Seoul, South Korea), Scott Brenner. Gentle songs of adoration – utterly heaven-inspired. And then there’s Misty Edwards, one of Kansas City IHOP’s worship musicians. Her album ‘Relentless’ is powerful, prophetic and wonderfully engaging.

 

 

3) Any up and coming acts you think are ones to watch, or any good albums from old favourites (g.Stuart Townend, Graham Kendrick)?

 

Loads of up and coming musicians out there who are worth watching for, including some already mentioned above. One guy who’s been making a big mark on the Scottish music scene is Steph Macleod. Now well-know in his native land, but still undiscovered by many, Steph’s distinctly bluesy vocals and impressive songs are most noteworthy. Or how about Dutch worship musician, Kees Kraayenoord, almost completely unkown in the UK – his album ‘Speak The Word’s is full of ear-catching p&w sounds. Or again, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.

 

You mention Graham Kendrick. Some of his output in the last ten or fifteen years has been excellent. He kinda went through a period in the late 80s and 90s when his music wasn’t too exciting. But then came ‘What Grace’ – with guest appearances from ‘youngsters’ Martin Smith and Matt Redman. A gorgeous album of diverse worship sounds. He’s done the same thing more recently with ‘Banquet released in 2011. Remarkably it’s his 30th album to date – which makes it all the more impressive that it sounds so fresh and interesting from start to finish. Another worship veteran, Robin Mark’s most recent recording ‘Fly’ is also worth checking out

Free Church Essay 2

Free Church of Scotland College Certificate in Theology/Diploma in Christian Studies: 2011/12

Practical Theology Assignment

Brian Macleod

In what ways does the incarnation of Christ serve as a model for mission and outreach?

Method:

Responding to John Chapter 20 v 21, “As the father has sent me I am sending you”, John Stott writes as follows: “Now he sends us into the world as the Father has sent him into the world. In other words our mission is to be modelled on his. Indeed all mission is incarnational mission.” (John Stott, The Contemporary Christian)

 

John 1:14 says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (ESV).” It is perhaps the most well-known verse of the entire Bible about the incarnation of Christ. The ESV Study Bible describes the incarnation as “the most amazing event in all of history: the eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, infinitely holy Son of God took on a human nature and lived among humanity (ESV Study Bible 2009).” Relating this to Christian mission, John Stott says that “all mission is incarnational (Stott 2004)”, as we are sent into the world to proclaim the power of the Gospel as image-bearers of Christ. This essay will take a look at the incarnation of Christ as a model for mission.

 

The incarnation is Jesus Christ arriving on the earth in human form. Jesus came to announce the Kingdom of God through humble beginnings, and, as Jesus rose in stature (Luke 2:52), He grew in favour with God, and announced that the prophesied Messiah had arrived. Influential evangelical Pastor Mark Driscoll states in his book Doctrine that: “the incarnation is more of a miracle than the resurrection because in it somehow a holy God and sinful humanity are joined, yet without the presence of sin” (Driscoll 2010 pp209-10). In the incarnation, Jesus came to earth in human form, giving up His seat on the throne in Heaven to be with His beloved children on earth. Theologian J.I Packer notes how the incarnation and the Trinity are linked together, describing it as “the Son who came from the Father’s side at the Father’s will to become the sinner’s substitute on the Cross” (Packer 1993 p90).

 

As God calls all Christians to be missionaries to follow in the pathway of His only begotten Son Jesus and not to the world, questions can be asked as to how we can we be missional Christians and be as bold as Jesus was. Two verses linked comparing worldly living and Christ-like living are: 1 John 2:15 “do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (ESV),” and Romans 12:2: “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (NIV).” These verses also linked to mission, as two essential traits that Christians need to be disciplined in are found. The first trait is love. Without love for our fellow humans and for God a Christian can not do mission well. The second trait is a renewed mind. Without a renewed mind, one that has been changed from a worldly perspective to a Christ-like perspective, a Christian can not do mission well. When we live out in the power of God, living for His Glory, then we should not fear the world. As Jesus stood boldly declaring the Kingdom and enduring pain on the Cross, so then we as Christians must declare the Gospel boldly through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

In the book of Acts, the disciples “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4 ESV). This is a true encouragement to all Christians today of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. As Spirit-filled missionary ambassadors for Christ in a postmodern world, we can boldly proclaim the power of the Gospel, just as the Apostles did in the First Century. Being filled with the Spirit also awakens our heart to the Word of God more, as well as imparting Spiritual fruit and gifts into our life, whilst also rebuking and correcting us. Romans 1:16 says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” It’s a verse that speaks straight to the heart of mission that Christians are not ashamed of Christ and the power He so freely gives to those who are willing to believe in Him.  If as Christians we are to truly believe in God’s power and just as then being filled with the Spirit is again a daily choice that we must make. As Mark Driscoll has quoted, “God revealed that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the followers of Jesus are given the ability to live a life like Jesus by the same Holy Spirit that enabled Jesus” (Driscoll 2007 p129).

 

J.I Packer in his trademark book Knowing God described the incarnation as the “supreme mystery” associated with the gospel (Packer 1973 p45). This “mystery” is truly something special, and that we all partake in as Christians. When we partake in incarnational mission as Christians, we truly see how to live in the world.  We are missional because Jesus was missional. In His time on earth, Jesus spent a lot of time speaking and teaching the Word of God, amazing His followers. He didn’t necessarily perform many miracles of His own accord but they came to Him because He lived out through the love of His Father. When we truly realise who we are as adopted heirs as God’s beloved children, we can have the mindset of Christ. As believers in Jesus, the need for renewed minds and a prayerful, missional heart is a daily choice that we also must make.

 

A third quality for incarnational mission is what Paul speaks about in Philippians 2, and that is humility. Paul writes: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV). Humility in the context of mission takes many different forms, from being humble knowing that God is sovereign to honouring other people and caring for them the way Jesus would. The ESV Study Bible describes Christ’s earthly life as “one of continual humiliation. He subtly and selectively revealed his divine glory, even keeping it a secret at times” (ESV Study Bible 2009). So as Christ was humble, then we are to be humble.

 

Another quality that comes with being missionaries for Christ on earth is being cultural. John Stott in his book The Contemporary Christian writes: “no word of God was spoken in a cultural vacuum; every word of God was spoken in a cultural context” (Stott 2004 p194). Today many evangelical Churches are highlighting the importance of contextualising the Gospel in culture. To use a practical example, one that is making airwaves across Christianity is the emerging Church movement, of which Timothy Keller, Joshua Harris, Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler are prominent names. Generally known to be charismatic in worship and Reformed in doctrine, these “emergers” are trying to make the Church more relevant, accessible and culturally-connected. This is done through various means, from worship concerts such as the Passion Movement, headed by Louie Giglio, to coffee house evangelistic outreach. The emerging Church is a good example of how to be cultural in mission, where some of their Churches are based in God-less areas of America.

 

In conclusion, mission is something that we are all a part of as Christians. Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins not so we could go just to Church every Sunday, tithe, and be in fellowship with each other. Jesus died so that everyone could receive eternal life from Him, everyone who freely receives it with open arms. That’s our job as missionaries for Christ, to live for Him, a life full of faith and grace, hope and humility, all led by the Holy Spirit. As image-bearers of God and co-labourers with Him, it is our honour and privilege to serve our Heavenly Father in this way. Wherever our mission takes us, whether it’s to the student in the hallway or the receptionist in the Hospital, God has a purpose for each and every one of us to do mission the way His Son Jesus did it.

Word Count: 1,328

References and Bibliography:

 

Driscoll, Mark & Breshears, Gerry, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway 2010)

Driscoll, Mark, cited in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World ed.

Packer, J.I. Concise Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993)

Packer, J.I, Knowing God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1973)

Stott, John: The Contemporary Christian (InterVarsity Press, 2004).

Taylor, Justin & Piper, John (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway 2007)

Thoennes, Erik: Life’s Biggest Questions: What the Bible Says about the Things That Matter Most (Crossway, Wheaton IL. 2011).

Mars Hill Church, Seattle. Religion Saves: The Emerging Church. Retrieved February 10th from http://marshill.com/media/religionsaves/emerging-church

Christianity Today. Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church. Retrieved February 10th from

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html

 

Scripture quotations indicated as from NIV are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society.

Scripture quotations indicated as from ESV Bible are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version Study Bible.  Copyright 2001, 2009 by Crossway Bibles, Wheaton IL.

 

Mark Driscoll

Ahhh, Westboro Baptist Church. How can you possibly respond in a Christ-like manner to them? It seems, in their own words, “damned” near impossible, but, in Mark Driscoll’s case, here is one Pastor who shows them who’s boss:


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