We just completed practice for Easter Sunday. I think that is the response I’m going to get this Sunday. It’ll be said behind smiling faces as well as grimacing faces. I’m really confused and my head is telling me I just ruined Easter at River but my heart is telling me this is going to be the best Easter ever! (You should know I’ve only ever done 2 other Easters in the history of me being a worship leader so “best ever” is kind of relative.) Here’s what is going down:

  • Happy Day – Tim Hughes: slammin’, rockin’, awesome
  • Joyful, joyful we adore Thee – DC*B arranged, Charlie Hall performed: we’ve done this one many times already but it again is pretty slammin’
  • In Christ Alone – Matt Papa’s version: incredible tune and very dynamic but ends…you guessed it: slammin’
  • You’re Beautiful – Phil Wickham: gorgeous song and again is very dynamic but for the most part is pretty mellow-ish
  • Wonderful Cross – Robbie Seay’s version: verses are small and choruses are big. Some would probably use the word “slammin'”
  • Amena Brown Resurrection video – Definitely current, modern, new and fresh.
  • Christ the Lord is Risen Today – Conner Byrd’s interpretation thanks to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer: exactly the same melody everyone is familiar with but with a cool stutter drum beat. Some would probably use the word “rockin.'” I wouldn’t but it’s definitely a bit more in your face with the presence of the drums.

So my brain says:

  • Geez Conner can’t you leave anything well enough alone? Why do you have to screw up the golden oldies? Why can’t you just leave them the way they are. Everyone who likes those songs likes them the way they were and now you’ve just meddled with greatness. Thanks for ruining Easter!

But my heart says:

  • Man this is soo great! Look, we’re doing 3 hymns this weekend and if hymns were done this way when I was growing up maybe I’d be more into hymns! What a great collaboration of the old and the new! Those 2x a year attenders are going to eat this stuff up! I can’t wait for Easter!

Then my brain reminds me:

  • What a dumb setlist! The chord progressions for You’re Beautiful and Wonderful Cross are EXACTLY THE SAME! The tinkering in Happy Day and Wonderful Cross are basically THE SAME! The shuffle beat you love happens in 2 songs! Geez what a bland and boring service this is going to be!


  • Oh man that cool little tinkering guitar tone is sprinkled everywhere! Awesome! This version of Wonderful Cross is new and is going to spark new interest in a song we’ve done time and time again! Awesome! Christ the Lord is Risen… it like a new song! AWESOME! We’ve got the best of both worlds! AWE-SOME!

Somewhere inside me I don’t know if I’ve just created the service I wanted so badly or the one that River wants? I mean I know I’m the Worship Leader but I think this is what makes it so difficult because I do know that there are people in our congregation who will totally think I ruined Easter. They’ll probably assume I’m being self-indulgent and selfish and this is my way of tossing up the middle finger on my way out as Worship Leader. The crazy thing is that the worship planning team told me that Joyful, You’re Beautiful, and Happy Day were green lights! They asked me to try and do Christ the Lord is Risen… even after I told them it wouldn’t be traditional and led on the keys. At this point however, I don’t know what else to do. Tomorrow is Thursday and Easter is 3 days away. I’ve worked really hard already on all this stuff that to toss one would be painful…ugh…

Is this how Holy Week goes for everybody else?


9 Responses to “WHAT DID YOU DO TO EASTER?!?!”

  1. March 19, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Practice went pretty well here. Mighty to Save was a little sloppy but I think the crew will clean it up before Sunday. I think we are gonna have some great sounds.

  2. March 20, 2008 at 12:59 am

    My practice was a nightmare tonight. I was wondering similar things. It’s funny, cause our church is used to hymns done differently, but I actually second guessed doing one differently on the way home tonight.

    You just reminded me to go for it!

    Have a great Easter!

  3. March 20, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Ok so apparently you’ve been inside my head for the past two days. The crazy thing is that we are doing 3 of the same songs AND I’m using that video too.

    I think.


    I came on staff at my church 6 weeks before Christmas so that year it was madness to get ready for Christmas Eve. Needless to say it was a little different than they were used to and after the first service someone from the church walked right up to me, looked me in the eye and said “What was THAT??!!”

    And not in a good way! Haha.

    As long as the songs, videos, transitions, etc aren’t creating unnecessary distractions that will keep people from engaging in worship and you’ve prayed through all your questioning, go for it.

  4. March 20, 2008 at 7:56 am

    So did you finally figure out the intro to Wonderful Cross?

  5. March 20, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Chris, the connection between Canada and South Louisiana runs thick this weekend 🙂 I look forward to your worship confessional next week.

    Phillip, yeah I think we did. It came off sounding really cool!

  6. March 20, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Apparently you’re my new worship planning committee 🙂

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