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Practical Worship Podcast

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Mike Keahbone on cultivating a healthy relationship between senior pastors and worship pastors

The relationship between the senior pastor and the worship pastor is a vital one if for no other reason than these two roles work in tandem to create one of the biggest things the church does—the Sunday morning service. It takes both pastors working together to cultivate a healthy relationship which breeds a healthy ministry. So, I want to introduce you to my senior pastor at Cherokee Hills Baptist Church, Mike Keahbone. He shares his wisdom on what it’s like in his shoes as a senior pastor,...


Sara Emmerson on the role of the service producer on your creative team and being a relational leader

A service producer may not be one of the first roles you think of when you think of a worship team or a production team, but it can be a vital role that takes weight off of you as the worship pastor and help shepherd the people on your team and to eliminate distractions within a service. Sara Emmerson is currently the Creative Pastor at Soul City Church in Chicago, but her roots in ministry can be traced back to her time as a service producer at Willow Creek Community Church. Her experience...


Elias Dummer on The City Harmonic, his solo project and his calling as a worship leader thoughout it all

The God-given calling to be a worship leader can take on many different forms. Elias Dummer knows this firsthand as he began his journey serving the local church in Ontario, Canada but soon found himself touring the world in The City Harmonic, a band made up of other worship leaders from other churches in the Hamilton, Ontario area. Today Elias is a part of a church plant in the Nashville area and continues to write songs for the local church. This conversation is the story of the things...


Brian Fuller on what it takes to lead a worship ministry and other things they didn't tell you about being a worship pastor

As worship leaders, many of us got the position we’re in today because we could sing or play an instrument. Brian Fuller had a similar situation when he first started, but after being the worship pastor at New Hope Church in Durham, NC and a regular staple on the Worship Tutorials YouTube channel, he’s spent the past 10+ years training and pouring into leaders to succeed at all the aspects of the role from spiritual, relational, administration, coaching and musicality—even creating what he...


Jon Abel on crafting worship services and leading a ministry as a church member first and a worship pastor second

Watermark Community Church is striving to be a light in the heart of downtown Dallas, Texas. With ministries that serve the community focusing on marriage, addiction recovery and students (just to name a few), at the core of it all Watermark is a church that is discipleship-focused in everything they do. Jon Abel is the worship director, leading worship at the main Dallas campus and leading a team of other worship leaders and staff. In this conversation Jon shares his approach to crafting...


Dave Dolphin on what happened last summer and how to respond and move on from church hurt in ministry

Regular listeners to this podcast and those that keep up with me on YouTube and social media know that something went down last summer in 2018. Almost a year later I want to share my story. It's a story about being hurt in ministry and how to respond when it happens and how to move on past it and heal. The reason why I want to share this story is to encourage other people in ministry. If you've gone through something similar (or you're going through it right now), one of the most encouraging...


Todd Elliott on how to pull off Easter and other big services without losing your cool, your volunteers and your mind

Easter is that one service where we want to do things bigger than we normally do. Our desire is to help create a powerful moment—especially for those that typically only attend church on Easter and Christmas. Todd Elliott is no stranger to big Easter services, having served as the leader of the Willow Creek Community Church production team for over ten years. Year after year, Todd and his team were tasked with pulling off the ideas from the creative team. This conversation with Todd is about...


Chris Kuti on how Life.Church Worship started writing original songs and the power of songwriting in your church

Songwriting can unlock opportunties to wrap a melody around your church’s vision and heartbeat. As a worship pastor and now the central ministry leader of worship arts at Life.Church, Chris Kuti has seen first-hand the power of original songs within their services. In this conversation, Chris shares how to get a songwriting ministry started at your church, the process of how songs get evaluated and chosen at Life.Church and the importance of co-writing and creating with the door open. Find...


Daniel Connell on using lights to support the story being told and why worship leaders should be lighting designers

Lighting design can be a powerful way to add to your worship service, but it needs to be something that supports what’s already happening on stage without drawing attention to itself. Daniel Connell is no stranger to a lighting console with a resume that includes Switchfoot, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bethel and the Passion conference—and even some time on staff full-time at Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He shares how he approaches lighting design to compliment the story being told by...


BONUS: Nic Payne’s testimony and his story into full-time worship ministry

Nic Payne is a recent guest of the podcast, sharing what he calls the #rehearsalrevivalproject. One of the things that didn’t make the main episode was his testimony and his story of how he got into full-time worship ministry. It’s a great story of the church coming alongside someone that was at rock bottom and trying to put his life back together. And as Nic continued to grow within the church, his first paid role within the church was NOT within the worship ministry.


Nic Payne on the #rehearsalrevivalproject, using rehearsal to cultivate relationships and disciple those that serve

What if your mid-week rehearsal could be more than just the mechanics of learning the songs for Sunday? Nic Payne is the Director of Worship at Grace Church in Roseville, MN. As the church was focusing on discipleship and adopting the philosophy “we want something for you, not from you” in regards to serving, Nic saw the opportunity to use rehearsal to pour into the people that serve within the ministry. And now he’s encouraging other worship ministry leaders to do the same under the name...


Todd Fields on developing worship leaders to be their authentic self and calling out gifting in others

Whether he realized it or not at the time, Todd Fields was created to create leaders. Whether it was with Louie Giglio at 7:22, at North Point Community Church in Atlanta or now with the mentorship ministry he started called Worship Circle, there are countless worship leaders in the world today that wouldn’t be who they are without Todd pouring into them little by little. This conversation is about how over the years Todd has helped others be their authentic self, realize who they are in...


Aaron Green on music licensing, using copyrighted material in church and what is considered “fair use"

Using copyrighted music is an integral part of our Sunday morning services. CCLI covers many of the basics, but what about making a live CD of worship songs? What about using a Chris Tomlin song in your mission trip slideshow video? What about creating a parody for Mother’s Day? Aaron Green is the co-founder of, and he has seen it all. He works with churches and music publishers every single day, and he’s the go-to guy when you need to seek permission to use someone...


Luke McElroy on unleashing and pursuing your God-given calling as a creative and going to the gym creatively

There’s a lot of things that seem to prevent us from discovering the creative calling God has for us. For Luke McElroy, it was hitting wall after wall in his impatience to understand what God was calling him to do. For others, it’s not feeling like your creativity is enough or even not believing you’re created to be creative in the first place. This conversation with the SALT Community leader is about discovering and unleashing your God-given calling and some practical ways to work out this...


Marty Taylor on the importance of authenticity and vulnerability and moving away from the wow factor on Sunday

What do you do when, right in the middle of dress rehearsals of one of the biggest events your church does, you discover you’re not that church anymore? That what you’ve done for years and years no longer seems appropriate. That’s the question that Church on the Move was faced with in 2015 as Marty Taylor was leading the creative arts department. What seemed like a creative decision on the surface turned out to be a cultural decision towards vulnerability and authenticity. Find show notes...


Jeff Hall on how Life.Church Worship creates a thriving environment for their musicians and more than “just a gig"

As the associate central ministry leader of worship for Life.Church, Jeff Hall plays a big part in crafting the culture within the worship ministries at their 30+ different campuses—especially when it comes to the musicians in the band. So many church musicians have a story where they felt used or only valued for what the church could get out of them, but Life.Church musicians seem to thrive in their culture. In our conversation, we talk about how making the expectations clear paves the way...


Andrew Stone on leading tech people and the importance of clearly defining the expectations (COTM Prod Ethos)

As the production director and chief audio engineer at Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK, Andrew Stone is one of the best pastors to tech people I’ve ever seen. During the 15 years he’s been with COTM and all the years on the road with national touring artists, he has pulled together a list of ten statements—a production ethos if-you-will. In our conversation, we don’t necessarily talk about what these statements mean. Instead, it’s a conversation about how they came to be and why it’s...


Stephen Brewster on leading creatives in ministry, helping them find success and the benefits of being more than a doer

As the creative arts pastor of Freedom House Church in Charlotte, NC, Stephen Brewster leads creatives every day to create music, graphic design and every thing else to share the hope of Jesus through the local church. In our conversation we talk about how to lead creatives—to provide the guardrails but still allow them to do what they do without stifling them—and how to think of yourself as a leader instead of a doer. No matter the size of your church, there are benefits to building a team...


Dave Dolphin shares the backstory of his faith, leading worship and Practical Worship

In this introductory podcast episode, host Dave Dolphin shares how it all begin. He shares the story of his personal testimony, how he started leading worship and how he knew he was called to be a worship pastor full-time. Find show notes to the podcast episode at