Anybody else ever get this feeling?

More importantly, does it matter?

Keanu Reeves hasn’t sparked this much conversation since The Matrix.  Based on comments on our Facebook page, there is somewhat of a divide between those who play the music and those who actually make it sound like music.  I’m writing a whole post on ways to work well with your engineer but for now, I thought I would point out a very insightful comment by a Mr. Aaron Hairfield.  The last line was brilliant and I quote, “I just focus on not messing up haha.”  Let that sink in for a moment.  Now, let's talk about what's really important...

While we are serving our congregation, we are ultimately serving the Lord.  We bring our best for Him and that serves those around us.  Long before I met my good friend Glenn Packiam, I watched him worship.  (Glenn is a brilliant and thought-provoking writer, by the way.  Read his stuff.)  We had chapel in a huge auditorium that swallowed up individual instruments so while he was pounding on his keyboard, I couldn’t really hear what he was playing.  It didn’t matter.  He was obviously so passionate about his worship offering, he inspired me to lift my own.  Isn’t that the greatest role of the worship leader?

We can’t control the front of house mix, but that’s not our role.  We control how well we play our songs and the attitude in which we play them.  Focus on that and let the Holy Spirit and the sound engineer sort out the rest.

On a side note, if you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, you’re missing out.  Do it now!



Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for

Anybody else ever get this feeling?

Login to post comments


House Mix

Unless you are the "Special Music" with your own soundboard and tech crew, someone is going to get lost in the mix. I have the privilege of playing in a huge room tuned with sound baffles and a billion channel board and depending on where you sit you will hear a different mix once everybody starts singing. Just worship with all your heart, soul and mind and know the Lord hears you and loves you.


Well said sir!

Control the things you can...

I have found this (sound engineering) to be the single greatest source of frustration in my experience as a worship leader. In my business life I try to focus mostly, if not exclusively, on the things I can control and let the rest go. It seems there is an equivalent balance in worship ministry too. So, the question is...what fits in the bucket of "things I can and should conrol and what doesn't"?

The things you can control

Usually I focus on monitor mixes as well as EQ. If the sound guy is inexperienced they are usually ok with being told to stick to the volume faders.

Training is also super helpful. Give new sound guys some recordings and ask them to listen to where each instrument fits in the mix. It's amazing how just doing a little listening can help.


I occasionally play guitar for a very well-organized church doing 3 services back-to-back. Many times I struggle to hear my instrument in the main mix (we have headphones and a personalized monitor mix). Then one day I saw a service that had been recorded or streamed and there it was, my guitar, and my mistakes. Humbling moment, had to adjust my attitude and remember why I was playing and whose glory I was concerned about.