CMS and the Worship Leader!


Paul Baloche leads worship with Michelle Shepherd on backup vocals


Yesterday, my wife and I returned from Tacoma, Washington where I attended the 20th Christian Musicians Summit.


If you are a Worship Leader and have never attended one of these, you need to!


I had the pleasure of attending with the bassist from our Worship Team as well as the Audio-Visual Technician from another church in town. We had a blast!


My wife asked me what my favorite part of the summit was. I said: the WORSHIP!


How often can you worship with fellow musicians? It was like being in the throne room of God Himself!


Please understand though that I love to worship with everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. This was just a very special time ordained by God Himself to call similar talented people to join together in worship, learning, and expanding the kingdom of God through music. What a pleasure it was!



Norm Stockton playing Christian Jazz Fusion


After the morning sessions were done on the first day, Norm Stockton formerly of Lincoln Brewster's band, gave an artist showcase. His five-string bass was lit up by tracks he's recently recorded called: Grooves and Sushi


It just goes to show that worship music isn't limited to straight 4/4 three chord songs.



Worship Team Discussion with from left to right -

Bobby Hartry, Norm Stockton, Brenton Brown, Aaron Blanton, and Ed Kerr


One of the most enjoyable highlights of the summit was the Working as a Band discussion.


This was led by Brenton Brown who wrote the song: Everlasting God. It stressed how important it is to first, listen to God. Second, listen to each other, and third, play as a unit without overlapping each other. Very cool!


Another session that was mostly for electric guitar players was hosted by Bobby Hartry. His discussion was generally about the setup he uses when touring as can be seen below.



Bobby Hartry with one of his touring pedal setups


Something that Bobby said that I found interesting was that he uses three different overdrive pedals to get different sound out of his performance playing. He also bemoaned the travails of flying to different gigs as he used to play a Gibson SG for many years. After one flight on an airline, the headstock on his SG was broken off. He now uses a steel attached neck with an older Stratocaster body. Such are the challenges for traveling musicians... Sigh


There you have it! That's my summary of the summit which really only covers a small amount of what we all experienced. There were also vocal workshops, leadership lectures, AV technical discussions and vendors willing to share their products and experiences.


I encourage you to check out the Christian Musicians Summit when you can. It's definitely worth attending and there will be another in 2023!


God bless,


Matt