Somewhat off-topic: Free church music resources

While I’ve never conducted a formal survey, I know from emails and comments over the last few years that many of you are church musicians. So I thought I’d pass along a resource useful to those of you who are, even if it’s not specifically pertinent to the genre.

Sovereign Grace Music, a church network that intentionally develops songwriters and worship teams for its churches, hosts an annual conference on church music. They offer about 160 free messages, from the last eleven years of the conference, here and here.

Some of the messages are specific to worship in churches using a contemporary format—but many of us, myself included, attend such churches even if our musical preferences lie in this genre. Other messages have broader applicability; there are messages on songwriting from writers like Stuart Townsend, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and Bob Kauflin, messages on technical aspects like mixing, sound system maintenance, and in-ear monitors, messages on individual instrument and vocal techniques (including adult and youth choirs), a message on music copyright laws, and, above all else, a broad assortment of messages forming a theological base for worship.

While I would doubt any of us would agree with every single view expressed in every single message, this looks to be such an abundance of value that it’s worth passing along.

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  1. Thank you so much for this !!!

    • You’re welcome! With a resource this extensive and valuable, the only thing I can do is pass it along!

  2. “a church network that intentionally develops songwriters”

    I hope I don’t come across as nit-picky, but I have to wonder if “intentionally” was the word you wanted. Maybe there’s something I’m not getting, but I have a hard time imagining them doing it “unintentionally.”

    (Sorry I don’t have a more worth-while comment, but I don’t have much to say on the topic itself!)

    • Yeah, you’re right. The word he wanted was probably “actively.”

    • I think “intentionally” is fine in the context that it is used. These people “intentionally” develop songwriters and worship leaders for their churches as compared to just putting out an application and getting whatever comes their way. Many denominations or “church networks” may have a seminary with a music focus, but I don’t think they have the “intent” (root word here, lol) to develop their own SONGWRITERS and worship leaders.

    • I got more of an idea from that word a fostering of an atmosphere that teaches, grows, and nurtures gifts instead of one that supports the habits of hording “I-have-it-and-you-don’t” positions.

      (just my two cents)

    • Amy – Many churches have songwriters, even multiple ones, and don’t do anything to encourage, develop, and shape their skills. Yet they sometimes let the songwriters sing their songs as special musics. So, unintentionally is the norm.

      Sovereign Grace actively develops and mentors new songwriters, doing songwriting retreats, offering feedback and critique and suggestions, etc. I think intentionally is valid, though NSF’s less vivid actively is certainly also true.

      DJ and Jamey, my points precisely. Thanks!

      • OK, I get it. I just wasn’t sure! 🙂

  3. Daniel, thank you. I will check it out. How did you come across this?

    • I’ve been reading the blog of one of their songwriters, Bob Kauflin, for about a year – since the Booth Brothers’ Declaration featured several Sovereign Grace songs. In fact, I discussed two of his posts 8 and 11 months ago:

      He had mentioned the messages, several of which are messages he delivered.

      • I assume this is the Bob Kauflin of Glad fame?

      • Yeah, same guy. I love his new tune for “Just As I Am.”