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New EP Bright Light Coming Soon

CHERYL SHEPHERD COLLABORATES WITH SPEAK, BROTHER FOR HER DEBUT WORSHIP RELEASE

Cheryl Shepherd recording vocals at Flipside studios

Worship leader Cheryl Shepherd has teamed up with songwriting husband Jonny Shepherd and brilliant indie folk band Speak, Brother on her debut worship EP titled ‘Bright Light’, due for release on 20th April 2017.

The 4 track release is a beautifully recorded, acoustically charged recording that lets the melodies and harmonies breathe between the delicate piano and guitars and combine for an emotive worship experience.

With songs that are equally at home in a church congregation or a personal time of devotion, this release is an exciting addition to the Shepherd’s growing collection of releases, and an indication of great things to come.

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3 Simple Tips For A Worship Leader

Whether you’re just starting out leading worship, or you’ve been leading for years, it can often be a daunting task.  Sometimes you can feel uninspired and lacking in creativity, or frustrated and unqualified to do the job.  Here’s three simple tips for starters to keep you on the ball, and help you when you lead:light-bulb-2014-500x345.png

1 – Show The Sheep The Shepherd

It’s all about Jesus.  Forget for a minute all your hours of practice, your band arrangements, your sound check, the lights, the monitor mix, your tuning and your performance.  People may be emotionally stirred by these things being done well, but the only thing that can cause people to respond in worship is by having a revelation of Jesus.  Present the person of Jesus, his character, his passion, his love and his works clearly through your songs and your leading.  Nothing will bring a clearer response in peoples hearts than Jesus being revealed to them again and again in clear and fresh ways.

2 – Pursue His Presence Persistently

We were born for relationship with God, and he longs (more than you could perceive) to draw close to his people.  We don’t necessarily ‘sing down his presence’, but through singing truth, we become more dynamically aware of his closeness.

Don’t rush.  Be aware of God working through certain songs, or single lines with songs, where you begin to recognise his closeness pressing in.  Dwell in these moments and enjoy the Creator of the Universe coming close to man.

3 – Surrender Your Soul To The Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the true worship leader, directing and orchestrating our worship back to the Trinity.  The more you lead the music team, the more you will begin to recognise how the Holy Spirit is leading you.  Stay open to where the Spirit is leading – that might be doing a different song to the ones you had chosen, reading a bible verse, repeating a line, bringing a word, a picture or encouragement to the congregation or simply stopping and waiting in silence.

And don’t forget – don’t carry the burden of responsibility by yourself.  The leading of the people ultimately lies with the Holy Spirit, and his gentle works in unlocking, changing and motivating peoples hearts in worship.  You may be a conduit that God uses to help lead the people, but even this responsibility is shared with the rest of the music team, the meeting leader, your church elders and senior leadership team – just stay open and responsive to the Spirit.

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What Notting Hill Taught Me About Worship

In the famous clip above, Julia Roberts character (a super-famous rich actress) tells Hugh Grants character (essentially a nobody)…

“The fame thing isn’t really real, you know.  Don’t forget I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

Worship leaders and musicians have so often gravitated to a rock-star mentality, caring too much about image and ‘product’.  Churches and conferences need to have big lights and staging to be taken seriously.

I believe Jesus is calling for the church to just stand in front of him as a his bride and seek is love.

Strip away self-image, self-promotion, products, packaging, presentation, and come back to heart of worship – simply a full hearted devotion of love to Jesus.

Let’s take away all that doesn’t really matter, and just stand before Jesus offering our love.

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4 Things I’ve Learned About Worship Leaders & Musicians

1 – Worship leaders & musicians are human

supermanMany people see those who minister from ‘the platform’ as kind of special.  Surely they are super-spiritual?  Maybe really in tune with God?  They are chosen and the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon them special powers? Use the Force Redman, use the Force!

Nope.  Worship leaders and musicians are real people, with real problems, feelings, and issues.  They wake up in a bad mood like you.  They sleep in like you.  They forget to read their bible, like you. Read more “4 Things I’ve Learned About Worship Leaders & Musicians”

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The Worship See-Saw

Just had some thoughts about a see-saw.  Thought I’d share.

It is always a difficult job ensuring the right people are on your worship team.  You always seem to have that awesome guitarist who just wears band t-shirts with skulls on them, and listens to bands like Death March and I Hate My Mum.  Then there’s the middle aged lady who sings – nobody remember her joining the team – she was just always there.  The bassist…well, just smile would you. Etc. Etc.  Who’s right for your team?

How did these people get on the worship team?  What criteria do we use to bring them on?  Did we get it right? Read more “The Worship See-Saw”

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New Day – Song by Song

New Day AlbumA bit of background on each song from the New Day album…

Take My Life

I always loved the old hymn by Frances R. Havergal, and sort of stumbled over this version almost by accident. I was just messing around with a simple chord structure on the piano (I don’t really play, I just make it up…!) and started singing the words. The new verses fell into place pretty quickly and the whole thing just felt right. In fact you may not know but this is one of 2 songs on the album, which the band didn’t actually play on (the other is The Call). The whole track came together over about two days, working with some loops and synth sounds, and tieing it up with that cool bass line. I had really wanted something fresh and original to start the album off, and I think this works well. Read more “New Day – Song by Song”

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The PA Man Needs Some Love Too…

There he is.  Yes you know him.  Sitting at the back,peering over that tall desk.  Giving dark glaring looks every time you ask for just a little more top end on your acoustic guitar.  He’s snarling when you tell him it all sounds a bit muddy on the stage and foams at the mouth in response to ‘that look’ you give when that loud pop happens when you take you guitar lead out.  What is that anyway?

He probably looks a bit like this:

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Read more “The PA Man Needs Some Love Too…”