And in an effort to better equip volunteers with teaching and training, the worship arts pastor at Ridge Point Church in Holland has helped create an event titled "The Worship Collective."
The sessions of workshops and music labs is set for Sat. Oct. 3 at Ridge Point, 340 140th Ave. Holland (see details below).
"A lot of conferences are designed for church leadership but there's not many for volunteers," noted Koller.
"Volunteers can't easily take a whole weekend or part of a week and pay hundreds of dollars to go to something like that," Koller reasoned. "This Worship Collective is designed for the average person, just trying to improve their skills with some hands-on training and expertise. We want to raise the bar for worship in West Michigan."
ADDING UP THE POSSIBILITIES
Ridge Point along with Engedi (another Holland-area church) are hosting the "collective" using their own staffs and other area experts to lead music labs and breakout sessions.
The special guest presenter is Andi Rozier, a member of Vertical Church Band, part of the multi-campus Harvest Bible Chapel based in the Chicago area.
Most of the sessions are technical in nature - areas such as stage design, lighting, instrumental sound mixing and effects, etc. - where volunteers can really benefit from the specific expertise required. "One of (the breakout sessions) is how to use loops and click tracks to keep your worship band together and sounding tight," Koller said.
Or how about a lab on keyboard use in worship called "Forgive Us Our Synths" (1 and 2).
There are other topics of a more spiritual nature.
Koller himself is co-leading a session titled "Non-musical Worship:" using prayer, liturgy, Scripture and art in the worship experience. Another of his breakout meetings is on crafting purposefully directional worship sets (order of songs and other worship elements).
FOR CHURCHES LARGE, SMALL AND IN BETWEEN
Smaller churches can't rely on paid music/worship staffers to plan and execute weekly services. Many of the Worship Collective workshops focus on volunteer and budget-friendly options.
Jeff Abbott of Ada Bible Church leads a session on stage design – how to enhance your sanctuary's platform look regardless of your church's attendance or budget. A workshop on lighting strategies has a similar approach.
"My dad is pastor of a really small church, and he often says, 'We can't do this or aren't able to do that,'" Koller noted.
"But I know of church plants that are doing creative stage design for their meeting space even if it's in a school or other setting."
The tagline for the Worship Collective is: whether you're a paid person who oversees a worship ministry or a volunteer, there's something in it for you.
The cost is $25 per person for the entire event (not including lunch). But for entire church worship teams – vocalists, technicians and all – there's a flat fee of $199 for as many as want to come – whether 15 or 20 or more.
The individual attention at the music labs is a plus that might benefit attendees bringing their own electric or bass guitars. "You may get help if you want to dial in a certain tone," Koller said.
Ken Reynolds, a worship pastor/leader at Resurrection Life in Grandville and an excellent bass player, conducts a lab on bass guitar rhythm, technique and fitting into a band structure.
A KINGDOM MINDSET
Koller, who has served at Ridge Point for more than three years, said his church has done specific training of its own volunteers for the last two years. He thought about joining with one or two other churches to combine forces and resources.
"But then we said, 'Hey, why not just open it up completely and make it as affordable as we can," said the worship pastor. "We're not trying to make money on it, or just share the way we do things here or at Engedi. We just want to make the outside expertise available to people to raise the bar for worship."
"THE WORSHIP COLLECTIVE": practical/hands-on workshop on worship and worship arts.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat. Oct. 3 at Ridge Point Church, 340 104th Ave. Holland.
Various guest presenters and instructors, including Andi Rozier of Vertical Church Band.
Breakout sessions I
The Words On Their Lips" by Jordan Koller [Prayerfully crafting great worship sets with purpose, flow, and direction]
"Stage Design On A Budget" by Jeff Abbot [How anyone can create great stage sets that enhance your series and sanctuary, no matter your church size or budget]
"Lighting 101" by Matt Grzybowski [Learn the basics of lighting and techniques you can use next weekend --for any church, any size]
"The Catalyst For Ideation Breakthrough" by Justin Heap [This is the breakout on breakthrough! Join us as we share the key principles in Creative Planning and Process]
"Timing Is Everything! Using Clicks & Loops in Worship" by Junior Ezeugwu [How using clicks can keep your band on tempo and how to use loops as an instrument in your band --via Ableton and other budget-friendly options]
BREAKOUT SESSIONS 2
"Media Decks & Pour Over Coffee" by Justin Heap [What is the connection between great music, beautiful art, the killer cup of coffee, and Media Decks? From philosophy to practicality, this breakout will get you excited to create better Media Decks / Presentations]
"The Three R's of Playing As A Team" by Andy Ferris [Do you lead the band in rehearsal or arrange a song? Learn how to create a tight and powerful sound using the unique characteristics of each instrument]
"No More Fireworks" by Toran Scott [Burning bright without blowing up! We all find ourselves in the rat race of work, family, commitments, serving, and the list goes on. Wether you feel yourself heading towards burnout or simply want to stay healthy, this session is for you. We'll learn together that it's not rocket science]
"Non-Musical Worship" by Jordan Koller and Randi Helm [Dialog about using prayer, liturgy, Scripture, and art in worship]
"Who's Got Next" by Lindsay Bivens [Reaching and raising the next generation of worship leaders]
"Face Melting Shredfest 2015" by Andy Ferris and Brandon Taets [An electric guitar workshop to learn how to make your solos impossibly complicated, your amp go to eleven and your jump stage dives even higher --a hands-on experience in great tone, notes, technique]
"Throne Sessions" by Louis Castillo [The art of drumming to God's heartbeat]
"Is It Really All About That Bass" by Ken Reynolds [The importance of the low end and finding rhythm, technique on the bass, and fitting it into the band structure]
"Forgive Us Our Synths 1" by Anthony Bivens and Stephen Sherwood [A focused workshop on using keys in worship; chording, placement, etc.]
"Forgive Us Our Synths 2" by Anthony Bivens and Stephen Sherwood [Beyond the piano pad --a quick guide to taking your sound to new creative spaces]
"Vocals: An Amazing Tool Of Worship" by Ash Nibbe [How to grow and give the gifts received in worship through vocal technique and approach]
"The Art of The Mix 1: Starting With a Blank Canvas" by Christian Alvero and Josh Maichele [Techniques to enhance your mix before touching the console]
"The Art of The Mix 2: Creating A Masterpiece" by Christian Alvero and Josh Maichele [This duo is back to talk about mixing for the modern age]