Looking Back On 2014

1In mid-2009 I started this blog in the hopes of offering practical help to worship leaders – by a worship leader – for whoever would find it helpful. I started off aiming to write out of a place of transparency and vulnerability — dealing with my own day-to-day experiences/mistakes in ministry — and sharing any tips/advice/thoughts that God prompted me to share. I’ve been incredibly encouraged and humbled by how God seems to have used this little piece of internet real estate to encourage worship leaders.

It’s been over five years since I began, and blogging here continues to be an incredibly rewarding exercise for me, mainly because of the great conversations and friendships that have been struck up. 2014 was no exception. To all of you who read, share, and/or comment on this blog, please know how grateful I am for you! Thank you for helping my desire for this blog come to fulfillment.

Interestingly, the top five posts on this blog in 2014 were:

1. Are We Headed For a Crash? Reflections on the Current State of Evangelical Worship. In this post I shared some of my concerns and warnings for those of us in the evangelical worship movement. To say that this post struck a nerve is an understatement.

2. Top Ten Ways to Annoy Your Sound Engineer. Even though I wrote this post in 2011, it took on a life of its own this year and seemed to make a lot of people chuckle. Mission accomplished.

3. Oh Magnify My Face with Me. A post in which I attempt to articulate my concerns about the common practice in mega churches and Christian conferences of magnifying the worship leader’s face during the singing. To quote myself: it’s awfully hard for you to decrease when your face is the size of Honda Civic.

4. Ten More Ways to Annoy Your Sound Engineer. I like poking fun at sound engineers. It’s because I love them so much and think their role is so crucial. Thank you, sound engineers!

5. Sing a New Song (But Not Too Many… And Not Too Many of Yours). I had three major points in this post. First, we should sing new songs! Second, we shouldn’t sing so many new songs that people stop singing along. Third, we shouldn’t ask our congregations to sing so many of our original compositions that they can’t sing along.

The four countries that most commonly visit this blog are: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. I have yet to receive any invitations to speak at a conference in Hawaii (or the Bahamas), which is one of my top-five lifelong ministry goals. There’s still time…

1I was honored this year to receive Worship Leader Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for one of the top worship blogs. This was a very kind gesture by Chuck Fromm (the editor of Worship Leader Magazine) and I was honored to have this blog named amongst so many other good ones. Sadly, this award did not get me out of doing dishes every night at home (I tried but Catherine said she wasn’t that impressed), and the police officer in Falls Church who gave me a speeding ticket a few months ago didn’t seem to be impressed when I flashed my “TOP WORSHIP BLOG” badge in his face.

This was quite a momentous year for my family and me, as I left The Falls Church Anglican in July and came on board as Director of Worship and Arts at Truro Anglican Church in August. Our oldest daughter started kindergarten, our middle child started preschool, and our youngest (now one-year old) continued the Brown-baby tradition of not sleeping through the night even once. Because of all of these exciting things, I didn’t post as frequently or substantively as I would have liked, and I hope that I can get back into a more normal blogging rhythm in 2015.

So again, thanks to all of you who read, share, comment on, and subscribe to this blog. I’m thankful for you! I hope that this blog can continue to be a place of practical encouragement for worship leaders, a place to have meaningful conversations about practice and theology, and maybe even a place to laugh once in a while — especially at ourselves.

Happy new year!

3 thoughts on “Looking Back On 2014

  1. Jim December 30, 2014 / 3:33 pm

    You certainly had some terrific posts this year. I am glad I found your blog. There are always rich and interesting discussion going on over here!

  2. Jonathon December 30, 2014 / 11:27 pm

    Hey Jamie, thanks for sharing so much. I am a guitar player who has found himself in the position of volunteer worship leader at a small church of about 100 great folks. Your blog has helped me to put some of my struggles into words that I can understand. You have helped me grow in this role and I thank you. I will continue to read your blog in hopes of continued growth and maybe learn from some of the mistakes amd successes you have had.

  3. Al December 31, 2014 / 2:11 pm

    Happy New Year!…thanks Jamie for sharing your journey with all of us.

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