Podcast Episode #156: Musically Challenging Your Worship Team with Ron Pai

How do you challenge and grow your worship team musically? Ron Pai joins the podcast to talk about the benefits of growing your skills, your music palette, and calling your team to something more.

Jason and Daniel also discuss the latest Worship Artistry song tutorial "I Choose to Worship" by Rend Collective and we get our first shout out from a listener.

Here are some highlights from Ron's interview:

On leading through lament

We leaned pretty heavy into mourning at the beginning of the pandemic. There was a song by Rita Springer called "Midnight" that was important to our church. It starts in lament but ends with “God You won’t leave me in the midnight.” It was almost shocking how engaged people were the first time we played it. They really connected. While God did lead us into lament, I think He’s now leading us into joy. There’s a need for joy. When we sit in lament too long we end up building a house and never leaving.

On challenging your musicians

Sometimes a challenging worship song will inspire the team. We had one Israel Houghton song that had all these crazy chord changes and hits in it so I warned the team it was going to be a practice fest. They loved it! They couldn’t get enough. The practice was worth it because it was so musically interesting. 

On pairing players of different skill levels

Some players need real help with every detail and I’m always reminding people we’ve got a subscription to Worship Artistry. That will get those players there. There are other players that have all the skill but just need to be pointed in the right direction so I’ll learn what they listen to and then suggest particular players in that genre to listen to.

On musical diversity

I always try and expose my musicians to lots of musical styles - gospel, jazz, bluegrass, rock - all so that they can grow their confidence. My hope is that if they ever leave our church or we get a different music director with a different style, they won’t be lost but confident in their ability to take it on.

On developing a sense of calling

It comes from spending time either one on one or as a group. Sometimes I feel like I'm harping on it but the fact that is that it’s not a “have to” but a “get to”. You could serve the church in many ways but God has allowed us to come up here, play and lead. It’s so easy to fall into complaining about rehearsal or practice so it’s important to keep on that message.

If you want to shout out one of your worship team members, do it here and we’ll let you know if we read it on the podcast!

Kristina Kislyanka leads worship and student ministry at her church in Washington state. She’s passionate about songwriting, producing music, and growing community within the Church. Kristina is a member of the Maverick City Music Choir. 

Podcast Episode #156: Musically Challenging Your Worship Team with Ron Pai

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