Contemporary Praise and Worship Teams
Telephone: (770) 841-8009
Youth Retreats - Youth Worship Services - Contemporary Praise Services - Startup Church Music Solutions - Top Quality Music Without Full-time Staff
Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
To see and hear an example of what three of our professionals did over a one-year period for a start-up church, developing their own members, click below:
MPEG video (8.4MB).
In this video members of CrossTalk work with young worship leaders during Sunday morning youth services at Peachtree Corners Baptist Church:
MPEG video (3.4MB).
CROSSTALK IN THE STUDIO
CrossTalk is currently in the process of recording a CD of favorite originals and popular praise and worship songs at Aural Images recording studio. Click below to watch a 1-minute video of the recording process:
CROSSTALK ORIGINAL RECORDINGS
Rough mix samples of a couple of original CrossTalk songs currently in production
The concept of the CrossTalk Praise Bands was born out of the seemingly tremendous need for expertise and staffing in the area of contemporary praise and worship music for today's progressive churches. Finding praise band musicians and organizing a praise band can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Managing a praise band week to week can get even tougher. We help solve the problem by offering turn-key solutions. We can provide a small team of professionals who work from 6 to 12 months developing your own musicians to a predetermined level, or a complete professionally-staffed worship team for startup churches seeking an out-of-the-box solution that helps them get started on the right track from day one. Perhaps you are part of an established church seeking to move from traditional music to a blended worship style or even a completely contemporary praise experience. CrossTalk can get you there in record time. No worry about pulling together a midweek rehearsal to try and get ready for Sunday. And let's face it, the midweek rehearsal never seems like it is enough. Those days have ended and you can trade your weeknight rehearsal for extra family time. How? CrossTalk praise teams stay current with the popular mainstream praise and worship songs. If you have a particular song request, perhaps one that goes along with the theme of a particular worship service, simply let your CrossTalk praise team contact person know in advance and they will have it ready on time and at a professional level.
And just think - by employing professional musicians (modern day Levites) you fulfill the priciples established by King David when he formed the praise teams for the temple in I Chronicles 25. Let's consider King David's discourse with Ornan over a plot of land for an altar (see I Chronicles 21:24). David refused to accept Ornan's free gift of land for an altar of sacrifice because David would not submit an offering to the Lord which cost him nothing. In fact he insisted upon paying Ornan the full market value of the land. It truly was a sacrifice of praise by the Davidic temple when they employed skilled musicians (see references to skilled musicianship in I Chronicles 25:6-7 and Psalm 47:7) to lead worship. Because it did cost them something (see I Chronicles 21:24), they could truly consider the sacrifice of praise to God an offering from the entire temple. Had the musicians not been compensated for their part in leading worship, the sacrifice of praise would have belonged to the musicians themselves. We also have writings in the New Testament on the subject of the church body providing for those who work on its behalf.
I have a friend who was the drummer for a very large church in Atlanta for 12 years. He would never accept their money because he considered it his offering to God. However, anytime he did not want to play he would take off, sometimes on somewhat of a short notice. This guy is a great musician but he sometimes just wanted to sit out, or have the freedom to play somewhere else, or just go away for the weekend. The church eventually hired a percussionist who can also play the drum set, so they would know that they are covered. The 12-year veteran has since stopped playing anywhere on a regular basis (another subject called burn-out), so the church put the paid guy on a handsome salary. The relationship is great for both the church and the drummer. The drummer blesses the church with his undivided devotion and the church blesses the drummer by meeting his financial needs.
This has a biblical basis. The first-fruits (tithes) that were brought to the temple under King David were used to meet the needs of those who attended to the work of the temple, including 24 praise teams, each with 12 musicians. (I Chronicles 25) These also happend to be skilled musicians under skilled leadership, not hobbyists. (I Chronicles 15:22) We also have writings in the New Testament on the subject of the church body providing for those who work on its behalf. (see I Corinthians 9:4-7, Galatians 6:6, and I Timothy 5:17)
Hereís a bonus: We even have the biblical precedent for the church supplying the instruments. King David made the instruments of worship with his own hands and provided them to the musicians. (I Kings 10:12, I Chronicles 23:5) We even have a biblical precedent for choir robes. (II Chronicles 5:12-14)
Should it be the musicianís choice whether he/she prefers to sell their talent offering to the church or offer it up to God directly? If the musician allows the church to purchase his offering, the offering is no longer his/hers. It becomes the sacrifice of the church body, because it cost them instead, by whatever portion of the offering each member owns, according to his/her giving schedule. Just to be clear, this portion is not measured in dollars but by how much it impacts their personal pocketbook. (see Mark 12:41-44) After all, it is called a sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul covers this subject as well, with great detail, in I Corinthians Chapter 9. Paul and Barnabas were missionaries. The church of the day was funding the ministries of those who had a wife/family, but expected Paul and Barnabas to work (remember Paul the tent maker?) and pay their own way. Yet the church seemingly saw no problem in sharing the credit for the lives who were touched by the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. Paul writes about it in First Corinthians Chapter 9, starting at verse 3. He is not happy and you can sense it in his words. He asks them in verse 7, "who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense?" In verse 11 he speaks of reaping material benefits from those he helped spiritually. In verse 14 he goes on to say that the Lord Himself "directed" (Greek word literally means commanded) those who proclaim the gospel to also get their living from it. Paul did selfishly opt not to receive any funding from the church. In verse 12 he says "...we did not use this right..." and in verse 15 he exclaims that "it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one." Paul wanted the sacrifice to be all his, thus he would fund 100% of his ministry, as appeared necessary anyway. Don't worry about Paul though. He later accepts provision from the church at Philippi, which was all too eager to share in Paul's ministry and gave freely. Paul was just agitated with the church at Corinth at the moment. He was, after all, human.
The bottom line is that, as long as a Christian musician is a minister and not simply in it for the sake of entertaining, fame, etc., he/she should be supported by those who benefit spiritually from his/her ministry and those who will share in the credit, perhaps a church or group of churches, and individuals to wish to give freely as a "love offering" (Galations 6"6). In fact, that being said, concerts should be paid for and hosted by churches, not ticket sales. Look at I Corinthians 9:18 about offering the gospel without charge. We have a lot to learn today with regard to the church and its relationship with true Christian musicians.
It seems that the church should seek to use the tithes and offerings to bless those who attend to the work of the temple. The bible points in that direction. (I Corinthians 9:11 and 14, Galatians 6:6, and I Timothy 5:17) We have a clear biblical principle by which to pay not only musicians, but pastors, secretaries, etc. The question is this: Should the musician be allowed to provide his/her praise offering without compensation, instead keeping the sacrifice to himself/herself? I would say that it depends upon their motivation. If they are just hiding behind that idea so they can shrug off the responsibility of having to be dependable, then God will judge their motives. Let each person examine himself on this matter. If they truly wish to count this as part of their tithes and offerings to God, they will also prove their accountability by being faithful in attendance.
A pastor could consider the same working relationship with the church. I know of a pastor who has a day job during the week and pastors a church part-time. He accepts no payment from the church. As long as he has proper motives, should the church deny him the privilege to serve without compensation, as part of his offering to God? To be honest, I find no biblical mandate regarding the prohibition of this. I do however find much more on the subject of paying those who attend to the work of the church.
BONUS: For an added bonus take a look at II Chronicles 5:12-14 and see how God can be moved by a great praise offering. The priests had done such a great job at administration and instruction in creating the perfect worship atmosphere that God saw no need for them to stand and minister that day. You might say that God's people were so led that they cut straight to the chase that day in worshiping Him.
POINT: The worship team should play and sing skillfully for two reasons. 1) It is what God desires and deserves. 2) It can be an awful distraction to someone's worship experience when musicians make terrible mistakes. We want to keep the congregation in a vertical posture toward God's throne. The music serves as a vehicle for our praise offering to the creator of the universe, and thus it should not be a "blemished lamb." But how many of today's churches, in the good name of stewardship, use amateur volunteers or poorly compensated professional musicians to prepare the praise offering? David insisted on paying the full market value for his offering to God. Consider this, the sermon/message/teaching is a horizontal (i.e. man-to-man) event. The praise and worship is a vertical (i.e. man-to-God) event. God really tunes in when His people begin to praise Him. He actually inhabits the praise of His people (II Chronicles 5:12-14). May we seek to offer Him the unblemished sacrifice of praise that He desires and deserves. And may we offer it with a clean heart amidst musical excellence. NOTE: The principle of using only professional musicians remained in place as late as Mozart's day.
CrossTalk praise teams are staffed by born again believers who believe that God deserves the best. They have committed years and years to this cause and have made tremendous personal sacrifices to see this mission fulfilled. God's music shouldn't take the proverbial back seat to the world's music. God expected an unblemished sacrificial lamb. But today's praise sacrifice is so often blemished, because of the misconception of what a joyful noise is and the excuse that the church must use amateur musicians in the name of good stewardship.
CrossTalk praise teams will consult with you to determine sound system requirements, recommend equipment and suppliers, and, in some cases, work out a rental program to help you get started.
For booking information telephone ARSIS PRODUCTIONS at (770) 841-8009 and ask for Doug McAlexander.
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